The spring equinox arrived yesterday bringing morning snow flurries; the day before that, Sock Madness began! I'm in the Purl and Prejudice Division – our mascot is Mr. Darcy (teehee). Perhaps a bit incongruously for one from Austen, I'm off like a jackrabbit on the first pattern, Tropical Mer-tini (with cocktail recipe) by Ronni Smith. Here's the sock in progress, snarling at a wall o' orchids:
The pattern offers some interesting techniques, including the Twisted German cast on, which gives a firm, prettily beaded edge, and the not yet worked afterthought heel with flap and gusset. The stitch pattern is based on the versatile quarter round quilt block Drunkard's Path. Perhaps because of word association with the cast on, to me the stitch pattern looks like a crypto hakenkreuz, so I'm pleased at the way the yarn, Tess' Designer Yarns Super Socks and Baby, colorway Lime Splash, works with both the positive space and the negative space of the stitch pattern to de-emphasize that.
Pre-game, the chatter by returning Sock Madness knitters was starting to get me down. Wollmeise Syndrome, I call it – the feeling that it's not worth it even to try because others are totally obsessed and have overwhelming resources. But all thoughts of premature folding or placing the rest of my life on hold have vanished now that the game is on. Instead of either weak option, I took the sock to The Orchid Show in the Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden.
I'm told Martha Stewart, bundled in her trademark puffy black coat and white Pashmina wrap, was in the building with an entourage, also a Telemundo crew. Alas, I never noticed – my attention was focused on the floral displays, styled by the aptly named Raymond Jungles, and on not fainting. It was steamy in the Conservatory, see how fogged the windows were!
After the show and a restorative stroll outside came an excellent dinner at Emilia's Restaurant on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, which is like Little Italy in Manhattan, but more relaxed, old country charming, and wallet-friendly. Whatever else may happen, my Sock Madness has started very well.