Sunday, January 06, 2008

Seeded Fair Isle Socks

Friends, I wish I had significant progress on any one of my designated projects to share with you. Sadly, and despite all my Resolutions, I have been knitting quite chaotically - a bit here, a bit there, none of it planned or documented. Shocking.

Seeded Fair Isle Socks
OK, so here's an illustrative story of un-planning. There I was, happily knitting away on Joe's red Edan jumper. On that project, I'm using my brand new Harmony circular needles. As I knit, I contemplated the review of the needles that I'd eventually write for this blog. Then I remembered that I have some new Susan Bates metallic dpns in the stash, and I thought 'why not use them, and review them at the same time - compare and contrast'. So, off I went to the stash, with no thought for what I was doing, found the needles, selected the smallest size (1.75mm), grabbed a ball of Opal Uni sock yarn in a dusty mauve, and cast on 64 sts to make up for the needles being so fine. Did you see what happened there? One minute I'm knitting a jumper, the next, I have a new pair of socks on my hands.

I knit a 1x1 rib cuff with absolutely no idea what kind of socks I was making. 64sts seemed like the right number (I usually have 60sts on 2.75 or 2.5mm needles). Other than that I had no constraints, and no plans. I knit the cuff and for a while I thought they'd have a boxy, stretchy, openwork pattern that's halfway between rib and lace. I saw it in Charlene Schurch's More Sensational Knitted Socks and it had my attention for a while. Then I looked at some more Schurch and decided that in fact the socks would have an eight-stitch Falling Leaves pattern. Yes, that would be much nicer than the boxy openwork. Falling Leaves it would be. I knit a few more rounds of rib. I started to wonder if mauve is really the ideal colour for leaves. I thought about what colours go with pale, dusty mauve and contemplated dark brown. Then I hit on it: these socks would be Fair Isle. I have wanted to make Fair Isle socks for ages. I dug out yet another book, an old paperback called The Complete Book of Traditional Fair Isle Knitting, by Sheila McGregor. I soon found myself a beautiful, eight-stitch, seeded pattern that makes big diamonds with dots in them. So that is the new thing now, Seeded Fair Isle socks. Dammit, this is where I keep going wrong.

In other news, I've done one sleeve of the Edan sweater and we shall not speak of the other WIPs until next time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Don't you love it when new projects creep up on you all stealth-like?