You can’t fall off the wagon if you weren’t on it to start with

So, I haven’t knit anything since finishing the Baudelaires, apart frommy test swatch (which I’m still intending to write up, but haven’tquite got round to). The only thing I have properly OTN is the randomlace jumper, which I got bored of just before I started the Baudelaires(these facts are linked). Technically, there’s clapotis mark 1, but Ithink I might rip it and go back to the drawing board with the cotton.

I’ve been mulling over what to knit next, and I’ve gone through severalattempts at adding stuff to my basket on various online yarn stores,only to lose my nerve and not complete the purchase.

I’ve been thinking about the clapotis again (did you notice the “mark1″ above?), and even seriously considered knitting one in Lion andLamb, because I love some of the Lorna’s Laces colourways so much, andthere aren’t many things I like knitted up in variegated yarn, but itadds up to over that psychological £50 barrier, and I resisted.

But I have now made a purchase. I wasn’t on the stash-busting wagon inthe first place, my stash is actually quite small, and I’ve somehowgot some spare money kicking around this month for some reason, and Idon’t know why I feel the need to justify spending my own money on anactivity that will both give me pleasure in the process and leave mewith wearable garments at the end, so I’ll stop justifying now ;-)

Just the other side of the £50 barrier is a clapotis-worth of Fyberspates‘ Scrumptious DK (in “reds and plums” of course), and unlike many ofthe other yarn subs I considered, it’s still got a lot of silk, so itwill hopefully drape nicely. I’ve been lusting after this yarn since Ifirst saw it, it’s gorgeous colours, and I wear a lot of wraps like theclapotis in the summer. I can’t wait.

If I’m buying something anyway, I might as well justify the postage(or, umm, take the order over into the free postage band), so I’veindulged my Lorna’s Laces craving with two skeins of Shepherd SockinValentine (which is a fantastic name, mostly because the combination ofthe colour and the name makes me think not of cute and fluffycommercialised declarations of love, but of (literal) bleeding hearts,and of the St Valentine’s Day Massacre (the card in Family Business,that is, not the actual event, about which I know nothing)). So that’ssome more socks for me, although I haven’t decided which pattern yet.

And finally, some Cascade sassy stripes sock yarn which will be Jaywalkers for someone else.

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Finished Baudelaire!

I think there must be a trick to takingphotographs of your own feet. A trick I have not yet mastered. Butanyway! I have finished both of my Baudelaires, and am very pleasedwith myself :-) I did intend to finish the second sometime over theEaster weekend, but ending up having the kind of fun that is notconducive to knitting. I tried knitting in the garden on Sundayafternoon, but the Pimms and lemonade, and then the gin and tonic whenwe ran out of Pimms, meant that was probably a bad idea – I did managea couple of rows, but they were very slow, and I kept having to countall the time and look at my knitting in puzzlement to try and work outwhether the number I was counting was the right one ;-)

I finished the body of the second sock yesterday, and have just nowfinished the ribbing on both, and am wearing them as I type. This isthe second pair of socks I’ve knitted for myself, but I don’t wear theothers often for various reasons, and I’d forgotten what hand-knittedsocks feel like. I remember reading on some blog or other that feelingthe texture of the knitting on your feet is supposed to be one of thejoys of socks – every step reminds you that your feet are covered withsomething as extravagantly luxurious as hand-knitted socks. With theseit works even when I’m just sitting here typing, feet propped up on thetable in front of me. The incredible luxury is part of why I like theidea of handmade socks. The yarn alone costs several times more than apair of machine-made socks, and that’s even before figuring in the costof the time (at a very rough estimate, these took eight hours ofknitting per sock). And the intricate lace on a garment that willhardly be seen! (Especially true in my case – I don’t really likewearing socks on their own. My ideal state is barefoot, so if I don’thave to wear shoes I’m very unlikely to be wearing socks. Except ifI’ve just finished knitting a pair, apparently ;-)

There are some problems with these. The toes aretoo pointed, I think, and the ankle isn’t quite wide enough tocomfortably go over my heel (these are the medium size, with largerinstep adjustment, but my gauge was slightly off, so mine are probablya little larger than the medium are supposed to be). It fits, butthere’s a certain amount of tugging.

With the first sock, I was lucky in the way the rows worked out, and Iended up (by chance) with the ankle cables happening on row 8 of the8-row lace pattern. With the second sock I made a point of countingrows to make sure the same thing happened again, but I miscounted. Iwas only one row out, and it’s barely visible, but I can see it and itannoys me.

But still, I love them. They’re my first serious pair of socks, and I don’t think they will be the last.

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One and a half socks

That’s my finished-except-ribbing Baudelaire mark one, and my just-about-to-start-gusset-increases Baudelaire mark two.

The photo of the side and the cables isn’t a very good one; I’ll try totake better ones when they’re both finished. (Edited to add: I shouldnote that there’s some weird foreshortening going on in the picture onthe right – my foot and ankle are not actually that shape!)

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Baudelaire number one (nearly) finished!

I’ve just completed the seventh pattern repeat on the leg, which meanseverything apart from the ribbing is done on my first Baudelaire. I’mdeliberately leaving the ribbing until I’ve done the other one, so ifthere’s loads of yarn left I can throw in another repeat or two. It’slovely, and even R says it’s pretty (although he’s quite well trainedto humour me on such matters). I’ll take pictures tomorrow; now I’mgoing to bed. And not casting on for the second quite yet… Probably tomorrow, though, unless I decide on something else to do in the meantime.

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