Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Knitting FO: Darjeeling Socks

A large portion of the sock yarn I own was collected between 2007-2009, or as I'm going to call them, "The Variegated Years".  This was a time when I was fresh out of grad school, dizzy with the prospect of a real honest-to-goodness paycheck coming in every month.  It was during this time period that my stash size exploded, and one very big enabler instigator assistant in this process was The Loopy Ewe.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love Sheri over at Loopy.  She helped me build a very nice sock yarn stash that is a beautiful (if a bit worryingly large) source of inspiration. 

Numma Numma Toasty
This yarn, Numma Numma Toasty in the colorway "Apple Butter" was no exception.  And plus, it's mostly browns and tans!  They're neutrals, so they'll go with anything, right? Right, except we have to actually KNIT the socks before we can dash around in their delicious golden-hued warmth, pretending we live somewhere the leaves on trees change color in the fall.  I actually went back to my order history and saw that this yarn was purchased in January 2008, which means I've had this yarn sitting around in my stash for more than four years.

I bet if, back in 2002 you'd asked my husband-now-but-boyfriend-at-the-time if this knitting thing would go this far, he would not have ever suspected that I could be the type of person capable of purchasing yarn and then hanging onto it for more than 4 years because it was just too pretty to let go.  What can I say?  Must be the wool fumes.

Numma Numma Apple Butter

If I love the yarn so much, how come it's taken this long?  Well, I went off sock knitting for a while, and then just when I started to get back on the wagon, something had shifted subtly in sock knitting.  Before, everyone was looking at color combos and coming up with hilariously funny (and sometimes punny) names for their colorways.  Now, it was all about solids and semi-solids and shaded solids.  Or self-striping, but in the very meticulous way that means you probably just want to knit a plain old pair of stockinette socks and not put any kind of stitch pattern on there to muss up the colors.  It was just that much more difficult to find a pattern that I could really visualize in a variegated yarn.

The Darjeeling Sock from Knitter's Book of Socks though, had all the hallmarks of being a good pattern for a very colorful yarn.  Purl-stitch rows, broken ribbing, and on top of that it has interesting arch shaping in an unexpected place!  I was flipping through the book trying to decide which pattern to knit after finishing my pajama socks, and knew this would be next.  And I was right, it's great for variegated yarn.

Darjeeling Socks

I've since finished these socks, and they're very nice.  I've learned to make my socks a tiny bit longer in the feet, since the soles of my socks tend to felt a tiny bit and shrink up after many wearings, and I think this will help them hold up a little better.  I did the surprisingly stretchy bind-off at the top of these socks, which was a new technique for me.  I knit these until I practically ran out of yarn, so they end quite high on my leg and the extra stretch is more than welcome.  I'll probably knit this pattern again, and I think the only thing I'd change is the pattern on the heel flap, which was a little hard to keep track of during knitting.  But other than that, I can't wait to add these beauties into my sock rotation on the next chilly morning! 

No comments: