While I'm working up the courage to darn those socks, I thought I'd share a secret project I've been working on the past couple of months, which has now been gifted and so can be shared.
Earlier this year I signed up for the Knitting Inspirations sock club - 4 packages of lovely Handmaiden/Fleece Artist sock yarn, with an original pattern and other goodies, spread over 12 months.
When the first package arrived in June, I was so glad I'd signed up - omg the yarn was just so gorgeous, both in colour and composition (the much lauded MCN! Merino Cashmere Nylon...mmmm delicious!) (and not black, this is just a dark photo - a lovely burgundy wine colour). Since Someone Special had a birthday coming up, I knew what I had to do!
Yarn: Handmaiden Casbah in wine, 1x115g skein. OMG this is gorgeous gorgeous yarn. So soft and lovely to knit with (and I hear, lovely to wear!). And I can tell you, it survives being unknotted in an epic four hour straight detangling session after a disastrous attempt at winding it (the less said about that whole affair the better!)
Pattern: The pattern was designed by Ann Lim, one half of Knitting Inspirations - a lovely easy toe up pattern with an eye of partridge heel flap/gusset. You can continue the rosebud pattern on both sides of the leg once the heel flap is done, but I chose to do the back of the leg in stocking stitch - a bit like a reverse mullet - party in the front, business in the back! Ann has now released the pattern for sale on Ravelry if you'd like to make your very own!
Sticks: 2.5mm KP Options fixed circulars, for magic loop technique - this pattern is perfect for magic looping, as the pattern is symmetrical and easy to divide over two needles.
Time: For various reasons, these were not finished in time for the birthday girl (lucky it was only half the gift!) - started 21 June 2009, finished 21 August 2009.
What I learnt: Be careful when winding - make sure you have separated the strands of the skein correctly before putting it on the swift. And don't get impatient when you have to wind by hand. And if you do have to detangle, be very patient and have lots of soothing cups of tea and chocolate on hand. Oh, and don't knit the foot too long or you'll have to rip it back after you finish the WHOLE heel section and redo it. Le sigh.
But despite these issues (all of my own making!) I think these are a lovely pair of socks.
Happy belated birthday Bells!