Peachy Keen

So I appear to have internet for the time being. The reason we did not have it before is not because the internet-makers weren’t sending it to our house, but because there are no phone jacks in our apartment. Jared found the magical little box in the basement where the internet comes in, and plugged in the other magical box called a “Router” that will give us wirelesses until the Verizon man comes to bring the internets upstairs. So I do not have to troop to the library to tell you more about my new sock!

Meet September’s Chaussettes.

It’s rather inauspicious to re-start one’s scholastic with wanton cheating, but cheat I did this month. I picked this sock out of order (because I couldn’t figure out what yarn to use for the next pair in the book), and I started it two days early (because I needed to knit, the shawl was too complicated for my frazzled brain, and this was the only unpacked yarn handy). But hey, this is my club, I’m the only person in it, and I make up the dang rules, so I can break ‘em.

“Chaussettes de Dentelle” is apparently French for “Lacy Socks,” which these are supposed to be. I will call them “Chassettes” for short. I have known I was going to make these for a couple of weeks, and picked them partly because I figured it would be easy to make them in some yarn I already had. But as I meditated on yarn choices and went through my stash, it became evident to me that I had a very specific yarn color in mind: peach. Not orange, not pink – peach. Not only did I not have any peach yarn in the stash; I couldn’t even find any at Cloverhill. But on my second-to-last day there, I was seated at the back table, and lo and behold – on the opposite end of the store, tucked on a high shelf, was the yarn. It qualified as peach, and was thinner-ish for sock yarn, affordable, and even faintly self-striping.

It was meant to be. Jojoland “Melody” is the fingering weight sister to “Harmony”, the cobweb lace with which I made the Evenstar. But instead of striping through a pastel rainbow, it just goes back and forth between peachy orange and peachy pink. Subtle, I think.

Now, you know (because I have been complaining quite consistently) that I have a bit of an issue with the gauge of the socks in Folk Socks. This pattern is no exception – Without ceremony, Ms. Bush asks me to kindly cast on 102 stitches in fingering weight yarn on US 000’s. For the uninitiated, those needles are .75 mm thick. That is small enough to be used to open our perpetually stuck CD drive. In my mind, they definitely qualify for the old term “knitting pins.”

However, unlike the other patterns I’ve done so far, the numbers and pattern are not such that I can easily adapt it to the gauge I know I normally get. Usually, I can just say, “huh, she says to cast on 64 stitches, but that’s about the number I usually use for socks in fingering weight yarn on US 2’s. I’ll just do that.” Or “huh, she says to cast on 80 stitches, but I can just take out 1 10-stitch repeat. I’ll just do that.” No dice here – I was not sure I could adjust the pattern, and I had no idea what size needles to use to make 102 stitches work for me. I had a set of 000 DPNs lying around, so for kicks and giggles I tried it her way.

A couple days later, I had sore wrists and two inches of sock that did not fit over the ball of my foot, let alone the heel, made of fabric that felt like steel mesh. No workee. So I frogged and restarted, this time on my addi US 1’s (secretly 1.5s), and the 000s will probably be attacked with a pair of pliers to become some shabby-chic shawl pins. Three inches later, it looks as if I have a sock that is rather too wide, but I will give it a couple more inches before I vote this version off the island. Either that, or I will befriend a large-footed woman or a man who will wear lacy peach-colored socks.

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