Today is my 61st birthday, which I’ve been referring to as “Sweet 61” for some time now. In honour of this, and with some creative transposing of figures, I’ve borrowed my title from Neil Sedaka’s 1961 release “Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen”. I wish I could stop viewing song lyrics from my youth through the sensitive filters of the 21st century, because this is one that comes across as a little dodgy in places. I also wish I didn’t have to admit that even as a teenager I sort-of liked Neil Sedaka, not to mention John Denver and Peter Skellern; all of which puts paid to any claim I might make to an interesting punk past. Although you could argue that listening to music which is deeply unpopular amongst your peer group is actually the most rebellious and anarchic act possible.

On to the business of the day. This is by way of a Finished Object post to wrap up the second pair of my Six Socks for 2021, the Popeye Socks as I named them, although I’ve been thinking of them as my Birthday 2021 socks. I am ridiculously pleased with these. I love the colours in the wool, top marks again to Charley at Noodle Soup Yarns for her dye work. The wool has knitted up to a nice thickness and the socks feel good and warm on a chilly, dull morning.

I don’t have a standard length for the leg of my socks, but I knit these at the longer end of my usual spectrum and I’m happy with this aspect. The heel flaps in the fancy linen stitch give a nice focal point, although I think I’ll work the heel flap in a simple twisted rib on my next pair.

To recap, these were knit using a 100g skein of Sturdy Sock by Noodle Soup Yarns in the Vivid Firmament colour. The yarn is 75% Superwash Merino and 25% Nylon which makes it practical for socks. I used a set of 2.5mm KnitPro Zing double-point needles in an 8″ length, changing to KnitPro Carbonz in 2.25mm, also 8″ length, for the toes. I worked on 60 stitches to suit my UK size 4 1/2 shoe sizing and ended up with 37g left from the 100g skein. I used a heel flap and gusset construction for the heel and then a square toe shaping finishing with a three-needle Kitchener stitch to seam the toe together.

This project was just what I needed to get my knitting gears spinning again after a lull. My birthday plans include plenty of knitting on the two projects I’ve got on the needles, some reading, and perhaps curling up to watch a film this afternoon if something takes my fancy. Oh, and fear not – there will be cake!

9 thoughts on “If I should smile in sweet surprise

  1. Happy Birthday, Pam!!! I hope you have a wonderful day! The socks look fantastic. As a gal who listened to the Sex Pistols on 8-track, I can say with the utmost confidence that Neil Sadaka is not in my music library!! 🙂
    Have a great day!

    1. Thank you, I’ve had a splendid day. I went through two major culls of my music collection – once when I was around 45 and got rid of pretty much all of my cassettes, then again a couple of years ago when I rooted out a lot of the wrong turns I’d taken in the previous 20 years whilst I was trying to like what other people like. I now mainly try to pick up stuff I had back in the day and got rid of. I have followed a similar trajectory with my books.

  2. Hi Pam,
    Happy birthday sweet 61!
    I hope you are having an enjoyable day, lockdown permitting.
    Back in the day I much enjoyed John Denver’s music and his TV shows. I did not get into Neil Sedaka so much, but had to admire his ambition and study of pop hits to find the hidden formulae. Peter Skellern is a name I have not heard in a while…like Clifford T Ward and other stalwarts of Radio 2.

    1. Thank you, I’ve enjoyed my day, spoken to both my sisters and e-mailed copious photographs to everyone showing them my birthday cake! As my eldest sister pointed out, the great thing with lockdown is you get to eat the whole cake yourself.
      I used to watch Peter Skellern on telly with my mum. Although I enjoyed his comical songs, I always preferred his ballads and the old standards he took from the screen musicals. From the American contingent, Harry Nilssen was in the same vein with the vintage musicals, and, to a certain extent, Dean Friedman for amusing songs, although his were much more wry in nature.
      Of course, as soon as I start thinking about Peter Skellern, I also think about Max Boyce….

    1. Thank you so much. I had a fabulous birthday which extended into this morning when I was able to meet with my social bubble for cake and lots of laughter.

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