This week I'm concentrating on my second Shark Week Sock. It's an unusual pattern - sock two is an entirely different pattern than sock one. Sock one showed a shark swallowing a leg from the bottom up; that is, the shark's jaws were encircling the calf and the tail was at the wearer's toes. For sock two, the tail is at the calf, and a victim foot emerges from the jaws that encircle the instep... which necessitates about 75 yards of flesh-coloured yarn.
Rather than purchase another skein of sock yarn to complete these sock - goodness knows with two skeins already and a pricey pattern I've already spent enough - I decided to dye my own. A couple of months ago I took a short course in dyeing yarns with Kool-Aid and Wilton Icing colours, and figured I could come up with something workable. And then someone suggested I use tea. Of course, tea! That was easy enough, cost me almost nothing and yielded a very suitable colour.
Using the niddy noddy Gavin made me from these instructions, I wound off about 80 yards of the white sock yarn, tied off my mini-skein, dampened it and then steeped it in strong tea for about 15 minutes. It dried a little lighter than planned, but it's still a good colour; probably better than I would have found at my LYS and definitely more economical.
The second sock starts with a provisional crochet cast - the tail and flukes are added later by working back and forth on two needles on either side of the leg. After knitting a few inches of leg, I'm working shadow-wrapped short rows (using the tutorial found here) to shape the gap for the underbelly, with increases to add ease at the instep. At the same time I'm working three columns of purl stitches; each forms the base for a dorsal or pectoral fin to be added later. Did I mention that there's a lot going on with this sock?
By far this is the most challenging sock pattern I've ever knit. The construction is extremely unusual, perhaps because the designer has approached the sock design in an entirely different way than most. Most sock designs follow a common formula, but here the designer seems to have drawn a concept sock and then figured out how to create it. Designer Lisa Grossman must have awesome knitting skills, because, with this pattern, we're doing things I didn't even know were possible. I'm learning new techniques at every turn. Definitely not TV knitting!
Wow, thanks for reading this far! To see what lots of other people are knitting and crafting, have a peak through the links at Tami's Amis ... after all, it IS work-in-progress Wednesday!