Monday, February 23, 2015

more of a good thing

My latest knitting project is coming along about as quickly as one might expect when knitting with sock needles. Fortunately, I enjoy the process and am in no rush to finish. It's very pleasant to have a little indoor project to turn to when outdoor projects have left me chilled to the core and feeling not at all productive or energetic. Every row of knitting - each stitch, even - has the effect of making a knitter feel one step further along a little journey.

 Sometimes the journey is so enjoyable, and/or the destination so satisfying, that one decides to take that same trail again. That's why I am revisiting the Waving Lace sock pattern by Evelyn A. Clark.

Waving Walnut, June 2011

In 2011, when Violet and Lily of the Valley were just 10 days old, they helped document some handknit socks for my ravelry project page, linked above.


I was pleased with everything about these socks, not just the fit. The "lace" stitch pattern (which, in knitting, means there are holes in it on purpose) struck a nice balance between simple and interesting. I had made a successful modification, which felt quite bold at that point in my knitting "career." And the yarn was the result of one of my first experiments in botanical dyeing.

Black Walnut - still my favorite.

On the topic of patterns...

There are many wonderful knit designers out there,
and I admire and follow many of them.
But to be honest, I rarely buy a pattern.
I hasten to add: I never steal one.

It's simply an economic decision at this time, and if I knew the meaning of the phrase "disposable income," I would gladly support more designers. I'd like to.
 As it is, for every pattern I buy, I probably download thirty that are offered for free. Available and easy to locate, thanks to ravelry.

But sometimes I just feel such an urge to make a particular pattern...
which was the case with Waving Lace and with the Embossed Leaves sock pattern by Mona Schmidt. So I bought the book that includes both these patterns and several others.

It's a very nice book, and I don't know why I later gave it away.
What was I thinking?

Possibly it was February.

Good news!

I recently discovered the digital version of this pattern book is available through interlibrary loan! Huzzah! And bonus: the new socks are being knit with a skein from "deep stash" - which I recently decided qualifies as "housecleaning."

Because I'm "decluttering" one skein of yarn, you see.

Also because: February.
I am now cutting myself a break at every opportunity.

The original socks and the new WIP:

The yarns are very similar - no really, they are - 
but you can certainly see the difference in a "lace" sock that was been washed and blocked, and one still on the needles. I think the Waving Lavender socks will also open up and soften.
But we'll see!
Knitting is full of surprises.

How about you, fellow makers of things?
Do you often make the same thing slightly differently?
Do you ever revisit a trail?

Right now, I'm dreaming of revisiting this one:

Probably wearing handknit socks.


  1. Oh yes, February - how I hate thee. Did you know that today the temperature was exactly the same in Myrtle Beach as it was in Whitehorse? Or so the weatherman just said.

    1. Is there another White Horse? Because gosh, that seems unlikely, doesn't it? Still, just never know.

  2. February is the toughest month... but I'm glad you're using it to make amazing socks! I am awed by your talents. You see - I cannot knit, or sew, or even really cook. I do "make" photographs but that's about it!

    I love your socks, and I'm glad that you do too!

    1. Sock knitting is like therapy you can wear ;)
      With February on its way out I *know* the snow will stop falling at some point, but we got another 8 inches on Saturday, and it's -15F right now. Last night I dreamt I was looking at crocus flowers which had make a home on a rugged old pine root poking out from a bank. The flowers weren't the usual bold yellow and purple, they were pale cream-colored with brown veins, and so beautiful. It was a genuinely heartening dream-sight!

  3. I'm liking the new socks and the old. And it's nice to see a bit of the yarn you've dyed :o)

  4. wow! my hat is off to you...intricate patterns of your own design/development. my knitting is simple...about what I can manage this time of year. actually, haven't managed that much due to having my nose stuck in Martha Grimes' Richard Jury novels. have reached that point where I can manage not much of anything other than tending to animals and wood stove. were it not for Stouffers and packaged salads, I would starve.

    1. By an amazing coincidence, I am now listening to Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Alleyn series on audiobooks downloaded from the library, while I knit. :)

  5. Well first off I have to say I am in love with your used-to-be little Violet :) (my mother's & grandmother's name). I really like knitting lace, but don't do it very often. I knitted a scarf for my daughter in "sea scroll" stitch, and it looks very similar to your pattern. Your socks are gorgeous, and I just love the black walnut yarn, and the lavender shade (my parents used to pickle black walnuts). I have never made socks, and every year I say I will do it this year. I said it this year already, but still nothing. I'm making a cushion cover now, and it's driving me crazy because I'm not following a pattern, and the end is near and I'm not sure it's going to fit around the cushion, and where will I put the buttonholes, and on and on it goes. I've ripped out and knit for the last three or four days. I think it was that February thing for me too! And then it snowed today which may have made me a little testy. I always think I'll revisit a pattern, but then there are so many things to try that I don't go back. Although I've knit a lot of doily type dishcloths, which I love :) Well, enjoy your evening Quinn, I'm sure we'll both be hiking some wooded trails before long ... end of March at the latest!!

    1. I'll look for the sea scroll stitch pattern. And if you need any encouragement to try sock knitting, just sing out...I am happy to enable. There's plenty of sock yarn for all of us! :)
      Sounds like we live in the same weather pattern - and "pattern" is the word, isn't it? I did manage to take Piper into the woods today, on a path beaten down by x-c skis and a toboggan. But instead of taking the opportunity to careen madly through the woods, all Piper wanted to do was stop every few feet and sniff for five minutes - it was a reverse of when I stop to take pictures and Piper tries to get me back into motion. It was just too cold to be standing around for long, so the walk was pretty short. I got a lot more exercise sliding bales of hay to the barns today. And now, of course, it is snowing again. I'm going to read a seed catalog tonight ;)


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