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December 15, 2006

Merry Chex Mix, everybody.

*edit: there was a mistake in my sock pattern: you should cast on 34 stitches instead of the 46 I tried to scam y'all with. It's fixed now; carry on.

I had big plans. Big, huge plans for little presents for my knitty readers, scattered throughout this week. Why? I'll let you in on a little secret: I hate xmas. Hate it, in all its consumptive excess and its schmaltzy sentimentality and utterly false goodwill towards humankind; hate it with a seething, grumpy fury. As an atheist child of a mostly-lapsed Christian family I'm pretty much obligated to take part in most of the secular rituals of the holiday, and truth be told I don't mind so much the visiting and the hugging people and drinking and having fun and the teeny-tiny oranges. But the colossal waste of money and the giving and getting of stuff nobody really needs and the tacky decorations and the unspeakably bad music just put me in a bad mood.

A few years ago I was at an early evening artist-run-centre board meeting and a board member came in with little picture books for everyone, saying that if she had to go to a meeting on the first night of Hanukkah then she was going to give out gifts. It was the first (and only) Hanukkah gift I'd ever received. And I got thinking: I have to take part in this holiday that I hate. Christians make a bigger deal about Hanukkah than Jews do, and elevate it to a more important holiday than it actually is, simply because it is close to xmas and shares the tradition of gift-giving. So I thought, since I'm not Jewish either, maybe this year I'll give Hanukkah presents instead of sitting back being driven mental by the pre-xmas frenzy (who said my thoughts had to run in a straight line, or make sense even?). So I was going to prepare a bunch of little patterns, fancy cable charts, all sorts of knitty goodies to give away to my internet pals.

Well. See, that's a lot of work, and working's not really been a priority for me since my return to Windsor. So my big generous plans have gone the way of so much xmas knitting: well-intentioned and full of love but ultimately not finished on time and will probably end up being forgotten about for a few months and then sheepishly finished up and finally given, with mumbled apologies, in June.

Yeah, you've all been there, right?

So there will be presents, but not eight. And not every day. And I'm not going to buy y'all the bottle of booze that I would have bought as a backup gift for you when I didn't end up finishing your xmas mittens. Instead I'll just give what I can now, and surprise you all with little presents throughout the year, to show you that I love you even without being prompted by schmaltzy advertising and false sentimentality. And in the meantime, let's all do something kind for someone else, now and throughout the year, because we want to and not simply because we're embarrassed to walk past that guy ringing the bell with all of these expensive gifts in our arms. Might I suggest, for starters, this?

I do have a wee present for you today, though. Robin asked for a pattern for the socks I made for High Energy Fetus, who surprised us all last week by suddenly upgrading his status to High Energy Baby earlier than expected. I suspected at the time that the little guy might have overheard his mom and I the week before, talking about how much she'd like to go for a bike ride, and decided to free Jenny up to ride again a little early.

socks for a high energy fetus

I had to cobble together a memory of what I did based on the photo, since the socks are far away now, but it's a pretty basic sock so I think this will wind you up with a pair just like mine.

High Energy Baby Socks (that rock!)

Materials: just a wee bit of Socks that Rock sock yarn; make these first and you should have plenty left over to make a pair for the little one's dad or mom so they can be all cute and matchy.
One set of 2.75mm (US 2) double pointed needles; four or five, whatever's your preference. I use four, so this pattern is written for that.
Stitch holder or waste yarn
Darning needle.

Work picot hem:
Cast on 34 sts, join to knit in the round and work 4 rounds in stockinette st.
Next round: work [yo, k2tog] to end.
Work 4 more rounds in stockinette st.
Next round: folding hem to inside along eyelet row, pick up the first st of cast on row from behind, place on left hand needle, and knit together with the first st on the left hand needle. Continue to the end of the round knitting one st from cast on round with one st from current round to create a finished hem.
Work leg pattern:
Purl 3 rounds.
Knit 3 rounds.
Next round: work [yo, k2tog] to end.
Knit 3 rounds.
Purl 3 rounds.
Continue to work in stockinette st until the leg is as long as you want it; I made mine about another 1.5 inches after the last purl round.
Work heel:
Knit across 17sts, place remaining 17sts on holder (for gusset) and proceed working the 17 live sts flat as follows:
Next row(WS): slip 1, purl to end.
Next row(RS): slip 1, knit to end.
Work these two rows for 1.25 inches, ending with a RS row.
Next row: p 8, p2tog, p1, turn.
Next row: k 1, ssk, k1, turn.
Next row: p2, p2tog, p1, turn.
Next row: k3, ssk, p1, turn.
Next row: p4, p2tog, p1, turn.
Next row: k5, ssk, k1, turn.
Next row: p6, p2tog, p1, turn.
Next row: k7, ssk, k1. 9 sts remain on needle.
Place held stitches back on needle and resume knitting in the round as follows: pick up and knit 9 sts along left side of heel flap; knit across 17 gusset sts, pick up and knit 9 sts along right side of heel flap, k4 heel sts. Mark this spot as the beginning of the round and arrange sts as follows: next 14 sts on first needle, 17 gusset sts on second needle, last 13 sts on third needle.
Knit one round even.
Decrease for instep:
Next round: knit to last 3 sts on first needle, k2tog, k1; knit across second needle; on third needle k1, ssk, k to end.
Knit one round even.
Repeat these last two rounds until 34 sts remain (9 on first needle, 17 on second needle, 8 on third needle).
Work even in stockinette st until foot measures 3 inches.
Decrease for toe:
Next round: k to last 3 sts on first needle, k2tog, k1; on second needle k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1; on third needle, k1, ssk, k to end.
Knit one round even.
Repeat these two rounds until 14 sts remain; at end of round, knit 4 sts from first needle onto last needle so that there are 7 sts on each of two needles. Break yarn, leaving a 10 inch tail, and use a darning needle to graft remaining sts with Kitchener stitch.

Now, do it all again. Then dance around the room with them on your fingers like sock puppets. Or not.

And please let me know if I've made any mistakes or typos; Pete walked in the door just as I was cut-n-pasting in the pattern, and I'm too smitten to proofread just now.

Posted by jodi at December 15, 2006 05:28 PM | categories:  knit design


Ya know, I'm finally coming to the realization that I may also hate Xmas . . . I'm not 100% positive, but all the clues point that way. Despite that, I'm really excited for Hub to open his gift from me Xmas morning, because I think he will be really surprised and pleased. But the rest of it? Phooey.

Maybe I should just buy a bottle of booze for myself! Heh!

Posted by: chris at December 15, 2006 07:44 PM

Happy Birthday to you! Thanks for the gift!

Posted by: Sandy at December 15, 2006 11:47 PM

That las sentence may be the sweetest thing I've read in a month.


(Let me guess: You don't "do" cute, right?)

Posted by: NWJR at December 16, 2006 06:39 AM

Cool! I have leftover sock yarn up the backside. In the spirit of your post, I'll throw a pair or two in for Dulaan the next time I knit for them.

Posted by: Sherry W at December 16, 2006 05:07 PM

Is that the right number of stitches to cast on? I made some socks from this recipe over the weekend, and I guessed that the number of stitches to cast on should actually be 34...

FUN learning how to do a picot edge in the fly like that! thanks!

Posted by: Beth at December 26, 2006 06:29 PM