After my Minnesota trip, Liz surprised me with a sock-knitting book in the mail, one that I’d been drooling over: Wendy Johnson’s Socks from the Toe Up. I’ve already finished my first pair from the book, using Louet Fingering Gems yarn from that recent trip and in the process tried out three new techniques detailed therein.
First, there was a new provisional cast-on for the toe. Up to this point, whenever I’d made a toe-up pair, I’d been dependent on the ever popular short-row toe, but Wendy detailed a new way to create gussets and turn the heel (my second new technique). And when I reached the top, there was a new bind-off technique, one which had use knit 1, purl 1 ribbing, then separate the stitches onto two separate needles and graft to finish. The first two were very useful, but I think I still prefer the sewn bind-off. It seems to boast more stretch, as well as requiring less preparatory work beforehand.
However, I will say that Wendy is very clear in her explanations. I’d encountered the above-mentioned bind-off in another pattern, but there were no accompanying photos and the description seemed awkward, so I avoided trying it. This book has several socks that I’d like to try, as well as another heel. And the photos are generous, showing several large color pictures from various angles for each and every pattern.
Here is my finished pair of socks from the Diamond Gansey pattern in the book, informally called the Liz Socks since the book and yarn hold memories of my trip.
It seems appropriate to showcase these socks now in Liz's honor since she is getting married this weekend, and I won't be able to attend. Instead, I will be touching base with old high-school friends at my reunion and sending all my wishes for wedded bliss her way. I feel blessed for my friends, both old and new -- it's a shame I haven't yet discovered how to be in two different parts of the country at the same time.