Hop-Scotching with Felix

I am loving Liz’s Hopscotch sock pattern. Although I have to concentrate on it quite hard, most of the charts are quite easy to memorise and I love the way the lemon and lime yarn by Woolhunter knits up. I enjoy having the time and space to do a pattern which causes me to look up lots of techniques I don’t yet fully grasp (magic-cast on and short-row heel, for example) as those kinds of projects always involve the wonder of seeing something turn out in a way I can’t anticipate, and that is surely one of the best things about knitting? The element of surprise.

I had to rip the heel back once as I was a stitch out and it was irritating me too much to just let it pass; also, a descrepancy between the pattern instructions and an online tutorial on wrapping stitches and short-row heels meant I got quite confused about my slipped stitches… but all turned out OK in the end, I think. Here is the lovely cable detail on the back of the heel;

I do feel that this pattern would be better knit in the Oxford Kitchen Yarns semi-solid yarn of dreams for which it was originally intended, but I have other plans for my little stash of this and the woolhunter yarn is a lot of fun, although it does tend towards being slightly brittle and a bit splitty.

I just love the crossing over cables on the top of the sock and the wonderful feature of toe-up socks that allows you to try on at all stages of construction.

The sock feels as though it is going to be extremely warm, with all that cabling making a beautiful, cushy fabric on top and the yarn generally being very soft and warm. I am determined that this year, as winter comes in, I shall have enough hand-knit socks to wear wool on my feet every day of the week. This is an investment in future foot-happiness. The feet are sore at the moment; I suspect a combination of stormy pressures in the sky irritating the underlying arthritis and the hard Birkenstocks (my favourite shoes of all time, but really, no give at all in the soles…) giving my poor big toes a pasting every time I go a-marching. I am power-walking everywhere in the hopes of losing 1/2 a stone before going to Naples in August with Mark.

Speaking of The Man, he has invented a new game, which I have instantly commandeered as an excellent way to amass myself a stash allowance. Mark has reinvented himself as something of an artist at the breakfast table. His new practise consists of arranging loose change into some kind of configuration and then trying to sell this to me at the face-value of the coinage employed in the design. He gives a convincing argument re: the value of his ‘works’ and the relevance in today’s world of his ‘practise.’ I have begun lending him books on historical art works which address issues of money/art and have become his ‘patron,’ ‘buying’ the artworks, photographing them, documenting each, and then storing the coins in a jar.

This piece set me back 67 of my fine English pence. Mark spent a long time enlightening me as to the rare qualities of this design. Here is another work of art by Mark. He was quite insistent on the point that, for the purposes of recreating this artwork, all the coins must always be faced with the heads upward. He almost threw an artist tantrum when I tried to photograph the design with some of the coins incorrectly arranged.

…the decision to be his ‘patron’ came about when I realised that this game was with us to stay and that indulging Mark’s bit of art-piss-takery would steadily enhance my yarn-savings.In other silly news, when we went to Hever Castle last weekend, we befriended a duck, who was extremely interested in our picnic. After necking down a lot of cheese in a rather ungainly manner, the duck began to investigate the edible qualities of everything surrounding us. It even pecked at the flower brooch on my Maven, to test its edibility. Here is the duck, investigating Mark’s sandals.

…I hasten to add that the duck only got a cheap chunk of Happy Shopper cheddar from us; the quality sheeps’ milk Wensleydale that Lara gave me for my birthday was all saved for human consumption. I discovered that it is especially lovely with Pumpkin Gnocchi.

How amazing to find that the Wensleydale Sheep truly does provide both perfect yarn and perfect cheese…

And in my two last bits of random news, Lara won the Sounds of your Life feature on the Fantastical Reality Radio Show and can be seen here, sporting her subsequent prize; a custom-embroidered FRRS apron with very sensible, deep pockets.

…and in other kitchen-based news, ours is restored after the insanity of the collapsed ceiling, and I now even have a shelf for my growing tea-towel collection.

I love these periods of recollecting oneself after being ridiculously busy…

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