Please don’t get too close, I’m full of cold again, all raspy voiced with a cough and a very runny nose…this is the 3rd or 4th cold I’ve had this year so I’m keeping my fingers crossed I’ve had all the years poorlinesss and won’t so much as sniff or sneeze til 2017…..I’ve been so glad I made all those hedgerow syrups in the Autumn, to be honest I really thought I’d made way too much but I’m now on my last bottle so I guess I made about right….what’s been nice is adding it to hot water to sip as a fruit tea….it’s felt so soothing….I don’t know about you but when I get a cold I go right off tea (even when it’s for me I like to make a big pot as one little cup is never enough) and I don’t really care too much for coffee either….so the foraged fruit syrups have been wonderful…..athe paler syrup was nicest as a tea, and the darker one was best to swallow off a dessert spoon (hot it tasted liked warm Ribena which I’ve never gone in for.)
Anyway, I like to think every cloud has a silver lining and so while I didn’t feel like much (apart from making sick beds on the sofa with blankets and cushions, and grabbing Bernard for cuddles whether he wanted them or not) I was able to finish these super Summery strawberry ice-cream coloured socks.
I’ve made them for Joeli’s no nylon sock kal over on Ravelry which has been really interesting to follow, partly for seeing all the different patterns but also reading about the different fibres people are knitting with.
At Christmas I took part in a small gestures pattern swop and my partner was Julia (she knits beautiful socks)…she gifted me Reason’s to be Cheerful……it’s a different sock pattern to what I’m used to (says the person who’s only knitted very vanilla style socks so basically anythng would be different!) and I was putting off using the pattern…but then I got to feeling a bit rubbish because it wasn’t my money I was wasting by not knitting it, it was Julia’s…and she’d also obviously thought I was up to the challenge of knititng them….so with a bit of help from Anne (she’s another awesome knitter) with understanding wrap and turn stitches…I finally cast them on….and promptly ran intot difficulties as I couldn’t see what I was doing so I had a bit of a practise on some dk weight yarn….and then once I’d got my head round what I was supposed to be doing I then cast on with the 4ply…..
So this was sock one…..yeah, I know it looks a bit peculiar to say the least….I did try it on…a lot….I tend to slip the stitches off onto spare yarn so they don’t go flying off the needles but I didn’t want to pull the socks up too tight as when I did the stiches sort of choked that spare yarn….I could see they looked odd and a bit long but put it down to me being a tight knitter….anyway, as I was about 4 or 5 stitches away from casting off (using the stretchiest bind off ever) and thought to just try them on one last time…..I gave the socks a good old hooph and found my heel was now halfway up my leg….so with a face like thunder (and a bottom lip to trip over) lots of unravelling then took place, but not before I marked where my heel really needed to start from……it was a bit annoying to rip out all that knitting, but this was such a nice pattern to work and I soon found I didn’t have to keep writing down which row I was on….I think this means I’m getting slowly getting better with my knitting.
As well as trying out new techinques to knit them (you start at the toes rather than at the ankles, and then you work a pattern over the top of the foot and it’s just stocking stitch underneath) I was also trying out some weeny sized circular needles…..I’d noticed Claire had been using these on Ravelry and she’d kindly gave me a bit of advice about her needles, so I bought a pair to see what they were like….now I’ve got quite long fingers, I never can find gloves to fit me as the finger is never long enough or when I pull them on my fingers pop at the ends…but I found these really nice to use…it took a little while to figure what to do with my fingers as they all stood up like a pinky finger with a china tea cup at first….
Claire said she sort of tucked her fingers inside the sock and once I had a few rows worked my fingers sort of naturally tucked themselves away…now while I appreciate these aren’t for everyone, I really liked them….I certainly didn’t find they made my fingers or wrists hurt, even when I’d knitted for some time (cough cough eight or nine hours in one stretch) ….I’ve read that some knitters don’t like them but then I think you can never please everybody.
What I particularly like about these teensy circular needles is I’ve got no ladders (air punch and yay)….I really like using the double pointy juggling with a wriggling and rolling around hedgehog needles but I do get tiny ladders with them, I’m slowly learning how to correct that (gently tug the yarn as you work the second stitch on the new needle…and then move the stitches around the needles every so often)…but as you are constantly knitting with the weensy needles, ladders just don’t seem to form.
I pretty much knew which yarn I was going to use, this is a beautiful strawberry ice-cream pink which I bought from Brit Yarn…it’s 100% British and is made by Blacker Yarns, it’s got some Bluefaced Leicester in there so it’s nice and soft, but there’s still a bit of character to the yarn so I think they’l wear okay….Mazzy has also used this yarn for socks in the past and she said hers are fine, very cosy which is what I wanted….)…sadly Blacker Yarns have discontinued the colour and although the new colours are really nice (their greens in particular…gorgeous….) I love this pink so much….I’ve actually bought a few more balls so I could make more socks if I wanted but I’d now quite like to try my hand at a tank top…I’ve also got some lovely pale turquoise from the same range which is sort of a pistaccio green colour….in my head it would look great combined with the pink but I’m not sure what I’d then wear it with….hmmm….
So spending a few days on the sofa under a pile of blankets, eating bowls of Heinz tomato soup (the only time I’ll eat it is when I’ll under the weather with a runny nose) and sipping fruity teas has meant I’m now the proud owner of these toasty warm socks…..Goodbye chilblains, goodbye….
Even though they’re warm and woolly, to me they seem to really sum up Summer…many years ago I had a couple of lovely holidays in Italy and Sicily, every day saw me and my friends pop into ice-cream parlours to sample all the different flavours……pretty much all of them served their desserts in the most beautiful little glass dishes, which were highly textured and nubbly on the outside….the soft ripples of garter stitch across the toes and heels remind me of the Mister Whippy ice-creams I used to pull before bunging in a flake on top when I worked in a sea side place as a teenager (mine always looked like something served up by contestants on The Generation Game….)…and that soft pink is the exact same shade as the ice creams/gelatos and semi-freddos I made last year with fat strawberries bought from the always smiling Mike and Debs on Norwich market…..