Thursday, July 29, 2010

one more for A4A

I mailed a fourth pair today for afghans for Afghans' current campaign to collect socks for women. It's a wonderful feeling to do something for a woman over there -- life there is hard!! In addition to all the restrictions imposed by just being female, there's the constant worry over your kids -- worry about things such as whether they'll live to grow up. Can't imagine!! I have been so lucky.

Here's a pair of socks that will provide at least a small measure of comfort this winter:

The stripes make them more interesting, it's true, but what they're really saying is "There wasn't enough of this lovely brown yarn to make an adult-sized pair of socks."

Soccer weekend ahead, so there's some chance I'll finish the blue pair that's currently missing the whole second sock.

Friday, July 9, 2010

July for A4A

Pat and I both knit for Afghans for Afghans every time a campaign comes along. (If you want to see what other people are knitting, take a look over here.) When we started this year-long sock blogging project, we threw a few wild card months into the schedule, and also agreed that if there was a chance to knit socks for A4A, that would trump previous plans for the month. Ann Rubin does an amazing job of working out the logistics of getting things to Afghanistan, despite the challenges of war, corruption, expense, and who knows what else. . . and she doesn't always have a whole lot of lead time. A sudden chance arose to send socks for women this month, so that's what we're knitting.

I've been on vacation, spending a lot of time in the passenger seat while we drove hundreds of miles -- not to mention a weekend at a folk festival, which is prime time for knitting as long as it doesn't rain too hard. I finished these three pairs:

Technically, only the lighter blue pair, with the light stripes, qualifies, because it was started in July. The darker blue pair was started in June, finished July 1, and the multicolored pair on the left was started in June and finished July 2.

All are worsted weight, knit on 40 stitches. The two solid blue pairs with stripes are made of Bartlett yarn; the pair on the left (my favorite) is made from 2 strands of Kroy sock yarn held together. Kroy is a little heavier than most sock yarns I use (166 yards, about 152 meters, per 50 g) and it made a wonderful, squishy, bouncy fabric. I used one self-striping yarn held with one tweedy yarn in similar colors; it did very interesting things! I'm already looking for the next pair of sock yarns to try; meanwhile I've cast on for another Bartlett pair. These go so fast, and time is short; I hope to get two more pairs out to A4A in time for this collection.

I believe this is the earliest in the month I've ever completed our assignment.

The three pairs in the picture, plus Pat's blue socks from June, go in the mail today.

solstice socks

Here they are!! They sure look to me like the summer solstice:

I loved working with both of these yarns. In fact, I used only a bit of the yellow, and I'm already deciding what pattern to use the rest for; the richest, most jubilant yellow I've seen (dyed by The Periwinkle Sheep). The orange, from Sunshine Yarns, is 100% wool. I was worried about how well the heels would hold up, so I knit the heel flap using a smaller needle, then continued heel stitch under the heel, for the entire extent of the gusset. I will report back; it was 102 degrees earlier this week (metric folks, that's 39) so I will not be wearing wool socks for a bit! The picture above shows them in their post-blocking loveliness -- it's amazing how a nice bath and gentle stretch evens out the crooked stitches.

The picture below shows them, pre-blocking, on the shore of the lake where they were finished. This picture is a little closer to the true color.

As I said before, this pair was done on time; I sent a cell phone picture to Pat if anyone wishes to check. But we were computer-free for nearly two weeks, so it was not possible to post. Much as I love to spend time on email and blogs, I highly recommend going without for a short time! Very restful.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

solstice socks update

Picture tomorrow or Thursday, but we're just back from a computer-free vacation and I wanted to check in. I did finish the solstice socks on time, and sent Pat a picture via cell phone as proof they were done. Tomorrow to wash, block, and do the photo shoot. . .right now it's 2 a.m. and I still feel like I'm in the car.