6 February 2013
100% Pure NZ
I've had my eye on Sezza's new (free) sock pattern since she released it at the beginning of this year. Her yellow socks are pretty fabulous, but I really fell in love with the classic rib pattern. It reminded me of old-fashioned business socks (in the best possible way!). Anyhow, I resolved to knit some for Mr Myrtle and since I don't have anything particularly portable on my needles right now, I wanted to cast them on quickly.
Choosing the right yarn was tricky. I have a fairly stuffed basket of sock yarn but not much in solid or semi-solid colours. Most of it is variegated. Mr Myrtle initially chose a mottled green colour but it was something I'd picked up at a charity shop and there was only enough for little people socks, not great big man socks. In the end, we settled on boring blue and I didn't cast them on. I had a niggle. I knew the blue would be fine, but I didn't want to start.
I've recently discovered Annette's video podcast Gentle Ribbing and have been enjoying listening to her talk about knitting, crocheting and yarn dyeing adventures. She is super organised, keeping notes about the results of various combinations of dyes and even arranging samples of her experiments in folders so she can go back and make the same beautiful colours again. As a sucker for stationery, I totally love stuff like that. Then, towards the end of last year Annette announced she was launching her hand-dyed yarn under the name Soft Like Kittens. She has a few different sock & DK weight yarn bases and sells her skeins in her Etsy shop.
As a Kiwi living in England, I get quite a thrill when I find lovely knitting patterns and hand-dyed yarn coming out of lil ol' New Zealand. I knew Sezza was a Kiwi, but guess what? So is Annette. I finally worked out that my niggle was telling me that Mr Myrtle's socks had to be 100% Pure New Zealand. NZ pattern, NZ yarn and of course, knitted by me. And, a couple of weeks ago, after hearing about a particularly lovely update in her shop, I ordered two skeins from Annette. The first was chocolate and black semi-solid DK merino which I just couldn't resist, and the second, the delicious browny-grey sock weight yarn; 80% Blue Faced Leicester and 20% Bamboo, that you can see in my photo above. The colourway is Button Mushroom and it's a perfect description.
A week later I had my pattern and my yarn (and a wee NZ chocolate treat) and I couldn't wait to cast on!
But, wait. I first had to figure something out. Mr Myrtle measures 10.5 - 11 inches around his foot. The largest size in the pattern is an inch or so smaller. I needed to make this pattern larger and thought about adding an extra repeat of the stitch pattern, but it's a ten stitch repeat and ten extra stitches might be a bit more than I need. So instead, I cast on with 2.5mm needles for the cuff and have gone up to 2.75mm for the sock itself. The size seems pretty good so far and the pattern is a breeze to knit, even while I'm chatting. That's important. The yarn? Delicious - sooooo soft.
One last word. Remember last year I told you about combination knitting? Well, I've been doing a bit of that on my sock. I didn't at first and my stitches were all wibbly wobbly. It may block out, but I thought I'd change the way I purled my stitches anyway to tighten up my tension slightly. It's definitely improved my wibbles.
My Ravelry project notes are here.