Lucky lady

Woa, I’m back, surprisingly in one piece. Not much knitting was accomplished this weekend, but I have a knitting story to entertain you nonetheless.

I swear the Boston South Station T-stop attracts the weirdest knitting admirers. Remember this lady? Anyway, I’m sitting in the station waiting for the train, knitting away, when this middle-age dude sits down next to me. Nothing happens for a few minutes, and then he takes out dental floss, unrolls a few feet, and proceeds to thoroughly, methodically, carefully floss his entire mouth. Say it with me, ewwwww!!! There were bits of food and saliva flying everywhere! I slid myself a few feet away from him along the bench. Next thing I know, he takes out a toothbrush, and toothpaste, unscrews the cap, puts a bit on the brush bristles, and starts brushing his teeth! GAH! Mama mia, I was so grossed out. Although we were still sitting on the same bench, at this point I moved myself so we were as far apart as possible. Anyway, he finishes the brushing, puts the toothbrush away (without washing it), and doesn’t rinse his mouth or anything. His entire face is covered in toothpaste, and his hands, too. Only then he decides it’s an appropriate time to slide close to me and ask me to touch my knitting.

My answer (I quote), “No fucking way!” at which point I promptly gathered all my stuff and stood up to wait for the train.


Last FO of 2005!

Let me tell you, my grandma is one lucky lady! The color of these puppies is not exactly what she would have chosen herself, but I know she’ll enjoy the softness and the fit.

Pattern: (ironically) Gentleman’s Fancy Socks from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks.

I made a few modifications to this pattern: I knit short-row heels and toes because my grandma really liked the way they fit on this pair. I also adjusted the stitch and row counts to account for using sportweight yarn.

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in cranberry, 2 skeins.

This is seriously soft yarn. Like freakin’ butta. Or better yet, like the center of a freshly baked, hot from the oven, dinner roll. I don’t think I would use this yarn again for a pair of socks – I know they’ll be annihilated within a few months. However, I would love to use this yarn for winter accessories, hats and scarves in particular. Yes, I would love to wrap my neck in some of this ultra-soft merino Lorna’s Laces goodness, yes, I would ;).

I was planning to weave in some reinforcement into the sole, but I only have gray and black (both showed through too much), and well… I just said, fuck it. Whatever. I’d rather knit another pair of socks than go through the trouble of hunting down some matching reinforcement and weaving it in. I mean, I finished these in less than a week, and knitting them was a lot more fun than weaving in reinforcement thread.


Although the skeins were the same dye lot, the two socks came out quite different. Look! The one on the left is much more variegated than the one on the right! (Also, look! No ladders!)

Needles: INOX 2.50 mm (something like a US 1.5, depends who you ask) double-pointed needles, set of five. My stockinette gauge was 7.5 spi with these.

And the calf shaping – fascinating!


39 thoughts on “Lucky lady

  1. Chris

    Ewwwwww! I’m still shuddering from reading about the guy on the train. Ewwwwww!

    Those socks are seriously gorgeous. Add that pattern to the list of socks I want to make.

    Happy New Year to you!

  2. knitzalot

    That guy on the T was seriously nasty! I feel a little nauseas after reading that. I hope he didn’t spray his spiddle all over your knitting.

  3. jody

    the T guy — totally gross. can i touch that? ewww! i wonder if he was playing some kind of practical joke?

    as for the socks…they are pure pleasure. i love the soft variegation of LL “solid” sock yarn. i’m very interested in hearing how they wear since you knit them so tightly (7.5 spi for sportweight, right?). i’d like to think they’d wear a lot better but grandma will have to report back to all of us to know for sure πŸ™‚

  4. twig

    I’m so glad I live in Western Mass. Y’all can keep all the weirdos. Heck, I don’t even brush my teeth in front of my husband and we’ve been together for what seems forever.

  5. Karma

    Happy socks! Happy Grandma! I laughed so hard at your subway story… ah, public transportation. πŸ™‚ Happy New Year!

  6. atu

    oh yuck.. although I suppose it could had been worst, he might had asked for date ;O)

    seriously lovely socks. Your grandma is so lucky. happy new year Grumperina!

  7. Judy

    OK, that’s just disgusting. I think your response was very restrained!

    Hope the socks wear better than you think — I’ll bet they will.

  8. Ruth

    Hi there, thanks for the “slice of life” story! My son is in Boston this week but I’m sure (pretty sure?) that wasn’t him (no really, he’s 28 and very well mannered).

