bzzz bzzz neatby bees

I wouldn't call myself superstitious, but I am very ritualistic and sentimental. I attach meaning to things, procedures, and events. Every year, something on my list of New Year's resolutions (a fairly philosophical rather than pragmatic list, so it's one I keep mostly private) involves creativity.

To kick things off right, every year, I try to start a new project on New Year's Day.

(When my grandparents were alive, we played a lot of cards as a family. Playing poker, my grandfather always used to say, "If you don't win the first one, you can't win them all." I think there's something similar in making sure you knit on New Year's Day.)

This year, things were stacked a bit against me. We were scheduled to fly home on the 2nd. We thought> we were flying out around noon. But, a check of the itinerary showed a 9 a.m. flight, which meant we had to head out around 5 a.m. for the airport, a reality that put us in unexpected high gear.

There was a seemingly endless flurry of packing and box-loading and last-day-get-it-all-in playing among the boys and checking off as many things as I could on the mammoth to-do list I'd accumulated while at mom's.

When the house finally cleared out after 9 pm, part of me wanted to just throw tradition to the wind and not start something just for the sake of starting something. After all, in the preceeding week, I'd started both the Falling Leaves shawl (which I still have to blog about) and the novelty-striped felted bag for the auction. So, it's not like I needed a new project. But, the stronger part of me couldn't stand the thought of 'not' starting something to ring in the New Year as a creative and knitfull year.

Socks seemed a logical choice.

As an extra to-do present, Megan gave me Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks book and four skeins of Lorna's Laces sock yarn - two in a purple variegated (for me) and two in the wonderful, whimsical bee stripe with a note to make her bee stripe socks.

(It was actually pretty funny. I knew she really liked the bee stripe colorway, so I ordered her three skeins from Rob at ThreadBear to make a hat for one of the boys. It's sock yarn, yes, but Mom/Gramma has made them several hats now from sock yarn, and they're stretchy but great. M. had expressed interest in making one of them a bee hat when I'd ordered yarn in the summer from Carodan Farm, but they were out of stock on it. So when trying to figure out a to-do gift for her, I went the bee stripe route, as well as copies of two books I thought she'd like: Vogue Knitting on the Go: Scarves Two and Vogue Knitting on the Go: Chunky Scarves & Hats. So, we both opened bee stripe yarn at the same time! By the way, if you haven't seen the Vogue Scarves Two, it's worth a look. We both love the sheep and zebra scarf patterns.)

Prior to the new year, I spent random bits of time perusing the book. It has some nice and really interesting patterns in it. However, for a book that is ostensibly supposed to offer interchangeable components, it's awkwardly and confusingly laid out.

bee sock

Megan selected a pair of Crenellated Toe-Up socks with a Turkish afterthought heel. She picked it partly because she liked the heel. Since I've never made toe-up socks, I was a bit hesitant about starting that pattern. I thought maybe I should just do the basic sock and slot in the afterthought heel, but the only directions for that heel in the book are with the toe-up sock.

Feeling pressured by time, I decided to go ahead and do the toe-up pattern. It was my first time doing a crochet hook provisional cast on, but the directions for it were great. I quickly got things cast on and the square toe picked up. I didn't make a lot of progress (as you can see from the photo) before calling it a night, but I did get started and even learned something new.

For quasi-superstitious me, it seemed like a positive and auspicious start to my knitting year!

(P.S. Christy at Rainbow Chills has made reference several times recently to not liking working with Lorna's Laces. I'm waiting to see what troubles she's had even as I work on my first pair of socks with LL sock yarn. I've used other LL yarns and liked them.)

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