Sock it to me

This year has been a lot of figuring out what I like and what I don’t like. I think some people go with their gut and steer clear of things that they don’t enjoy doing, but I’ve generally gone the just-keep-doing-it-and-you’ll-get-used-to-the-discomfort route. For example, in the past I’ve felt like I needed to listen to The Doors because they’re classic rock, and I should appreciate them. But I don’t like The Doors. They sound goofy, in a bad, not fully thought out sort of way. For a long time, I tried to listen to them and to understand their creepy art school jam band sound, but now I feel free to make fun of them when they come on the radio. (Knowing what I like and don’t like doesn’t seem to make me a better person for other people to be around.) I’m not trying to celebrate the hater side of my personality or convince other people to dislike The Doors. My real point is it’s nice to realize that sometimes it’s not that you don’t get something, it’s that you don’t like it. In that same spirit, I’ve also figured out that I don’t like big crowds, eating fish, living in Chicago (although I’m trying to be flexible on that point), and knitting complicated socks.

All that is just to say I’ve stopped trying to knit complicated socks. I like my socks mindless and colorful. No lacy bits or brain bending cables. I’m not against fancy socks for other people. They’re lovely to look at. I just don’t want to knit them. Socks are for traveling and watching suspenseful movies and family gatherings. Events that I need to knit through even though I can’t pay attention to what I’m knitting. This revelation has led to an unprecedented surge in sock production.

Too racy for the internet?

Pink and smooshy.

The two pairs above were made using Caryn Lantz’s Handspun Show-Off pattern, even though the yarn is not handspun. It’s quick and easy and features a delightfully smoosh-y short row heel and toe. I love wearing them because they’re so comfortable, but I think all that garter stitch makes the socks a little less hard wearing. I cast-on using two needles held together so I can get the sock on over my powerful calves. I’m pretty happy with this solution, but the socks do tend to bunch up around my ankles when I’m wearing them. I think more ribbing may fix that problem.

Shy clown feet.

These beauties are Oak Ribbed Socks by the rightfully famous Nancy Bush. (For my non-knitting readers, she is not only a knitwear pattern designer, but also a sock historian! Or she should be. This lady knows socks.) I knit these a long time ago, so I don’t remember much of what I did except that I probably followed the pattern exactly.

More extroverted clown feet.

And these, the socks that started it all, are  Gentleman’s Plain Winter Socks with Dutch Heel (catchy, right?), also by Nancy Bush. I love these socks totally and completely. I also remember nothing about making them. I’m a bad knitting blogger.

But I’m a good sock model. I think I may have found my calling. I can see the business cards now – “Cameron, Sock Model/Temp Office Worker/Babysitter/Waitress.”

Now, I’m working on some more complicated socks. What can I say? I was distracted by how pretty and Scandinavian the pattern was. I temporarily forgot what I like, and I didn’t remember until it was too late to turn back.

Final thoughts: The Doors are no good. And all this boring sock knitting has made me a better, faster knitter. Who knew there was something to all that practice stuff grownups are always talking about?

Next time on sixmontstoayear – canning! beaches! Sherlock Holmes!


Do over

I started this blog to talk about… Well, whatever, which I guess that was part of the problem of writing the blog. I didn’t know what to write about. My audience was people who know me, so I could write about me, but I’m not that interesting. I tried writing about the weather (really), but that’s only marginally more interesting than I am. (Related note – we’re expecting a tropical depression on Sunday. I can’t wait!) I could write about Chicago, but that would require being out in Chicago, and see there are like these shows on Netflix, and I’m like not totally sure how long they’ll be available, so I need to watch them before they disappear into the black hole that is the internet. And have you been in Chicago? It’s not that great.

So, for take two, I’m going to write about the stuff that I do everyday. I’m going to write about the books that I’m reading, the things that I’ve watched, the occasional Chicago outing, but mainly I’m going to write about the things that I’m making. Mainly, I’m knitting things. (Just ask John. I’ve been walking around the house singing “I’m makin’ a sweater” for the past few days. Guess what I’ve been working on?) I sew things poorly, but I think I’m getting better. I cook things with varying degrees of success. I’ve been hankering to spray paint something, so watch out. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Here’s a thing I made and some weird photos of it.

It’s a sweater! I swear.

I call this one the Wonder Woman.

“How tall was the person who stole your sweater sleeves?” “She was about yay high, Officer.”

Who put these flowers here?

Believe it or not this photo shoot was entirely self directed, to the amazement of my photographer. The main problem is me. I’m not so much uncomfortable in front of the camera as too comfortable. But this sweater is also a little, tiny bit strange and difficult to photograph. Don’t get me wrong, the sweater is awesome, and I plan on wearing it all the time, it’s just a little bit confusing. I think it demands skinny jeans and understated, yet quirky confidence to really pull off. But I’m not worried about pulling it off. I have enough trouble getting it on. Ba-dum-ching. But really, the sweater is very cool and some of my better knitting, I think. It’s too hot now to tell if I’ll really wear it as much as I’m hoping, but I’ll keep you updated. Don’t worry.

This is the lovely Inversion by Jared Flood. I didn’t make any modifications, unless knitting part of it twice because my gauge was so wonky counts as a modification. I really suggest for anyone looking to knit this sweater that you take the time to get gauge and take notes on how you got it. This much stockinette will really not hide many mistakes. Also, if you’re skittish about seaming, this might not be the project for you.

Next up, socks!