Being crazy busy does not rule out all knitting. It just means I’m teetering on the brink of crazy. But that’s not news to my inner circle – busy or not. So I’ve still managed to finish a pair of socks and aren’t they just tooo lovely?
When The Eclectic Sole by Janel Laidman came into the shop (had to have been last spring?) I could not stop looking at it.
The cover was tantalizing, the title a tease, and the patterns are an adventurous delight (anybody want to hire me to write Ad Copy?
Published by Rustling Leaf Press, it has 96 pages of full color, very well photographed socks, techniques, color charts, and discussions of swatching , yarns, WPI (bravo Janel!), color, needles, and some basics. In the back are some photos and instructions for the cast-ons and stitches she uses in her patterns. All very clear and understandable. What I like about her book is that she did not spend a lot of her precious book pages on these things by going into a lot of detail. She used the bulk of the pages on her great patterns. So, while I would not recomend it to a brand new knitter, or maybe even a first time sock knitter, I don’t believe that is her target. Janel has found the happy medium; these are fresh, beautiful and interesting, with opportunities to learn for the sock knitter who is bored with “basic” but not as mind-bending as Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways.
Back to the socks… I sucumbed and the book followed me home. It stayed in the kennel (book shelf with all my other “pet” books) until late summer when I could not ignore it’s soft mewling anymore. I took it off the shelf and it popped open to the sock that had to be made first. I confess, as geeky as this is, I’m a Lord of the Rings fan, have been since Jr. High. The first socks from this book had to be Rivendell.
I had yarn in my stash from the sale bin in almost the same colorway as the socks in the book; a soft blend of pastels – appropriate for an Elvish design. The pattern was just challenging enough to keep me interested and excited. It would have been perfect except for the yarn. I used Maizy from Crystal Palace Yarns and I have to say, it’s not my cup o’ tea. 82% corn fiber and 18% elastic, it was too stretchy and too wimpy. I usually knit socks on a size “0″ or “1″ needle to get gauge but had to use a size “3″ with this stuff that was like knitting with limp rubber bands. I like the finished product but it was less than ideal to knit with. I also learned, the hard way, that you do not steam socks with elastic in them – it melts! The socks are fine, undamaged and look great but if you rub your hand over the surface (outside only, thank goodness), it has a scratchy feel that the melted elastic gives it. Yes, I should have known better – I guess I was on automatic pilot when I blocked these. Oy!
For the next pair, I will return to my beloved wool sock yarn.
But which pair next, Nordic Lights or Migration? Decisions, decisions…
As always, you can see more of my favorite books, that I highly recommend, by visiting My Book Store (there is a link in the sidebar under Pages). This is an aStore or Amazon store that only lists books I choose.