Monday, February 04, 2008

ISO: The (sock) Fire Within

Pictoral label created by Junior Stash Helper
This weekend Peeper-lou assisted me with some stash reorganization--it was high time that yarns be resorted and placed in clear plastic bins where I could easily get to them, rather perpetuate a situation whereby out of the blue I begin to fret on the drive home from work and wonder if I really actually know where that skein of sKNITches Bebop sock yarn in Baltic is, only to dash in the door, spend 20 some odd minutes rummaging around the third floor, only to finally put my hands on it, but not without significant torment and folderol. Above you see an example of the labeling system that my junior assistant devised. Get it? It's the bin with Cherry Tree Hill & Wollmeise, so there's a corresponding artistic rendering . Other bins are similarly labeled, like the 'Jo Sharp' bin has a picture of a guy named Joe holding a sharp needle (?). However this particular label tripped her up a bit as she misunderstood when I told her that Wollmeise meant 'wool tit' in German. Tee-hee-hee... The bird, not the body part, kid!

The mad fit of reorganization afforded me the opportunity to take a special look at the
Project Spectrum yarns--red, orange and pink. Below you see a sampling:
Project Spectrum: Fire
Top, left to right:
1. MadelineTosh Merino Sport 'Pop Rocks' 2. Malabrigo 'American Beauty' 3. Colinette 'Whirly Fig' 4. Koigu Merino Kersti Crepe '663'
5. Malabrigo 'Geranio' 6. Rowan Felted Tweed #7. Cherry Tree Hill Potluck 8. Rowan Kid Classic
9. Crytal Palace Merino 5 #108 10. Ella Rae Palermo #7 11. Socks that Rock 'RI Red' 12. Lorna's Laces 'Red Rover'
13. Artyarns Ultramerino 4 #142 14. Lorna's Laces 'Lucky Strike', 15. Hazleknits 'Sailor's Delight', 16. Malabrigo 'Shocking Pink'

I am really motivated to use PS for stash-busting purposes and hope to be able to knit up as much of these yarns as I can. The shades of orange and pink and deep crimson are inspiring to me and I tend to work well with this type of knitting limitation, sort of like the Oulipo writers who devised constraints for themselves like writing novels without the letter 'e' and poems that follow specific mathematical formulas. But I have realized that there is one aspect to Project Spectrum that is most untimely: my sock knitting enthusiasm is at an all-time low, some would even call it a nadir. This is a problem because most of the fire family yarns are for sock purposes. I want to feel the love again and just don't see how it's ever going to come back. Socks just feel really pointless to me right now, and I need to be reminded what is it about them that make them such a pleasure.

What sock pattern do you recommend in order to bring back that loving (sock) feeling? Help coax me off the sock knitting ledge and bring me back in to the fold.

35 comments:

weezalana said...

I love me some Embossed Leaves! Fun but not frustrating, interesting but not intricate, and the end result is always beautiful. I know you've already knit a pair, but you love the pattern and in a fiery colorway, they would be FABulous!

If you're still feeling kinda meh about socks, then what about the Charlotte's Web shawl? I think it uses something like 5 different skeins of sock yarn...

carrie said...

ugh, i've never been a sock person, so i'm no help in this department. but wanted to say thanks for the shout-out to kathy's kreation in ligonier. i try to go whenever i'm home.

Kirsten said...

That PS yarn is all so gorgeous!! I'm usually inspired to knit socks when I pour over stitch pattern books. There is almost always something that makes me want to cast on a sock or two. Do you have any of the Japanese books? They are full of great ideas.

I like weezalana's idea of knitting a shawl with a bit of that yarn.

Carrie said...

Huh.. what was it that turned you off socks to begin with?

Some of those yarns might look smashing with the Endpaper Mitts pattern or something like that as well :)

indieknits said...

I really enjoyed my Go With The Flow socks. They're also really comfortable to wear :)

Esoteric Knitter said...

Awww your wee one is too cute!

And oh my goodness, your project spectrum stash is scrumptious.

Hmm, how to get your sock knitting mojo up and running again...rub you face in all your awesome yarn, fondle, fondle, and more fondling... :)

peaknits said...

Way to go on reorganizing te stash - maybe I should follow your lead...course I usually end up buying 10 plastic totes and somehow still remain disorganized...
What a great lot of Project Spectrum yarns, I need to do this too:) I think Monkey socks would be good - easy peasy and fast for some reason. I deny the pointlessness of socks, I try not to think about it.

sophanne said...

I am trying to promote plain sock knitting in all questions such as these- if people I admire start knitting plain socks at a breakneck pace, I won't feel like a loser for wanting only to do that.

Further-I saw your stash additions on Ravelry- beautiful- I was going to make a snarky/covetous comment and then realized it wouldn't be much longer before casey put up a tab for knitting bags and all would be revealed.

SJ said...

I think you need a sock that will seem to fly off the needles. You'll finish the first one so fast that you'll be energized to start right up with the second.

For me, that pattern is Monkey, but without the purls. It's an easy pattern to memorize, and with a stitch pattern that's 11 rows long, it's done before you know it.

Zarah said...

Do you have Knitting Vintage Socks? the Child's First Sock Pattern is really good - it makes a nice stretchy sock without feeling like all you're doing is ribbing. It would look great with some of your semisolids.

nicole said...

I've got to say, those pinks and oranges would certainly light my fire! Beautiful.

I'm afraid I got nothing for you, as I am strictly a stocking stitch/no pattern sock knitter. Socks are all about auto-pilot for me. Something to make me feel less guilty when I flake out in front of some bad tv show. Maybe that's all you need. Find some tv series on DVD and knit away without even paying attention. Next thing you know, you'll have a bunch PS socks knit up.

