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The last homely house west of the mountains


On Tuesday night some very good friends asked me whether I was knitting anything big at the moment. I contemplated the question, and the half-knit Phyllo yoke sweater that has sat in the knitting bag since about February, and answered: “not really, just socks”. Socks are my default knitting, my comfort knitting. I always have at least one pair of socks on the go and I’m starting to think that it is very possible that I am creating a sleeping volcano of socks in my sock drawer.

It should be noted that when we bought our chests of drawers all of my socks fitted in the top drawer but each time I try to squeeze another pair in I may be getting closer to that day (or night) when the pressure of the roaming socks forces the drawer open and expels them in a colourful rainbow all over the room. I doubt even that could pry the sock needles from my hands – I just hope I’m there to see it, that’s all.

The latest finished pair were to a pattern that had been sitting in the computer for a while, waiting for time and the serendipitous alliance of the perfect yarn.

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The yarn is Dream in Colour Smooshy in Pansy Golightly (I love the names!), and the pattern is Imladris, Karningul, the last homely house East of the Sea…

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Or Rivendell if you prefer.

The pattern as written seemed like it might be a tight fit for me, and various other people had reported issues with fit so I did a little unscientific re-sizing and took the needle size up to 2.75. With the Smooshy yarn, which is on the thicker side of sock yarn, it worked perfectly but it is an inexact adjustment and in a thinner yarn that would just look odd.
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My other tip would be to wrap quite loosely at the top of the sock – it may look odd in the knitting but it feels much better in the wearing than having your circulation cut off!

To preserve Newton’s Third Law of knitting (to each casting off must be an equal casting on), I pulled another favourite out of the stash.

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This is Misti Alpaca sock yarn in colour Taos, also known as, ‘a lot of Carie’s favourite colours whirled together’. It is soft and fluffy and fuzzy yarn and a pleasure to knit with.

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It also matches the colours in my tablecloth.

The pattern is Nancy Bush’s Spey Valley, so these are Spey Valley in Autumn.

But before anyone becomes seriously worried about the sock overload and my family starts researching the appropriateness of a St Bernard as a family pet to rescue me from the yarn avalanche when the time comes (oh, if you do that, seriously, yarn and sock needles, not brandy in the little bag around his neck), I have started a seriously long scale, non sock project.

This is the start of a Barn Raising Square from the book Knitalong.

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The yarn is the leftovers of my handspun Polworth, and after that is finished, I’ve got the leftovers of my Peacock sock yarn. The plan is to knit a Barn Raising square out of the leftovers of my handspun whenever possible. The full blanket takes 42 squares and as I don’t spin that fast don’t expect to see a blanket any time soon!

I am however, eyeing up the rest of the sock yarn leftovers!