Caramba!

Just uploaded final pattern file for proofing and printing, so I get a brief break from Pattern Purdah, and can present the new club Tsock without further ado. Hoist one with me, willya? I give you our, um, well, Indian Summer sock, Frozen Margarita.

Frozen Margarita

It’s a silly one, without too much Deep Inner Meaning for once - just a lot of lime slices, a saguaro cactus, and plenty of salt.

Oh, and an optional Mezcal worm in the bottom of the bottle - that is, on the heel.

Mezcal Worm

Yeah, I know… not strictly authentic. But then… there’s a lot about the typical Frozen Margarita presentation that is, if not inauthentic, maybe a little, well… cheesy? Like for instance those big silly stemmed glasses with the stem shaped like a cactus?

Saguaro Cactus

The way I see it - it’s all part of the fun.

There’s a great deal of latitude in this sock - which elements go where, how many of them, how big, how tall - much of that is Knitter’s Choice.

I personally like my margarita with a LOT of lime…

Lime Slice

… and a LOT of salt on the rim of the glass.

Salt on the Rim

Unlike most club socks, this one doesn’t come with a Techniques supplement, because all the tricks in it are things we’ve already used this year, though they are occasionally mixed and matched in unexpected ways. From a technical standpoint - the sock is not without its challenges, but overall the club is getting a little brain break after the rigors of Firebird, Frenchman’s Creek, and York & Lancaster.

All of which would have made this a perfect summer knit. Sigh. There’s still a little bittersweet yarn attached to that, however.

You may recall that the reason we originally had to change the batting order was that the base yarn we wanted to use was temporarily unavailable?

Alas, to all intents and purposes it remained unavailable. Oh, there was yarn, all right, more or less when we were told to expect it. It was the form factor that failed us. The special sproingy bamboo blend yarn I had set my heart on was supposed to be shipped undyed in 1/2-pound hanks. From a dyer’s standpoint that’s a good bit less convenient than cones, but Jen and I agreed that it was do-able. But when the first batch of yarn arrived? Those 1/2-pound hanks? Not exactly 1/2 pound. They were varying sizes and weights - most of them about 5-6 ounces. Roughly. Approximately. Give or take an ounce here and there. Oh, the total poundage was exactly as ordered. The increments? Not so much.

An average sock skein is about 4 ounces. For our purposes there’s a good bit of variation in that rule of thumb - we make custom skeins in two sizes for our kits, based on actual sock yardage (plus a nice whack for “slush” factor), but still that’s the ballpark, and working with those inconsistent hanks would mean we’d end up wasting somewhere between 33% and 50% of the yarn.

Apparently the suppliers didn’t see the issue in this light. Jen talked to them, of course, but no joy - all they kept saying was, we’re sending you exactly as much as you order, so where’s the problem?

You have to wonder if they actually want people to be able to dye and resell their yarn. Based on the evidence, I’m guessing… not. But then I also have to wonder - in that case why do they even bother making it available in undyed hanks? Something just doesn’t add up.

In any case, our hope of varying the yarn mix for once suffered the usual fate of best-laid plans. So - Frozen Margarita is worked up in tried-and-true Flock Sock. Which isn’t exactly chopped liver, mind you! In fact, not to put too fine a point on it, it is after all my favorite sock yarn. It’s just… not what I originally planned.

So what else is new.

Ah, what the hell. It’s still plenty bright and silly and frivolous, still a cheerful reminder of the summer past and of summers to come.

In fact - know what? think I’ll order me up another one. Hey, where’d that pool boy disappear to…?

Frozen Margarita

16 Responses to “Caramba!”

  1. Mardi Says:

    Funny - I could swear I just heard somebody playing maracas. Dang it, where’s that coming from??

  2. Astrid Bear Says:

    Slurp — lovely! Is the lacy cuff also worked in the Flock Sock?

  3. Karen Says:

    Cabana Boy is the one who will snap to. Pool Boy gets a bit of attitude now and then and thinks he needs to mind the filtration.

    These are great. The timing might be even better than originally planned — now that the days are short, the temps are dropping (like hail), and we aren’t yet so tired of dark and winter that this nice summery sock sends us over the brink and into the drink.

    Cheers, Karen

  4. Liz Says:

    Oh, I love it.

  5. sandy Says:

    Wonderful sock–can’t wait. The yarn story is so completely insane and yet so believable at the same time. Thanks for persevering

  6. Sally Says:

    Ah, the lovely salt on the rim, the lime, hum…maybe the Florida Keys for the winter….nice sock!! Sorry about the yarn woes, but I must say the pastel bamboo yarn that DID get dyed is, well, to die for :)

  7. DebbieB Says:

    Made of 100% awesome. The limes, the salt… wow.

  8. Linda Says:

    Personally, I love frozen margaritas - any time of year. I love anything with beads, and lacies, and whatnot - and that color, yummmmmmm!

  9. Emilie Says:

    A friend of mine came up behind me and said “Oh…that colour’s….tasteful…”. She clearly thought I was mad to be so in love with that sock.

    But I love it. :) I love bright, violent colours…I can’t wait for Margarita! :) It looks delish. (And it gives me a great excuse to make margaritas to drink while knitting!)

    I love the beads…I love their frosted-ness but also their shape. They really do look like little salt crystals.

    The thing I love about your designs is that they’re mad! :)

  10. Anne Kaelber Says:

    Oh…I was already wishing I was in the Sock Club before, but this one just takes the cake! I need a saguaro on my feet. I live all around them, but they just aren’t that wearable!!! Dang it…. I need me some Sock Club! (Does lying on the floor, throwing a tantrum make Sock Club magically appear? *grin*)

    I love your work and one day hope to meet you. Keep on designing….you’re amazing in my book!

    Anne. (who really isn’t trying to butter the designer up; gushing just comes naturally at 3am!)

  11. Veriton Says:

    You know what I like the most? Being a very basic knitter myself, I looked at the sock and thought, well, a simple design for once, maybe I can tackle this one! And then I started to look at the closeups…. damn! That cactus! I have no idea how that is done haha, and the lemon? Nop! And the cuff with the salt? nop!
    Another one for me to be completely amazed, even if it’s not my colour. Wonderful design, and art yet again :)

  12. Dan - aka brewergnome Says:

    Awesome. A sock that makes me giggle. From who but the Tsarina, could you get such a thing? I say again, awesome.

  13. soxanne Says:

    How delightfully whimsical!

  14. Mistress Wenzer Says:

    ¡Me gusta esa margarita! ¿Cuando estará la margarita en mi buzón?

  15. BaaBaa Says:

    Now THAT is a happy Tsock! The color makes me smile.
    And the timing, whatever you may think, is perfect.
    Since The Old Man(tm) and I will not be making our annual hajj to Florida this January,
    these tsocks will sub for sunshine, beach and tall cool drinks all winter long.
    Cha cha cha.
    (Pina coladas next?)

  16. Belinda Gritter Says:

    Where can I find the pattern for that great pair of Frozen Margarita Socks? Looked on your blog but can’t find even the socks.

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