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Aaaaaaaaaaaack! Look what’s back! And I have no money! Oh, the humanity!

Curse you Amy Singer and your Twitter feed!

P.S. Happy First Day of Spring. Is it snowing where you are?

ETA: Approximately 0.067 seconds after I posted this, I went and bought three skeins. One each of poppy, dusty blue, and coral. Does that make me a bad person?

happy peeking toesies

Hey baby…

what's that?

…do those socks go all the way up?

they're tall

No. Only about halfway.

orata socks

Ta da!

My orata socks. (Rav me!)
Pattern: Not!
Yarn: Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop, Sunshine of your love colorway, 2 skeins
Needle: US 3
Started: February 6
Finished: March 13

Okay, so. How did I knit these? I started at the toes. Cast on. Figure eight. (I do like that one.)

los toes

I knit some. Feather and fan. Then I got to the heel. Forked it.

the heel

heel--action shot

Knit the leg for a bit. And then, because I still had tons of yarn, I kept going. And going and going.

I had to put some (apparently very large) calf increases in there. Did.

calves of Bellville

Knit some ribbing, and cast off.

the sadness of sag


And now we do the dance of joy!

I think I'll dance a jigor point my toes all pretty-likeor perhaps do an oomph-pa-pa dance

Okay, so maybe it was a bit more complicated than that.

Wait, was it? Not really. The only slightly tricksy bit was doing the calf increases in pattern. Which I kind of winged, but it turned out pretty nice. I think.

ze calf

Kalani said I should write up the pattern, but I am Not A Fan Of Writing Up My Patterns. (Milanese lace much?) But being the wonderful and compromising person that I am, I wrote down how I did the increases on the second sock. Er, that I had to figure out again since I didn’t write it down when I did it on the first sock. No matter. Twas simple.

So you know how feather and fan in the round goes, yes? About like so, depending on how many stitches you have:

Row 1: k
Row 2: k
Row 3: (k2tog) 2x, (yo k1) 4x, (k2tog) 2x
Row 4: p

So I had 48 stitches on my needles. (Although please don’t ask me what my gauge was. I knit socks toe-up so I don’t have to figure out my stinkin’ gauge.) I used dpns. Four of them. The up parts (the yos) were in the middle of each needle, and the down parts (the k2tog parts) were on the ends. All of my increases happened every fourth row, on that Row 3 hey-this-is-the-exciting-bit row, between repeats. And they went a little something like this:

Increase row 1: (at the back of the sock) (duh) yo, m1, yo
Increase row 2: (remember it only happens every fourth row!) m1, k3, m1
Increase row 3: (k1, yo) 3x, k2
Increase row 4: k2, (yo, k1) 3x, yo, k2

And uh, yeah. That was it. At the end of the sequence, I had increased 12 stitches. I knit the next Row 3 normally, then did the increase sequence once more. Viola. Sock that fits.

calf close up

Well, mostly. I only knit about an inch of ribbing because I ran out of yarn. I do wish I could have made the ribbing a bit longer, because they slide town a tiny bit, as evidenced in the pictures above. Not too bad, though.

As for the amount of yarn left over, I had about a yard left of each skein, give or take. And I would have taken a picture of that, but. Um. After that last picture? Something bad happened.

I dropped my camera. Onto a cement step.

Nels (who is getting a lot better at taking pictures, don’t you think?) had been shooting for me, and was handing me the camera to look at what he had gotten so far. I grabbed it, but neither of us realized that the strap was looped around his hand. My nice Pentax digital SLR slipped from my grasp at about the same time that the strap worked itself free of Nels’. Crunch.

Actually, it’s not THAT bad. The camera body itself sustained no damage. But the lens? Not so much.

So yeah, I need a new lens. So until then…. Well, until then nothing. Go look at my sock pictures again! Gosh aren’t they pretty?

Part I, The Setup

Start to knit some socks. Make them man-sized. Make them boring. Make them so repetitive you consider faking your own death just so you don’t have to finish them. Name them a silly name, just to make yourself finish at least one. Finish that sock, then show it to the husband, telling him how lame and boring the knitting is. Make sure they fit. Then hide the sock away for at least a year, so your husband forgets it exists.

blub sock

Kill Me With Death Sock the first, photo taken April 3, 2008. Modeled by moi.

Did I mention it helps to have a husband with a memory problem?

Part II, Run Away!

Go on a business trip, preferably right before Valentine’s Day. Dig first sock out of project retirement home and take it along. Knit knit knit on the dumb, boring sock. Get it to oh, about the gusset before you return home. Realize somewhere along the way that hey, these aren’t so bad. Slightly entertaining to knit, at least engaging enough to pass travel time. Then realize it’s probably like the bad movie syndrome.

