It took me years, years, I tell you, to finish this pair of socks. I started a pair probably about four years ago, in a cabled pattern from Mountain Colors that ended up being a little too loose on my foot. I like a snug fitting sock. So, I started another sock in a different design, Fancy Ribbed Dogs by Pamela Pascal Rush for Three Trails Handknit Designs. These patterns are almost always a winner with me. I think they're successful for me because I wear the exact shoe size that the sock pattern says will fit. Also, most use my favorite sock yarn, the Mountain Colors Weavers Wool Quarters. For some reason, when knitting the first sock, the stitch pattern just didn't grab me. I liked the way it looked, but didn't like the actual knitting of it. One row uses a lot of cast ons to create the texture. After I created the first sock, I needed to take apart the original sock, and knit the mate in the new pattern. It took years to get motivated. So many passed, it was kind of painless to knit the mate, rather than start a new pair with a completely different yarn. I did the cast ons this time using the cabled method, which worked much better than the backwards loop method I used for the original pair. You see, so much time passed between making each sock, that my technique improved along the way. I used my favorite sock cast on for the mate, having learned only in the past year. So, the difference in the cast on may only be discernible to me. The yarn color is called Golden Willow, purchased at Arcadia Knitting when they were at their old address on Balmoral.
For all of you who shy away from the handwashing, let me just add that there are delightful products out there for washing your knits by hand. Between Soak and Eucalan, it's like a little aromatherapy in your sink. My older, only hand washed Mountain Colors socks have the most lovely patina. My feet are happy in their socks. Not so happy naked. One day, I really need to muster up enough courage to submit to a pedicure. The problem is, my feet are so ticklish, I can't stand to have them touched!