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a.shin.grace
06-22-2008, 01:12 AM
A pair of friends have decided recently to split town and bike cross country (east coast to west coast, and it's not a roundtrip adventure). They've begun to sell off their belongings so it sounds like the real deal.

So I've decided that before they go I want to knit them each (at least) a pair of socks. Nice comfy cushy socks for their weary feet on a looooong journey west - if I can I'd like to do a pair each wool and cotton for cold and hot weather.

They're vagabonds on the road carrying all they've got on them, so I figure socks are the best gifts to give?

If anyone has any other suggestions I'd love to hear them.

I've got about a month before they leave.

Both awesome people I will miss. What would be the most practical thing to give?

fibrenut
06-22-2008, 01:21 AM
hiya a shin,
definitely make them boot sock length. Nothing is worse than having your boots eat yer socks cause they are too short.
Not too loose nor too tight. Lots of ribbing at the top n not lacy or with lot'sa bumpy texture.

a.shin.grace
06-22-2008, 01:35 AM
Thanks for your advice!! I never woulda thought to myself that the length of cuff would make a huge difference on the road. But now that you say it, it sounds pretty obvious! Nobody wants ankle chafe on the road, yowsers!

If you hadn't said that I might've just bound off quickly so I could get the socks DONE, but socks half-done aren't much better than not done at all, eh? Gotta do it RIGHT!

Thanks so much for your help!

The.Knitter
06-22-2008, 01:47 AM
I agree with Fibrenut. Boot length, nice soft cushy plain socks with lots of ribbing to keep them up.

I'm sorry your friends are moving but they will have the adventure of a lifetime so be happy for them!

mwhite
06-22-2008, 09:43 AM
Since they'll be "living off the land" and probably stopping to freshen up, you might make them a soap sack with a scrub brush and nice, larger face cloths. The socks are a wonderful idea as well.

Jan in CA
06-22-2008, 12:04 PM
If there is a chance they'll be on the road during cold weather a hat/scarf combo would be a good idea, too. Since the scarf is attached to the hat it wouldn't fly off or vice versa and you can make it short enough to keep them warm w/o being long enough to get caught in the bike.

http://shop.interweave.com/store/Nomad-Hat-and-Scarf-P232C34.aspx?AFID=12#

fibrenut
06-22-2008, 12:23 PM
Hiya again,
Another item that Jan's post brought to mind is a balaclava, fingerless gloves also are great. They can go over the leather ones and give just enough warmth to keep yer hands warm without sacrificing grip.
I wouldn't do a scarf though. Nothing like getting smacked in the face with the end of a scarf going 75 down the freeway. OUCH!! Or you can do a neck warmer that goes up over the nose but not the head. Keeps your face nice n warm in the early morning cold. I made one and I love it. My hubby wears it on occassion as well and he likes it too. I made mine from lamb's pride in colors to match his bike.

a.shin.grace
06-24-2008, 12:05 PM
I turned the heels of my first pair last night. Now I'm off to the yarn store so I can get a pair of needles two sizes down for the ribbing. The other socks I made I used the same needles all the way through and the ribbed cuff is a little silly. It's huge! So two sizes down is the way to go, right?

By the way I thought I should clarify. When I said "they're biking cross country" I didn't mean on motorcycles, I meant on their bicycles! They're both riding on fixed gear bikes!

a.shin.grace
06-24-2008, 12:10 PM
If there is a chance they'll be on the road during cold weather a hat/scarf combo would be a good idea, too. Since the scarf is attached to the hat it wouldn't fly off or vice versa and you can make it short enough to keep them warm w/o being long enough to get caught in the bike.

http://shop.interweave.com/store/Nomad-Hat-and-Scarf-P232C34.aspx?AFID=12#
When they're riding across the desert they'll probably encounter some cold weather at night, but they probably won't be riding at that time. I was thinking the same thing about cold weather gear, and I thought a helmetliner might be a good idea (I knit one of those for my bf last winter who is also an avid cyclist) -- but, they both have dreadlocks, so the design wouldn't quite work. It'd need something open in the back for the hair, sort of bandana style...

The soap sack is a good idea, Mary! If I can manage, that'll be next on my list right after the cotton socks and wool socks.

I need to give some thought to cold weather head gear though...

a.shin.grace
06-24-2008, 12:12 PM
Hiya again,
Another item that Jan's post brought to mind is a balaclava, fingerless gloves also are great. They can go over the leather ones and give just enough warmth to keep yer hands warm without sacrificing grip.
I wouldn't do a scarf though. Nothing like getting smacked in the face with the end of a scarf going 75 down the freeway. OUCH!! Or you can do a neck warmer that goes up over the nose but not the head. Keeps your face nice n warm in the early morning cold. I made one and I love it. My hubby wears it on occassion as well and he likes it too. I made mine from lamb's pride in colors to match his bike.
Do you have a picture of the neck warmer you made? I'm sorta visualizing it in my head and I think it might work...

