I've read other blogs wherein knitters describe knitting 'love' into every stitch knitted for a significant other. I've been trying but, my word, at this stage 'love' is getting every third stitch. 'Disbelief' and 'incredulity' get the other two. There is NO WAY that the single skein of CTH supersock is enough to finish these socks. Admittedly, it was the very first sock yarn I ever bought, and I used a very little to make my very first circular swatch, but that's only about 5cm in a very narrow tube. The rate at which the balls are shrinking suggests I'll run out about an inch after finishing the heel. I have another skein of the colourway, but it's a different batch and quite noticeably darker. I'll do the heelflap in the new skein and then I think I'll stripe the old and new Fibonacci-style. If I live that long. That's a metric tape measure and one of the socks on his foot last night, by the way. His first appearance on the internet: a star is born!
I was puzzled by the rate at which these socks were eating yarn. I mean, I get a decent pair with yarn left over (log cabin something in the distant future) out of skeins shorter than this. So I did some calculations:
His basic sockfoot is a 72-stitch tube. At 12 rows/inch, that's 864 stitches/inch. I did about 8" of that, which is 6912 stitches. Each gusset builds over 4" to shakes head in disbelief 24 stitches. So at this stage (the heel starts when I go back downstairs) the tube is 120 stitches. A fair guessimate of stitch numbers would be half the gusset stitches over the length, which is ... 4608 stitches. So that's 11500 stitches in the foot. Stitches in the heelflap? It'll be about 30x12x2, a paltry 720, add the short-row heel and call it 1000. That's 12,500 stitches plus the leg... 72x12x7ish, call it 6000 minimum. So each sock each sock! is at least 18,500 stitches. I'll be knitting 'desperation' into them before the end. But he likes the fit, he really does. He says his gran used to gift them handknits, including socks, when he was little. He remembers 'crunchy, hard' socks (what did she knit them from? entire sheep?), whereas these are soft and warm and fit perfectly. Perhaps there's more love in there than I thought.
When I'm not knitting or working, I'm trying to strike a fine balance in the garden between untidy (for wildlife) and tidier (for the garden design, which demands clean lines). We've got two tiny patches of lawn, one of which is shaded for much of the day, so remained reasonably green during the drought last summer (watering is not allowed). The other is in full sun, all day. By September dandelions were the only green things in it. So I devised a cunning plan: I would allow the grass to grow longer on this side, plant wildflower plugs, and turn it into a tiny haymeadow. Ha. It started raining in October, and only recently stopped. The tiny meadow cut for (an armful) of hay in September was a tiny sea, a torrent of green in November. It looked dreadful. The grass had to be cut, but it was far past the stage where our little push-mower (that's actually our mower model. Astonishing) could tackle it. Desperate times demand desperate measures: I resorted to my garden 'scissors'. It's taken me two days, but that (12m^2) lawn has been, er, cut down to size. Now I have access to the rotting railway sleepers that edge a raised bed (on the right, below), so I can replace them with new equivalents, and re-lay the 'temporary' brick edging where the vegetable patch meets the lawn. 'Things put off don't happen', as my mother used to say. How right she was :-(