It’s been a very gloomy and rainy day over here in New Orleans, so I feel the need to warn you to put on some sunglasses to protect yourself from these fabulous socks.
Hot damn, that’s pretty.
Lui and I went to high school together, did drama club together, and have even worked together in our adult lives at the same hospital for a few years (he as a doctor with impeccable penmanship, which was invaluable back in the day of paper charting, and which I still appreciate even now). He is kind and caring, bubbly and fun, with a real zest for the good things in life. He has an Instagram where he posts about all the best food in New Orleans (@luieats!). He radiates positivity, and I honestly think he doesn’t realize how his presence, despite it mostly just being on social media, brightens my life.
When he chose this skein of sock yarn for his custom socks during the Sockpocalypse, I just knew it was meant to be. No other human that I know could rock anything with quite this much insane color with the same flair as Lui can.
Speaking of the yarn, this is the first time in history where I knitted an entire project with completely unknown yarn. It came as a freebie during a big yarn sale, and it either was missing a tag at the time, or the tag got lost over the years. All I know is that is a big crazy riotous rainbow mess, and I love it.
It took a few false starts, trying out ribbing patterns (because no other stitch pattern would be able to show up in all that rainbow insanity) with different stitch counts, to get something that didn’t look like complete clown barf or a pooling/flashing nightmare.
The pattern that I went with was my absolute favorite for bare-bones basics, A Good, Plain Sock by the Yarn Harlot herself, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, from her amazing book Knitting Rules!. I have made socks from this pattern at least eleventy-billion times (8, actually), and this book is just an integral part of a knitter’s arsenal, especially if they want to get into pattern writing or enjoy following advanced patterns or deciphering patterns that weren’t originally written in English. It’s just full of good things.
Knitting these socks up was just nothing but fun. Nearly every single row looked like this wondrous rainbow gradient on my needles.
Those spiral stripes are just too good.
One thing that I did notice that was really interesting was the fact that the spirals moved in two different speeds on the tops of the two socks. The one on the left was the first sock that I knit, with yarn that was presumably from the center of the skein as it was dyed. The sock on the right was knit second, with the yarn that was on the outside of the skein. That 1.5″ worth of difference in the dying process led to a sizable difference in the final appearance, although happily not enough to change the overall effect.
For Lui’s US men’s size 11 feet, I settled on 68 stitches with a 2×2 rib pattern and a simple slip-stitch heel. I love the way that the colors pop up differently in the slip stitch, almost looking pastel as they rise above the background colors.
It was hard for me to send them over to their rightful owner today, but I knew it had to be done. I just don’t have the chutzpah to rock this hot rainbow mess every day.
Oh, but we all can dream right?