|The Fourth Is Coming, The Fourth Is Coming
||[Jun. 30th, 2015|05:54 pm]
And naturally, with a convention and travel coming up, I needed something to knit. I hoped to get these mostly done by the time I was on the train back, but someone said "You'll never finish those by then," so...I did.
and another view
Four different yarns, ranging in age from "just bought" to 40 years. Blue: Bernat "Sesame" from my mother's stash. Red: Ella rae Classic, maybe a year since I bought it, leftover from making solid red regular socks. White: Cascade 220, purchased online, arrived the day before I left. Cream-white: Cascade 220, purchased earlier this year or maybe late last year from yarn store: it's the ribbed stripe near the top.
Ignoring the narrow white "filler" stripes top and bottom, there are 13 red and white stripes (7 red, 6 white between them) of equal width, as on the flag. I have lots of leftover red yarn (and balls of red yarn waiting to become pairs of red socks) and bought the white because I didn't have enough cream-white.
Naturally this pair is named "Fourth of July" and is the fourth pair of shorty socks I've knitted this year. I put them on only for the pictures; they won't have their first day of wear until July 4th. Since I have more red extra yarn than any other color, I'm also going to make a pair with red framing (where the blue is on these) and blue stripes. I don't have enough of this blue to do two socks, but I have other blue yarn.
Nice. :] Challenge accepted.
What fun! I love those. Obviously, we don't have the 4th of July as a special day here in the UK, but even still.... Do you have - or will you have, by Christmas, a pair of Christmas socks? And I suppose that, as you have Thanksgiving, you could knit a pair in autumnal colours, too?
For Christmas, I'd want to do a pair with green and white tops and toes (but tall, because my ankles are always cold in December) and the red and white stripes on the foot. Given the knitting plans for this year, it may be Christmas 2016 before I get them done. They're now on my "when I can" list. This year's list includes some knitting for others and is already pretty full.
I wouldn't knit special Thanksgiving socks because I'm too busy with the party and my shoes never come off so they show. Besides, even the Fourth of July socks will have to go into the regular shorty-sock rotation. It'll be a long time before I can have pairs worn only on one day a year.
Yes, but I imagine they'd be summer socks, rather than winter ones! For Christmas socks, I like the idea of green and white tops and toes - and then you could do a second pair, with red and white tops and toes, and green-and-white stripes on the foot! When I knitted Christmas stockings last year for my two grandsons, one was green with his name in red on a white background,and the foot was red (I did the heel white, though), and the other was the other way round.
But why would I want Christmas-colored ones in summer? Or 4th of July socks in winter? I had already thought of making the taller winter socks in those colors.
Sorry - my lack of clarity - I meant those to be Christmas socks!
I think these may be my favorite socks that you've posted. Lovely socks!
They may be my favorite ones, too...although I'm already working on another pair. These are so cheerful looking.
2015-07-03 12:51 am (UTC)
I notice that you knit a lot of socks for yourself. Do they wear out that quickly?
They do look nice though.
Socks wear out at a variable rate (and accidents like catching one on a nail do happen) but the real issue is how many pairs you have to rotate (since the number of wearings is "fixed" more or less for each kind of sock) and how long it takes to knit them. For instance, my first socks knit of Ella rae Classic yarn last about 100 wearings. If I wore them every day, that's a between three and three months twenty days months before I could expect a terminal wear. If I rotate seven new pairs, the same socks would last almost two years. If I have fourteen new pairs, the same socks would last four years. As the socks enter an existing rotation and extend it pair by pair, socks entering between the weeks' rotation will not immediately gain the advantage of the new rotation schedule--they have already accumulated wear at a higher rate.
That's if all the socks use the same yarn (and it doesn't vary in strength over the years that I knit)--in fact, I have used four or five brands of yarn (at least) and they may not have the same lifespan under the use I give them. The first-year socks (which were worn more than once a week until I had seven pairs) began to fail from the first pairs (worn the most) as you'd expect. Right now I have 19 pairs of regular socks and 11 pairs of short summer socks, but among the regulars several are nearing their end (easy to tell by thin places on the heel, toe, and ball of the foot.) The remaining first and first-half-second year socks are still wearable only because the short summer socks are giving them several months off--lowering their total wearings count. Some yarns came into the rotation recently enough (late last year, early this) that they have no wear history; I don't know if they'll do better or worse in durability.
It takes me 4-6 weeks (depending on what else I'm doing--how much time per day I have to knit) to make a pair of regular socks, the ones with the tall ribbed cuffs. It takes me about 2 weeks to knit a pair of the short summer socks. Thus it's not prudent to wait until a pair is almost worn out before knitting its replacement. You can't just go to a store and buy replacements (I certainly can't, because commercial socks do not fit me.)
In addition, my eyesight (like my mother's) is slowly failing. At some point, if I live long enough, I won't be able to knit socks. Since I want to have hand-knit socks the rest of my life, that means knitting a lot of socks now, so each pair will have a longer useful life. I am working toward a minimum four-week rotation of regular socks and at least a three-week rotation of short summer socks. I also want at least six pairs of "deep winter" socks (the Herdwick socks) for the coldest weather. In winter, these socks take 3-4 days to dry; I wear them only on days it freezes (in Canada, I'd obviously want a lot more of them, but here our coldest weather comes in shorter, separated events.)
And that's why I knit a lot of socks for myself.