No, it’s not that I’ve been busy. It’s more that I’ve taken forever to photograph things.
The first of the two projects here has a story to it. Sort of. Well, there’s a story that leads to it being made and then gifted.
Nearly six years ago, around the end of October, I walked into a hair salon. My stylist that day was a sweet, wonderful woman named Leanna. At this time, I’d finally moved properly to London with Nick, and we just wrapped up our final wedding party. And I had hair right down past the middle of my back.
I’d been growing my hair for my weddings for about a year and a half. By this point it was driving me crazy: it was getting caught in bag straps and seatbelts, and the final straw was when in the night, Nick rolled over on top of it all while we were asleep and rudely woke me up.
So I said to Leanna, who’d only just met me and was admiring all my lovely hair: “Please, for the love of God, take it all off.”
She reluctantly took off over eight inches of hair. And she’s been cutting my hair ever since.
In the years we’ve known each other, she’s found a gorgeous man and now in six weeks’ time, she’s getting married. She’s been telling me of her wedding plans since the beginning, and she told me her colour scheme was silver and midnight blue.
After all these years of her care and good company, I couldn’t not give her a little something.
This is the first mystery knit in Janel Laidman’s Knitterati Club. As it seems to be the case with me and mystery knits, I didn’t join in the knit-along, but opted to do the pattern if I felt like it.
(I do play nice with other children. Honest. Sometimes.)
The colour and pattern seemed a perfect match, and it was an easy knit as long as there were markers everywhere on the garter stitch body to remind me of where I was. The yarn-over loops on the edge made picking up for the border dead easy, and the finished shawl is very satisfying.
Leanna loved it, which is all that matters. I don’t even care if she doesn’t wear it at her wedding. It was simply to acknowledge the beginning of her marriage just as she became my friend at the beginning of mine. If she does wear it at her wedding, I will be all the more honoured.
Next up is something I started before I went for my tour of duty to Malaysia, and I finished it back in May but I just never got around to photographing it.
I finished the first one while still in Kuala Lumpur, which led to this sort of conversation with my mother:
- Why are they so big? Because they’re hand knit and made of wool and not entirely made of nylon and polyester, which can stretch.
- Are the colours supposed to do that? Yes, Ma.
- That’s very clever. Yes, Ma.
- Are they easy to do? They’re okay, Ma. I can knit most socks.
- …. Can you knit me socks? I already knit you a pair, back in 2009, and you never wear them. They’re in your drawer.*
- That’s because I’m scared I’ll spoil them. Then why should I make you more socks?
- Okay, okay. If you make me three more pairs, then I can rotate them, so I will wear them. *sigh* Yes, Ma.
These socks are mine, though. She ended up flipping through Alice’s Socktopus sock book and chose three patterns from there, and told me what colours she wanted. One of the patterns she chose was Shur’tugal, which she kept referring to as ‘my socks’ even though I explained to her that while I knitted the sample in the book, I didn’t design it.
She makes me nuts, my mother, but sometimes she’s kinda sweet.
Anyway, back to these socks:
Pattern: Fanque’s Circus Socks, by Alice Yu (Knit Love Club February 2012)
Yarn: Sokkusu-O in Thunder & Blazes
Needles: 2.25mm and 2.5mm
There is a circus theme with these socks, and the stranded knitting pretty much keeps that theme. When you dip your needle under a strand to pull up another strand from below, you can’t help but think, “Yoink!” or “Wahey!” or “Whoopsie-daisy!”
But that could be just me.
Stranded knitting in socks is always risky with me, because while I have small feet, I have chunky calves, and stranded knitting hasn’t got the same amount of stretch as regular knitting. So these fit fine, but I have to be a little careful getting them on. Once they’re on, though, they are absolutely golden.
And warm. Stranding also makes them a little thicker.
It’s 30 degrees in London today, and I am blogging about stranded socks.
* Addendum: To be fair, the socks are not in a sock drawer, or any clothes drawer. They’re in a drawer in her bedside table, on their own. So at least she knows they’re special. Just, you know. Not that special.