Thursday, June 19, 2008

Vinnlands!! (and flood irrigation trivia)

Yay, yay, they're finally finished! The process seemed to go on forever: I dyed the yarn in early December, picked out the pattern and knit the feet when my sister visited for Christmas, measured and turned the heels when I visited her in March, and finally finished them now in June. But it was so worth it to have such a FABULOUS pair of socks for my sister.

Here are the details....
Pattern: Vinnland Socks
Yarn: Henry's Attic Treadsoft, which I dyed a semi-solid red with kool-aid (color is much deeper and richer in real life, but I desaturated these photos a little so that you could see the stitch pattern better -- red is very hard to photograph!)
Needles: size 1 circular using the magic loop method
Modifications: Instead of a short-row toe, I used a figure-8 cast on (tutorial here). I think I added a few stitches for width. I did the short-row heel using a no-wrap method (tutorial here). And I used plain ribbing on the back of the leg.

I love the central vine motif and will undoubtedly use it on socks again in the future, although I think next time I'll find a slightly thicker yarn and go up to 1.5 needles. I'm really not so refined that I need to knit on size 1s.

Now, you may notice something strange in the pictures above. I'm standing on a picnic table, but that's not the strange bit (it gets the best light). What may strike you as unusual is that our yard is flooded to several inches. You see, our little 1940s ranch house was built in a grapefruit orchard, and our neighborhood still retains the flood irrigation rights. Eighteen times a year, we open up the pipes at the front of the yard, and we get water flooding out for an hour and a half. Here's a full shot of what the backyard looks like during a flood irrigation:

We do feel guilty about this water use. But doing a deep watering every few weeks is more efficient than a sprinkled watering every few days. And we've tried to make productive use of it by planting lots of fruit trees around our yard: valencia and blood oranges, meyer lemon, tangerine, apples, apricots, fuyu persimmon, and black mission fig in addition to the mature grapefruit and pecan trees. Anyways, this was a curious thing to encounter when I moved to the southwest, and I hope you enjoy getting a glimpse of it!


Veronique said...

Love the socks! That is indeed a gorgeous shade of red.
I've never heard of flooding the lawn! Crazy!

Elizabeth said...

Those socks are beautiful - I love that pattern, and it's wonderful in that color. I'm relieved to see that you flooded your yard on purpose, and it's not because you live in a flood plane or something!

kristen von minden said...

i have never seen irrigation like this. and... we grew a lot of grapefruit in our grove. peculiar. maybe it has to do with the slightly different climate and/or terrain.

alisa said...

they are so beautiful!!! what an awful lot of work for your little sis. i LOVE the pattern and the color is just divine - i'm still amazed by the wonders of kool-aid.