Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Las Vegas Sockery

Las Vegas must be one of the strangest places on earth. I speak not of the suburbs, of course, where probably perfectly rational people live, but of the famous casino-lined Strip.

It's not a place I would ordinarily seek out, but it's nevertheless a place from which I've just returned. World's-most-patient husband and a couple of boyhood buddies had organized a quick weekend trip for a few couples to meet there. And once you're engulfed in its crazy theme-park atmosphere, with the pirate ship, and the dancing fountains, and the Roman statues, and the singing gondoliers, and the Eiffel Tower, what can you do but just surrender to the whole tongue-in-cheek fantasy of the place?

I lack the urge for games of hazard, so, for me, Las Vegas is a place for nutty sightseeing, eating out, and shopping. Where else could I wear flowered capri pants in an eye-splitting coral pink? And where else would I feel they really needed a pair of golden sandals to set them off? A temporary aberration, I assure you, but fun.

With long airplane flights on the agenda, I needed a compact travel project again. Awash in spinning and dyeing, I had nothing suitable in progress on the knitting front. I turned to socks. Temperatures in Las Vegas were expected to be around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so I thought of cotton.

I happen to have Knitpicks' discontinued Dancing sock yarn still lying around in a couple of different colorways. It's a summery yarn, about half-and-half wool and cotton, with a little nylon for strength and elastic for bounciness. I think I opined here once that it felt inelastic to knit with, like pure cotton, but that was a calumny. Well, not a calumny, maybe; it wasn't maliciously false, just false. Though I blamed the yarn at the time, it actually may have been the Jaywalker sock pattern that was uncomfortable to knit.

This time, I had the Mockery sock pattern from live2knit on the brain. (I'd seen it on Lime &Violet's Daily Chum, a wonderful blog of which I've recently become an enthusiastic devotee. Honestly, how do they find all this stuff every day?) The stitch pattern creates an elegant texture without bulk. I knew there was a good chance that the delicate pattern would be swallowed up by the bright, blippy color changes in the Dancing yarn. Truthfully, the pattern would probably look best in a solid color. But I figured I'd forge ahead. After all, I needed to knit something with that yarn. I guess I could do plain stockinette socks, but where's the challenge in that?

So I packed up the bamboo needles and dipped alternately into my knitting and a book of English Country House Mystery stories as the miles flew by beneath me. The Mockery pattern was easily memorized and agreeable to knit. The unjustly accused yarn was resilient and perfectly inoffensive. The colorway, while not necessarily a favorite of mine, looks as if it will go well with jeans.

I did have one bad moment. Somehow, in changing from one double-pointed needle to the next, I fumbled a little, and one needle sprang out of my hands and disappeared. I thought it had fallen into my lap, but inspection there was fruitless. I started having visions of long taxi rides to yarn stores for replacement needles. Before long, I had world's-most-patient-husband and the seatmate on the other side searching the seat cushions, and I down on the floor on my hands and knees, posterior skyward, feeling around desperately for my fugitive needle (and no doubt providing light entertainment for some of the other passengers.) Eventually, one of my random floor-pats dislodged the needle from alongside some sort of metal track where it had hidden. So we were reunited, and I clutched the needles more tightly for the rest of the flight.

I can't say I got a tremendous amount done on this trip; it wasn't really that kind of destination. A little cool and cloudy weather might have done wonders for the knitting, but it was all blazing, cheerful sunshine. I did get this far. The strong color changes are distracting, but if you look closely, you can see the mock cable pattern forming in the actual stitchwork. It may show up better after being blocked or in the actual wearing. Or then again, it may not.

But at least I'll know it's there!

1 comment:

Beate said...

Sounded like a great trip..
my worst nightmare is to loos a needle somewhere and not be abel to get it/find it.
my friend sendt her nabour under her terrase ( because he is a tiny man!!!) so he could help her find one of her dropped needles.
People seem to be helpful around knitters.