I have only begun to think about fall, and you’re telling me September is over?! Good grief! The whole month was a bit of a blur in this house, between having weekend guests, weekend events, and swinging full-speed the school year. between full-time classes for me and part-time work for Jared, we are becoming master baby-jugglers. Thankfully I had a beautiful pair of socks to accompany me on all travels, and they were finished with surprising speed. They were done and in my finished-socks-pile before I realized I hadn’t even photographed them.
Sometimes it’s only in taking pictures of a finished project that I realize how pretty it is. The light yesterday afternoon was perfect. Wow.
Pattern Review: These are “Denmark” from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. I learned a new technique in the little smocked knots at the base of the ribbed cuff; they were a subtle and classy touch. Other than that, these socks were delightfully straightforward. They went quickly despite the plethora of cables. I adapted the pattern a bit (see below), but for once I am blaming my yarn choice on this necessity.
I have never been anywhere near Denmark, and my only exposure to it is Babette’s Feast, a funky old film about the lavishness of love and why we have difficulty accepting it. I can’t decide whether the little cables remind me more of waves beating on that cold, extensive coastline, or a flock of birds hovering above it in orderly, Lutheran fashion.
Yarn Review: This yarn was a special treat: “Bugga” by Cephalopod Yarns, in “Reakirt’s Blue.” I don’t usually allow myself the luxury of buying the MCN (merino/cashmere/nylon blend) yarns so favored by the most popular hand-dyers. (On my grumpier days, I think it’s just an excuse to charge more.) But oof this was pretty, and so pleasant to work with. Not to mention the subtle color shading.
I will say this: this yarn is billed as a “sport weight” yarn. “Sport” isn’t a weight I hear about much anymore, having been largely swallowed into the “DK” category (which is ambiguous enough itself). My definition of “Sport,” therefore, doesn’t have a specific gauge, but is best described as “nearly DK but a little lighter; definitely heavier than fingering.” This is why I bought “Bugga”; the pattern called for a heavier yarn than the usual fingering, at a gauge of 6 stitches to the inch. However, when I went to actually use the yarn, the gauge said plain as day, 7 stitches to the inch on US #2s. That definitely falls into my definition of fingering weight! Oh well; let this be a lesson to me. Yarn weights are poorly defined, and with so many smaller hand-dyers gaining traction in the market, these categories seem to be getting more fluid, not less. Look at the stated gauge of a yarn, adjusting for your own self-knowledge (i.e. do you knit more tightly or loosely?). That’s at least somewhat objective.
For once, I didn’t soldier doggedly on with the pattern-as-written when I knew plain as day that I was going to have a major gauge issue. The pattern had a single 2×2 rib separating the front three columns of cables from the back three; I simply added a second, and they fit perfectly.
I didn’t knit Naomi a matching pair this month, (a) because I didn’t feel like it, (b) because I need the leftovers from this month’s socks to be a contrast color on next month’s, and (c) because I knew I’d have to spend the last week of the month knitting another pair of socks (more on that another day). Naomi is a little miffed at this, but mostly because she’s gotten incredibly skillful at pulling off socks to use as chew toys. I daresay she’ll get over it.