Thursday, January 07, 2010

New Year, New Socks

My kids don't wear socks unless they have to. We live in Minnesota, and when the temperature the past few weeks has been above zero, it hasn't been by much. This weather situation does not, for my kids, constitute a "have to" condition for wearing socks. (There was an argument the other morning about whether or not a coat was necessary. It was -9 F.)

So you can imagine my surprise when Sophia's knitting request this fall was a pair of socks. Not just any socks, mind you. Knee socks. Nothing fancy, just something she could wear around the house, but with the possibility of going out in public while wearing her UGGS so that only the top of the cuff was visible. I was game, because she asked for socks, and I love knitting socks, and she asked for them. She was not interested in self-striping stockinette socks, so I was bracing myself for the idea that I might have to knit plain socks with plain yarn.

Then she picked out the pattern. Lissajous, by Cookie A.

Not so simple, after all, and she insisted on the heel flap detail, even though she never planned to wear them in public except when they were stuffed inside a tall boot. The heel flap, is, you know, a flap, which means it's knit flat, back and forth. This is a twisted stitch pattern, with stitch crossings on every row: twisted knit crossing to the right over a purl, twisted knit crossing to the left over a purl, twisted knit crossing a twisted knit, twisted knit crossing a plain knit. All that variation keeps you on your toes when you can see the right side of the fabric. It's a completely different matter to work a row of that from the wrong side.

I measured her feet, her calves, her ankles. Interesting, I thought. She has the same foot and leg measurements as her mother, who it turned out was the person knitting the socks. Which meant that reassignment of sock ownership in the future could be possible if the socks were abandoned at some point.

After I finished the first sock, she said something I never expected: "This is really cool." And she went off to look for her Birkenstocks so that she could wear the socks to school as soon as I finished knitting the second one. Which took a while, as Lissajous is not for the faint of heart.

As soon as I finished weaving in the ends, I held up the socks to admire them, and what should I see, but this:

Sophia didn't want to hear about my mistakes, nor did she want me to point them out. "I can't see them," she said. "Don't show them to me. They don't matter."

In other news, we were in Sedona between Christmas and New Year's. Michael and I took a hike late one afternoon as the snow was falling. He had his fancy camera with him and I was wearing my reverse engineered bulky sweater that I didn't have a photo of yet. I whipped off my coat and insisted he take pictures of me.

I'm thinking I should have whipped off the snow pants, too. Not a great look. But the scenery -- wow.


Anonymous said...

Fabulous socks - isn't it wonderful when knitting is appreciated. I do feel for you about that heel flap - good thing it's a small part of the sock.

And that sweater - is there a pattern? I'd love a cardigan in that style!

Rox said...

There is a pattern for the sweater, but I don't have it. It's from a September 2004 issue of a German knitting magazine called Rebecca. (That happens to be the first issue they started printing in English, too). It's still available, because I did look online for it, but it costs anywhere from $20-25, which seemed like a bit much to me for the one pattern, so I reverse engineered it based on some project photos I saw on Ravelry. Here's a link to the pattern information on Ravelry

Anonymous said...

Fabulous socks! Yes, daughters will get you. I offered to knit my daughter a pair and she also chose a twisted stitch cable pattern with heel flaps (I DO feel your pain) and then also loved an underspun yarn. I just love (sarcasm here) to knit twisted cables on the private side with splitty yarn :-) But your daughter's (and maybe yours one day?) socks look wonderful. Stay warm :-)

Julie said...

The socks are gorgeous, and so is the sweater -- it looks great on you!

Nancy said...

Your last Sedona pic is a Winner! And those socks....DD really is proud of Mom's knitting when wanting to show sox off in Birks!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm spewing gin out my noise reading about taking off your pants. Hee hee...

Rox said...

I was wearing OTHER pants underneath the snow pants, just so you know.

Anonymous said...

Those socks are absolutely amazing. I think I may actually be salivating over them! I think I'll put them on my list of amazing things to possibly make some day. Really beautiful!
Plus, I completely understand obsessing over mistakes that no one even notices but me. It's a knitter's curse I think!