We’ve been enjoying a run of frosty mornings here in the East of England, and what better way to celebrate than to wear my recently-completed sparkly socks?
I enjoyed working on these and they were a nice, speedy knit. The wool, West Yorkshire Spinners’ Signature Sparkle 4-ply in the Silent Night shade, behaved perfectly with a nice spread of the darker and lighter areas. West Yorkshire Spinners sell ready-made socks in some of their Christmas yarns and I notice on their website that the light and dark sections show a distinct spiral effect. This will happen with yarns dyed in distinct sections when the stitch count and gauge combine in a particular fashion. I don’t mind it when the colours pool or spiral but it can seem strange if you’re not used to it.
This may be odd, but I chose my entire outfit for today based on the socks I wanted to wear! I quite often wear my long-ish cotton skirts around the house in winter as I find a long, voluminous skirt can be warmer than trousers. This skirt is the one I bought for £1 at the Sue Ryder Vintage Shop in Norwich about three years ago and I must say I am getting my money’s worth out of it! Definitely in the cost-per-wear range of a penny or so. If only I could make the same boast of all the items in my wardrobe.
Knitting has continued most nights as I work on the gift-knit top. I’m particularly pleased with the shoulder seaming on this. As it has no shaping, I was able to do a 3-needle bind-off which I completed holding the right-side (outside) face of both the back and the front against each other then I did the bind-off as knit stitches.
This has given a lovely, subtle furrow when you turn the garment right-side out. If you hold the wrong side (inside) face of the pieces together and do three-needle bind-off, you get the ridge on the outside of the garment. This is sometimes done as a design-feature and definitely has its place. The written pattern for this garment calls for you to graft the shoulders together so I could have used the Kitchener Stitch I often use on my sock toes – this would have given a more seamless appearance from the outside. I could also have cast off the stitches and then sewn or crocheted the seam closed; this is what I usually do when the shoulder is shaped in ‘steps’ of cast-off stitches. When I can be bothered, I will occasionally shape the shoulder with short-rows which is a hybrid where you can get the shaping I like but still end up with a full row of stitches that you can bind off with the three-needle or Kitchener Stitch methods. I definitely should do that more often.
I’m thoroughly enjoying this gift knit and I still think I might make a broadly similar garment for myself at some point. Perhaps I would tweak things here and there. I would definitely adapt it for knitting flat as I just can’t see any compelling reason to knit it partially as a circular knit. I can also imagine it with some kind of textured panel, either replacing the lace at the bottom edge, or replacing the colourwork section.
I had fun the other evening digging out my knitting notebook and having a look at some ideas I’d had the last time I used it which is a good couple of years ago. I need to get back into the habit of writing down my ideas around knitting because I often like them more when they’ve been allowed to marinate for a year or two.
I hope your January is progressing in a suitably sparkly manner, and if it’s rather dull then perhaps you could toy with the idea of adding sparkly socks to the mix!