Finished another pair of socks this weekend...woohoo! These (photo, right) were made for Nana/Momma/Edith with Crystal Palace yarn called "Panda Cotton." It's a blend of bamboo, cotton, and nylon, and I l-o-v-e working with it! So much more nicer to knit than that scratchy Sockotta blend I used for the last pair.
These socks were knit using an Ann Budd pattern called Ambrosia. Sorta. Well, Ann's pattern is for toe-up socks (which I find to be more trouble than they are worth, especially if your socks are take-along projects, where you don't want to be fiddling with a paper pattern all the time...I mean, haven't you noticed how much more complicated they are than a regular knit-the-cuff, leg, heel, gusset, foot and toe sock pattern, which is pretty much routine, other than the pattern stitches?). And, that's what I used from the Ambrosia pattern...the stitch, which is called a Butterfly Rib. It's like a mini-cable stitch, and it creates a lovely wavy, curvy rib. Now, why the sock is called "Ambrosia" when the stitch is called Butterfly beats me...except that you are supposed to use a yarn called Ambrosia, which appears to be a blend of alpaca, silk, and cashmere. For a sock yarn? Plu-lease. I have decidedly Southern feet, so I find it difficult to knit socks from wool and/or wool blends, much less alpaca and cashmere. I shortened the leg, as Mom doesn't like a long sock, and I replaced the Butterfly pattern on the top of the foot with a simple 6x2 rib for a more comfortable wearing sock. The yarn color is called "Vanilla Creme," and I think it looks a lot like real ambrosia, don't you?
I've got several more balls of Panda Cotton that I bought in Salt Lake City, so I should be working on socks for a while, but I'm giving it a little rest while I work on my Harry Potter First Year scarf. It's becoming a little monotonous...knitting round and round and round, counting rows to 24, change colors...but I'm at the halfway point, as of last night, so I have to keep going to the very end. The wool blend Encore yarn is awfully hard on my fingers, and I find I have to stop and salve-up with my Burt's Bees Hand salve...which means an end to that night's knitting, since my hands become quite greasy-feeling. Someone in the knit shop last week said she had just bought some Udder Cream to help her with dry, cracked skin. I may have to try that, too.
You know, Maredith gave me this great knitting book called "No Sheep For You" for my birthday, and I'm beginning to think that may become a mantra for me. Wool just "does me in," and I can't say that blends are the answer, either. Warmth is never so much of a consideration as softness....as the feel of the yarn when I'm working. Personal choice, I know.