Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Twas the Night Before Christmas

What am I going to say about the Twas the Night Before Christmas socks that you haven't already read or heard a thousand times?  It's everything you've heard- cute, interesting to even the most bored sock knitter, and able to entice non-sock knitters to try it.  It works with tonal or variegated colorways, and even stripes.  Yeah, all of that.



They were my Christmas Eve Cast On, but I was too busy to cast on the night of the 24th.  So, on Christmas Day, after our company left, I sat down to knit the first sock.  Wow, I just had a weird deja vu moment as I write this.  I vividly recall the feeling I had when I sat down to cast on and it was not at all the feeling I intended this post to invoke.


Okay, if I'm honest, it was a little blue.  I mean our Christmas celebration had been nice and I was so excited to see my daughter and son-in-law.  We had a lot of fun with them and at my father's house, but there was a spot in my living room where my grandmother should have been sitting, trying to pet my dogs with the back of her hand so she could be loving but still not get dog germs.  I'm not feeling sad or on the verge of tears or anything, as I write this.  It's just a fact that Christmas, after a loved one dies, isn't easy.  I didn't go on a crying jag or anything. I felt kind of numb and weird.  It was that unsettling feeling like I'd get on the first day of school, as a girl, only worse.  Everything was going to be different now. Every milestone, every event would feel different.

So, I sat there on the couch, after everyone had left and it was quiet and cast on Dani's pattern.  It wasn't a magical balm that made everything easy.  But it was rhythmic and familiar.  Dani is my friend, wether she knows it or not.  I keep up with her, her mom, her dog, and now her cat on her podcast.  It feels homey and comfortable, like knitting with a friend.  She dotes on those pets like my sister and I dote on ours, so I feel a kinship.


I concentrated on learning the cast on, a type I've only done once before, but love the look of.  Then, I focused on the subtle coloring of the Agave colorway as it slowly became the leg of a sock.  My mind began to clear and I was aware of every part of the making process.  Maybe it's in my head, but that yarn knit up to make a better fabric than I normally get with fingering weight yarn on a size 0 needle.

The repetition of knit one, purl one was soothing and it made the night easier.  I'm thankful for that.  So my memory of my first Christmas [Day] Cast On wasn't the kind anyone would necessarily ask for, but as far as strange times of change go, it wasn't that bad.  By the way, Dani's pattern is fantastic.



So let me tell you what I love about this pattern.  I've never knit gussets the way she directs us to, but it is absolutely the neatest job I have ever done on a heel flap-type sock.  I want to use this pattern as a template for all of my heel flap and gusset socks in the future.  I can always omit the trees and purl/knit/purl line that runs down the length of it.  Though, that last detail would work great with any vanilla sock.


Details: I used Peepaloo Fields' Sensible Sock in the Agave colorway and size 0 circular needles to cast on for a size small.  The colorway was a subtle one that I thought would go well with this lace pattern.

Sensible Sock is an 80% wool/ 20% nylon blend.  It felt more substantial than the average sock yarn.  I think it must be a tad more plump.  I tend to love sport weight for socks, and an 80/20 is a good fingering weight substitute.  I have now worn them several times and can attest that the fit is great in the heel and the yarn wears well.


When I think of this yarn dyer, I tend to think of delicate speckles, but she really has a wide variety.  Her dark totals are equally beautiful.  I will, personally, keep how much I loved using that base in my mind for next time I am wanting some sock yarn.  To be honest, though I'd love to buy more immediately, that doesn't need to be soon.  I have plenty of sock yarn to knit for the next year.  I am trying to organize my home and collecting more craft stuff only thwarts that goal.



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