I first came across Kaffe Fassett in a book of Rowan patterns (Vintage Knits) – to be honest, I didn’t think much of them – too many colours, very boxy patterns (to be fair, they were mostly men’s garments, which you expect to be a bit boxy).
Then I saw some of his quilts (I would buy all of his quilt books just to look at the gorgeous quilts, a riot of colour, which you wouldn’t think works, but which do). The man is a colour genius.
And so when I had the opportunity to buy some of his sock yarn for Regia (at the time not available in Australia, although it is now!), I leapt at it! I’d just realised how addictive it is to knit self-striping socks, and this particular colour, having the most red, called to me.
When it came the time to knit another pair of socks for husby, I gave him a few different yarn options to choose from. To my utter surprise (and let’s be honest, a little bit of dismay, as I’d picked this yarn for me!) he chose this one! Husby is quite the conservative dresser, so I never thought he’d go for this.
But of course he did, and I’m really very glad actually, it’s fab to see him wearing something a little different, even if it is just socks! (although Lyn I’m sorry to say I haven’t yet been able to convince him to wear them to work with his suit, although I do think that would look fabulous – very Paul Smith (well almost!))
Yarn: Regia Design Line: Kaffe Fassett – Landscape Fire (col 4259) – 2 x 50g balls. Like all Regia yarns, this is not the softest yarn to work with, but it washes up beautifully, and I’m expecting it to wear really well. The colours are just amazing! I would never have thought to put them together the way they are (and I can assure you the camera just doesn’t capture the depth of colour – for example, that bright blue wide stripe is actually only half bright blue, the other half is ocean green!)
Sticks: 2.25mm KP Options 80cm circular (magic loop)
Pattern: My own, using a number of sources. Since I wanted to use as much of the yarn as I could, I decided on toe up socks. So Judy’s Magic Cast on was used (as always for me when it comes to toe-up socks). Husby has quite wide feet, and so with the smaller sticks, I increased to 76 stitches. I don’t like the fit of short row heels much, so I thought I’d try something new and do a gusset heel.
I used Wendy’s instructions, a free pattern from her site, and it worked really well. I had to fudge the numbers a bit, as her pattern had fewer stitches, but it worked out fine, and fits really well – I’m very happy with this gusset heel method (although it does take longer to knit than a short row heel – or at least it seems to! Next time I might try doing a slip stitch heel on the heel turn portion, to see if that makes a difference to wear.
Oh, and I did a sewn bind off for the cuff!
I didn’t bother to try matching the stripes on both socks, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get it just right, so I just went with the flow!
Time: Longer than I thought, actually, although I really did mainly use these socks as my go anywhere easy knitting, so I wasn’t knitting on them “full time” so to speak. I cast on the first sock on 1 February 2009 and finished the second on 7 May 2009.
What I learnt: Well, apart from the gusset heel, you’ll remember I learnt exactly how much knitting you can get done in a hospital emergency room on a Sunday afternoon! (Husby’s arm almost healed now…thanks for all your well-wishes at the time!)