It started out so innocently. I thought I would knit my Mum a pair of socks for Yule. Keep her feet toasty warm. Then, when my proficiency with knitting socks became apparent, the hints started dropping. I now knit a minimum of four pairs of socks per Yule. One for each of our parents. I put a pair of socks in a decorative tin with their name on it. The deal is that if they want socks next year, the tin comes back to me. Without fail, the tin comes back. The request is fulfilled. I have some family members with very happy feet.
The first socks, of course, were seen on Tuesday. These were my Mum-in-Law’s socks, and as mentioned, the Husbeast picked out the colours. What you didn’t see on Tuesday were everyone else’s socks. These weren’t even the first ones finished.
These are Mum’s socks. Unfortunately, I didn’t record them in Ravelry because at the time my thinking ran along the lines of “Oh hey. Stripey socks. Plain stockinette blue-purple stripey socks. Why would I need to record these? They’ll be quick to knock out.”
Uh huh. That was sometime around January or February after a marathon sock-knitting session, and — I hate to admit this — I was all socked out. Seriously. I think I knit one sock, then tucked them away with the intention of coming back to them…eventually. This past year has probably been the first year I did NOT knit at least one or two pairs of socks per month.
Then I saw them peeking out of a knitting basket I keep near the couch in our rec room, and thought to myself that I must have been crazy to put them aside…that if I just finished off the foot, I would have a full pair of socks. And how could I ever have gotten bored of knitting socks when there were these beauties to play with? They’re stripey! And Blue! And Purple! They’re Blurple!
And yes, they were finished in one afternoon. And I had my sock-knitting happiness back. Which was great because I only had Five Months Left Til Yule and How Am I Ever Going To Finish Knitting All The Things?!?
Yep. Mini freak out 5 months from Yule. This is why I’m going back to starting in January, folks. Less stress.
Then I knit the pink and grey socks. By now I’m on a roll, and adding Mittens to the mix.
I have a hard time finding yarn I like for the men. Robin, when I knit him socks, makes it easy for me. He has absolutely no problem wearing whatever I throw at him, whatever colours are involved. Hot pink? Bring it on. His favourite scarf is his Noro Two-Row, and it has liberal splashes of pink. He claims to be more than the colours he wears, and I love that about him.
Our fathers are a little more traditional and conservative in their dress, and while my Dad’s Colour Analysis pegs him as a Spring, he is unlikely to request a pair of salmon-coloured socks anytime soon (do not laugh. My Mum was a freelance Colour consultant in the 80’s and I still drive her nuts by being a Summer who insists on wearing black as my favoured neutral),
I went to the yarn store and found…very little in the way of colours that I hadn’t already knit for the men in my life. Seriously, you can only use the same Coffee Brown or Dark Blue Trekking colourways before the guys start to realize that their socks all look the same. And then I found some guy-type self-stripers from Regia. Racing Colours! I was impressed enough that I included the ball band.
These ones went to Robin’s Dad, who – I noticed – wore hand-knit socks to both the Christmas Eve *and* Christmas Day festivities. He even pointed out that he had nice warm feet. So now his feet will be even warmer.
Dad was just a touch more difficult. I had the perfect yarn (Cascade Heritage), but it was already on the needles for another project. Which had stagnated more than a year previously. Off the needles it came, back into a ball it went, and a nice, cushy pair of stockinette socks were quickly knit up. If his reaction was any indication, I made the right decision. The yarn found the place it needed to be.
If it seems I’m knitting a lot of plain old vanilla stockinette socks…that’s because I am. I like the methodical straightforwardness of stockinette socks. It also means I can’t forget where I am in a chart and have to rip out half a pattern. I’m also very in love with self-striping yarns right now. I have stocked up on a few fun stripers that I hope to dig into very shortly. And hopefully I can get my hands on some of the swanky self-stripers from some of the more Independant Dyers that seem to be cropping up. While I like the dependability of the commercial dyers, there’s just something fun about colouring outside the lines on occasion.
Now, there were a couple of things I didn’t get finished for Yule. There are two pairs of mittens outstanding. I have linings finished, now it’s just a matter of getting the outer mittens done!