Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Socks and Spinning

Oh my, what a busy and stressful week this has been. I haven’t had time to make much, but I started knitting a sock. It’s been over six months since I made a pair of socks so I’m really excited to start on this pair!

The beginning of a hand-knit sock on the needles with a ball of yarn.

I began knitting my own socks about ten years ago, and they’ve become a go-to stress-reliever for me. Yes, they’re small and fussy, but they’re also a relatively quick year-round project that’s easy for me to take on the go without losing my place. And let’s not forget that the gorgeous yarn choices are seemingly endless.

These socks are made from Ella Rae Lace Merino in colorway 209, which is a blend of red and a dark brown that could pass for black. Or is it a black that could pass for dark brown?

The two sock pattern books that I use the most are both by Charlene Schurch: Sensational Knitted Socks and More Sensational Knitted Socks. Between the many patterns in each book and the sizing charts at the beginning of each section, it's easy to find a pattern that suits almost any combination of yarn, gauge and foot size. The pattern I have chosen is called Embossed Stitch, from the second book, and it looks sort of like quilted diamonds. Can you see the pattern beginning to emerge after the 1x1 rib stitch?

Close-up of the beginning of a hand-knit sock on the needles.

I’m always on the lookout for great sock patterns; please share your favorite sources in the comments.

On a different note, this Saturday, July 2, marks the beginning of Tour de Fleece. Yes, you read that correctly! While the bicyclists are doing their spinning, fiber spinners do what we can as well.

Tour de Fleece will run July 2 through July 24, just like the actual tour, and the goal is to do some spinning each day — perhaps even while watching the race on television.  Rest days will be July 11 and 19. Challenge days coincide with mountain days in the race, so on July 9 and 17 the goal will be to spin something more challenging than usual. Some people even wear certain colors to denote things like being a race leader or sprinter, but I’m not usually quite that organized.

If you’re a spinner on Ravelry, check out the Tour de Fleece group and sign up for a team. You may win some prizes for your efforts! I don’t have time to keep up with the groups this year, but I will be doing my best to spin throughout the tour; it’s always a great excuse to revisit my spinning stash. You should see a lot of spinning-related updates here on the blog during July.

Is anyone else joining the 2016 Tour de Fleece?

Note: To read more about the Red Socks, please visit the posts Time to Unwind, Turn a Corner, Turn a Heel, Put a Foot in It, This and That, and Knitting in Public.

To read more about Tour de Fleece 2016, please visit the posts On the Road, Keep SpinningOne Step at a Time, and The End of the Tour.

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