Being gender-stereotypical in this instance, I cannot find anything much – actually, at all – to interest me in ProgRock (Progressive Rock music). On the other hand, ProgSock (Progress on my Sock) is just my cup of tea.
I’ve had an interesting week immersed in my novel-editing (I ramble on about my progress over at 16SixtyWriter if you’re interested) and have barely picked up my needles. Even so, I have one sock finished and I’ve made a start on its partner. What is odd is that I haven’t really mentioned this pair of socks apart from showing the two yarns before I started knitting. So here is the halfway detail.
Whilst these are just my normal vanilla socks, from the free pattern that came with some wool somewhere in the Pleistocene era, and the yarns are tried and tested varieties from West Yorkshire Spinners, I have one single reason for counting these as an experiment. Having been struck by how sloppy some of my socks feel at the moment, I thought I’d try working with less stitches, so I’m knitting on 56 stitches instead of my usual 60.
I’m pleased to report that I can still get them on my feet – not to be to be taken for granted when you start mucking about with the numbers. In fact, I can’t honestly say they feel any different in fit to the larger number of stitches. This may be because my gauge feels very loose with this pair, indeed the ribbed cuff seems downright floppy. I think now that the shops are open once more, a trip to Norfolk Yarn is on the cards where I can buy some narrower gauge double point needles.
The colours really aren’t doing anything to thrill me, but my sock drawer is sadly depleted after a heavy year of constant sock-wearing and I need replacements regardless of their aesthetic value. And I do like this colourway, but perhaps not as much as some others. It’s the slightly greeny-putty colour which puts me off.
I haven’t quite nailed the adaptations to make the socks smaller as I fudged the heel turn a bit. I’ve since tracked down a chart which gives me the correct heel recipe for different stitch counts and that should result in an even better result going forwards.
Of course we are heading into summer now and I will be wearing my socks less often, but I never entirely stop at any point during the year. English summers often bring odd chilly days, but more often I wear them to make my shoes more comfortable. If it’s a choice between being a little too hot or ending up with blisters, I’ll choose the over-heating every time. Well, that’s how it is in my head. All too often I realise I should have worn socks far too late in the day. So, this summer I’m going to be prepared. Where in winter I’ll always have a hat and gloves with me, this summer they’re going to be replaced with a pair of emergency socks.