So, I actually finished my mom's socks a little while ago. Maybe January 24th? Her birthday is on Valentine's day, so I'll be mailing them off soon. Here are some pictures of the finished product:
The best part of making these by far was learning how to do the mosaic pattern. I love Fair Isle type patterns, and enjoy the challenge of working with the multiple strands, but I have to say, I think once you go mosaic, it is hard to see why you would want to go back. All that being said about multiple pattners and strands etc, I also love the way the heel of these socks came out, (eye-of-the-partridge). The texture is lovely, and the natural inconsistency of the dye on the yarn lends some depth without being overbearing. It may just be that I'm saying that because it is juxtaposed to the rainbow (which I secretly came to like, shhh.) They are perfect for my mom though. Anyone who knows her would tell you so. I feel a little bad because she keeps hint-asking if I've been able to start them and I keep saying how busy I am. But she loves surprises, so the thrill of the surprise will cancel out the disapointment. But I still feel a little like a tricky jerk.
At any rate, onward, and away from socks for a while. Though there are a few different heels and ribbings, and they are really so practical, there isn't so much techinque once you've mastered the basics. Therefore, onward to a gift for my mother-in-law. I wanted to make her something that looked like it could be bought in a boutique. A lacy beaded scarf is what I chose. This was supposed to be a Christmas present, and then turned into a late Christmas present when my husband was going out to see his parents in January, and now will just be a mid-February/early-March present. She lives in a very cold climate, so it will still be a useful gift when it finally arrives at its destination. With 10 of 15 repeats finished, I should be done pretty soon.
The beads are all pre-strung and then pushed along on the yarn until they are needed, so I string on about 5 diamonds worth of beads and then when I've run out, I cut the yarn, add more beads, and get back to knitting. It is a lovely process and the yarn is lace weight on size 5 needles, so it goes pretty quickly. There are four colors of beads, which you may or may not be able to see in the detail picture, a matte brown, a shiny brown, a pearl, and an iridescent white which comes out almost lavender. The original pattern which I really love, used only one color of bead. It looked too stark to me, and so with the help of friends, one visionary in particular, I became convinced that not only was it not insane to use multiple colors (I had great fears about stringing them in the right order, but it turns out that once you have done it a few times and messed up once, it is pretty simple) but also a slightly more muted palette was devised. I happened upon the "Beadwrangler" who has the most beautiful treat for the eyes of a website you've ever seen. Also the yarn is baby mohair and silk, so it is like knitting with what you wish spider webs felt like. Once I'm finished I will block this beast, something I never do with my knitting, so I would imagine will post some pictures of that as well.