Thursday, 23 April 2009

Sock Madness

I wasn't feeling terribly happy with the world at the weekend and so, after mooching round the house for a bit I found myself diving into my stash of posh yarns. I have a fairly large stash of fibre based goodies that I geekily arrange according to type and grade. My 'posh' stash lives in a wicker basket in the lounge, in a cat-proof cupboard, away from light, smells and guinea pigs. All my very best yarn is in there including that yummy yummy angora that I bought as a treat for myself. I have to admit that I don't often go into it. It's more a place to put things after I have finished petting them than anything else. Most of the yarn is merely for having. I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this, buying really nice yarn as a treat or on a whim and then squirreling it away like some kind of fibery nut. Usually I haven't got a clue what I would make with any of it but really, that's not the point of owning it. It's the skein version of a comfort blanket. Which is how I found myself digging through it at the weekend. Surrounded by beautiful fibre and glorious colour I started to feel better and well, comforted.
Whilst I was going through it skein by skein I suddenly realised however that if I was ever going to use any of it then there was no better time than right at that moment. It would give me something to do, something to concentrate on other than the gloomies, plus it would be as much of a treat to work with it as it would to own and hold it. So I had a really good rummage and spent a happy half hour picking out which one to use and then working out what I would make from it.
The yarn that I eventually chose was 'Hacho' by Mirasol.
I had 2 skeins of this in my stash that my mother had bought for me as a birthday present last year. At the time I thought I might make socks with it- this was mostly driven by the colour. I mean look at it! It has a little bit of everything in it. It's not sock weight- in fact I think it's classed as an aran weight yarn but that only makes for thick spongy socks for hiking. At first I was tempted to try and think of something other than socks to make with it. It kinda seemed a shame to use such nice wool for socks in a way. In the end I just thought 'what the hell' and went with the sock idea anyway. I mean, I only had 2 skeins so I wouldn't have been able to make anything very big without combining it with another yarn. All the planning and swatching that goes with that just wasn't appealing. I wanted to be using it right there and then! I don't need any more gloves or scarves or hats at the moment and I wasn't convinced I'd wear them anyway as the yarn is so colourful so socks were the logical and indeed, only choice.
After having made up my mind to just go for it and make the thing that I wanted to make I set to it with fervour. I was very happy to find that it also gave me a chance to use some gorgeous wooden Lantern Moon dpns that my mum had bought me for Christmas this year. At the time I had thought "whatever am I going to use 4" 3.75mm dpns for?" and it turns out that it was this!
I went with a toe up attack as I wasn't sure how much yarn it would take- this way I could just knit until it ran out. I used a short row heel/toe as I always do- there is no other way as far as I am concerned. Finally I added in a bit of staggered ribbing to make it interesting to knit and ta-da! my newest socks were born. Here's the first one in all it's finished glory:

Bit of a pain to photograph as I was trying to wear it at the same time as taking the picture :)
A real easy and fun knit though- the yarn made it delightful in fact. It's super comfy to wear, fits nicely and has all those pretty colours for me to distract myself with. The cast-off was a bit of a pain. I had to do and re-do it a total of 4 times, eventually working up to a 10mm needle just to get the gauge right. But it's done now and I love it. Number 2 is on the needles as I type, and yes, it did make me feel much happier!


  1. Beautiful yarn- I love the socks!

    I've never just made up a pattern as I go- I'm so impressed. It's perfect for all that color, shows it off nicely.

  2. Nice! I love Mirasol yarns. Love the new look of your blog, too.