On March the 1st I started the pattern. It started with a starshaped toe, using the two balls I used for binoculars.
Nice toe! Starshaped. A new technique for me. The multicolour part is new to me too. You don’t alternate colours, you just have the colours chasing each other. Not jogs at the end of round.
As soon as I started the slipped stitch part I knew I didn’t like the way the colours knitted up. It’s the variegated yarn. I want stripes instead.
So I switched to the best stripey yarn I have: purple and green with sparkles! I chose a dark blue solid to combine it with. It’s left over yarn from my Old Jeans Town cardi (2014). That’s a handdyed Zitron Trekking XXL sock yarn. The self striping Opal yarn also has some dark blue and it might result in a plaided look.
This is as far as I got on the first day:
The same nice toe and slipped stitches with a bit of a plaid thing going on! Yay!
On March the 2nd I went to the market and bought myself flowers, stroopwafels and a funny little perforator called “haps! haps!”:
Ranunculus are one of my favourite flowers. They are so cheery and airy and they have gentle greens and they talk of Spring. I never buy myself flowers, never get them either, which makes this feel like a real treat. I believe Ranunculus can only be bought for a few weeks.
Stroopwafels are the Sock Madness Doping for the Dutch. We all eat them and we show each other our cups of coffee with a waffle on top in photos on the internet. We compare brands and bakeries. We tease the American and Canadian knitters and they tease us right back by ordering them online. It’s all good fun.
Every weekly market in Holland has a booth where a chef bakes and sells stroopwafels. It’s very Dutch. Just like every market has one of these noise machine/street organs:
My local stroopwafel experts are Rob Hendriks and his wife. They’ve been on this market for 34 years! They really want to pamper their costumers and Rob has a collection of fun one liners. Getting one of their freshly baked, warm stroopwafels filled with caramel is delicious!
Rob Hendriks Stroopwafels
At their booth they sell various kinds of stroopwafels including glutenfree or with real full fat butter. I chose some organic stroopwafels because they do not contain fructose glucose. The chef didn’t bake these himself, he buys them from a wholesale retailer called The Stroopwafel Express. They taste great! Much better than the kinds that contain fructose glucose. These waffles taste like the old fashioned waffles from the previous century.
Stroopwafels are historically connected with the city of Gouda, where my friend Wolop lives. Stroopwafels were invented there! Isn’t that a strange city? Famous for cheese, candles, stroopwafels and ceramics. Curious city.
pic by Manuel and by Shereen M
Stroopwafels didn’t get baked and sold outside the city of Gouda until after 1870. There are still four large plants running in Gouda.
Then Wolop tells me she’s knitting on her Sock Madness socks and doesn’t even have waffles in her home, her Gouda home! That’s grounds for disqualification, right?
I made some tea, took my flowers and waffles and settled in for a bit of knitting. It was a lovely hour. I wasn’t exactly sure when to start the heel. I opted for a bit more than others: 63 rows of slip stitch pattern. 6.5” (16,5 cm) from the tip of the toe.
Then I did the heel. It is a Sweet Tomato Heel with Japanese Shortrows. All new to me but the pattern explains it really well and I managed to work through it without faulting. It did take three hours however, Japanese shortrows are a bit fiddly…
Managing the short rows in the first wedge with a piece of waste yarn:
Halfway I inserted 3 extra stitches on the instep on each side because it was getting a bit tight, with my high instep. In the second sock I will insert a proper gusset.
Then the heel was finished:
Now it’s time for the easy yet entertaining slip stitch pattern for the leg. Easy knitting until I reach the cuff.
Because I will be visiting a knitter on Friday and we’ll be knitting together on our Sock Madness socks I had the clever idea to leave this piece of easy knitting for that occasion. Can’t juggle Japanese Shortrows and a conversation about stroopwafels. That’s why I cast on another toe for a second Sock Madness sock:
This one is knitted from the same 100 grams glittery Opal sock yarn I’m using for the other sock, only this is knitted from the inside of the ball. Combined with a green Meilenweit that I hate the colour of.
The pattern is excellent for colours you hate. Somehow they combine into marvelous combinations! It’s quite addicting to want to knit one more row, just to see how things combine and turn out.
I’m not sure yet if this is the second sock of the first pair or the first sock of the second pair. I love the colours on both socks and would love a pair of each.
Now it’s the end of March 3rd and this is where I am:
Nearly time for the heel. I had to stop though, I’m going too fast. My wrist is is startingto hurt and the weak spot in my shoulder has woken up. And I antagonised my gut with the gluten in the stroopwafels. So I’m going to pace my fun. And I’m switching to chocolate, I gave the last two stroopwafels to my husband.
But boy how I love doing this. Sitting in my knitter’s chair, with tea, cat and flowers next to me and a good light on my knitting where each row gives new colour combinations.
pic by Frances Berriman