When I was in college, my closest friends and I would take anything -- something we liked, something we didn't like -- and run it through that treatment. It was great -- if it were something dorky that we loved, it was an acknowledgment of our ironic self-awareness, if it were something stupid that someone we didn't like was into, it sounded appropriately ridiculous. We were big into irony back then. There was even an anti-irony club that we discussed starting, and I made a T-Shirt that said "Marmite! I do not like it," to make fun of all those Non-English people that talk about how much they love marmite in a masochistic way. The shirt was a failure because I didn't use permanent marker on it, and the colors turned out to be icky. (Think scarlet and apple green accents, ringer style, except NOT as awesome as that sounds.) Moving right along...
I do that often, in my head, now that I don't live with the people I knew in college. (Tear.) Mostly with things that I like, since certain very very simple things make me amazingly giddy. Like socks.
I love socks.
In my first intensive year of knitting, I had no interest in knitting them, perhaps because the FIRST pair of socks that I knit I knit in Chile, during a student strike, after all my burgeoning friendships with Chilean students came to abrupt halts after they told me I was a strike breaker. (I didn't know how student strikes worked, and wanted to know if there were any homework that the professors wanted me to work on in the interim.)
So I got a Blockbuster Membership (and found out, in the process, that I didn't know -- and still don't -- how to say "open a membership", but it all worked out in the end) and opened up About.com's how-to-knit website, and re-learned how to knit. I should mention that I had no concept of gauge, and was perplexed by why all of my hats were really small, and why my socks were more like mutant slippers that were simultaneously too big and too short. When I'm back in Maryland, I'll try to find them to show what I have progressed from.
(They were amazingly lurid, too -- apple green with variegated purple toes and heels -- in acrylic that thwarted my attempts to felt them into slightly more wearable objects. It takes me a while, really.)
So anyway, I eventually came back to knitting socks through EZ's Knitting Around, and when I finished my first sock that fit decently enough, I ran downstairs crowing, "I knit a sock!!" And my dad said, "Great. Didn't you just knit a sweater? Aren't socks easier?"
The point is that I progressed from there to these:
A swatchy-swatch of a socky-sock -- Magic Loop, size 2s, hopefully adequate practice for some cycling ankle socks for Johann. Yarns are Jawoll sock in black, and Trekking Pro Natura (a gush-worthy blend of bamboo, merino, and nylon, in a perfect Gatorade Citrus color. Magic Johnson's favorite flavor, if I remember such details from Elementary School.) It took several tries to get an appropriate shade of orange, since the socks are meant to match his Mountain Bike. He requested this, after I was like "Please tell me something that you would like me to knit for you!!!"
Two colors and manipulating the needles is challenging, even if I thought I was a pro at it. The pattern is from Alice Starmore's fair-isle opus, which happens to be in the Santa Fe library.
(Starmore Starmore Starmore! I love Starmore!) (You would, too.)
Since those are on hold for fitting, I am also working on these:
My first "pattern" socks, Mona Schmidt's "Embossed Leaves" from Interweave's Favorite Socks book. Yarn is Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Moonstone, and it defies picture taking. The cuff exhibited icky pooling, which gave me some trepidation before starting the actual leg of the pattern, but as soon as I transitioned into the lace, these subtle stripes of pale grey, ice blue, and lavendar showed up.
You can sort of see them here. Since I love color, too, this is fabur-lous. The one sad part was getting a tiny puncture in my left index finger --
Not that gruesome, really -- it's already mostly healed, and the callous is on its way (praise Jeebus), but it did mean sitting out on knitting the Embossed Leaves for a day. Sad face.
My family is getting used to it -- over a ski trip this past February, my mom said something like, "Another sock? But you just finished a pair!" and during a waiting period over my brother's graduation weekend, my dad noticed me knitting a first iteration of these:
(picture repeat. Sorry sorry sorry) and said something about me being addicted, but dog it's cool -- the tentative plan is to knit him socks for his birthday with THIS (in "sooty"), which will stop any ribbing (aw jeez) about using this:
(Duet Sock Yarn, DK Weight)
for winter socks for me. My puzzling love of the color pink is fuel for another whole post. I've seen this get knit up into the most precious tiny stripes *, and assume that I will get the same effect. (Stripes Stripes Stripes...)
Hope does spring eternal.
Have a wonderful weekend -- I'm about to walk home in a monsoon, and I'm getting that giddy feeling...
*That would be the Yarn Harlot's Embossed Leaves, too -- Adam Yauch in the Beastie Boys said that wanting to play Bossa Nova after listening to the greats is like watching Michael Jordan and thinking that you want to play basketball. Sure you do, says