March 10, 2009

A Sock Story

When I started knitting these socks, it was November of 2008. When I finished them, it was February of 2009. They were supposed to be my Mom's Christmas present. However, my plans were waylaid. My pattern was from the book Sensational Knitted Socks; a book that claims to be the only book you'll ever need for knitting socks. Since I had a self striping yarn, I decided to try a chevron pattern designed for self-striping yarns. My first attempt turned out too small. I frogged, grabbed larger needles, and started again. This time the sock was too large. I frogged again, cast on a different number of stitches, and tried again. Way too small. I may have repeated the above process a few more times before I gave up on the pattern. I decided to try a toe up sock. That way I could make the leg longer without having to worry about frogging a lot of work. Just as I was about ready to start knitting the foot, I realized that the toe section looked a bit large, and tried it on. It fit over my slipper sock. 'Nuff said. Right around this time was Christmas day. My Mom got a box of yarn, an un-frogged 3 inches of a tiny sock and an IOU.

By this time I was very frustrated and gave up on any fancy design. I turned to the first pattern in the book, cast on, knit the ribbing, and let Mom choose the pattern. After knitting the pattern design twice, I discovered that it didn't look quite right. Turns out I messed up the pattern and made my own. 'Ok,' I thought, 'nobody will ever know the difference.' Things progressed fairly smoothly until I reached the heel flap. After knitting it, I laid the sock down to photograph it, and decided to make the leg a few rows longer. Put the heel flap in the second time, completed the heel turn, and realized the heel turn was wrong. Ripped it out, put it in again, and realized that I had forgotten to use the reinforcing thread for the heel. So, I frogged and re-knitted. The heel turn was successfully completed. After the heel turn the needles are re-numbered. After puzzling for a while (and getting nowhere) it occurred to me that I should look for corrections for the book. A quick internet search revealed 5 pages of corrections, and two pages that needed to be downloaded. The two downloaded pages were for the pattern I was working with. Doesn't that inspire confidence? The only sock book you'll ever need, along with 5 pages of corrections. However, I digress, after the little matter of re-numbering the needles was solved, the only other issue was that my gauge tightened considerably after I dropped the reinforcing thread. It made the foot look nice, at least. It wasn't the best sock in the world, but it was a sock. I showed it to my Mom, she tried it on, and said she would have liked the foot a bit longer. I offered to rip it out, but she wouldn't hear of it. So, I started in on the second sock. Now that I knew my gauge needed to be tight, everything went smoothly. The second sock took only a few weeks. So, there you have it; how I came to knit a pair of mis-matched socks.


-girl from the bush said...

hi sarah, i read your blog, it reminds me of when i was having my 1st baby and tried to knit booties. ... they always came out different sizes .i gave up and just got my mum to knit them in the end as she is good knitter , has a nice tension not like me.your socks look great!

Sarah said...

Thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only one to have trouble knitting footwear!