Socks and Sunshine

After last weekend’s torrential rain which ended the stretch of below normal temperatures, we’re back to standard August weather in Baltimore. You look out the window and the sun is shining, the sky is blue, everything looks pleasant. And then you go outside. And the humidity slaps you in the face.

It gets hard to knit in the heat and humidity of summer. Not that I’ve ever let that stop me, I’ve just become more discriminating. I knit bus socks all year round – as opposed to other wool projects that don’t have that nice superwash characteristic and only get knit between September and May. I was sitting out on the porch one afternoon last August working on the beginnings of a wool scarf when I noticed the scarf was literally felting as I knit. That’s the Baltimore I know and love.

Molly invites you to sit on the porch and enjoy summer.

Since the Thalweg Socks were finished last week, it’s time for something new. I have two pairs of size US2/ 2.75 mm double-pointed needles that I use for sock knitting; one is HiyaHiya and the other is ChiaoGoo. After trying out many different needles over the past 7 odd years, I’ve decided metal needles, particularly these two sets which are both steel, are my first choice for knitting socks. When knitting on larger sized double-pointed needles, I’ll use bamboo, metal, or the occasional plastic set but knitting tiny stitches is easiest for me with metal. I think it helps the stitches move smoothly. Also ( and I may be alone here) the  smaller sized bamboo needles rub raw spots on my pointer fingers. Currently on the ChiaGoo’s are a pair of gorgeous malabrigo socks in the stonechat colorway. I’m using the Stepping Stone pattern by Clara Parkes for this yarn and it coming out beautifully (pattern available free through Ravelry – log-in required – or on Clara Parke’s website Knitters Review). This is my third project with Malabrigo and the first where the colors have actually pooled into a striping pattern.

The Malabrigo Socks

With the HiyaHiya needles freed up, I’m turning to a ball of sock yarn my neighbor selected so I could knit her socks.  She had the fabulous good taste to pick out a blue-purple crazy zauberball (colorway 1699). Zauberball is a great yarn that knits beautifully and you can really beat the crap out of it (ever throw a pair of gorgeous hand-knit socks in with a load of warm wash and have them come out sized for puppy legs? Apparently superwash is a sliding scale).

I have a bunch of stitch patterns from Vogue Stitchionary Volumes 1 and 2 marked for future projects, including incorporation in socks. The Crazy Zauberball creates nice wide stripes so I need a pattern that is interesting and will show off the yarn. I’ve decided to try no. 59 Slip Stitch Waffle Rib from Volume I. Last night, I cast on 64 stitches, knit a k1,p1 ribbed cuff, and started the pattern. With two repeats of the pattern completed, the pattern is doing a good job of showing off the yarn’s colors.

The new zauberball socks

One pair of socks off the needles and another on. I have three other balls of sock yarn stashed that I’m trying to decide what to do with but as I’m at least two weeks from completion of these two pairs, I have time to decide.

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