Friday, August 12, 2005

FO, Sock Landscape and Childhood Meme

What do you see when you look at this picture?

A pair of plain ribbed socks with a funny flared cuff? You are right, this is exactly what they are. But to me, the woman who spent hours knitting these 2 x 2 ribs, feeling like swimming in the middle of an ocean, with little hope of seeing dry land, I see my first pair of toe-up socks with relatively successful short-row heels. I also see the prototype for Husband's socks, which will be reproduced in various colours in the future.

I used the 8-figure cast-on and I found it easy to master. However, the toe-increases are a bit too tight. Next time, I would like to try short-row toe-increase. About the heels, I definitely like short-row heels because the number of stitches on the needle is always the same and I don't have to pick up stitches. I don't like picking up stitches ... especially when the pattern doesn't tell you how many to pick up and I have to decide on my own.

About the cuffs, yes, they are flare-shaped because I used the 2-stitch i-cord BO. You may think, "What the hell was she thinking using this BO for the socks?" But you see, the cuffs would be at the widest part of Husband's legs. He told me before that the long tail CO row was tight. So, I have to find a way to make sure the BO is loose enough. While working on Mystery Kit #4, I found that this method of BO would give a flared edge, which seems to suit my need. When trying on the first finished sock, he said he could still feel the BO row but much better than in the past. The socks look funny on their own, but they are good when worn on the feet ... you can't see the cuffs are flared at all. I finished these late last night and so couldn't get Husband to have model shots. Maybe later.

Yarn: Sock It To Me 4-ply Essential Col: 7413 Warm Tan
Gauge: 40 stitches to 4"
Needles: DPNs US1

As I have told you before, the new pattern at SixSox Knitalong was out and I would like to work on that. However, at the same time, I am also dying to use this yarn:

Here are 2 skeins of Knit Picks' Sock Landscape in Yukon. They are very soft and I would like to see if they wash well. Most probably I would use another pattern for them and start later on the SixSox pattern with a solid colour. Talking about washing well, the Rumba socks have been to the washer and dryer several times and they do wash well. So, I would probably get more of the Dancing yarns for summer socks.

5 Things I Missed From Childhood
Siow Chin tagged me on this meme, so here we go.

1) Playing in the neighbourhood with the neighbourhood kids
I grew up living in government housing. In some cases, these government housing estates could be quite seedy neighbourhood. The building I lived in was a 16-storey one with an incredile number of people living in it ... and so there were lots of kids to play with. I think some of the parents might have been in the gangs and some of these kids might have become gang members themselves. But I couldn't care less at the time and the adults seldom bothered us. We would play various games in the corridors on the various floors. Playing hide-and-seek was always a nightmare because there were just so many places to hide. All the games Laura mentioned in her meme were played by us too. I miss all these because now I know such an environment is just too dangerous for kids. If I had children of my own now, I would never let them play out there on their own. And this makes the memories all the more precious. Those were the days!

2) My mother braiding for me
I had long hair when I was in primary school (aged 6 to 13) and my mother always did the braiding for me because I was just too dumb to do it myself! My mom worked at home and she was always busy. I always liked the time when she combed my hair and arranged them into simple braids before I went to school. Later, I cut my hair short and she didn't do that anymore. I miss that.

3) The balcony of my uncle's apartment

He was the richer uncle. His wife (my aunt) was a snobbish person. My father was not really on good terms with them. However, they liked to have kids around as their own were all grown up already. So, during long school holidays, my parents would let me and my brother stay with them for several days, sometimes even weeks. Outside the windows of their apartment, they had this huge cage-like structure installed (illegally) hanging on the outside of the building. It was so huge that I could walk around the pots of plants and flowers put there. I always climbed into the cage-balcony to watch the people on the street below during the day, and the starry sky during the night. Now, even if the balcony were still there, I would be too big to do the same thing anymore!

4) Visiting my father's home village
He was an immigrant from a farm village in the Mainland China. It was approximately 3 or 4 hours' drive away from Hong Kong. However, in those early days, travelling to Mainland China was not an easy thing. All those customs procedures plus transport could take up a whole day. I remember we had to wake up in the middle of the night and got to the train station to line up for the train. Then waiting to pass customs could be 5 to 6 hours. When we finally arrived at the village, it would be near midnight. All these were very exhausting ... but to me, the adventurous feeling was just exhilarating and unlike other kids, I seldom had complaints along the way. My parents always felt they were lucky to have a kid like me in this situation ... LOL! Now, it has become extremely convenient to travel in China and there are no more those tiring customs.

5) Our cats
The living environment was not really suitable for us to have pets. However, we did keep cats for a very short time. I remember having a new-born kitten one time. I didn't know where my father got her from. I just remember him trying all methods to feed the little thing, but she was just too weak to survive long. Later, we found that my mother was allergic to cats ... she sneezed almost 24/7 with the presence of cats. So, we didn't keep any anymore. When I lived on my own, I was out almost the whole day and couldn't take care of any pet. Now, I still can't have a cat because the landlord doesn't like pets in the apartment.


Debi said...

Your socks are GREAT, Agnes!!

I'm glad you liked the beading tutorial, it was fun to do it.

You clearly love pets, it's a shame you can't have any.You and the hubster can be Pumpkin's virtual "godparents" and share in our adventures!

Have a fabulous weekend!!

Fashionable Girly said...

Your socks are awesome! Very well done! My first thought was that they looked so soft! It such an accomplishment to complete an item...but socks are really an accomplishment! :)

Purly Whites said...

The socks look great! I really like the bind-off, and I bet it won't flare very much at all when they are on.

Lynette said...

The socks get an A+ as usual. So you found the figure 8 cast-on easy? It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but I wanted to learn that one because it doesn't require waste yarn like the provisional.

I enjoyed reading about your childhood memories. It's a completely different world.

Laura.Y said...

Does bring back memories doesn't it? Nostalgia...:) Yes u r rite, it is a different world nowadays not so safe now for kids to roam like we use to. Makes our memories all the more precious.

Peggy said...

I think the flare would not be very noticable when worn by your hubby. Do you think he'll be willing to model them?

joy said...

I don't think I would let my kids do the things or go to the places that my parents let me when I was little. I guess there has to be a balance between protecting them and letting them 'bump boards'.

Great socks, BTW, something my husband would wear too!

claudia said...

Perhaps you need a new landlord.


Think of all the blog fodder a cute kitten could provide.