Of course I have to post about the socks. How could I not? My family won’t miss a month of reading about knitting on my blog anyway. And at the end of the month, they’ll get to read about their gifts in progress. Which means I get to talk about toes.

I forgot to mention yesterday that I bought Cat Bordhi’s new book New Pathways for Sock Knitters along with all the yarn yesterday. I figured there was probably no better way to learn about different and exciting sock patterns, and that this was probably a good place for me to start. I know I’ve said before that I don’t really follow patterns. I’m not sure that I managed to convey that it is simply impossible for me to do so 99% of the time. My one exception so far was Elijah. I did manage to follow the pattern from beginning to end on that project. I usually don’t even pretend that I’m going to use a pattern; it’s usually just a matter of time before I give in to the off-road knitting style.

So, I bought sock yarn and a brand new sock book with all kinds of crazy architectures designed to keep me glued to the pattern and dying to know what happens next. What’s the first thing I do? That’s right; even before I had chosen a pattern, I had something to add.

You know when you see something and it just screams out the name of a person on your shopping list? Well, one of the Bearfoot yarns was just dying to become socks for my sister. I’m not sure why, but it might as well have had her name on the label. It was also crying out that it couldn’t be just any socks. These had to be over-the-top special socks. I am going to use the spiraling corolis pattern (see, at least I have picked a pattern now!), which is a very cool swirly architecture that wraps around as you go up the leg. I love it. But this yarn needed something else. Toes! That’s right…toe socks. The coriolis pattern is a toe-up sock, so it’s easy to replace the standard toe with something with a few extra digits. So, I settled down last night to make toes. Ten of them. Here’s the first one.

Now, this would be particularly funny if you had heard me giving Branden a hard time about being “difficult” because he wanted the start of fingers on his latest pair of handwarmers. It wasn’t really all that hard, but I had to give him a bit of eye rolling over needing fingers. There’s a certain amount of irony in the fact that the very next project I chose is one that has ten toes. Good thing he knew I was kidding. Here are the first 5 toes, all lined up for grafting.

I really don’t know why on earth making toe socks is amusing me so much at the moment, but it is. I think it’s mostly because I know how much Sarah loves toe socks. I can hear the squeal from here, I think, and that’s pretty amazing considering we’re 3500 miles and a month away from Christmas. Really, though, I can’t think of any other way to explain why making 10 tiny little tubes and then grafting them all together should make me giggle to myself while wrestling with up to 6 stubborn needles.

This picture was taken in the midst of the grafting process and just as I discovered that I had dropped a stitch and needed to work it back up to the holding needles. Branden looked over, was impressed by my porcupine of needles, and ignored all statements claiming that this was a private moment between me and my yarn, and it needn’t be photographed, thank-you-very-much. It did work out, though, and I moved on to the second set of toes. All grafting is now complete, and I am very glad.

Sometimes you try something and decide that your method is just perfect. Sometimes, you know there must be a better way. The latter is the case on these toes. There must be a better way to make them. I am telling myself that I don’t have time to spend a week finding a better way to make toes. Maybe after Christmas. But there is a better way. I just know it. Sarah might end up with a lot of toe socks if she’s not careful (I can’t stand to wear them, and she’s the only one I know that loves them, so she’s first and last in line to inherit toe prototypes.

Now that I’ve gotten a little off-roading out of the way, I do fully intend to go back and do Cat’s book justice. I will begin at the beginning, and read the introduction, and do the little warm-up socks at the beginning before diving in. I will. No, really. There’s a lot to learn from her patterns, and I am very excited to learn it. All I need is a little self-discipline and some quick-knitting yarn…