And they won't be doing 70 down the freeway, I think one of 'em can book it at about 35 on his bicycle but not for long!!

fibrenut
06-24-2008, 12:22 PM
OOOOOOOOO:noway: they are BIcycling. OOPS my bad, I thought they were on MOTORcycles. Hehehe.:whistle:
As for the neckwarmer thing, sorry I don't have any pics but I can tell you how I made it though,
I used size 9 circs (the short ones 16") and cast on 88, joined it into a circle and did k2p2 ribbing for @ 8"s, (I changed colors in there but it was just stiped so no biggy, you could do whatever colors you wanted, striped thick or thin). then I changed to size 7 circs (16"s, I have the boye needlemaster so all I did was change my points, if you are using harmonys or the like you coud do the same thing) I then k2p2 for another 6-7" and then bound off in ribbing. Quite simple.
If you wanted to make the tube smaller then just cast on a smaller amount of stitches (80, 72 etc.) as long as it's divisible by 4. I did use lamb's pride worsted for it. In blue and silver (matches hubbies bike)

evona
06-24-2008, 01:40 PM
Just a bit of advice - I know your friends are biking, but as an avid backpacker and a habitat preservationist/volunteer I can tell you that cotton socks don't breathe, don't wick away moisture and cause blisters. I wear wool socks when working outdoors and doing outdoor activity even in the summer and I live in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California. I use light hiker socks in the summer so maybe you can provide two pairs of different weights of wool to accommodate temperature fluctuations.

Sounds like a great adventure their about to have. Wish I could do it. My DS and I are planing to hike the Continental Divide when he graduates though.

You're a great friend for knitting them some socks. On a long trip like that socks are such a godsend!!!! I LOVE the feeling of pulling off yucky sweaty gross socks after hiking and putting on a nice pair of clean socks for the evening. Your hand knit gifts will be very cherished I'm sure :)

a.shin.grace
06-25-2008, 12:07 PM
Evona,

They're riding to AZ, will two pairs of wool socks be appropriate for that trip? I guess so, if they'll be sweating a whole bunch they'll want something to absorb moisture away from the skin. That's good advice about the two weights though, I'm definitely gonna try to do that. You think I should nix the cotton socks completely, or maybe they would have their use too?

a.shin.grace
06-25-2008, 12:10 PM
Hey fibernut, thanks for the specs. I think I can visualize it, it sounds a bit like the helmetliner w/out the cap portion. I think that might be good for the cold nights. And they could pull it up sort of bandana style that way too, which they're both prone to do (ya know, take the sleeve of a short sleeve tee and use it as a cloth headband). Sweet. Wow, I've got a massive summer project! I feel like it's early December again and I'm racing the clock to Christmas. =]

evona
06-25-2008, 06:33 PM
Evona,

They're riding to AZ, will two pairs of wool socks be appropriate for that trip? I guess so, if they'll be sweating a whole bunch they'll want something to absorb moisture away from the skin. That's good advice about the two weights though, I'm definitely gonna try to do that. You think I should nix the cotton socks completely, or maybe they would have their use too?


It gets in the 100s here. Last weekend one of the valley areas was at around 119. I don't tend to go out much in such extremes and I would think they might want to restrict their riding to early mornings or evenings if they are in such heat. I mostly do my volunteer habitat work in Southern California and have worn light weight wool hiking socks while working. I know it seems counterintuitive, but I've worn cotton socks before and wound up with thrashed feet that I couldn't use much the next day.

As to your question about whether I think cotton socks have their use too, I would say they always do. It depends on how much you want to knit though :teehee: It looks like you're working yourself up quite a project. Can't wait to see all the FOs :)

a.shin.grace
06-26-2008, 05:20 PM
It gets in the 100s here. Last weekend one of the valley areas was at around 119. I don't tend to go out much in such extremes and I would think they might want to restrict their riding to early mornings or evenings if they are in such heat. I mostly do my volunteer habitat work in Southern California and have worn light weight wool hiking socks while working. I know it seems counterintuitive, but I've worn cotton socks before and wound up with thrashed feet that I couldn't use much the next day.

As to your question about whether I think cotton socks have their use too, I would say they always do. It depends on how much you want to knit though :teehee: It looks like you're working yourself up quite a project. Can't wait to see all the FOs :)
Oyy! 119!

I think you're right - I'm gonna try to do the 2 weights of wool and one cotton. I just finished the first pair (cotton for her) and CO the 2nd last night (light wool for her). That leaves 4 more pairs to go!

Yeah, this has become QUITE the project! But like I said, I love these two dearly and I want to see them off properly. And I have enough advance notice that I think I could get a decent amount done before they leave.

I'll have lots of pics! I just moved so my camera's here but all the cables and whatnot are still packed up. I'd take a camera phone pic and post it, but the resolution and lighting are so bad I might as well just wait. They're plain black cotton socks, from Silver's tutorial. =]

Jan in CA
06-26-2008, 07:41 PM
Southern AZ, especially around Phoenix gets extremely hot all summer long...it's supposed to be 108 tomorrow. Northern areas like Flagstaff don't get quite as warm though because they are in the mountains.

a.shin.grace
06-27-2008, 12:24 PM
Oh my goodness, and I thought it was hot out here... Them two are nuts! But that's why I love 'em...
I'm pretty sure they're headed to Phoenix. I was out there a few years ago and the temperature was like 118!! I think it said something like "it's 113 but it FEELS like 118" on the radio. I was wearing these little bamboo flipflops with a black rubber bottom, and the rubber treading melted on the asphalt!

InterNette
07-04-2008, 01:32 PM
I second the soap sack as a excellent idea. If not a knitted sace filled with emergency supplies ( if you have a packing sealer that is the best) matchboxes, small flashlight, a phone card for emergency, a small change purse with change, (old film canister for this is good too), a book of stamps for postcard, small pen and tablet. Deck of cards for rainy day hold outs, small wound care kit. Even a small credit card size address book filled in with everyone address and phone numbers.
How about a felted seat cover for the bikes for sore butts and warm.

a.shin.grace
07-10-2008, 10:54 AM
Hey all, my internet's not been working for a while now. But I've finished 1 pair of cotton socks for each of them and am working on the first of the wool socks. I'll have pictures soon!!

Thanks so much for all your advice. =]