What I haven't mentioned is that at the beginning of November I went on a business trip to Denver. Which is why I didn't post for a week.
I did not take Hubby's Striped Sweater with me. I hated losing the three days of knitting time, but it isn't exactly what you would call a "portable project." Heck, even the non-knitters in my office were able to recognize that a man-sized sweater requiring eight balls of yarn is not a portable project.
So I seized the opportunity to cast on for the angora bed socks I was planning to make with the yarn I bought at Rhinebeck.
I was just going to do plain stockinette stitch socks. However, we had a cold snap, which caused me to start wearing my Alchemy Girlfriend Cable Socks as bed socks. I thought, "These are bed socks and they have cables. Why should the angora ones be plain just because they won't leave the house?"
I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm mildly obsessed with the book Viking Patterns for Knitting by Elsebeth Lavold. I flipped through it and settled on the Intertwined Linked Rings Cable. At least, I think that's what it's called, I don't have the pattern with me.
Since I only have the two balls of yarn clocking in at 85 yards each, I want to make sure I use it all up, but I didn't want to work them toe-up. Technically, the socks only have to cover my feet and have a long enough leg that they don't fall off easily.
Therefore, I'm employing a funky construction I read about in a2004 issue of INKnitters Magazine (I'm pretty sure). In a nut shell, you use a provisional cast on to start at the ankle, work the foot down, then work the leg up. You should track down the article, if you can, because the author went into details about working the technique and making the pattern in self-patterning yarn match up.
My cable will work because it's reversible and there are two rest rows between the links (and of course I could add more if I wanted).
I was also going to do a plain heel, but it looked weird in the white, white yarn, so I threw a little infinity cable onto it. I wanted to do the St. John's Cross from the book, but I didn't have it with me, couldn't remember all the steps, and don't think it would have fit anyway.
Starting the socks was exciting because I had an excuse to use the cute little sheep markers I got in my ChooChooKnits goody bag that I won at Rhinebeck.
You might remember that goody bag included a gift certificate to Kaleidoscope Yarn. Well, obviously I wasn't going to use it on something I could get at my beloved Knitting Central, so no yarn.
I found they carry the 9" HiyaHiya circular needles. As expected, I had to pitch in some of my own funds, but I had some Rhinebeck spending money left over.
It is a set of three in US1, 2, and 3 and it came with the cute kitty bag. Two of the needles had a locking stitch marker and the other had a pattern for a 12" doll dress. There was also a bag of cinnamon spice tea in the box and a sock pattern from HiyaHiya. It arrived very quickly from the time I placed my order.
(The kitty bag is very cute, but it had a strong smell of plastic or latex or something, I assume because it's hand-painted. I had to leave it on the dining room credenza for a few days to air it out. It seems ok now.)
Anyway. I'm using the US3 needles. They do take a little getting used to. I discovered that I leverage my left hand needle against the far side of my palm, which you can't do with these circs. I did get accustomed to them fairly quickly during my trip, but I had to reacclimate to them the other day when I took that break from Hubby's Sweater. Also, I brought along a set of US3 dpns, which I had to use when knitting the heel flap (and as my cable needle). I hear tell I'll have to switch to DPNs again when I'm doing the toe decreases.
Still, all in all, I'm glad I got them. They are interesting. I'm sure they'll prove useful when I get to do some more heavy sock knitting.