(You know, the phenomena that occurs when someone tells you that a movie is really bad? And then you see it and think, well, it wasn’t so bad! It was kind of good! That person is so picky. Gosh, you think. But if that same person had told you it was a really good movie beforehand, you’d think it was the worst crap you’d ever seen in your life? You know what I speak of. Case in point the other evening with me and the blub. He watched The Dark Knight while I was at my knitting group last Thursday, and declared the movie the worst piece of crap he’d ever seen in his life. Then I watched it after he went to bed on Saturday. Eh, I thought. Not so bad. Distinctly lacking in plot, though. And the Joker, what about that guy? A scary villain yes, but what the hell was his motive? Sure, he said he wanted to be a agent of chaos or whatever, but why? Nowhere in the damn 2 hour long movie did they say why. It’s like Don John in Much Ado About Nothing. He sets out to break up Hero and Claudio’s wedding and just be a nasty guy in general but for poop’s sake what was his motive? Shakespeare should have known better than that. And now other people are pulling that kind of crap too! I hope you’re happy, Billy boy. Screwing up years of theatrical story-telling with your bad example. ANYway. I’m blathering. Moving on.)

Part III, Reel him in

Upon return from your trip, produce mostly done socks. Husband will declare to the high heavens that they are the most fabulously beautiful hand-knitted socks he has ever seen or ever will see in his life ever and he might as well gouge out his eyes now so he won’t be disappointed looking on a world of cruel hideousness after seeing such a sight.

The Kill Me With Death Socks

Be wary, those who look upon me. You may now be unsatisfied with all other knitted items ever.

Apologize to husband about how they’re not quite finished, and tell him just how you slaved to get this (ahem) pair of socks this far. Sit down and continue work on them that very instant. After knitting quietly in the corner like a good, diligent wife for a bit, ask in a small and meek voice where your Valentine’s card is, that he promised to have waiting for you when you got back?

Watch him stammer.

Then sweetly say, that’s okay honey. I don’t need a silly little card. Although it would have been nice. I’m just going to keep knitting your socks. But after I take a break, okay? My hands are getting tired. But all this work is worth it; aren’t these socks just lovely?

slipped stitch rib socks

Continue in this vein for the next few days, mentioning all along how much you love flowers. (But you might have to knit slowly, especially if your socks are like mine and knit at 7 stitches per inch on a size 2 needle. Lorna’s Laces Shepherd sport (in jeans!) makes for quick sock knitting.)

Finally, after much ado, finish. Show husband the socks. Let him try them on. Listen to him declare all over again that these socks must have descended from the heavens, and that you are an angel incarnate to knit such lovely, lovely things. Smile beatifically. Ask about flowers. Watch him stammer (again) that he just keeps forgetting and he’s so sorry he didn’t get you a Valentine and he will soon.

they fit

Say nothing, but remove the socks from his person. For blocking, you say.

Do actually block the socks. Let them dry, then leave them on your desk. (Where he never notices anything ever. I swear, I could leave a purple elephant in a bikini there for a week and he’d never see it.) Let them sit for a few days, waiting for flowers to appear. Continue to wait. Continue to wait.

Part IV, Give up

Give him the *#%@*$@ socks.

Watch him be happy. Take small joy in the fact that he doesn’t want to take them off. Hear him extol the socks for their stretchiness and comfort.

ribbed for his pleasure

Listen as he praises the simple beauty of the slipped-stitch rib.

ye olde patterne on sock

Then go out and buy yourself some damn flowers.

and he hearts them

Kill Me With Death Socks (Rav me)
Pattern: Slipped stitch rib from Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in jeans, 2 skeins
Needle: US 2, I think the larger size (2.5 mm)
Begun: March 24, 2008
Finished: February 22, 2009

And no, I never told him that I started these last year. What, you want me to give all my secrets away?

Okay. Fine. You have spoken. The blub gets the hat.

the gay smurf

I hope you’re happy.

The final results:

Totally fruity, but let him have it: 22
He rocks that hat in a non-gay way, let him have it: 18
Overdye the thing (an excellent suggestion, which the blub is pondering): 2
Um, hide the hat (and call the Village People): 7

In his acceptance speech, the blub thanked all of you. And stressed that he is very secure in his sexuality.

So yeah.

The winner of the yarny prize, via CBear!

Email me your new address please, CBear! I only have the old one.

And lookit what I got in the mail yesterday.

luxury tweed the arty shot

Debbie Bliss Luxury tweed. It has angora in it. OOOooooooooohhhhh, I lovelovelovelovelove this yarn. Three balls, I got. Two of slate grey, one of green. In time, they will be a hat. For now, they are lovingly being turned into a swatch. And dayum, am I taking my time about it. Each stitch is a dream. When I win the lottery, I’m knitting myself a sweater out of this stuff.

And speaking of winning, check out what I picked up at my family’s white elephant gift exchange yesterday!

little froggy, foot lover

You stick your feets in those little slots there, push down, and it vibrates. And as the blub quickly discovered, where you push depends on how fast it goes. Ain’t it classy? I had to steal it away from my aunt to get it, but you know what? Totally worf it.

Contact me

thechemgrrl AT gmail DOT com (you know what to do with the extras)
March 2009