Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sneaky Santa knitting

I've decided to make some socks for Helen and Sophie for Christmas. It's hard to sneak in the knitting, though, since they are pretty much always around me. Sure, I can knit when they're in bed, but I take advantage of every spare moment to knit just a few stitches. If we're going anywhere in the car as a family, Marc drives, and I knit - so they see what I'm doing. If I finish eating my dinner before they do I will pull out my knitting and knit a row or two while they finish.

Because THEY knit, they are always taking note of what I'm making. Marc could care less. I could knit him an entire sweater in front of him, wrap it up, give it to him as a gift and he would be completely surprised, because he never really takes note of it. Not so with Helen and Sophie.

So I decided to make the girls some socks out of the Regia Softy sock yarn. One night after they had been in bed awhile, I pulled out the new Figheadh Yarnworks Fundamentals Top-Down Socks pattern, and cast on. I worked about 3 inches of the cuff, and before I went to bed I pulled one of their socks out of the clean laundry basket and compared it. The cuff of my sock seemed a bit snug. I had followed the directions for a fine yarn (6-7 sts to the inch) and I am using Regia Softy on a size 3 US needle. When checking my gauge, I realized that I should be following the directions for the super fine yarn (7-8 sts to the inch.) Drat!

The next day, before I ripped it out, Helen walked into the room just as I was about to start knitting. She saw my project before I could hide it, and she said, "OH MOM! What IS that? Is it a mitten or a sock! Oh it's SO soft, I just LOVE it. Could you make one for me!?!?!" So I said, "Oh honey, I'm SO sorry, but this is a sample for the shop. It's a child's sock and it's REALLY hard to make. I am SO busy between now and Christmas that there's no way I'll have time to make you a pair. Maybe after the holidays?" She frowned and said "Okay" in this poor little dissapointed voice. So then I said, "Can you help me out by trying this on? I think it's smaller than what I am trying to make." She was thrilled to help, and stuck her foot in the cuff of the sock. I was right. It was too small.

So I ripped it out, and added stitches and now it's on track. I succeeded in tricking her... for now anyway. What's going to happen when she sees me knitting the same thing, in a different color? Hopefully she doesn't put it together.
Anyway, I love the new Figheadh sock pattern. It is so versatile - it gives you 4 weights of yarn (superfine/7-8sts; fine/6-7; dk/5-6; worsted/4-5) and TEN foot sizes (baby; child 1-2; child 3-4; child 6-8; child 10-12; adult xs; adult sm; adult md; adult lg; adult xl). Because the Regia Softy is fuzzy, I am not working the stitch pattern that they call for. Instead, I am using the stitch counts and measurements, but am working a 1x1 rib on the cuff and on the top of the foot. Remember folks, a pattern is just a guideline. Feel free to add a little bit of your own know-how to it.

Check out all the other great new Figheadh Fundamentals patterns: the Baby Pullover; the Child's Pullover; the Men's Pullover; the Women's Pullover; and the Toe-Up Socks.

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