Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Knit the Red Planet Socks - Mars Rover Not Required!

Card 1 from the Topps "Mars Attacks" Trading Card Set
Earth's neighbor Mars has been the source of myths and legends for centuries.  In 1877 the "discovery" of dark lines visible on Mars were believed to be Martian-built canals (later proved to be an optical illusion), and the 1938 radio adaption of the novel "The War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells seemed to be a real-time news report describing an invasion of Earth by attacking Martians.  Throughout the legends, the perception has always been that Martians were an intelligent, advanced race. 

But while scientists have not ruled out the possibility of life on Mars, it is most likely that Martian life, if any, will be discovered as tiny microbes or bacteria, not the green, multi-armed, highly intelligent beings of legend and comic book fame.

Red Planet Socks
The next sock in our Sock of the Month Club, the Red Planet Socks, adds ribs and a cable stitch patterning to a basic sock. The cables look like they could only have been created by a highly intelligent extraterrestrial life form.  Difficult?  No!  Cables are easy and a great way to impress the non-knitters in your life. If you knit last month's Launch Pad Socks, you will find the Red Planet sock pattern a natural next stop on your exploration of strange new worlds.

You don't really need multiple Martian arms to create cables, just a cable needle.  The cable needle holds stitches off your needles and out of your way.  When you return to the stitches and work them back into your project the stitch order has been swapped so that the cable is created.  Easy!  For visual instruction of cables visit Michelle Hunter's video.

Do you shy away from double point needles?  The Red Planet Socks use two circular needles at the same time to create the seamless narrow tube of the sock (I love the pointy 24" addi Sock Rockets!).  You simply cast on to one needle like normal, divide the stitches onto the two needles, and then use the flexible circulars to work around.  KnittingHelp.com has a great instructional video on their YouTube channel.

HiKoo American B.R.A.N.D. in Biscayne
The Red Planet Socks use just one skein of American B.R.A.N.D. yarn to create the Red Planet Socks. HiKoo® American B.R.A.N.D. is an all-American yarn: Born, Raised And Naturally Dyed.  It's a fingering weight wool, made with pride in the United States from start to finish. The wool is sheared from Rambouillet flocks that graze in pastures from Montana to Texas. The yarn is spun in Pennsylvania and dyed in North Carolina. Amazingly, the gorgeous palette of twelve bold colors comes from using only natural materials, including indigo, cochineal, gall nuts, pomegranate, cutch, walnuts, madder root, weld flowers and rhubarb root.  You'll need just one skein of American B.R.A.N.D. to complete the Red Planet Socks.

Because of the artisanal dyeing process, there may be some color transfer. We highly recommend washing your American B.R.A.N.D. yarn before winding it into a ball to minimize this transfer. The manufacturer also suggests using metal needles.

Red Planet Sock in Arches colorway
Bonus:  The Red Planet pattern is free with the purchase of HiKoo American B.R.A.N.D. yarn!

Call or drop a note if we can help!

Happy Knitting . . . . Amy

The trading card pictured at the top is from "Mars Attacks," a science fiction trading card series released by Topps in 1962.  The cards by science fiction artists Wallace Wood and Norman Saunders tell the story of Earth being invaded by a highly advanced, but cruel, race of Martians who intend to colonize the planet Earth.

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