    Thanks so much for this blog, I’ve only just discovered it and LUV IT!

    Ruth (in San Francisco, CA, where it’s still raining)

  9. Ruth

    Hi there, thanks for the “slice of life” story! My son is in Boston this week but I’m sure (pretty sure?) that wasn’t him (no really, he’s 28 and very well mannered).

    Thanks so much for this blog, I’ve only just discovered it and LUV IT!

    Ruth (in San Francisco, CA, where it’s still raining)

  10. Ruth

    Oops! Sorry Rachel, don’t know how that happened but I apologize. Hope you can re-post your original message.


  11. lyn

    Yuck, how horrible that digusting people think they can touch your knits… you should have whacked him with your needles! That aside, the socks are beautiful and you have a wonderful colour sense!

  12. kris

    such beautiful socks! i have some shepherd sport in my stash – must go and take a closer look. love the cranberry colour as well – the variegation is beautiful. lucky grandma!

  13. Lisa D.

    Apparently he hasn’t heard that personal grooming is supposed to be personal? EWWWWWW!

    Gorgeous socks……AGAIN! Good job!

  14. Stephanie

    My very first fingering weight socks were made with Lorna’s Laces Shepherd sock and they have held up very well–that was at least 5 years ago!

  15. Yarnspin

    I love reading about the socks you’re making for your grandma! It sounds like so much fun, and they’re really beautiful. Happy New Year!

  16. anne

    Wow, using a few feet of dental floss seems kind of wasteful. πŸ™‚ Lovely socks, too — I just got the Vintage Socks book for Xmas (finally) and am very much looking forward to using it!

  17. Tam

    I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the wear you’ll get out of the LL’s yarn. Most of the socks I’ve made have been out of Shepherd Sock yarn because you just can’t beat it for color and softness. I knit them quite loosely (7 st/in-ish)and wear them every chance I get. I wash them in the washer and have, on occasion, accidentally machine dried them. Besides a bit of fuzziness on the sole (which appears less right after washing and reappears after wearing) they are doing fine. My husband has a pair that he wears about every other day and they look fine. The oldest pair is about 5 years old.

  18. paula

    I’ve heard that Shepherd Sock holds up really well and those statements are typically followed by “surprisingly.” Hehe. So, we’ll see!

    And, do I have to tell you how gag-inducing I thought that story was?

    My god. Blech!

  19. Julie H.

    Maybe toothpaste guy figured if he had minty fresh breath you would respond better to him? Probably not. Gaahh. Amazing to see that the weirdos exist outside of New York City…

  20. Michelle

    You know, I was just reading a rant about the trend of people feeling as though public space is their own personal space – as if everyone has a bubble around them and can do whatever they want in public provided they don’t actually touch you. It was in Lynne Truss’ new book.

  21. Jan aka Warrior Knitter

    OMG! You are awesome … er …… the socks are Awesome.

    Now that’s another sock I HAVE to make from that book I HAD to buy because of your Grandma!!!! πŸ˜‰

    I finally finished (New Year’s Eve) the 1st sock of a pair that I’m making from that book β€” the “Gentlemen’s Sock with Lozenge Pattern” on page 41. I’m using Cascade Fixation Lapis blue for the cuff, heel & toe & the white for the leg & foot. Now to cast on for sock #2!

    Thanks for all the great inspiration!!

  22. Karen

    Ah, freaks in the T station. I went to college outside of Boston and had almost forgotten the multitiude of freaks you can see underground. I think your freak gets the prize though! None of my stories could top that one!! Grandma’s Fancy Socks came out great too – I’m sure she will love them.

  23. sara

    *laughing* That guy was so nasty, but I can’t help but feel a little wistful and nostalgic about Beantown. I miss riding on the T and people watching- it was the best thing to do on a Saturday.

  24. Joelene

    I think these might be my favorites yet! I have wanted to make some socks out of that yarn! I think now it is time to get that started!

  25. Monica

    Yay red socks!

    I so don’t miss the red line. Commuter rail runs infrequently and costs more, but is much more civilized. Once you’re on the train. Not while you’re rushing to get a seat. Not so civilized then.

  26. Knit1Purl7

    hahahahahahahaha — what a crack up — yep, knitting in public is just a lightning rod for “interesting” public encounters. Life in the big city is unique. Glad I was sitting down when I read your blog. Thanks for the reality check and the laughs! It’s almost as good/wacky in Oakland, CA!

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