Can you send Peeper-lou over to help me organize my stash? Believe me, I need help!!!

Kristin said...

Oh how I would love a Jo Sharp box, not to mention a junior assistant that was able to put things IN to organizational boxes.
I am a fan of just plain 'ol socks.

kim said...

Wow, you are brave to admit that the sock love is just not there in a world of sock knitting madness. Confession? I just knit socks so I won't be ostracized. I am decidely not a sock knitter. And may I just take this opportunity to say that one of the reasons your block is so awesome is because you use words like "folderol."

kim said...

Ooops.... that was "blog" not "block"... And I do like the Loksins! pattern a lot.

Tammy said...

I'm trying to work through some sock stash too. I'm going to knit the Merino Lace socks from Favorite Socks with some Madelinetosh. Soon. We could race.

Other than that, I also think the crosshatch lace from Sensational Knitted Socks knits up fast. I also think that I need more red/orange sock yarn.

Kim said...

Allow me a moment to recover from envious shock. You have enough Wollmeise to warrant a bin!?! Lucky. The loss of sock mojo is a virus spreading through blogland. I have it and so do a several of my friends who I'd describe as sock addicted. I'm convinced the sock mojo will return with the warm weather when knitting a heavy sweater or a cute winter accessory will have no appeal. That being said, I'm a total sucker for Monkey socks.

Veronique said...

Self striping sock yarn will pull me out of a lull anytime!

mehitabel said...

I'm not going to be much help, because I don't enjoy knitting socks and I hate wearing handknit socks too! I use lots of sock yarn for shawls, scarves, and baby things.
Maybe you need to embrace the no-sock love and just go with it!

gradschoolknitter said...

Oh oh oh! If you give me until, say, the weekend (or whenever I get my d*&m computer back) I will write up the sock pattern that I've whipped up in honour of Project Spectrum Elements: Fire. It's orange and red and incorporates a firey stitch. It'll be perfect for any of those sock yarns up there!

K. said...

I loved knitting the French Child's Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks. They are also my most comfy socks. I think you just need to find a pattern that excites you again. There's also nothing like taking a break...

purlfriend said...

You know I can't really help you on this one, try as I might. Maybe Saartje's Booties?

tiennie said...

Look at all the gorgeous yarn you have!

Lolly said...

Funny, I haven't been feeling the whole sock love either - since last year's Socktoberfest, in fact... and I have a boatload of yarns... There are always nice lace patterns that can use socks yarns?

However, I figure that if you do find the right pattern - maybe one of the suggestions above? - you will feel the love again... I am hoping that for myself as well.

(Love the Oulipo reference!)

Terhi said...

Oh how pretty yarn!

I've not been feeling the sock love lately either, but yesterday I cast on for a pair of Nancy Bush socks, that always helps. :-)

teamkaty said...

I was also going to recommend NB's Child's First Sock--just enough pattern to keep you engaged, but never frustrated. Would be beautiful in that Colinette...

Sophie said...

Look at these :
http://shop.strato.com/epages/61452880.sf/en_US/?ObjectPath=/Shops/61452880/Products/SK01

And yes, it's RED.
;-)

a friend to knit with said...

your assistant is just the cutest. her artistic little drawing are just the best........JOE SHARP!!!!!!!love it!!!!

i too am in a sock lull. in fact.........i haven't made grown up socks in over a year! look forward to seeing what you come up with........maybe i will join in the "fun"!

WonderMike said...

Is THAT what Wollmeise means???? I thought it meant the "Master of Wool". Can you tell that I have a degree in Linguistics. Sheesh.

I love the Snowboarder hat, but not as much as I love your completely disaffected supermodel. She's giving a discount, I hope, because I bet her day rate is insanely high.

Socks.... hmmmm. I've rarely (if ever) made anything besides the basic sock pattern, so I'm lightyears behind you, but I SWEAR I'm going to make some Monkeys soon!

Your PS display is AWEsome!

guiltypleasures said...

No sock love? OH NO!

My sock recommendations for a slump are:
Drunken Bees by Domesticat, (free)
Twisted Flower by Cookie A
Master Coriolis by Cat Bordhi (free)

Then again, you could use your sock yarn to make the Chevron Scarf.

Knittymuggins said...

Wish I could help you choose a sock pattern but, honestly, I have to quickly find a mop to wipe up the pool of drool that came out of my mouth when I got to your PS stash pics. ~Sigh~ You are one lucky girl!

Maybe you could combine them and make something other than a sock? I think I remember you mentioning recently that you were obsessed with making "other" things from sock yarn....

knittymuggins

Ashley said...

Oh! Oh! Shawl! I am going to re-purpose some of my sock yarns as shawl yarns. There's a whole thread going on on the Ravelry boards right now about non-sock uses for sock yarn, btw.

nova said...

I am going to ditto what Ashley said, shawls and scarves. I know that there is a scarf pattern published on the MadTosh site for a scarf for the sock yarn. If you really want to join the sock knitting fold, you might look into Snicket socks. I just picked mine up again last night, and I kind of heart them...

Sourire11 said...

I'm not the one to ask considering I've been off of socks lately too. They just ... I dunno. I guess I'm bored of them right now. Eh. Beautiful yarn collage, though!

lollybug said...

Please send Miss Organization my way when you have finished with your stash. I need her help!

Editrix said...

I am a dork and not a big sock wearer (tights and skirts are more my speed), so I've yet to venture into sockdom (and have negative useful advice where that's concerned).

But! I spent a couple of hours today trying to get my knitting house in order, and I wish to gravy I had a Peeper-lou of my own with index cards and common sense to help me make sense of my stash.