Part 1 -- Red Socks (two pair of them)
I'm working my way through several projects that are not "for" me. I'm still enjoying the knitting, but it's a bit like homework for school. I have assignments. Each assignment must produce a set result. Like homework, there are some choices I can make and some that have been made for me. Two of these projects are socks. I consider them mostly "mine". I chose the pattern and the yarn. I didn't pick the color and I can't keep them. Good thing, since the first pair won't fit, no way.
As I finished these socks, I found I had made choices that ended in a bit of a dilemma.
The assignment was to knit a pair of socks for a pair of small young feet. Ms. Young Feet chose the color red. I chose to use the Circle Socks pattern, since it is both youthful and fun. I chose to use the leftover Maxime sock yarn from my pair of striped socks, along with a ball of red that I used in a fair-isle sock that I have now abandoned. If I hadn't used some of the red in that sock, or if I had just ripped it out and salvaged the red yarn, I probably would have had enough. I certainly thought there would be enough, since the leg of the sock uses a lot of other yarn and the foot of the sock is fairly small. As it was, I had to let the second sock cannibalize the toe of the first, just for a few rounds.
Now they're gold-toe socks. These socks have gotten a lot of attention at my knitting group. Too bad their good looks are so hard to photograph. I blame the color.
Unfortunately, I'll have this problem again in my next assignment. I've been asked for another pair of red socks. I knitted a pair of socks for a dear old friend a couple of years ago. I wasn't sure if he was wearing them. They weren't very good socks, in my opinion. Since I didn't know if he would actually wear them, I picked a less-than-luxury sock yarn, one that didn't cost too much and one that I knew would stand up to machine washing.
K insisted I pick a dull color, preferably black. That was the impossible task, finding black sock yarn in a shop that is stocked with bright, multi-colored sock yarn. I settled for burgundy. K warned me they were too bright. The socks fit just fine, but they weren't standard black man-socks. I was pretty sure they wouldn't be worn much.
Then last year I learned that my friend had been enjoying wearing his burgundy socks during the Christmas holidays. He said he thought he'd like a pair of red socks to wear this Christmas. A short time later, I managed to snag a hank of the wonderful Martha sock yarn from Posh Yarns. The colorway is Keep the Home Fires Burning. I've decided to make up for my shorting my friend on the quality of his first socks by using this yarn for his second pair. I'll enjoy telling him I ordered it from a dyer in England. To really make them special, I've chosen a pattern perfect for him, Sweetheart Socks, from the Holiday 2007 Interweave Knits.
I first blogged about this project over six months ago when I received the yarn. Now that I've started the socks, I can comment on the pattern as well as the yarn. I'm very happy with the yarn, the pattern, and the combination of the two. The pattern is not easy, but it is worth a bit of effort. Actually, after the first three repeats, the cables are becoming more intuitive for me. I'm especially pleased with the prettiness of the cables on the back of the sock. The pattern doesn't include a photo of the back but here's one of the back of my sock. Er, I mean, not-my sock.
There are two more projects in the "not for me" category. The one that I will wear is done. In this case, I chose the yarn, I chose the pattern, I just didn't originally envision the pairing when I bought the yarn. Since I knit a stole rather than a sweater, I'll hold off blogging about it until I get it blocked.
The last project is about to make me tear my hair out. (Interesting reaction considering it's meant to cover hair.) I'm shopping for yarn and swatching stitch patterns for a wedding veil. This project may prove to be the most challenging of the four. Knitting to someone else's specifications is not as easy as setting my own.