Wednesday, June 17, 2009

string vs. human

I bought some very lovely Nature's Palette yarn from my LYS with the plan to make some socks for me. I've used this yarn before and it makes very nice socks.

However, after working with it for a bit, I realized the color wasn't quite "me" (too pink) and so I decided to make a pair of socks for a friend, who does like this color. 

First try: I cast on Diamond Gansey socks from Socks from the Toe Up. Great pattern--looked good with the yarn, easily memorized, and interesting to knit. However, by the time I'd halfway finished the first sock, I realized the sock looked a bit big, so I tried it on and found out it was waaaaayyyyy too wide. I doubt my friend has a foot with a 13" circumference, so I frogged it. 

Second try: smaller sized needles and tried the Oriel pattern from my favorite sock book, Sensational Knitted Socks. I've wanted to make this pattern for awhile because it's very pretty but I usually knit socks during my commute, and a 28 row, lace pattern seemed a bit challenging for commuter knitting. However, after starting it, I realized the pattern was very regular and fairly intuitive and I probably didn't need to bring a copy of the pattern with me. So I happily knitted on the way to work, following the "regular and intuitive" pattern and all was well until I realized I'd totally screwed up and ended up with about 10 more stitches than I needed and couldn't find out where I'd screwed up.  Frog and try another pattern.
Third try: I was very intrigued by Outside In in the latest Knitty, even though the pattern calls for it to be knit from the cuff down. (I prefer to knit from the toe up, because if I run out of yarn, I end up with a wearable sock with a shorter leg than I wanted instead of a sock without toes.) Most sock patterns can be converted from cuff down to toe up without too much trouble but this sock has an unusual heel construction so I decided to follow the pattern as written. Generally, I use 64 stitches per round when making adult socks using the size needle and type of yarn I'd chosen, but this pattern said 64 stitches around was small and narrow. I figured that was an error (sadly, errors are very common in knitting patterns) and cast on using 64 stitches. It is a ribbing pattern, after all, and ribbing is very stretchy. I knit past the heel and the yarn I was using broke. The skein had been joined from separate skeins (not uncommon) so now I had two roughly equally sized balls of yarn. No big deal. It just meant one more end to weave in at the end. So I knit a bit more and then decided to try it on was too frakkin' small. I couldn't even get it over my heel. And then I found out something about's stretchy in the perpendicular direction to the rib orientation. Vertical ribbing stretches horizontally. But this pattern produced ribbing on a diagonal, which is still very stretchy except that legs don't stretch that direction. Frog. Try to think of friend with really narrow feet I could give this to, so I wouldn't have to admit defeat.
5.  Starting to think that this yarn does not want to be socks and then berate myself for thinking that I am being directed by an inanimate object. Have trouble sleeping that night because I keep thinking about the stupid sock.
6. Next day, cast on the largest size (80 stitches) and run out of cast on yarn at 70 stitches. Rip out and try again.
7. Pull out longer tail of yarn, cast on and run out at 78 stitches. Curse. Rip out and try again.
8. Pull out an ungodly amount of yarn, successfully cast on 80 stitches and start knitting. I'd finished the cuff and was halfway through the first pattern repeat when I figured out that I'd screwed up somewhere and now had 88 stitches. Curse.
9. Get another ball of yarn and start making a different pattern for my friend's socks.
10. Decide that I am not going to be bested by 50 frakkin' grams of superwash wool so I get another pair of needles to start these socks again. And discover that one of the little balls has disappeared, so now I don't have enough yarn to make a pair of socks. 

I admit defeat. The yarn has won.


L J said...

Deep Breaths...

and scotch...

or your fav. alcoholic substitute.

Tomorrow the score will turn in your favor and you will show that yarn who's boss!

Rachael said...

The yarn has not dissapeared because it is quivering in fear and hiding from your determination. You shall be victorious!