The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Chunky Socks Wind My Wool

Fair warning here: if blogger was any slower today, it would actually be quicker to just come over to your house and talk to you you may want to put the kettle on, just in case.

Mr. K’s new socks are actually the first thick, chunky socks I’ve made and, Dudes and Dudettes, I’m hooked. First of all, look how fast they grow (I started this on Sunday):

Secondly, I’m a huge fan of short row heels, but less of a fan of the holes that inevitably seem to be lurking around, stalking the innocent, short-row-heeler in search of the perfect opportunity to strike. Double wrapping helps quite a bit, but I still wrestle a bit with holes at the point where the heel rejoins the rest of the sock….at least, until now. Use thick, fuzzy yarn with smallish needles, and voila! Unless you could drive a truck through it, it ain’t gonna show. I can already hear the wails of frustrated sock holes…..”curses, foiled again….”

These socks are also wonderfully warm and soft and I may well have to make myself a pair just like them (and not just because they’re almost Seahawks colors….although that doesn’t hurt). Clearly, confiscating Mr. K’s socks, besides being dreadfully mean, would also be somewhat impractical…..unless I’m thinking of a career as a clown (if you look closely, you can see that my toes are about an inch and a half or more from the end of the sock):

(Not that he has clown feet….honest. It’s just that men’s size 11 socks on my woman’s size 8.5 foot…..well, you do the math.)

I’m so excited to have people interested in doing an exchange! It’s especially cool to see names I haven’t seen before…..good to “meet” you! People definitely interested thus far include:
Jo (UK Jo, not Celtic Memory Yarns Jo)
Ambermoggie (Can’t help it, I LOVE that online name)

(Sorry I didn't link these, but blogger seems to be having some trouble with that feature today and I'm trying really hard not to just toss the whole computer out the second story window.)

I’d love a few more, but this number is good, too. Some questions people had:

Kim wants to know if I will set a price range and a deadline. Absolutely on the deadline. I was thinking of allowing another week to get as many participants as may be interested; then what about setting Halloween as the day by which your package must be posted? That gives everyone over a month….would that be enough time for all of you? I’m mixed about setting a dollar range. I will if you folks would prefer it, but my experience with that kind of thing is that it can become sort of tricky. For instance, if I have some yarn someone gave me that’s worth about $20 and there’s a $25 limit….can I only add in $5 more worth or does the yarn not count towards the limit because I didn’t pay for it? If I put in home baked cookies, how do I value that? And so on. Since we’re all such cool people, I’d be inclined to think that whatever any of you spend or don’t spend you’ll still come up with way cool gifts.

Jill (why do my fingers PERSIST in typing “Jull” every time I write your name??? I don’t even KNOW a Jull……) suggested a cross continent yarn swap. Way cool idea, I think. At this point, I have three people that I know are from the UK area, one from BC, and I don’t know where the rest of you hail from. Ideally, it would work best if we had half of our participants from one continent and half from the other….but, if not, I can certainly match people who are as far apart as possible. I’ll make sure that the questionnaire has something about what you like to make so the yarn can be matched to your knitting habits (hard as it is to believe, there are those who don’t make socks and so, astoundingly, don’t want sock yarn. I don’t get that.)

What I need (besides someone to clean my house, three sweaters worth of alpaca in assorted colors, a barn in the back yard for yarn, enough sense to let my elbow heal, and jeans that fit right) would be for you to send your name, your blog address (if you have one) and where you hail from to my e-mail address (it’s accessible from my blog). That ought to get us started. In a week, when I have everyone who wants to play, I’ll e-mail you the name and address of your giftee and post a questionnaire. I’m bouncing in my chair with excitement (I know, I know…that sounds like a personal problem….)!

Mr. K just stepped in holding up a sock (store bought) that somehow made it into the wash with the red blanket and accused me of trying to turn him into a metrosexual. No, Sweetie--if I was doing that, I’d have put both white socks in with the red blanket. I also think I recall that being metrosexual requires the use of hair products.....and I'm just not willing to share mine.

