My assignment wasn't really super secret given I was knitting for my friend Kim, who was actually hosting the swap, but I still kept all the details of the socks and the extra goodies secret. I had such a hard time narrowing down what pattern to choose and what yarn to use. Sometimes I am all but paralyzed by indecision. It took me until the beginning of March to narrow it down and then only took me 13 days to knit my socks. Unfortunately it took me forever and a day to decide on the extra goodies too. (Indecision strikes again!) But I did finally decide, got to work and had them ready to go. But then there was the mailing of them. I'm not sure what it is that becomes so difficult about actually taking something to the post office and mailing it. Possibly it's the fact that so often Canada Post is the bane of my existence with it's exorbitant rates and all the frustration that goes along with it. I will never comprehend how it is that I can mail something out of country for less $$ than I can to mail it two provinces away. HOW?!?!?! It makes no blooming sense. Anyways. End of rant.
I finally willed myself to go to the post office on the 13th and amazingly enough (seriously - it's got to be some sort of postal miracle) my parcel arrived in Kim's mail box two short days later! I've had letters going down the block take longer to arrive!
So! I know you're all dying to know what I settled on making. I chose The Sky is the Limit by DXM patterns. It's got a really interesting way of accommodating the gusset - the gusset (can it still be called that?!?) is achieved by increasing stitches along the top of the ankle and foot. It also sports a short row heel that I'm really starting to get in the groove of knitting after making... oops! I almost spilled the beans about another super secret knitting project. Ahem... move along, nothing to see here.
Anyways - I loved the construction of The Sky is the Limit. It was also easily customizable to Kim's size since the balance of the foot is just stockinette - the patterning being all in the leg and top of the foot near the heel, which was a bonus. I used the unfortunately now discontinued Schaefer Anne yarn, that is a wonderful blend of merino/mohair/nylon and came in a huge 560 yd. skein. It's the first time I have tried it and now wish I'd got more when it was still available.
For the crafted extra goodies I made a reversible sock WIP bag using the tutorial from Very Shannon (the reverse side is the rather quirky Knitmare on Elmstreet fabric by Michael Miller that I surprisingly had found last summer at my local Fabricland in the city). I also made a notepad holder using the LBG Studio tutorial that I've used before and a set of stitch markers.
I was thoroughly spoiled by my partner, Christine (another fellow Canadian Octo-mama). She knit me a gorgeous pair of socks that the pictures just can not do justice for. The yarn she used is String Theory's Caper Sock which is a glorious merino/cashmere/nylon blend. Is it wrong to want to pet my socks? They're so soft and squishy. She also included tea and chocolate in my goodies (as well as a lavender sachet to hang in my closet). Christine knows me well. Aren't these socks gorgeous?
The swaps in our group always run like a well oiled machine and are great - I've never regretted signing up for one (and there's been lots of them over the five or so years we've "known" each other.) I think there's only been one that I haven't participated in and that was because I had really dodgy internet access at the time. The sock swap didn't disappoint! It was lots of fun and thoroughly enjoyable!