With two thirds of Siv’s sleeves finished, I have little more knitting to look forward to on this project. By Monday, I will have moved into the dread finishing stage, with all the grafting and sewing up and weaving in, and of course the moment of truth when I put on the sweater and see whether all my knitting has paid off in a sweater that I will love, or not. This means that I need a new project to begin on Monday.

I have a lot of longer-range knitting plans, including (assuming Siv turns out as well as I hope) another Siv with different stitch patterns and some felted things for Christmas gifts. But before that, I intend to use the remaining green Woolease to make some socks.

The knitting of socks has changed since I last knitted any. For one thing, it has become hugely popular. The last time I knitted a pair of socks, it was an anachronistic thing to do. No longer. Socks are now one of the most popular knitting projects, right up there with cell-phone cases.

There are also new ways to knit socks. People now begin their socks at the toe, or knit them on two circular needles. They use numerous different methods for turning the heel and shaping the toe. They add not just lace and cables, but also fur and beads and intarsia patterns. Many people knit both socks of the pair at once, on the same needles. There are also many special new sock yarns, including those that make their own color patterns as you knit and those that include a little bit of reinforcement yarn with each ball.

So there are big decisions to make.I am using up the leftover yarn from Siv, so I do not have to be tempted by Hot Sox or Crazy Feet. And after some intensive communion with my stitch-pattern books,  I have decided to use a leaf-pattern lace stitch. But the question of what needles to use is exercising my mind a bit.

On the one hand, it seems that most of the new methods are mostly intended to allow one to avoid double pointed needles. Since I have nothing against DPs, there might not be any advantage in it. On the other hand, it’s hard to carry DP knitting around without having stitches slip off the needles. And it might be nice to try something new. But on the third, or fourth, or maybe just back on the first hand, it seems as though knitting on two long circular needles at once would inevitably leave you with one of them flopping about irritatingly, possibly poking unwary bystanders. I will have to visit the local yarn shop and find someone who has tried both methods and see just how much of a menace to the populace this two-needle method entails.

One thing I can say for sure. As charming as the picture of knitting needles walking around in their socks is, there is no way in the world that you could knit socks on two straight needles as pictured. No wonder the yarn is in such a tangle!