Speaking of on and on, here's my slow progress on the first of a pair of lovely Gentleman's Shooting Stockings. These socks are fun and I like the repeating pattern very much - it's easy to knit and keeps me motivated to keep slogging away at the boring long tubey foot part (5 more rows!). But sadly the socks have lost a little of their glimmer since the Brushed Suri showed up at my house...
pictured here with the beads i'm thinking of knitting into it
I have been trying so hard to focus on the socks and not keep pulling the suri out of the box to stroke it... today I caved and put it on the swift to wind into balls. Just to wind! I haven't started knitting with it... yet. But I can hardly keep my hands off it... Gorgeous and floaty like mohair, soft and silky and non-itchy like alpaca, and it doesn't shed! Drool! Swoon! Ahem, so back to the whole sock thing...
Lolly is asking Socktoberfest participants to share their sock-making history (or her-story), so here you go (just let me get settled on the couch). I can't begin to imagine how excited you must be at the prospect of reading the history of my sock-making, so I won't prolong the anticipation another moment:
When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I started making socks about a year after I started knitting, and I learned from Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. Now I mostly just knit socks out of my head, unless there is a really great pattern I want to try. But since I often knit socks places like conference calls or in the car, I prefer to keep it pretty basic (so no Jaywalkers yet for me).
What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
You know, for durability, price and variety I really tend to favor the Knit Picks sock yarns. Their merino wool sock yarns in particular are soft and bouncy, with great colors. I think the one below is knit with Landscapes. I also like their Simple Stripes, though the wool is not as nice and soft as the merinos are. I'm also a big fan of any self-striping or self-fair-isling yarns that come from Germany or Switzerland and that have a whole pair of socks in just one skein - like Opal! But I just bought some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock that I can't wait to start knitting... the colors are divine.
Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
Magic Loop! Magic Loop!
Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
Hm... I don't even know what this short-row thing is, so I guess I'll say flap.
How many pairs have you made?
A lot. I have made a lot of socks. I think every member of my family has a pair of socks I've knitted for them - I am moving on from immediate family now to cousins and from close friends to passing acquaintances. I have pairs in the cupboard (including the one pictured below) that are waiting for me to think of someone to give them to - I was knitting them at a conference and actually thought about giving them to a presenter I really enjoyed (I wonder how she would have reacted to that?). I love to have a pair of socks on the needles to take with me to meetings, on airplanes and car trips, etc.
So was that little sock-history exciting? Did it make you want to run out and buy some Opal Rainforest? You're thinking about the Suri, aren't you? Well, I can't blame you.
BTW: For all you first-time sock knitters who are looking for a little support, don't miss the First-Timers Knitalong.
And finally, a recipe. Last night I wanted to use up all the veggies from our farm share since today is pick-up day, and I wound up with a great sauté that really highlights the transitional season we're in right now - lots of ripe tomatoes left to pick, but fall greens and root veggies coming in, too. You can mix this up with whatever fall veggies you like - nothing here is mandatory.
Indian Summer Sauté
- 2 large (or 3-4 small) sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 bunch kohlrabi (or turnips or parsnips), sliced into thin rounds
- 1/2 small onion, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 bunch pac choi (or kale, or chard, or spinach), chopped
- 1 big handful of whole cherry tomatoes
- 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- plenty olive oil
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp oregano
- lots of salt & ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan, romano, provolone or other hard cheese
- 1/2 lb farfalle (bow-tie) pasta, or grain of your choice
Get out a big wok and put in a goodly amount of olive oil (maybe 2-3 Tbsp). Heat it up to med-hi and throw in those sweet potatoes. Stir-fry them until they are beginning to get tender, about 10 minutes. Toss in the kohlrabi and stir-fry a few more minutes. Now add the onions and bell peppers. Continue to sauté about 5 minutes, til onions start to get tender.
Add the red wine vinegar, honey, oregano, salt and pepper and stir well. Turn the heat down to medium and cover the wok for a few minutes to let everything kind of steam in the liquids. Test your potatoes to see if they are tender. Once they are done to your liking, throw in the chopped greens and cook until they are wilted, tender, or soggy - however you like them, though I prefer them just tender.
Now toss in those cherry tomatoes, squeeze in the lemon juice, stir once to mix everything, and then pour the whole mess over your pasta or grain in a big serving bowl. Grate the cheese onto the whole thing or let your eaters put it on their bowls themselves. This works great as cold pasta salad leftovers for lunch the next day.