Some of you may have already known, and some of you have guessed, but most of my readers have been curiously wondering about the super-sekrit project with Ben Kenobi’s face as the only available picture. Well, the mystery is finally unveiled; I am proud to show off the Paraphernalia Socks (link to free pattern on Ravelry) that I knit for Pirate-Husband’s Chanukah present! I surprised him with the gift last night, just after we lit the first candle on the menorah.

It took just over two 50g balls of Regia Tweed to make his socks. I estimate that I used maybe a fifth of the third ball, which leaves enough for… well, for leftovers. I had to make a couple of modifications to the original pattern. Firstly and most necessary, I added many stitches to accommodate Pirate-Husband’s wide feet, casting on 84 instead of the pattern’s 68. As a result, I had to do a lot of math to get the heel numbers right. The second change I made was much easier and purely for aesthetics reasons: I knit the cables on the second sock so that they would cross in the opposite direction as the ones on the first sock. I thought this would give it a certain… je ne sais quoi. Non? Pirate-Husband thought it was pretty cool, too.

I’ve been working on these socks in secret for a really, really long time – I started them in April 2009, and only worked on them while Pirate-Husband was out of the house, in and around other projects that I needed to finish. I was afraid to take them out while he was home, for fear that he’d come upstairs before I had a chance to hide them. With no real deadline on the socks, I figured that it would be better to take my time and be sure of keeping the secret. I really didn’t want him to find out! He hadn’t even known about the yarn, since I’d snuck it into the house right under his nose. This is often a point of contention on the Ravelry forums, where there are regularly threads about sneaking yarn past their husbands. The only time I think it’s acceptable to do that is if the yarn is meant for a gift for said husband!

Sometimes he would ask me about the mystery project in the sidebar, but I’d always brush him off. He had a hint that it would be something for him, else I would have told him what it was. The funny thing is, for the past few months, I’ve been knitting almost entirely for other people. And every time I gave a knit gift to someone else, he’d make a joking comment along the lines of “Suuuure, knit for other people, never anything for your husband, I see how it is.” The hardest part was keeping his socks a secret for so long!

Among other patterns, the ribbing that continues on down the heel was an inspiration to me in designing both the Sibling Socks and then the Cakewalk Socks. Now that I’ve done that in two patterns, though, the next one will have to be different. I wouldn’t want to get into a ribbed heel rut!

So, finally, here are the Paraphernalias on Pirate-Husband’s feet, fitting almost perfectly. They’ve been a long time in the making, and a hard secret to keep, but they are done now, and given. Hooray!

You’ll still see Old Ben Kenobi on the sidebar. He wasn’t ready to be cut down by a lightsaber just yet; he’s returned as the face of the Sekrit Stardemon Gift, to be revealed at some point in the future…

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