Sock it to the dragon…

2011 began with a perfect evening and fireworks across the bay. It topped off a lovely BBQ with some old friends and making some new ones. Great! It was followed by (new-ish) neighbours of ours drunkenly singing until about 4 in the morning. Not so great. That was followed by a trip to the famous-in-the-Bay Ohope Craft Market where the only knitted/crochet items I could find were acrylic baby booties and beanies and matinée jackets. I think that just resolved the internal conflict about selling some knitting there next year. I have some shawl designing to do… That was followed by a trip to visit the beach. It was stunning (and hot) and 9.30 in the morning.

Ohope Beach, looking up towards the harbour entrance

Admittedly, it was far busier than this photo depicts. But the tide was far out and we counted seven jellyfish during the walk. That put several swimmers off their prospective New Year’s dip in the ocean.

Then it came to the business end of the knitting year: s62011 #1. The Shur’tugal pattern.

Who knew opening a paper bag could be so nerve-wrecking?

Okay. So I loathe Eragon. I think I managed a whole page before the book was unceremoniously pitched across the room never to be attended to again. That was in 2004. Good on a 15 year-old for writing it, but it read like a 15 year old had written it. And for somebody who at that point was up to her eyeballs in Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, Irish Romanticism and Tolkien; the story was several steps down. Seeing as nothing much has changed in 6 years, I won’t be revisiting the Inheritance Cycle any time soon. But, I do know about the story, and I know who the Shur’tugal are. But I’m going to be stubborn about the whole thing and named this pair of socks after another Dragon Lord from a different fantasy cycle. He was cooler.

Needlefood "Eat Your Greens" was this instalment's winner...

Thank heavens the colour matches the name. All I could think of was Draken-Korin and “special kind of hell” before I pulled this yarn out of the bag.

It’s so squishy! And it’s knitting up nicely. I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Cast-on, and I find that I’m bang on gauge, again. It’ll be 6 repeats to the heel. Seeing as today was a trip down memory lane (more on that later), I managed 4 repeats yesterday and I should be on/finished the heel turn tomorrow. Awesome.

Of course, I don't think Tomas would have had an issue with eating his greens...

I’m enjoying the relatively simple pattern, as my alternate sock is Kells. I started one last year, and the use of 2 cable needles simultaneously with DPNs was slightly overwhelming, but the yarn is a cashmere-blend and I wants them finished! So the theory of the alternate sock construction will be put to the test sooner rather than later. There is a series win to consider in a far-from-dead-rubber game starting in Sydney tomorrow that is perfect for sock knitting…

As for the trip down memory lane… There was a cupboard in the house chock-full stuff – a lot of it (but not as much as I had expected) – was mine. It has now been consolidated to 2 boxes: one of stuff and one (smaller) of academic notes from my undergrad. I found my scrapbooks from my two years in the Hall of Res, and oh my god it was a riot. The funny (sad?) thing is very few of those people have changed that much. Some may have become more respectable-like and got married and all that, but most of them… Wow. I have mad friends. It’s times like that that I’m happy I’m as quirky as I am: when I don’t wish I was as normal as everybody else was at that age. (Well, you know. When you’re 18, you feel like the freak and everybody else was normal. For me, it was more of a relief to realise that there were some others who spoke my language out there). There was also a ritual destruction of some photos and lots of cringing and smiles at other bits and bobs as I managed to cram 10 years worth of memories into a box to put away for another 10 years. But all the fun times working for OUSA and the photos and the notes and the autographs… I’m looking forward to seeing far more of the bandits I rolled with this year, if I can make it to the capital and be respectable and grown-up and all that.

The optimism is there. Even if I do feel like the really awkward 16-year old still. But we’re all like that, aren’t we? The trick is in the bluff. I’ve put away childish things. I wonder if that will work?

Until I have a heel turned, I’ll leave you with another photo of the beautiful blue sky, especially for Ailsa! 😀

Looking out towards West End and Motohura (Whale Island) from the car park...


  1. dragon schmagon I’m hating this sock. I need to have another go but it’s awkward and clunky! But I’m using the Vintage Purls you gave me and it’s lovely, but geez, it’s not a nice sock to knit at all!

    1. Are you using DPNs? Because this would be bloody murder to be knitting with 5 needles… It’s alright on a circ, but I’ve only recent put Vivienne to one side for the summer, so I’ve already done all my swearing at clunky patterns… 🙂

      Happy 2011 Bells!

  2. I love your beach photos. It’s raining here and all the snow washed away overnight. Blech.

    Your choice of color for a dragon pattern is fortuitous. The greens and subtle yellows work well. I’m still working with bayerische. Every row is a charted row and all four sections are cabled/twisted stitches. It’s hard on the hands. One is finished (and beautiful) and the other is a partial. I’ll finish it because I love the red color I chose but it’s going to be a bear.

    1. You’re a braver person than I am! And I love your strider. I have the pattern and just need to get around to it. Will be doing the In Dreams as well. Can’t wait!

  3. I was actually going to suggest you sell some of your stuff at the market! The next one is on the 15th – give mum a ring and she’ll tell you the details! :o) And I, unfortunately, struggled through Eragon and the second one…the second one was worse! Eragon is a Gary Stu!

  4. Gorgeous beach photos! And you said it was hot??

    Thank you so much for joining in my Binding Off 2011 challenge — I’m thrilled that someone else is actually interested! I’m anxious to see what you finish this year!

    1. Beautifully hot – 26 degrees celcius – and not too humid too!

      I think your challenge is a brilliant idea. Heaven knows I have a few monsters that need to be bound off this year too! 🙂

  5. Oh, don’t put away ALL childish things. Half the fun of being grown up is enjoying those things!

    1. I was wondering if you were going to call me on that! Don’t worry, not all childish things will go the way of the Dodo. Where would the fun be if I did that?!

  6. aaagh i hate memory lane at the moment. i would have burnt the lot then regretted it later, so im glad you didnt. i do think its kind of wanky the socks are named after something a 15 year old boy wrote and i didnt love the pattern at all at first, but its working better now ive worked out the twists. and im doing them on DPNs but only 3, the numbers are perfect that way. and i did not need any other incentive to get on a plane over the ditch. i am seriously thinking about a certain set of rugby games in september sometime…..

    1. It’s funny, I’ve had absolutely no issues with the twisted stitches. I actually found them fun. (Don’t shoot me). It was the heel, until I read the pattern again and gave it more then 4 rows to actually see that it was working…

      And I *should* be in Wellington around that time, just in case, you know, you feel like stopping by… 😉

      As for memory lane. I’m pretty certain I will go back and destroy that which I haven’t yet. Hmmmm.

  7. They are a very interesting looking sock and it looks like the colour is spiralling at the moment. I’m always fascinated by how it changes as you work you way down a sock.

    1. You should see the heel! This yarn is just getting better and better. I’m really going to miss Needlefood and her colours now that she’s gone… 🙂

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