In Search of the Right Fit

A while back I was talking with my mother-in-law and she asked if I’d be willing to knit her another pair of socks. When it comes to people for whom I get to knit, she’s one of my favorites. As a knitter herself, she appreciates the time and effort put into each project. Really, when you’re knitting for someone that’s important. I let her know that I had a few things I had to clear through before I would get there, but that yes, indeed I’d be happy to knit some socks for her. We discussed fit and customizing them a bit for her as she lives in a warmer climate. I was hoping to get to them in early February, but alas, it was the last week of the month before I got there.

I grabbed a skein of stash yarn that I thought was Shibui Sock (now discontinued), but honestly I don’t know what it is, and got knitting.

I used the Churchmouse Yarns and Teas Basic Sock pattern just because it’s such a good standard with which to start.

We’d agreed to make the cuff & leg shorter for her, so I went with a 20 round 2×2 ribbed cuff and then an additional 25rounds of stockinette for the leg before starting the heel flap & turning the basic heel…

I did try out my Sock Ruler for the first time on this pair. I saw Susan B. Anderson using one early last fall and as soon as they were in stock I ordered one to try it out. I’ll start by saying that I do really like it and I’ll definitely be using it regularly. I think it’s a great tool for anyone who knits a lot of socks. That said, for those of us who have knit a lot of socks and are used to measuring — you know — with a tape measure or small ruler, I found that the sock ruler definitely took a little getting used to. All new tools have a bit of a learning curve though. The only other downside of the ruler is that it’s a little big for my small project bags. All things considered, though, like I said I’ll be using this new tool a lot. It’s quick and easy to use and I think in the end it will help me to be a little more accurate with sock measurements.

Of course, with the short cuff & leg, these socks were done in a jiffy and I popped them in the mail to my mother-in-law for a test fit last week. I think they turned out very cute.

As you can see, I didn’t really bother with maintaining the striping when I was turning the heel.

Seeing as though it’s a prototype for sizing, I was more interested in getting them done and shipped off for a fitting than messing about with being precious about the striping.

I honestly think they look great — I probably wouldn’t have even paid any mind to the stripes interrupted if I hadn’t been talking striped socks with a knitting friend.

I was happy to hear my mother-in-law loved them and the fit is great. Hooray! I’ve got more yarn lined up and it sounds like my mother-in-law wouldn’t mind a couple more pairs. Double hooray! I’m very happy to have checked this off my to-do list and especially that they were a success. It was also just great to knit up a quick pair of socks as it’s been a while since I finished a pair. All the better that they were made for someone who I know will really love them. I kind of can’t wait to get another pair of socks on the needles now!

Capitol Square Market Bag

Since I started spinning, I have usually sent my friend Rose handspun for birthday or holiday gifts. This year, however, when her birthday rolled around in spring I knew she had a move on the horizon and that she’d be prepping to begin her PhD work, so¬† her free time would be a little limited. I decided to knit for her. I rarely knit gifts, but this felt right.

I knew I wanted to send her some local coffee and I thought a market bag would be a nice addition. Obviously, I am a big fan of the design I did for Firefly Fibers, the Capitol Square Market Bag. I selected a bright turquoise in Cascade Ultra Pima because it reminded me of where Rose is moving from — Miami Beach — and where she is moving to– Albuquerque.

I started work on it the night before leaving for our South Dakota vacation.20130626-103243.jpgI used Judy’s Magic Cast-On — you don’t have to use it to begin this project, but it is really nice to have the seam-free bottom. And it’s super quick & neat.

I knit on it all the way across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota.20130616-091546.jpgI’m kind of a lazy car knitter these days — watching scenery as much of the time as I am knitting, so I didn’t move super quickly.

I knit on it in the Badlands.

20130624-095234.jpgI knit on it in Custer State Park. And I wrapped it up in Custer SP at Sylvan Lake.

I will be honest — I had to take three passes at the Kitchener stitch at the end. Usually I can do Kitchener stitch in my sleep, but I was trying to finish right as we were starting to cook dinner and there were a lot of interruptions. Eventually it slipped over to the FO column.

20130626-100830.jpgI am pretty happy with the results.20130626-100842.jpgI hope Rose will be, too!

It’s in the mail, my dear — Enjoy!

For more detailed notes on this project, please go to my Ravelry project page!