I haven't had the time to blog about anything for the past couple of weeks as I have a very poorly dog. Bella had no specific symptoms other than she was off her food a bit and seemed a bit unhappy and didn't want to go for walkies. Off to the vets for x-rays, scans and blood tests to discover she had 3 extremely large tumours on her spleen. She had a splenectomy the day after and has been recovering at home, she got her stitches taken out yesterday. Her diagnosis is large cell lymphoma, not good. Now we are just waiting for further tests to come back so we can decide on any further treatment or not.
On a lighter note, and as I've had plenty of knitting time while dog nursing, I got some beautiful sock yarn a few weeks ago. It's one of those self striping/patterning yarns and has a silver thread running through it. The yarn is Opal Happy Mit Silbereffekt, the colourway is called Surprise. I've used Opal yarn many times for socks, it's so hard wearing and is machine washable with no adverse effects. So plain and simple socks for this as I want to show off the yarn to it's best advantage.
There are ways of making a very plain sock a little bit fancy with tiny details that will finish it off.
For example when picking up the slip stitches along the sides of the heel flap I always knit into the back of those stitches because they are quite large ~ in doing this you twist the stitch and tighten it up, so no more holes. I also tend to pick up an extra stitch at the very end of this row, at the junction with the start of the top of foot stitches, this avoids a hole and it's no bother to work an extra decrease round while shaping the gusset to get rid of the extra stitch:
The last row of green stitches that you can see in the pic are the picked up and twisted stitches, see how it closes the gap nicely whilst forming neat little x's all along the row?
For the heel flap, a slip stitch heel is always my first choice.
Right side rows: Sl1, K1, repeat across the row
Wrong side rows: Sl1, purl to the end of the row
When grafting the toe, I make my kitchener stitches nice and loose ~ then go along the row to tighten them up carefully with a darning needle to match the tension of my knitting.
There you have it ~ a finished plain sock in fancy yarn. I'm hoping to motor through the second sock as there's something I'm really itching to knit:
The pattern is Grettir by Brooklyn Tweed.
This is what happens when I visit the wool shop when there's a sale on:
I'm going to use the Naturally Naturelle Aran weight in Bark for the body and Charcoal and cream for the yoke. I think I will have to dye one of the cream balls a light silver grey as a 3rd contrast colour. I fell in love with this yarn after knitting the bed socks with the DK version of it. It's very sheepy stuff, smells of lanolin and I love these natural colours.
I also bought more Earthwear possum sock yarn and some orange and grey 4 ply pure wool for a colour work hat and mitts set. Along with some Naturally Naturelle 4 ply in grey for a cardigan for myself.