This, in case you can't read the ball band, is KnitPicks Essentials sock yarn, Gulfstream color, one skein of which is, obviously, caked already. I was going to post another pic, of BOTH skeins caked, but in retrospect, it seemed redundant, so I didn't. I got it on sale as a clearance color, with the intent of making "everyday" socks with it, whilst learning new techniques. Recall a few days ago (March 12 - Some Days...) I mentioned casting on new socks, experimenting with the Magic Cast-On and knitting them on two circular needles. Well, this is them.
Here is where the plan starts falling apart. These are two circular needles, as specified, in 2.5mm size (US 1+). However, one is a 32" Harmony, and the other is a 47" nickel-plate. Both are LOVELY needles, BTW, though the join on the Harmony is just a tad rough. It's a pleasure to knit with it anyway. However, for purposes of knitting socks, even TWO socks, they are, shall we say, overlong? It's like knitting with half an octopus! I intend to replace them as soon as practicable, with 24" needles. I'm going to get another 32", though, just in case that seems to work better, as I am getting used to the spacing on that needle.
I cast on on March 13th - and frogged - and on the 14th - and frogged - and on each and every day since then, up to night before last, I cast on - and frogged. Tension on the Magic Cast On is more important than one is led to expect. It helped a great deal that a discussion of different techniques for casting on without needing short-rows was conducted on Ravelry (the Tsock Flock group) in which the necessity for an initial slip-knot was derided. The arguments against using it seemed cogent to me, so I decided to omit it. Should you decide likewise, I strongly suggest you handle the first loop of the cast on as though the yarn was already coming from the previous stitch, i.e. get that twist into the loop! It makes things mucho easier.
This is either the second or third attempt, I don't remember which. I'm getting the tension down pretty good, but it still has the slipknot loop start. If you look closely (click on the pic to biggen it a bit) you can see the toe tip forming, and the complete invisibility of the cast-on. I likes it! This part of the learning process actually went pretty smoothly, especially in comparison to the two-socks-on-two-circs farce.
Once upon a time, back in my youth, I could read a set of directions once, and follow them with no further need to reference them, and produce the desired result. Alas, senility is creeping in, and this is manifestly no longer the case. I have no idea what I was doing, but I think, among other things, that I learned how to do the Magic Loop, because at one point I ended up with all four sides of sock on one needle. I tried, at one point or another, every possible combination of socks and needles, including one weird cross-wise thing that had the top of one sock on the same needle as the bottom of the other sock, and the bottom of the first sock on the other needle with the top of the second sock, and needing to knit both from the middle out.
Fortunately, I was struck by a blinding light, and realized that if I thought of the two needles as the circumferences of two dinner plates stacked one on top of the other, with the socks trapped between them, it all became pelucidly clear. See?
And here's a closer look at one of the socks.
Here's a cheerful sort of thing to start your week with. The view last Saturday, looking up from my computer chair out the window...