Apparently all you need to escape from a Sock Rut is some interesting new yarn!
These socks are in Schaefer "Heather", which is superwash wool and nylon and silk (I can't stay away from silk), in their Dian Fossey colourway. The pattern is "Firestarter" by Yarnissima. I'm a bit wary of this irony, especially as fire season has just begun and I don't want to tempt fate, so in my head I've christened the socks "Smokey the Bear".
I made a couple of small modifications. I don't like the look of short-row toes, so used a figure-8 cast-on at the tip of the toe and increased with lifted increases to 56 stitches, which is four fewer than the pattern calls for, because a 60-stitch sock in this yarn is too big for me. I increased to 60 at the ankle to accomodate the 1x2 ribbing, then didn't have to switch to bigger needles to shape the calf because it was already big enough around. At the very end I increased three stitches in each side cable so that it would resolve into the same ribbing, like so:
The yarn is really soft, you guys, and really smooth and really round. Knitting with it feels decadent, wearing the finished socks even more so. I'm not completely sold on the colours, however. I never know what to do with variegated yarn; I don't trust it not to pool in flashy splotchy spirals, and I'm never sure how to work with whatever pooling tendencies it has without straying too far away from the thing that I wanted to make. In this case I decided to trust the yarn, and it resolved into camouflage tiger stripes. I don't think I mind, but I wish it came in solid colours—I want to pick this colourway apart into its component greens and knit with them one at a time.
In the spirit of Messy Tuesdays, I was going to offer you a mistake—there's a cable crossing in one sock that goes the wrong way, which happened while I was knitting and carrying on a conversation simultaneously and didn't want to disrupt the flow of either by stopping to fix it. I looked for several minutes just now but couldn't find it, so I suppose it is not too egregious. Hmph.
Have a WIP instead:
These socks may also be a mistake, and are certainly a mess! The yarn is Fleece Artist Woolie Silk (I don't know why it gets an -ie instead of a -y; to differentiate it from Silky Wool maybe?), and the pattern is slightly modified from the Gentlemen's Half-Hose in Ringwood Pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks. I'm appalled but secretly delighted by how garish they are (it's fine, because they'll be hidden underneath boots for the most part and only I will know they're there) and I'm really enjoying the Ringwood pattern—it's plain enough to go very fast but patterned enough that progress is obvious, and you can count repeats to make the second sock match the first.
I also made some yarn:
Gosh, I really am bringing the garish, aren't I? It's about the same colour as the little pegs in a Lite-Brite when the light behind them is turned on. So: like a neon rainbow. There's 2oz here spun into around 100m, with 2oz left to spin, and I think that it will become Lite-Brite mittens.