Knit From Your Knitting, Part 2

About this time last year I was knitting my first ever socks from a sock blank. As I clicked away, Mr. Knitting Sarah looked across the room at me and then stared at my knitting.

“Are you knitting… from your knitting?”

Knitting from the sock blank, of course, that’s exactly what I was doing. I cam to realize that knitting from sock blanks definitely agrees with me. There’s something about being able to look at the upcoming color changes and say, “Oh, I will keep going until I get to the next bit of red,” or “I can’t wait to see how that dot of green knits into this fabric.” They are really great fun and a welcome change from my usual center-pull balls of yarn.

Earlier this year, a friend of mine gave me an awesome Andre Sue Knits sock blank (I’d give you the link, but I believe she’s ended her sock blank painting business). I cannot believe it, but I did not take a before picture! That’s not true… I took the picture, I just can’t find the picture. And I’ve searched everywhere it should be. [Insert huge eyeroll here.] In any case, if you tilt your head and use your imagination a little, the fabric in the back of this photo with the sheep — that’s the blank.

img_1784

I believe I received them in June and started knitting on them shortly after that. They’ve been my on-again-off-again knitting project ever since… until a couple of weeks ago when — after finishing my Tecumseh sweater — I found myself gloriously in-between big projects.

img_5142-1

Ta-da!

img_5143-1

Obviously, these are fraternal twins, not identical. I never mind that at all, but my apologies to those whose skin I just made crawl. Just take a deep breath or stop reading because there’s one more photo to go here.

img_5141

I really love the colors and the fit is superb. I didn’t take too many photos of these because I’ve actually worn and washed them a couple times!

It’s funny. I was recently considering switching to Fish Lips Kiss heels as my go-to heel. I’ve been using the Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Basic Sock pattern with its heel flap & gusset method for about a decade now and I really like it. And I know it really well. But I have a couple pair of Fish Lips Kiss heeled socks that have a pretty phenomenal fit. This pair of socks sends that plan into total limbo because the fit is just fantastic. I will have to do some pondering before I get to the heel on my next pair of socks!

Hey Ho FO

An Instagram spinning friend coined the hashtag #heyhofo on one of her finished projects a while back and it’s become a thing. Not like a worldwide, viral kind of thing, but a thing that brings at least the two of us great joy. OK, I don’t know that for a fact. It brings me great joy. She may be pulling a “that lady seems like she might be crazy so I will just smile and nod” — I really don’t know. But I do know #heyhofo makes me smile every time, so I’m using it today here to share my latest FO, my sock blank socks!

You’ll remember I shared these couple weeks ago…

img_0109

I received the sock blank as a Christmas gift and when I finished a pair of socks earlier this month, I cast these on. They are the first sock blank socks that I’ve knit, although not my first sock blank, of course. I have at least 3 others from other dyers in my stash. This one I had not yet tucked in with the rest of the stash, though, so I pulled it out and went for it.

This is a double knit sock blank from Gale’s Art. For those wondering, there are double knit sock blanks and single knit sock blanks. Double knit blanks are machine knit holding two strands together, so when the dyer dyes, the two strands match allowing you to knit two matching socks at a time. Single knit sock blanks are machine knit with a single strand, so generally speaking you knit one sock at a time and the socks likely will not match. Knitters in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry group and here in the comments have shared ways you could get around — for example — knitting two at a time by winding off the blanks into separate skeins. It would totally work, but I can guarantee that personally I have zero patience for that. If I’m presented with knitting I can either knit from directly or wind-off to knit from a center-pull ball, 9.9 times out of 10 I will knit directly from it. I like to think of it as efficiency, but it may in reality be laziness, plain and simple.

But let’s not get caught up in semantics.

As I said, this one was a double sock blank and I — being me, driven by my me-ness —  knit them two at a time with magic loop straight from the blank…

img_0177

And so they match!

They were really a fun knit that I actually struggled to put down. I found knitting from the blank a lot like knitting self-striping yarn. The promise of the next color or design really compelled me forward through the project.

img_0291

I didn’t block them perfectly, but I did handwash them with a glug of vinegar (just to be cautious about possible bleeding with  the red on white in there) and then used a low heat dryer to get the natural kink out of the yarn from being in the sock blank. The instructions say handwash & dry flat is recommended for washing, but I felt fairly confidant the 75/25 superwash merino/nylon could take the dryer to speed up the finish time and better relax those stitches so I threw caution to the wind.

img_0292

They washed up great! I mean, they could use a little steam, but that’s beside the point — the handled the dryer just fine.

img_0293

The colorway is named “Christmas Tree” and I really like that it’s Christmas-y, but not so Christmas-y that I can’t wear them year round and not feel like that lady. You know, the one people think seems like she might be crazy because she’s wearing Christmas socks in May so they just smile and nod a lot at her.

img_0290

Nope, I’m not that lady… I don’t think. Let’s pretend I’m not anyway. Just for now.

Anyways…

There’s another #heyhofo in the books and another pair of socks is in my sock drawer! I’m super ahead of the game for the holiday season this year with these not-so-Christmas-y Christmas socks, right?! I might be a little over-excited about that little fact and about getting to use #heyhofo on Instagram later today. It’s ok, just smile & nod. I know I deserve it!