Tuesday, January 22, 2008
My absolute favorite things to knit are socks from fingering yarn. Yeah, that usually means using tiny double-pointed needles (I prefer size 1 bamboos), and yeah they usually take a while longer to knit than, say, a hat of worsted on size 8s, and yeah socks can be bought for practically nothing just about anywhere. But.
I've rarely been able to find socks that are just the right color (or combination of colors), or have just the right leg length, or fit just right into my favorite shoes. I actually learned to knit just so I could knit socks for myself (and others, but mainly myself).
And I enjoy them so much! These days I wear mostly blacks and browns because it's easier to grab something out of the closet and have things that are sort-of color-coordinated (and I won't even mention that dark colors are generally more slimming), so it's fun to wear socks that have color and presence and in-your-faceness. I love the feel of wool and wool-blend socks in cold weather. Let me be more specific: I love the feel of soft wool and wool-blend socks, not just any wool, but comfy wool.
I've gotten past that whole oh-geez-I-have-to-wash-these-things-by-hand? of wool socks. Throw them in the washer on cold water with some Eucalan (no rinse needed), let 'em sit a bit, then spin. Lay flat on a towel, or, my favorite, hang 'em over a plastic clothes hanger and let 'em dry. A little more trouble, but not enough to keep me from wanting to wear them. But then, maybe it's the knitter in me that keeps me from balking at "hand wash".
So I knit with wools.
So, on to my latest obsession: Claudia Hand Painted Yarns.
Not because I work for Claudia, either. It's because her yarn is just so wonderful to knit with. The baby hats that I knit a while back of sport-weight yarn just made my heart sing. The twist, the feel, the colors all combine to make yarn that I'd rather use more than any other kind. I love the feel of the fingering, too, for the same reasons. I've knit a pair of ladies' socks and a pair of child's socks for a friend using Blue Sky colorway fingering, and before I finished the first sock, I knew I had to knit a pair for myself. That's going to have to wait now, because I showed those socks to a coworker at school and she commissioned me to make a pair for her and her little girl using the same colorway.
The placement of the colors on the hanks of yarn is just genius. I wasn't impressed with Blue Sky when I saw it in the skeins, but once I started knitting, I was hooked. The blues spool from lightest blue to a deep, deep blue, and the creams from a pale cream to a deep brownish yellow. It just fascinates me. I don't want to stop knitting; I want to see what color combination comes up yet.
Yeah, this sock knitting stuff is deeply satisfying!