I joined Socktopus' Knit Love Club as a little Christmas treat to myself and I am such a happy knitter having done so! I've knitted lots and lots of things over the years and I love the challenges that knitting presents even after years of doing, principally, the same thing. I realise I can knit without joining a club but I wanted a 'look forward to' and element of surprise that being a member of a club brings. I was also excited about the challenge of learning some new techniques. Every day's a school day, or so they say.
Essentially, the club involves 6 hanks/skeins of hand dyed Sokkusu O in surprise colours and 2 patterns per hank delivered at about the same time, every 2 months across 2012. It's very cloak and dagger for the first few weeks of receiving the yarn and pattern and spoiler shields must be used on your Ravelry projects page to keep the yarn colour and pattern a secret. It's ok to post pictures of your yarn and WIPs behind the shield though. Phew!
I was so excited to find my silvery packet of yarn delivered at the beginning of February and even put the kettle on and made a ceremonious cup of tea before I opened it. It was like being a child at Christmas I can tell you! The pattern was delivered a few hours later through Ravelry and I couldn't wait to cast on! I had a serious case of startisus and immediately shelved my Mr Tumble socks which I'd been knitting for Alex. (He understands. He has the same approach to girlfriends! Teenagers, eh?!)
Mr Tumble socks, shelved for the moment...
The Club yarn is so lovely although I would say not quite my colours of choice. If you haven't knitted with Sokkusu O before it's really worth trying. It's feels really slick to knit with and has a lovely sheen and fantastic stitch definition. The knitted fabric created is lovely and soft although I'm thinking durable enough to handle the hardwearing punishment that socks require. The proof of the pudding will be in the wearing, of course.
I'm just finishing the second sock now and have been hooked with the pattern from the start. It's tricky enough to keep you on your toes but sufficiently repeats itself so you can fall into a rhythm even watching tv. And to boot I've learned to make a different style cuff to my usual 2 x 2 rib and a new stitch, perfect for variegated yarns.
I won't spoil the surprise by posting pics here but you can see the yarn and pattern on my projects page under Fanque's Circus Sock if you like. Even Mr C is coveting them. And we all know that the way to Mr C's heart is with a pair of hand knitted socks. Just not this pair.