I am finally out from under the hangover of the holidays. Not a literal hangover (much), but entering back into the real world a bit more.
For whatever reason the holidays came on fast and strong this year for me and totally wound up swamping me. I did, however, finish up the advent calendar! Did I ever share pictures of the finished product? I have them, but they are dim and somewhat shitty looking.
Eh, when has that ever stopped me before? I promise I get that up shortly once I find them. (or retake them in better light...)
Meanwhile, since winter has finally decided to show up in my parts of the world, I am knitting the shit out of things. I am 3/4 of the way through Uniform, still, and have taken a pause on that for the moment to knock out a few additional little things. I made thrummed slippers for JBB (that need slipper soles on them so he doesn't slip and crack his head open), spun about 16 oz of fiber into yarn, and a bunch of other random stuff.
In a somewhat vain attempt use up my stash of sock yarn, I'm knitting the littlest little some socks. I know many folks love the toe-up method of sock knitting, or two-at-a-time-on-circulars, but I am not a fan. I learned old-school, top-down, heel flap, double pointed needles from the ancient internet and from the amazing and glorious book Folk Socks, by Nancy Bush (recently updated!), and that's the way I like 'em.
It helps that a traditional heel-flap construction heel truly fits my foot better than every single short row style heel does. They're always too shallow or weirdly scoopy on my feet. I haven't yet tried Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato heel, which looks promising to me, but I've been burned before, yo.
The one issue with top-down socks that I'd not yet solved was the lack of a decent looking super stretchy cast-on. Normally I'm a fan of a tubular cast on for ribbing (the Ysolda tutorial is my favorite, because no need for scrap yarn!), because it's so pretty. But while it's stretchy, it's not nearly stretchy enough for sock ribbing. And there's nothing worse than a tight cuff, ow. Long tail cast on done on needles bigger than the working needle can sometimes work, but looks sloppy and still might not be stretchy enough.
I've recently converted to Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off for some sweaters, and I have no idea why it never occurred to me to search for the corresponding stretchy cast on . . . until this week.
Because of course there's a Stretchy cast on. And it's essentially just slip knots, in a row, on the needle. And don't get me wrong, I had my doubts until I tried it. Holy shit is this cast on perfect for socks! It hinges at the ribbing columns, it essentially disappears into the knitting after the first row, and while it's a bit fiddly and slow to work, I'm also just impatient and will suck it up.
More on socks, and my recipe for them, to come.