Friday, October 31, 2008

Manly lace socks

Knitting the Undulating Rib (Ravelry link) socks for my son taught me a lesson. It is not enough for me just to smash my way through the stash, ticking off a few Christmas stockings on the way. I need something more. Either the yarn or the pattern (preferably both) need to inspire me, and this just didn’t happen with this project. They will fit and he will wear them but I won’t be insulted if he doesn’t, and that’s just not good enough!

So my next project required more thought. It had to be socks for FL… because there has been an outbreak of holes in every single pair of pure wool socks I have knitted him. Huge holes that defeated even the champion darner himself! This has left him with only two pairs of St Ives socks (Lozenges and Golf Stockings), the hopelessly baggy Fluted Bannister Ribs (the first socks I ever knitted for him, in Lang Jawoll Cotton), and the recent Crosswalkers (Online Supersocke 100).

He has a definite preference for long socks. I bought two balls of Austermann Step to make him some knee-highs, but have been putting this project off for about two years – oops! So it was time to commit. I thought about adapting the Railway Pattern (Ravelry link) socks from "Knitting Vintage Socks" to make a slightly longer version, but I was unsure about this pairing of yarn and pattern. I wanted to make the Boyfriend socks… but couldn’t find instructions for the Turkish cast-on in any of my books, and our dodgy home Broadband link was on “flickering green” (i.e. “Forget it, Roo, your neighbours are playing online bingo”!)

So I found myself staring at the Highland Schottische Kilt Hose (Ravelry link) in “Folk Socks”. You have got to be kidding, Roobeedoo! Self-striping yarn and busy lace for a man’s knee-high?! But somehow it works. The criss-cross lace cuff sets off the stripes as if they were weaving a tartan together. And I can see that this effect will continue down the leg. And it’s a Nancy Bush pattern so full of design detail and precise shaping instructions to satisfy my perfectionist streak.

Having said that, I have had to do fewer decreases than written and have a bit of a "double lace" situation at the back of the leg. I will keep going for now...

So far, FL hasn’t noticed what I am knitting. I am hoping to present them as a Christmas surprise, so I might have to cast on for another decoy pair to take the attention away from the sheer length of this project. Definitely the Railway Stitch (Ravelry link) socks… probably in Fyberspates self-striping BFL from the sock club. Shorter, less hard-wearing, but definitely to sir’s taste.


RooKnits said...

They look great, they really do work with that yarn.... you are making me feel guilty about my one lonely Kilt Hose. I must cast on for number 2 - maybe in time for it to be a present for this year.

Penny said...

They do look very effective, and hopefully you can continue stealth knitting them.

motopacsman said...

FL has probably seen what you're knitting, but he's a wise man. He probably respects the standard 60 day rule, so 60 days before Christmas, he becomes both blind and mute.

Keep up the good work.