So sorry for the long break from blogging. I had every intention of posting with chatty regularity throughout the summer, but then a long and wonderful chain of visitors arrived, and my services as driver, tour guide, restaurant-tester and sharer of computer access were suddenly required. As Labor Day came and went, my daughters did exactly the same, one after the other. Tomorrow we drive down South to help one of the Sophomores move into her shared, so far-unfurnished apartment. The fun never stops and the dust never gathers for long in one spot at the Scarlet knitter's headquarters.
Truth be told, I also didn't feel that I had a whole lot to blog about as I was turning out more and more blanket squares. As much as I love blankets, I may just have overdone it, producing so many squares and rectangles during the past two years or so. But the blanket needs to be done, so that I can get to the final juicy part, i.e., the border. Someday soon.
Meanwhile I have been busy blocking thirty squares (a term I use loosely, as some squares are clearly wanting to turn into rectangles).
I am doing this in three batches so that I can monitor the color-bleeding and take the necessary steps: lots of rinsing, a drop of vinegar, and keeping my fingers crossed. Each square has long tails which I plan to use when sewing the blanket up. These didn't tangle too much during the soaking or machine-spinning process, fortunately; so I am envisioning an easy-peasy, fast and happy sewing-up session, something along the line of this great video by the very talented Susan Anderson. I wish!
So there I was for much of August, a tad bored with squares, a bit at loose ends, when a package arrived -- surprise! -- from a knitting friend. It contained some lovely hand-dyed, bright red sock wool, with an invitation: "You know you want to!" . Now how did she know I was fantasizing about knitting different shapes, about dealing with size and fit, and most of all about trying something new?
A few years ago, I had bought Charlene Schurch's first book on knitting socks. Finally I had a good motivation to open it. I actually read it cover to cover, just to make sure. And then I took it for a test drive.
I love this book. It is clearer than most knitting books I know because it spells out every little step as clearly and precisely as possible -- no detail too small. The teacher in me can spot a good teacher a mile away, and Charlene Schurch is that teacher. I was surprised to find a chorus of complaints about book errata on a Ravelry thread. It is possible that most of them were corrected in my edition, but at any rate, her technical explanations are so well-done that I think I'll know how to cope with possible errata on my own now that I am starting to understand the mechanics of sock-knitting.
I did my homework the way I wish all my students did theirs. I started with the class sock, knitted in Encore Worsted -- a shade I like to call "minty fresh toothpaste".
Then I graduated to my first pair, knitted on a size 1 circular (I am liking the Addi Lace needles for this as for just about everything else right now) with Regia sock yarn in one of those Kaffe Fassett colorways I was eager to try.
As soon as these were finished and kitchenered, I felt ready to cast on with my beautiful gift-yarn. This time I am moving on to sock #2 in the book which has a very cushy garter-stitch rib pattern on the leg. I have also moved into size 00-needle territory.
This sock-business is fun. I have inherited a few more skeins that should keep me busy for a little while. Suddenly I don't even have to think about finding the right project for my travel-knitting. Thank you knitting pen-pal! I am a more adventurous knitter, and a far more captivated one right now, because of you.