I finished a pair of socks this weekend, and here is my husband modelling them for you. He and I have the same size feet, if you can believe it, and it’s hard to photograph one’s own feet, so I asked him to be the foot model.
The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in the color Wild Cherry, and they were knit on size 2.25 KnitPicks circular needles. I used one Harmony and one Nickel which was a great way of avioding the thing that I do at least once per sock, which is to pick up the wrong needle end while knitting and then end up with a silly twisted mess. I really liked using both needles .
I used the Harmony for the top textured side, and the nickel for the bottom smooth side, and that worked nicely! Well actually, I did the first sock only on the nickel needles, but after our local Stitch ‘n Bitch Xmas party, I had a collection of the tiny sizes of Harmony needles, so I wanted to use them right away and so I did, for the second sock.
The pattern comes from Cat Bordhi’s book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book one. The pattern is called Bartholemew’s Tantalizing Socks. Since my yarn was called Wild Cherry, the socks are now dubbed Wild Barty.
Do you know who Jim Steinman is? He had at least one solo album that I know of, but is most famous for writing the lyrics to Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell albums. He’s also written a number of hits, such as Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart“, Air Supply’s “Making Love out of Nothing at All“, and Celine Dion’s “It’s all Coming Back to Me Now“. When a Jim Steinman song comes on the radio, I can spot it by the end of the first verse. If you notice what these songs have in common, you’ll catch my drift.
I have friends as far back as high school (Suzanne), college (Karlanne) and real life (Bill) who can attest to my hatred of Jim Steinman songs. They all loved Bat out of Hell, and I always hated the songs. They are just… too… wordy! He (Mr. Steinman) crams too many words into his songs.
I’m no George Orwell, I appreciate good description and good narrative, but Great Maker! He uses too many words. And I’ll bet that anyone who has an opinion about Jim Steinman songs either loves or hates them, I don’t know how anyone could be indifferent.
Anyway, the reason for this little digression is to give context to the patterns in Cat Bordhi’s new book. The woman uses too many words! Socks are not that complicated. These socks are not that different than the socks we’ve all been knitting for years.
The increases are positioned in a different place and the rate of increase is 1/3 instead of 1/2 for most socks. But following the pattern is difficult. You have to jump back and forth between several different sections of the book just to get the whole pattern. (Kinda sucks if, like me, you like to photocopy the pages you need and leave the book at home, so if you do that, be sure to read the whole pattern before walking away from the photocopier.)
She has her own language – LaLinc and LaRinc, stories about hairdressers and necklaces. It’s just silly. It’s like a combination of a children’s story (young children) and a knitting pattern. Maybe that’s what she was going for, I don’t know. It’s not what I was looking for though. Some of the socks look interesting, I just wanted to know how to make the interesting ones.
And maybe I am just taking out my general frustration on Ms. Bordhi. I am a bit tired of the whole dumbing down of the world I see around me. I am no expert – you may recall the last pair of socks I made took me 5 socks to get the pair, but I do think that we adults just don’t need to have everything spelled out for us! We are raising a generation of bubble-wrapped children with no critical thinking skills or ability to figure things out themselves, and it seems everything around us is coming down to the same level. It’s like Harrison Bergeron.
And the thing is, the very first knitting book I bought was Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles: a Manual of Elegant Knitting Techniques and Patterns and it wasn’t as wordy and strange as this new one. I haven’t looked at any of her other patterns because I didn’t think the mobius thing was interesting, although one of my fellow S’nB women did. I’ll have to ask her if those patterns were weird.
I think going forward, I will read the whole pattern, copy the relevant information onto an index card (because it would fit on an index card, really) and leave the book for reading at home, like a novel or a bedtime story.
The socks themselves are very comfortable, and I will likely make another pair in the same pattern “family”, called Sky. Next, I’ll try a “Fountain” sock. I’m actually thinking that 2008 will be the “Year of the Sock” for the nodster, I’ve got way too much sock yarn and this year I am going to use it. A lot of it. I had even skeined up some yarn for dyeing, but never got around to mixing up the dyes. I want to do that this year too. I guess that’s my only resolution for 2008, more socks!
Happy new year!
ETA: Link to the project on Ravelry