The Thing I Pretty Much Never Do

At this time of year, thousands of knitters the world over have that crazed ‘I’ll-never-finish-in-time’ look in their eyes. I know it. I’ve lived it. If you are in this boat, rest assured that you will indeed most likely survive the next 7days and live to tell the tale of the 11th hour toe shaping for years to come and please know that I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors. I am not knitting Christmas gifts this year. The fact that I don’t knit many gifts is something I’ve written about pretty freely here and this holiday season is no different. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that the few people I tend to knit for didn’t really require anything new or it wasn’t really appropriate this time around. I spun the one skein for of handspun yarn for my friend and that was pretty much going to be it.

While at my in-laws at the beginning of December though I was knitting away on a pair of socks and on one of the last days of our trip while visiting with my mother-in-law she very sweetly asked if I’d knit her a pair. She is a very good knitter in her own right and she’s done some wonderful work on socks, but mostly she prefers to knit for the babies she watches which I can totally understand and appreciate. Of course, I agreed to the project without hesitation. As is my usual MO, I gave her a completion date quite far out in the future — I think I said end of January or February — because 1) I try very hard to be someone who delivers things on-time and 2) I did not want to over-commit with the holidays and spend this important family time nervously trying to finish a pair of socks.

It just so happened that I thought she might make this very request, so I had packed a wound skein of String Theory Colorworks Orbit in the Solanum colorway. My mother-in-law loves greens, so I thought this colorway would be fun to use for her. The photos show the green a little more yellow-y than they are in reality — I would describe this colorway as olive + deep grape + fog. I actually bought the yarn for another purpose, but as soon as I got it I thought of my mother-in-law, so I’m glad I was able to use it for a gift for her. I actually had my mother-in-law’s foot measurements on-file and had them with me on vacation, so I did a little math in the car the morning we headed home and got knitting.

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I have to be very honest — String Theory Colorworks’ Orbit base is one of my favorites for sock knitting. It is 80/20 SW Merino/Nylon and it is just the bounciest, most fun to knit sport-weight sock yarn I’ve found. In fact, I’m kind of dying to be a part of the String Theory Colorworks 2015 Sock Club for the Orbit base, but that’s another story. One in which I try to have yarn-buying restraint because I have an insanely nice stash that I need to knit and I really need to prioritize a new swift and that Very Fast Flyer for my spinning wheel over more yarn. And I find it really, really, really hard to have said restraint. But I digress. Suffice to say just trust me, this base is amazing.

In any case, I knit and I knit and I knit some more, as one does in life. And six days later the socks were done.

solanum4 I did my old standard for stripes, the afterthought heel.

solanum3And the basic toe I do for almost all my socks.

solanum2I knit the cuffs & legs just a bit shorter than I normally do for myself. Personally I prefer a 7-8″ cuff & leg, but my in-laws live in a slightly warmer climate and I think that would just be overkill, so I went with 6.5″ or thereabouts for these socks. I think that’ll do nicely for her.

solanumI didn’t have the appropriate sock blocker size for these and I probably could have blocked these a little more aggressively to redistribute those noticeable spots where my needle joins were, but I wanted to mess with the stitches as little as possible so I wouldn’t deliver of sock that was over-stretched and baggy. I am always a little nervous about fit when the foot I’m knitting for is not in my house, but I had measurements and did my math and double-checked it and blocked very gently so these should fit just right. Besides, all these little aesthetic bits will sort themselves out the first time they’re worn.

Overall, I think they turned out great. All I have to do is wrap them up and pop them in the mail and they might even maybe still make it in time for the holiday. I have to say, for someone who pretty much never knits gifts, this thing I pretty much never do was pretty fun. I’m very excited that these socks will be going to a good home, that they’ll be very much appreciated, and hopefully they’ll be worn a lot, too.

For more information on this project, you can visit my Ravelry project page here.

8 responses to “The Thing I Pretty Much Never Do

    • Self-striping socks are definitely one of the *it* things one of these days! I’ve been on a total stripey sock kick lately, too — I have a bunch of skeins stashed and I’ve been having a total blast knitting them up. I’m totally convinced I knit striped socks faster, too. So easy to fall into the “just one more stripe” habit and be done in no time!

    • I got a photo of them on her feet last night! She seemed very happy! Yay!

      And I’m far from the queen of socks. Just a sock knitter, like any sock knitter, knitting away!

    • They do! I love sport weight socks for gifts just for that reason. They are quick and cozy and since I find most of the socks I make are reserved for special occasions, I feel much more comfortable with the shorter time investment. 🙂

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