Friday, September 24, 2010

Socks on the Rocks - and the Beach - Knitting to go

Here are some of my recent knitting projects - I already told you about the gloves I made during the summer, and the kick I got out of trying something totally new. Well that's probably what inspired me to try my hand at knitting socks. I had a bit of a hang-up about these as I had some residual PTSD (Post-Traumatic Sock Disorder) from school where I remember turning heels as a particularly cruel form of nun-administered torture where ripping and restarting resulted in a grubby straggly distinctly unwearable sort-of sock.

I never looked back until now - and boy am I glad I did! I have really enjoyed the challenge of making these two great pairs of socks, and they are quick for on-the-go knitting - on the bus, train, car (as a passenger, I hasten to add!) and during your lunch break on the beach, as I did yesterday.

The mint socks you see here are a lacy pattern from Cascade Yarns which is a free download from their site here and which are also on Ravelry which I recently joined - there are so many knitting sites and wonderful projects for sharing that you need never buy a pattern again. I just love the various books and have learnt a lot of tips from them on how to perfect different techniques I thought I knew - and did, just not quite as good as I do now.

The lavender socks are from my old reliable book How to Knit that my gloves came from. They are simply plain knitted socks which I embellished with a few daisy stitches embroidered on the side in hot pink - sadly not on these photos but they really look funky and a bit dippy-hippy. These were easy-peasy to knit, and once I mastered the heel flap turn I was delighted with myself. There are a variety of heel-turns and I've only done these two flaps so far, but there are a myriad out there for future socks - I could become a terminal bore about knitting and socks, so stop me in time - it could be catching!


There's a wonderful sandspit near my work area called the Cunnigar which is about two miles long - it stretches across most of Dungarvan Bay from Ring, where it's accessible by road, towards Abbeyside across the bay from Dungarvan, and there was talk of bridging it over a century ago as part of a relief scheme mooted by the board of Guardians of the local Workhouse, but that didn't happen. It would have destroyed what is now a virtual nature reserve, as it is a haven for birds and small wildlife, and the tides can still flow undisturbed in and out of the harbour at Dungarvan, while the shallows on the seaward side are home to numerous oyster beds of the local fishermen in Ring. At low tide there's a vast grid of oyster beds visible which vanish when the tide comes in.

Yesterday I walked about half way along the Cunnigar, and took some photos of the sea and sky, with the tractors on the sands away in the distance. I often wonder how much time they have before they have to return to safe ground and avoid being swamped. I had my lunch sitting on the wall overlooking the beach and thought how lovely to enjoy the outdoors in late September - the weather was warm and sunny and I knitted some more sock rounds.

The evening before I was at a Trade Union meeting in Waterford and as I arrived early I had something to eat in the Ramada Viking - they do lovely bar food there - and spent a quiet hour there knitting and reading after I'd enjoyed my cajun chicken wrap. So I can see myself as a latter-day Madame Defarge - albeit less ghoulish and knitting with a purpose I hope - and always have a little bag with some knitting to go with me.

My next project are legwarmers for my future D-i-L Jany - I've got this great cable pattern from Ravelry and will get started this weekend - watch this space for the end result whenever I get there.

The Photos show various stages of socks -
and the lovely views from my walk along the Cunnigar yesterday in Ring.

12 comments:

jeannette said...

You are on the move Catherine! Great looking socks:) Ravelry is a great site, isn't it? I love to browse there...have a great weekend!

T. Clear said...

Fantastic socks! You make them sound so easy....

FoodFunFarmLife said...

It's been such a long time since I caught up with you - I haven't been blogging much lately as I have been so busy in 'real' life - but have enjoyed catching up on your posts (and travel adventures - such lovely, scenic shots) today. The socks are great ! I also enjoyed the humorous teapot & Red Door is one of my favourite's, too ! Re. your question on my blog - the land we have bought is in the Ngurudoto area, which is just near the Arusha National Park and right at the foot of Mt Meru -a lot of expats are buying land up there now, and there is a nice community forming. Enjoy the rest of your weekend !

Stephanie V said...

You've been busy with your socks. Well done! I love the lace pattern and the lavender socks look very cozy and comfy. They'd be nice for a walk on that beach on a fall day. The hit of pink flowers would put a little spring in your step.

You can visit me on ravelry anytime. I'm 'rowanberrystudio'.

Marguerite said...

Lovely socks and scenery! Have a great weekend!

Rudee said...

Wow! I'm loving all of those socks! Keep on knitting, Catherine!

Nora said...

You knit great socks. I like the pattern of the light blue ones especially. You have it down to a fine art.

Peggy said...

Hi Catherine, I have been catching up on your staycation photos you have had some great trips this summer! Knitting time is here again is'nt it?I did knit 1 pair of socks about a year ago. I enjoyed the whole process, like you finding I could 'turn the heel' was an achievement! Do you use a specific sock yarn? I find reading patterns online sock yarn is always mentioned and I have not seen any such product here.I used an Aldi yarn for the ones I made and they loosened out a lot in wear, they would need to be worn once and then washed each time.
The turquoise ones are trendy!

Ananda Rajashekar said...

Love the blue sock and pattern, though i have made socks for my sis baby not with knitting but with crochet, knitting seems very difficult to mange :P still trying...thanks for visiting my blog, happy to follow you as well :)

Ann said...

Great socks Catherine. I have always avoided sock knitting. Don't know why. Lovely photos of the Cunnigar too. Made me feel a bit homesick.

Myrna Foster said...

I love your socks, especially the mint ones, and your reference to Madame Defarge. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Val said...

Love the mint/teal socks....so pretty! I'm still at the square projects knitting stage, which means no socks for me. Maybe in a few years.