Tuesday, 20 October 2009


Regular readers may wonder at the fate of my Hungry Bees. Had they swarmed? Suffered the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder? Left to seek fame and fortune in the Versatile Bee category of the Ambridge flower and produce show on the Archers?

Thankfully, the answer to all those questions is no: they are safe and sound in Cambridge, keeping me toasty warm as I write. As I have probably mentioned before, this is an excellent pattern. My feelings about the Old Maiden Aunt merino/bamboo in which the socks are knit have been well-documented: I have now sported this yarn around my neck, on my feet and, all too briefly, around my torso, and it has always been a delight to work with and to wear.

What took me so blinking long to finish them, then? Why did they hover mournfully so close to completion for such an age? Well, it was mainly because it took me a while to make this decision.

The cuff as originally written featured an adorable combination of a honeycomb and honeybee stitch pattern. This looked as sweet as a gumdrop, but for some reason, in my hands, was about as stretchy as a stick of rock. In my original post on these socks, I had attempted to keep things apian with some double moss stitch, vaguely reminiscent of a honeycomb. This was better: now I could just about get them over my heel, but still with a good deal of wiggling.

Finally I snapped. I loved these socks, and I wanted to wear them a lot, without having to ease them cautiously on, or worry about tearing the cuff. So I ripped back both socks to before I started the honeybee lace, and did a simple 2x2 rib and picot cast off. I was sad to bid goodbye to two endearing features of this design, but ultimately am very happy with the finished socks. They are the perfect golden honey colour.

Oh, I mirrored the pattern on the foot, though I'm afraid I don't remember how I did it, as it was rather a long time ago.

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