Knitting · Music

Socks and songs and sticks

I don’t know what I am doing casting on socks this week when I should be working on my jumper, but sometimes you just have to accept that you’re in a sock mood and go with it. Actually, I’m trying to justify the project on the basis that I knew I was going to be sitting at my daughter’s flat waiting for a delivery and needed an ‘on the go’ project.

I’m really pleased with how the sock is progressing, although I’m not convinced the duller green cuff goes with the main yarn (it looks fine in the photo which is encouraging). My hope is that once I’ve added the heel and toe it will look more balanced and I’ll be happy with it. I’ve been playing a game I call ‘how long is the repeat’ with this West Yorkshire Spinners’ wool. I think I’ve got it worked out now. It will be useful to pinpoint where the repeat begins because I want to try and duplicate my start-point so that I have a matching pair of socks.

I haven’t only been knitting, though. One thing I’ve been doing the past few days is working out the song quotes to use in my planner through to the end of the year and I thought it would be nice to talk about my process.

For most of this year I’ve been using quotes from songs that were in the UK Top 50 Singles Chart in the equivalent week in 1974. I’ve grabbed a .pdf of each week’s chart from the excellent Official Charts website as I’ve noticed it’s a page that takes a lot of power if you sit on it for a long while. Too many adverts running, I dare say. First up, I check all new entries to the chart that week to see if any of my favourites crop up. I find there are weeks where two or three great songs arrived and then other weeks where the pickings are very slim indeed.

Usually, I will indulge in a long session where I hop onto YouTube and find videos of each song I’m considering (preferably from Top Of The Pops, because they are just the most fun). This is especially useful if there are no songs I remember one week because one or two little gems have slipped my mind entirely, or there will be a good line or two in a song by an artist I don’t particularly like. Mainly, though, it’s simply enormous fun to go back and watch Wizzard and Slade and T Rex – or even The Bay City Rollers – in their heyday.

Having settled on my song for a particular week, I either write down the lyrics as I’m watching a video, or go to a lyrics website to find the bit I want. I am not faithful to any particular lyric site, just go with whatever comes up. Then I write the quote on the lead-page for the week in my planner.

But what if there just aren’t any songs I like in the Top 50? This has happened a couple of times where I’ve already used the songs I like on previous weeks and I’m not tempted by any new entries to the charts. In that case, one alternative is to pick something from the Top Album Chart and another option is to look at the B-side of singles which is what I did this week. I didn’t like Leo Sayer’s A-side (Long Tall Glasses), but the B-side (In My Life) was much more promising.

I am already wondering what I will go with next year. I have so enjoyed this year’s jaunt through 1974 that I may well continue and just pick another year, in which case 1971 would seem to be a very appropriate choice. In use, the quote each week just brings a smile to my face, and with some of them the song will become my theme tune for the whole week. Ah, little things please little minds.

So, that’s socks and songs, where are the sticks? Well, my in-progress photo at the top of this post has been carefully staged to hide this:

Ouch! I just picked up the knitting to take the photo and the needle snapped. Guess I shan’t bother to review these ones, just chalk them up to lessons learnt. I’ll carry on using the 3.5mm aluminium needles I’ve put the work on, but I’m not sure they will suit me and if they make a visible difference to the stitches I’ll have to think again. On the plus side, I am just about to start the armhole shaping, so I’m making good progress. Or I was, until I started those socks.

5 thoughts on “Socks and songs and sticks

  1. I love the socks. I think the greens are really nice together. I have never had a needle break on me. That is nothing short of a miracle considering what they go through!

  2. Thanks for the reassurance about the socks. I think the only reason I’m not so sure about the greens is that I really wanted something red for the cuff, heel and toe. Maybe next time! The needle breakage has proved serendipitous as I’m really happy with the pair I quickly nabbed to hold the stitches. You live and learn.

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