Sock Thursday: or “Why are you playing with sticks?”

Ah Sunny September. For most, summer happens between June and August but for us Oakland folks, summer really kicks off in September.

Don’t get me wrong, you absolutely still need a hoodie or a stylish scarf for when Karl (that’s right, our fog is so awesome he has a name) rolls in but it’s pretty much super bright 75ºF +(24ºC) weather from now until Halloween. If there’s ever a time to throw a house warming chill fest, it’s right now, and this is how I ended up making up a bit of lost time while amidst the chaos that is a pod of kids.

It all began out of the most unlikely of circumstances: I’d run out of socks.

Believe me, no one was more surprised than myself and as evening approached on Saturday, I sped through the Kitchener stitch on Sock1 and hurriedly cast on Sock2. How hurriedly? Well, I never bothered to check what method I used on the first and threw myself immediately into Long Tail Cast (LTC) on somewhere between pulling on Sock1 and burying my feet under fab granny square blanket.

It turns out, that if I don’t want to end up in horrible pain, come 8pm my feet need to be in socks. I’m told that it can take up to a year after surgery for my foot to stop being as sensitive to temperature change so while I’m required to go barefoot as often as possible, I need to add socks as soon as the sun starts to fade.

 

This is the first time I’ve been amped about a mistake made in haste. With the LTC, the top of the sock is so much neater and it’s a lot easier to establish single rib [k1, p1] this pattern calls for at the start. Right now, I’m thinking that unless the patterns says otherwise, LTC is now my default for starting a sock.

 

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On the left: Regular knit cast-on. I can’t LTC makes that big of a difference but there it is.

 

But I only noticed this the next day, as I was on a mission.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful for it being summer, and that I live in Northern California and that the Missus would be home with the laundry in a few short hours and that said laundry had a bunch of pairs of socks in it. It’s nice to know that though I ultimately want to replace my well-loved socks with ones I’ve knit myself, I have the luxury of mild weather and time. I have a feeling I’d be a much more prolific socks knitter were any of those factors not present – proof of that is that I did not put down my knitting until fresh-from-the-dryer socks got on my feet.

 

 

Sock crisis averted, we went about enjoying the weekend, part of which included going to one of the Missus’ co-worker’s house warming chill fest. The invitation described the event as a BBQ with a bunch of crazy kids running about. She was not kidding. A whole pod of kids 5 months to 10yrs swarmed through the house and the yard, while the adults chatted and enjoyed time debating what kind of citrus trees their spiffy new yard contained. It was a bit awkward at first, since it was all close kin and kith but they’re such amazing people that awkwardness mostly passed and we just got to enjoy the day with everyone. There was a moment when I felt a bit weird: half the people were talking PTA type things and the others were talking shop, so I pulled out my needles and got to work on my sock.

 

If you’ve never explained knitting to an almost three year old, well into their “Why?” phase, you have not lived. She wanted to know what I was doing with those sticks, and what knitting was, and what I was making, and why I would bother to make socks if I was already wearing some – and no really, why I was playing with sticks. All I could think of was: oh dear heavens, please never lose this fierce, determined curiosity.

So, I answered her questions until I got to: “Because playing with sticks is how you end up with a pair of socks” and it blew her mind.

 

Her older sister kept taking breaks from playing to check on my progress. I showed her how I was making stitches and a picture of my completed sock. She was fascinated by the color changes too and I wanted to knit a lot faster because her curiosity about how the sock would turn out was infectious. Unfortunately I didn’t get far at all – I blame all the interesting people and the seriously cute baby there. When it came time for us to leave, she rushed over to see if I’d finished. The adults around gave me a hard time “soooo disappointing” and I actually felt a little bit bad when I explained that it would probably take three days if I didn’t get distracted – and there was more good-natured heckling. She, being a rather fierce 7 yr older sister, checked everyone by loudly saying that she was not disappointed and that they needed to calm down with all that. What an awesome kid. I mean, I didn’t mind the teasing and I told her so, but it was still a nice thing to do for someone you’ve just met. I totally want to hang out with them again – if nothing else, they’d keep me honest about my progress 😉

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So now its Thursday once again, and once again I’ve been distracted. I blame my awesome friend and co-knitter Paula, but that’s a whole another post. This is where the socks are right this minute.

 

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I can’t believe I’m still on the first cake of this yarn!

 

It doesn’t help that I threw them in my messenger bag without putting the whole thing in a project bag fist. So many dropped stitches that Monday, but considering all that, I think I haven’t done too badly. Especially on the toe of Sock1. I’d forgotten about it until now, but as I was fiddling with the pattern to get a more comfortable fit, I decided to add two rows on the sole side, so that rather than have the seam right behind my toes, it ended up right at the top. The colors look pretty cool and it is oh so much more comfortable.

 

I think you should absolutely cast on a pair of socks and link up to our plucky Sock Thursday group. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first pair and you are a bit nervous, or if you knit socks using The Force – in fact, if you knit with The Force pleeeeeease show us! The us being the following folk who often play with sticks:

 

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3 thoughts on “Sock Thursday: or “Why are you playing with sticks?”

  1. What an awesome story! Kids are just the greatest, aren’t they? I think I cast on all of my socks using Long Tail Cast On, unless the pattern specifies differently. I don’t think I’ve even thought to do it differently. Congrats on one sock finished and one sock well on it’s way…they look gorgeous!

    One thing that I love about living in Northern California is the fact that no matter how hot it gets during the day; the evenings are always cool enough to open the windows and sleep with a blanket on 🙂 Even though I’m not recovering from a foot injury, I swear my feet are always the coldest part of me. I, too, keep a pair of socks near for the night times.

    I can’t wait to hear what else you’ve been up to and am eagerly awaiting your next blog post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is an awesome new adventure for me – I’m used to either wee babies and then middle school age(+) for some reason, but I am quickly becoming a fan of that in-between age when they’re figuring stuff out.

      How did I never see a pattern, hear a pod cast or read a blog post about long tail cast on for socks? I can’t believe how cool it feels and looks! It’s so my jam and if I can get away with always using it, I will! I have to admit the socks have totally grown on me. I wasn’t into the colors so much but they’re fun to work with and SO warm and cozy that I’ve completely come around.
      I’ve always loved the cool evenings of the bay but I had no idea things could get so real so fast! Well, that might be because as a seasoned Bay Area girl, I rarely run out of socks 😉 But as I get to move around more and start socializing a bit more at night, I think this is a magical place for knitters. There’s always a reason to have a nice fuzzy scarf, a classy wrap and all the sweaters!

      Liked by 1 person

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