Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Art of Taking a Plunge...Sort Of

It's amazing how time flies by. One minute I'm saying "I need to go to Sock Summit," and then suddenly, the time to get ready and start planning is here. My head is spinning with all of the delightful details I need to get ready!

The funny thing is, I thought I'd be whipping out socks like mad before arriving at the big summit. I thought I'd have added a ton of socks to my handknit sock arsenal by now, but typical of my A.D.D. self, I find myself distracted by lovely lace projects (more on that later). In fact, after deciding to go to Sock Summit, I decided to join the 52 Pair Plunge group on Ravelry. The challenge is to make 52 pairs in 52 weeks. Some people have actually completed the challenge. I likened it to the Ironman Triathlon of Sock Challenges. It is indeed a tall order to fulfill. The challenge started on June 1st. Since then, how many sock pairs have I completed?


...but they are lovely.

Here are my Spring Forward Socks in The Sanguine Gryphon's Bugga! yarn. The colorway is Tufted Jungle King (which I think is the name of a butterfly).

Here's a closeup:

I thought it was funny how the yarn's colors turned out so autumnal and the pattern is Knitty's Spring Forward. I also thought it was funny how the yarn's colors looked so much lighter in the skein but when knit up, became more deep.

Here's a pic of the skein so you can see what I'm talking about:

I thought the colorway would be a bit lighter, but I've seen that happen with colors when they are knitted up. Sometimes just placing a color next to another can change the way it looks. The eyes send the image up to the brain and then it is translated differently. That is so cool.

So that was pair #1. I'm registered to blog on the official 52 Pair Plunge Blog, but I'm a little embarrassed to have only one completed pair to present while others are whipping out socks by the bucket full. Like everything else, I'll catch up.

Pair #2 is almost done. They are socks for Christopher, my husband. He loves blue, and when I found this colorway from The Alpaca Yarn Co. (Heels and Toes yarn in Singing the Blues colorway purchased from The Loopy Ewe) I immediately thought of him. I like this yarn because I love the fact that you get a contrasting color for heels and toes, but I found the yarn sort of splitty. The pattern I'm using is Knitspot's Gridiron, a perfectly suitable pattern for a boy, but perhaps it would benefit from a less busy colorway. I've acutally started the foot, so it is a bit more completed than this photo:

It has a wonderful striping pattern, but after completing the heels, there is some pooling happening in the foot. I'm not sure if I like it yet. I'm sure it will grow on me, but the big question is if Chris will like them (and I hope he does).

Otherwise, the pattern is a nice and easy one to memorize making this a great take-along project. If I could just take it along with me to finish rather than than all of the the stoles and shawls I've started to work on (more on that later).

Oh! And I never got to post a pic of my finished Embossed Leaves socks. They are one of my favorite pairs. There is quite a story about finishing them. I had cast on the socks too tightly but, for some reason, never tried them on as I worked on them, so when I finished them and tried them on, I couldn't get the cuff over my calves. I needed to unravel the cuffs and rework them so they would be looser. Did I mention that I did these socks two-at-a-time? Yeah. But, long story short, I fixed them and here is a photo:

It's too bad that they can't count towards the challenge because they were completed before June 1st.

I know that I may not reach the 52 pairs at the end of the challenge deadline, but I think the challenge, for me, is more about getting to try techniques that I normally might not. I want to try my had at stranded sock knitting, simple sock design, and more ambitious patterns. I may not complete the Ironman Triatholon of sock knitting challenges as outlined by the organizers, but I can try to overcome my own challenges and just try to become a better sock knitter overall.

What are some challenges you want to overcome?

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