Whew! 2011 has been nonstop, I tell you, NONstop. My new job means a lot more business travel—and a lot more yarny fun—but it has also meant a lot less blogging. And, actually, a lot less knitting, but I can’t actually blame the job. If ever a job inspired you to knit more, it’s this one! But I did knit something so far this year, and because I began it at TNNA and finished it at my most recent conference, well, it gives me a good excuse to finally wrap up all the events of the year so far into one mega-blogpost!
The TNNA show in January in California was my very first trip to TNNA. Back when I’d been in craft book publishing, my role wasn’t considered crucial for this kind of travel, so I always lived vicariously. I’ve been to many a book fair, though, and this was very similar. I am lucky that in addition to work contacts to meet up with, I have genuine friends who attend these shows, from the awesome folks at Ravelry to of course, my good friends Caro and Stitchy.
While I was at TNNA I found this new indie dyer, Alisha, who has a whole bunch of yarns—she sells them as Alisha Goes Around. She was super-generous with her sock yarn and I admit I walked away with more than one skein. The night before I left, I wound the enormous 4-oz skein up (using my feet as the swift and sitting on my hotel room bed) and I cast on while in the waiting room at the airport. Just a quick toe-up sock, I thought.
For the next two months, these socks were my go-to knitting. I shoved them in my bag before heading off just two weeks later to help out with VK LIVE, though to be honest I didn’t knit a stitch during that show. This was the first consumer show Vogue Knitting had ever put on, and as my magazine is owned by the same parent company, I’m just down the hall from everyone who works on VK (and I’ve been known to help out with a crochet question or two). The whole office banded together to help make the event the success it was—and I was the one roped into making all the announcements on the marketplace floor! I am just a wee bit sad that I had to attend as staff and not a patron, though. I didn’t do any shopping and I couldn’t take any classes—and boy did I want to.
Then February came and we all started recovering from the two shows in January but it was time to really finish all our prep for the YMN Smart Business Conference, a conference for yarn store owners. As the hosting magazine, I was on my feet, at a microphone, for much of the conference in Portland—and having a crazy good time. Whereas TNNA had left me sapped of energy, asleep in my room, the SBC got me energized! I was zipping along on the socks during the sessions and up late hanging out with friends.
In fact, it got me going so fast that I finished the second sock on the plane on the way home! It’s so nice to be home—for a little while, at least—and I’m definitely feeling as if I need to knit knit knit at every second. I’ve started a sweater already and I’ve only been home for three days. But the socks! Here are all the details.
I decided to knit toe-up and go until I’d hit halfway so that I would maxmize my yarn use. And ho boy did I maximize it! I had to actually steal some length that was left for weaving in from the first sock to finish the sewn bind-off on the second. I knit and knit and knit some more, weighing the sock whenever I got to the office (where we have a digital scale) and I stopped at exactly 2.0 oz. But the scale doesn’t go past the tenths place and it must’ve been something like 2.099 or something, because the second sock was knit to the very last inch and is about half an inch shorter than the first sock. Only I will really notice or care, so it’s staying like that!
They fit great under my boots with the red zipper (and even match, colorwise). The yarn is really fabulous to knit with–soft and springy. I don’t always love handpainted yarns and their tendency to pool or stripe, but I decided to just embrace the firey stripes of this yarn (I realized too late that I should have made a pair of these socks with the yarn). I worked the magic cast on and increased to 60 stitches, then a short-row heel over 30 stitches. About 3-4 inches above the heel I did a few increases for my calves, and then worked straight until about 2 inches of 1×1 ribbing at the top.
The weather is changing, and we were able to do this little photoshoot on a gorgeous springlike day down by the Verrazano Bridge. Thanks to Jason for his helpful shooting!