I finished my Cadence socks Friday evening. Honestly, I wasn't so sure I liked the feel of the yarn (malabrigo sock in Solis) when I was knitting it, but on my feet they feel so lovely. I think I like it after all. I love the pattern of these socks. I definitely can see myself knitting this pattern again in the future. It is written very straight-forward, and even though there are three charts to work through the directions are easy to understand.
On Saturday, I wound yarn for my next project. This Dressage Hat has been in my Ravelry favorites for a while now (probably 2 years) but I had put off making it, partly because the pattern isn't free. But now that I'm an empty nester I'm learning how to spend money on myself, LOL, so last month I went ahead and bought the pattern. I also ordered the yarn for it from Quince & Co; partly because I've seen quite a few yarn along links to lovely projects made with their yarn, partly because their yarn is USA made and dyed, and partly because that is the yarn the pattern designer used! Sounds like a win-win to me.
I ordered three skeins of Chickadee, one each in Crow, Egret and Parsley; I will be doing the green (parsley) in the parts of the hat that the designer did in grey, since I want to add a bit of color. I'm hoping it will look like grass the horses are being ridden on.
I am itching to get started on this hat, and learn a few techniques (latvian braid, color work), but since we still have not replaced our printer, I have to wait until DH can print the pattern out for me at work.
So, in the meantime, I have started work on the intimidating sock project: a pair of size men's 13 socks for DS1. I have had the yarn for them, Opal sock yarn in the color 'Forster', for almost three years now. Since he has such big feet, I had bought two 100g skeins! But I've been too chicken to start them, afraid it will take me forever (and get boring) making such large socks. With the promise of a hat to work on as soon as DH prints the intructions for me, I have optimistically decided to give those giant socks a go. The plan is to work on them when I want to, put them down when I'm tired of them and take a break to work on something else, then pick them up again. Repeat cycle as many times as needed to get them finished by Christmas this year.
I decided to go with the Vanilla Latte pattern,since I've knit it up a couple times all ready and it's a quickly memorized pattern and easy knit. I haven't yet knit it for a man, so I thought perhaps I should go up to a size 2 needle--my first pair was for myself on size 0s and they are snug, my second pair was for my mom's slightly wider calves and feet and knit on size 1s and worked well. So I figured maybe I needed a set of 2s for a man's bigger legs and wider feet so that the socks would be stretchy and comfortable.
Yet, as I began to work on the first sock, I didn't really see the stripes appearing yet. Which, given that I'm using self-stripping yarn, started to worry me. So I decided to get out the second skein of yarn, and using a pair of 1.5s (2.5mm, which is what the band on the Opal suggests) I cast on for the second sock and did nearly as many rows as I had knit on the first sock. I figured I would see which size needle produced the desired stripes (another technique for keeping my interest in knitting ginormous socks--stripes! Striped socks always seem to knit up faster.) And then I would tear out whichever sock didn't stripe and knit it again on the size of needle that worked for stripes.
That is where I am at currently.
It's still a little early to tell, but I think the 1.5s are what I'm going to end up using to get stripes. I am a little leery of the difference in gauge between the 1.5s and the 2s, but hopefully the socks won't be too snug. Otherwise I may end up shortening the feet and just making them for someone else. Then I'll have to pick a different yarn (maybe non-striping) for DS1's boats. Whatever. I have lots of time. It's not like he's expecting me to make him socks. This Christmas, next Christmas, only I know the difference.
Reading-wise, I am still alternating between the two books I was reading last week. One is due back to the library tomorrow, but that's okay. I found (and bought) a used copy of the same book online and it should be here by the end of the week, so I can keep on reading (and digesting) it at a comfortable pace.