I am a firm believer in order of operations. Having a set of steps (and then following them) helps ensure things get done the right ways and that things don’t get missed. Given that, it should come as no surprise that the books (or at least the patterns for the books) follow a set process.
Step 1 is picking the yarn. Step 2 is swatching like a fiend. Step 3 is making myself a page of charts and notes (on graph paper, it has to be graph paper, I don’t know how anyone writes on lined paper) for each pattern. Step 4 is chaining myself to the desk and transferring those pages and pages of notes into the rather stylized language of patterns. Steps 5-78 involve getting those patterns polished, knit, edited, photographed, laid out, and out in the world.
Can you guess which stage I’m on now?
And just to give you a sense of the timeline, these are all for the book that will be coming out next year around this time. It really does take that long to go from ‘excellent, I have the ideas all sorted out’ to ‘and here they are, on the printed page, ready for others to use.’ I’m working on speeding that up, but so far, it’s stubbornly resistant to my pleas to happen faster.
The first sock is done! See? All the way done, right down to the pretty little toes. And don’t worry, the little bars of yarn all lay a bit straighter when my foot (as opposed to the blocker) is filling the sock out.
That’s String Theory Merino DK in Didgeridoo. Now, 1 skein of that yarn has 280 yards. Knowing that I have big feet, and knowing that I wanted to make socks from this yarn, I bought two skeins. When I finished up the first sock (after the requisite amount of preening), I popped it on the scale. It came in at 56 grams. The remainder of the skein weighed in at 60 grams. Unless there is some sort of surprise waiting for me, that should mean that I can get a whole pair of socks out of just this skein.
I’ll insert a disclaimer here about how these socks have short cuffs, and how I always recommend erring on the side of buying extra yarn, but it does seem like I’ll get away with just one skein this time. Which leaves me with the fabulous question of what to do with the extra skein. I’ve never made two pairs of socks from the same yarn and color before, but this shade is so irritatingly gorgeous I may just have to do just that.
And now, the result of yesterday’s little adventure (that is, the pretty pictures that will likely show up in some format in the pattern, as opposed to the one that shows off the moment of ‘look, train!’ that yesterday’s post featured).
And just so you know, these socks will be part of another mini book (something on the scale of Rabble Rousers). It should be out this fall in both paper and electronic versions, and will have 6-7 patterns (some socks, some accessories). These socks are going to be called Scoundrel, and they will be on the cover (it’s about time The Boy gets a cover shot, don’t you think?).
But, lest you think frolicking on the train tracks is all fun and games, you should be aware of the potential consequences. The severe potential consequences. Train tracks are dirty you see. Very very dirty. Your socks may never be the same again.
I’m not sure what you were up to at 6:45 this morning. If you are a sensible reasonable person, you were likely tucked up in bed, sound asleep. If you are one of those alarmingly industrious types, you might have already been on your way to work. If you are, by some unlikely chance, someone who writes knitting books and thus needs to take a lot of rather peculiar pictures (or the astonishingly accommodating spouse of such a sort), you might have been perilously perched on the side of a railroad track, racing against the rising sun, snapping sock pictures while dodging real live actual trains.
Stranger things have been known to happen…though not usually to me on a Wednesday morning.
And, just for proof, one quick snap. It’s not so carefully arranged, as that blurry thing in the background is a real train that was chuffing on down the track, and our primary goal was getting right out of its way. With luck it does convey the ambiance of the place though.
Don’t worry, we’re both safe. We were on a long straight section where we could see for ages in each direction (and with a clear patch on either side so we could step well away if needed). We spent most of our time on a spur off to the side, well out of the way of the tracks in use. We did get honked at by one of the trains (a first for me), but I’m taking it as a friendly hello, rather than ‘run fools, you are in peril’ sort of honk.
So, what were you up to this morning?
If you’ve been around for awhile, you may recall that a scandalously long time ago (back when Silk Road Socks was first up for order), I went on Lara Neel’s charming podcast, Math4Knitters. Well now that there’s a new book, it seemed only fitting to swing back by and chat with her again. You can listen to it over here. Fair warning, we totally ramble! Also, some day I will learn to talk more slowly…but that day has not yet come.
And also in the category of fair warning, the eversion of Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet, Volume II goes out tomorrow. That means today is the very last day to get the eversion at a discount and get a free pattern with the purchase of the eversion. So if you’ve been waiting, and you want the special preorder price, this might be the moment to make the jump. I promise you won’t have long to wait, as I’ll be making the everison live tomorrow morning!