After lots and lots of knitting for friends and family I realised that there was a time and place for something knitted for my very own self, and that this time and place was now. I found this absolutely beautiful hand spun and hand dyed yarn Mirasol Hacho from Peru which simply caught my eye. Fairly traded it is too, and the colours, well, what can I say. I got two sets of two colours and was lucky that one skein is just about enough for a short sock - just as well I didn't intend to make it a long one!
Opa Cartside (aka my ever practical father) commented on how much work was involved, how long it took to knit just one pair of socks, and just as well I didn't tell him how much the yarn cost. I'm sure many people see life in terms of efficiency and cost effectiveness. Of course these socks are not. These socks are special. They keep my feet snug and warm on cold April evenings in Glasgow, they smile at me with their bright colours and make me feel less tired. They are a splash of colour when I need it, and having made them myself in lots of hours while watching telly, chatting to friends, driving long distances in the car (I wasn't driving while knitting I hasten to add), really, they didn't take any of my precious time. They filled potential boredom with creativity and the great feeling that comes from having made something yourself.
As to being my first socks - I had to wonder why they sell sets of double-pointed needles which are one needle short (I only realised that 5 needles were required - I managed with 4, but 5 would have made it easier). I loved having to just knit and not count so much, the portability and simplicity of these socks. I didn't like the small needles, tight knitting and the slow progress. The heel was done with a technique that apparently is easier than the traditional turning the heel one, and yes, it was rather straight forward. The pattern is available for free in German only (sorry) and the yarn retails at John Lewis - possibly at other places too.
On a different topic, don't forget to pay a visit to this fortnight's British Mummy Bloggers Carnival over at More than Just a Mother. I'm dead chuffed that I'm in it too, above all though there's plenty of good reading gathered over there. And if you haven't entered the book competition yet, you've got another day before I'll draw the lucky winner!