Oh, and see what you think of this: I was at a large yarn shop yesterday, which has an amazing selection but apparently smallish stock. I fell in love with a yarn that came in a few colorways, particularly one with grays and slate blues that reminded me of the ocean during a storm (evocative, no?). It was a DK, so I was thinking sweater, maybe cardi. I’m tall with longish arms…..if I did a fairly simple design I’m thinking I would need at least 1000 – 1200 yards of yarn. It comes 175 yards to the ball….some quick mental arithmetic (okay, I’m lying—I did some agonizingly sloooooooow mental arithmetic, along with occasional bits of profanity) and I decided I would need 6 or 7 balls. There was only one on the shelf but, buoyed (falsely, I might add) by all the cheery signs advising me to “ask if you don’t see what you need—we have lots of stock in back!” ( I question the use of the word “lots”—in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”), I go up to the friendly saleslady and ask if she has more of this lovely yarn in this lovely colorway. She blinks and says “It depends. How much more do you need?” So, I smile and say “Well, I would want 6 or 7 balls.” At which point she opens her eyes wide and says “6 or 7? Wow, that’s a lot!” (See? There’s that word again!) 6 or 7 balls of DK is a lot? Seriously???? What does this woman knit—hats for budgies? Doilies for Barbie’s dream house? I could understand her surprise if I’d asked for that many balls of sock yarn….although even then I could be making several pairs for Christmas gifts (okay, I couldn’t personally because I'd need a room at the funny farm when I was done…but she doesn’t know that). Anyhow, I was so taken aback that I blurted out (remember that internal sensor of mine that goes on vacation? Yeah, she was in Aruba) “Yeah, well. I’m thinking of getting daring and making an ENTIRE sweater.” They didn’t have any more of the yarn….and they probably don’t want me to come back, either.


  • At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Marianne said…

    Dearest sweet Flo, do you know what the date is? By my counts it is the 10th of OCTOBER, and if my memory serves me (well, ok, maybe we don't want to go there) Halloween is the 31st of OCTOBER. So, if you leave it open for another week and then figure who gets,um, I'm just saying that's not a bit over a month to take care of gatherin'o'gifties.
    The socks are so pretty, yep, nice thick socks definitely have their own and respected place in the universe. What size needles are you using?

  • At 3:26 PM, Blogger Kim said…

    Yes, I love you for organizing all of this, Ms. K., but I was going to say what Marianne already said. Maybe set (American) Thanksgiving as a deadline instead? (Fourth Thursday of November for our friends of other nationalities)

  • At 3:58 PM, Blogger Jo said…

    Love the socks, must definitely try thick yarn, thicker needles than tiny toothpicks. Seeing them grow quickly would be a real bonus. And as regards that yarn shop and its ? assistant ?, I hope she discovers that you've told us all about her. Who put her in charge of yarn?
    Celtic Memory Yarns

  • At 4:09 PM, Blogger Faren said…

    I think the end of Nov. would be good too. 1. it is close to my birthday (28) 2. That is when I feel like I won't be able to finish my gifts before Christmas and at the same time like I will be working on Christmas gifts forever.
    Don't try to link me, while I have an account with blogger I don't have a blog...yet, I'm thinking about it, though I do have a website I haven't updated in forever.
    As for price limit, the partners could discuss that themselves, or that could be a question on the questionaire so that you (Flo) could pick partners that want to go cheaper or all out, etc. Did that make sense? Oh, well.

  • At 5:16 PM, Blogger Charity said…

    I would love to join in on this swap, if I may!

    I love the thick, chunky socks! I've ordered some DK yarn (only 2 skeins, is that a lot?) to try out a DK sock pattern. Looking forward to it arriving! :0)

  • At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Jill said…

    Loving all this exchange talk. I suppose my only major concern is deadlines + Christmas knitting. Yes, I've started, but I also refuse to be stressed about it this year!

    November fourth seems reasonable. Why can't *they* just make Thanksgiving the same for all of us??


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