Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year, New Leaf

The holidays are over and that, my friends, is a very good thing.  I knit 7 1/2 pairs of socks as Christmas gifts this year.  Seven and a half, you ask?  Yes, it's only half a pair when your husband only gets one sock on his birthday, which was the 3rd of this month.  Here's my 2011 holiday sock gallery:


My lovely goddaughter opened her socks on Christmas Eve and immediately put them on.  Her mother later told me that she had to bribe E on December 26 to take the socks off to be washed before they walked away on their own.  I will be making her another pair for her birthday, in March, just so her mother can rotate them!

Cousin A (age 6):

Cousin W (age 4):

Cousin M (11 months):

A, W & M are all siblings.  One cannot knit socks for one child and not the other two.  Well, I could probably have skipped M, since he's not part of his siblings' sock craze and does not talk, but the goal is to be fair and equitable, unlike many things in life.

I spent the week between Christmas and New Year's pretending that mom would not be getting socks.  On Christmas, when she first asked about the socks, I made the excuse of having to knit for so many people this year.  Then the next day, when we were headed out on a shopping expedition, I brought over a bag of sock yarns I have stashed in my knitting bin for her to, "....chose a yarn for her next pair of socks."  She did, and it was similar to the yarn I had already knit her socks with.  Finally, on her birthday I showed up with those air-activated toe and foot warmers and a pair of SmartWool socks, layered on top of the hand-knit socks to leave them for last.  Of course, I don't have a photo of them, as I was too busy being devious about their actual appearance.  Someday a birthday or Mother's Day will arrive where she will not get socks, and that will be a dark, dark day indeed.  Probably for both of us.

I also lack photos of the matching pair I made for Stella Caroline and her lovely daughter, SuperG, but they are a spectacular set with a red base color and lots of striping, and they did me the honor of wearing the socks when they came to visit me last week.  They have discovered the secret to staying on the hand-knit gift list - wear what I gave you when I can see you wearing it.  Mom also adheres to this principal, but she's getting close to having enough pairs of socks to wear hand-knit ones every day.

Currently, I'm finishing the last pair, those of the man who is eternally shafted when it comes to hand-knit gifts, my husband.  While he chose the yarn for the socks, I was attempting to give him his pair as a surprise and thus could not knit in front of him.  So I struggled desperately to finish the socks before his birthday, knitting furiously on the train in and out of Boston, and getting up early on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to work on them before rushing to hide them when I heard him get up.  He was genuinely surprised by the sock when he opened the package: 

I photographed this going in a different direction, just for some variety.
It's a nice German sock yarn (Schoeller Stahl) 75% virgin wool, 25% polyester and I'm knitting it on size 1 1/2 double-pointed needles.  It's a very manly-looking sock - very sedate, good for wearing out in public.  I am so bored knitting it, because it doesn't make patterns.  I've fallen asleep at least a half dozen times on the train while working on it.  I have the same problem with "Pulp Fiction" - I've tried to watch that movie five times and I've fallen asleep every.single.time. 

I should point out that he did get a homemade gift for Christmas - new sleep pants:

For some reason, Cinco de Mayo has become this HUGE holiday in our Western European-ancestry household, and when I saw this ridiculous flannel on sale, I could not leave it behind.  For what it cost me to make them, they almost qualify as a stocking stuffer.

After I finish his socks, I'll return to the pair that I was knitting in front of him over the holidays, the ones I refer to as my Cinco de Mayo socks.  The yarn is red, orange, yellow and magenta and I just love it.  Particularly after weeks of this Schoeller yarn!