Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Grandmother had a Cat Named Socks

He was a real booger, too.

(By the way, I'm testing out a new blog editor, so things may or may not look or act weird. So if the blog's screwy, this is why.)

So the title is just a "clever" way to say I made some socks. I've made them before, and always planned to make more. Now I've finally gotten around to it. Both pairs I'm showing you today I made while at school. It's a convenient time to make smallish things.

The first pair is the project I mentioned before, that used horrible atrocious yarn. Take a look at the finished product:

Shield your eyes

Scary, huh? I think so. But as I told my horrified students, (the sensible ones were horrified, anyway, there's always one or two who will say, "I think they look awesome!") it's not like I'm planning to wear them to the Queen's Garden Party. They're slipper socks to wear around the house, pretty much, and they work fine for that.

Making these socks was mostly pretty straightforward. I do have one nit to pick, and that's that the people who wrote the pattern are under the impression that women do not have calves. The cuffs go in a straight tube up from the ankles leaving no room for the natural curve of a woman's leg. Yes, the stitch used on the cuff is stretchy, but it's not that stretchy. It took me a long time to finish these socks because I knew if I just stitched up the cuff like I was supposed to I'd never be able to wear them, and I was undecided on how to go about solving my problem. I thought about a couple of options with creative lacing and whatnot, but in the end I just went back in with my hook and added to the cuff. They're pretty comfortable, now.

The little colored thready worm looking things are a part of the yarn, lest you think (like some of my students did) that I went in with a needle and thread and added each one individually by hand.

As you can see, it's just regular yarn and there's this colored thread in there that every so often emerges in this brightly colored protrusion.

It seemed like a good idea when I was buying it, and I'm sure this kind of yarn has its place in the world, but it didn't thrill me while I was working with it. Not great sock material. As I mentioned in my previous blog entry, I was in a hurry the morning I decided to use this for my new sock project.

I know those thread tumors look like they'd be uncomfortable to wear, but fortunately they seem to naturally form on one side when you're crocheting in the round. You just have to make sure that side is the outside. Observe:


That's the inside of my sock, and while I had yarn maggots appearing on the inside of the cuff, on the darker part where I was crocheting in the round they all stayed on the outside where they belong. These socks are pretty comfortable as long as I don't do lots of marching around in them, which I wouldn't because look at them:


And now, to prove that I'm capable of making things that are not horrible, my other pair of socks:


I absolutely love the yarn I used, though it's too expensive for me to make anything big out of. It's even more colorful than what you can see in these pictures, with the yarn being made up of three strands of differently colored variegated yarn that nevertheless seems to work together to make a nice rainbow effect. The pattern goes for so long, though, that you can go through a whole ball of yarn and not get back to the color you started with. This can make it hard to change yarn seamlessly, as you can see in the toe of the right sock and just after the heel in the left sock.

(I still had plenty left in my yarn ball when I changed yarns for that left sock, but it was all coming out so dark and so... green! I wanted something brighter and with less greens in it. And then the new skein, after being nice and orange for a few rows, had to go right back to the green again. Doh!)

This is awesome yarn, even if the skeins never match even when they come from the same dye lot. You should buy some:


True story. My 12-year-old (half Mexican) cousin was feeling all full of himself and snarky, as 12-year-olds often do. He asked me to show him what I was working on and looked at the yarn and we had this conversation:

The Boy: Eww! Your yarn smells!

Me: That's because it's Mexican!

The Boy: Um... I was just kidding. It doesn't actually smell. I was just saying that.

Ha! That's how you put an insecure adolescent who is testing out his sense of humor to get a feel for what's funny for the first time in his place!

The yarn isn't actually Mexican, by the way. The label says it was manufactured in South Africa, so I guess in a way I just played Sun City. I love these socks.

100_0677 I used the same pattern on these that I did on the other socks. This time, though, I knew ahead of time that the cuff would be a bastard. In order to fix the problem before it became a problem, this time I made the cuff shorter. It's only half as long as the pattern tells me to make it, and so these socks fit perfectly.

As a side note, I never tried these socks on until I was taking the pictures for this blog entry. They fit really well, though, and I'm still wearing them right now.



wurwolf said...

Wow. Those are some socks. Both pairs. You did a nice job on them, even the socks with the yarn worms.

And you owe Mexicans everywhere an apology for saying they smell.

Lita said...

That kid left me wide open. I defy anybody to not do the same thing I did.

He is, however, the only Mexican I've met who smells. I think it's because he's just going through puberty and hasn't realized about the glories of deodorant yet. Also he doesn't bathe.

So, if you are reading this and you are a Mexican who does not smell, I apologize.

Pearl said...

"If you are a Mexican that does not smell..."? Hmmm, something about that doesn't sound very apologetic. I could be wrong though, since I happen to think the first pair of socks is awesome. So what do I know?