Friday, February 15, 2008

A Tale of Two (Different) Socks

I have finally taken the leap into sock making. (Christmas stockings, while a good dry run, really don't count; if they turn out too huge, people love them even more. Extra loot capacity, you know). I found a yarn I am so in love with that it's a wonder that everyone around me doesn't gouge out their eyes at the sight of it, I've banged on about it so much.

But look. See the pretty patterning on the swatch? How could one not be totally enamored of the pretty patterning? I mean to say.

I even found the perfect pattern/tutorial online at that very nicely walks all non-mathematical people (that would be me, in case you were wondering) through the math so that they can create a uniquely them sock, rather than said newbie casting on a "follow me completely pattern" and discovering that they have a) knit a sock that could easily double as a leg length tourniquet should they be in the mood to get rid of a leg they really didn't care for anyway or b) scrambling to find a charity which sends socks to needy elephants.

And really, this is a basic ribbed sock that encourages you to do what you want for ribbing pattern (so long as it matches your math) and leaves you free to choose.

It's a very me pattern.

The problem?

I've done just a bit over an inch and I'm already bored with ribbing (okay, okay, so maybe I'll do a bit more, just to keep the socks from falling into a puddle around my ankles). I read far too much to suspect I have the attention span of gnat, but there it is. I want to do….something else. I love this yarn, even if it is cotton. I can't hold its cotton-ness against it. I want it to be spectacular even if it turns out that despite my best efforts into the realm of numbers I can't get the sock on past my toes. If I fail, I want to fail beautifully.

So, suggestions? If there are any knitters out there reading this (even one) please, I beg of you, give me some ideas. I want something that will stun and amaze all without detracting from the self-patterning, er, pattern.

There is (dare I admit it?), one small flaw with the perfect yarn. Just one. Tiny, really.
Despite my best efforts at trying to match up the yarn from the center and the outside of the skein so I could do this totally cool old-technique-made-new-again a.k.a Kory Stamper's knitting two socks at one time (I know all about SSS. I've read "the literature"), I couldn't get the freakin' colors to match. At all. I finally gave up, stuffed the yarn back into the center of the ball (no way that will tangle, I'm sure) and decided that if I really wanted to try this technique, I'd, well, have to get some more yarn.

I bought this:

Now, ok, the not so knitterly new among the whopping three of you who read this are no doubt trying to think of a way to tactfully say a few things. Let me help you along.

Don't you think that yarn is a bit, well, thick for a sock? How do you think it will behave as a fabric? Or, come to that, how do you think you will put on your shoes?

It's the colors' faults. The colors! Blame them for attracting me and insisting that they wanted to be socks, even if it turns out that is totally unrealistic of them. Really. Besides, have I perchance mentioned that it's freakin' cold here? My shoes are old, they can stretch. I have no sympathy for the shoes. I want warm feet and I don't want to wait until summer.

If it makes you feel better, we can call this a slipper sock. Just imagine that I will sew one of those leather wannabe soles to the bottom. Not that I have any plans on doing so as that would mess up the look of the cool solid colored heel and toe I'll be doing (said solid to be purchased after I decide which stripe color is my favorite) but you can imagine all you want if it will make you feel happier.

You do realize that at that gauge you'll have to cast on so few stitches that you'll be in danger of impaling yourself each time you turn a corner on your (cough) dpns.

Yes, well. I'm a knitter on the edge. Give me the pointy sticks that make me feel as if I've gotten somewhere with each needle rather than mindlessly chasing myself in a circle. I'll take my chances with impalement.

You've bare faced admitted you were a newb. And you want to try double knitting these? Two socks at once? Why??

Go read Kory Stamper's article. She uses pen drawn happy and sad faces on her fingers to show you what's right and what's wrong. Peeking their wee little faces out between good stitches (happy face!) and bad stitches (looking oh so sorry for you) that mean you've fused your work together. And then she kindly tells you how to de-fuse—sorry, couldn't resist. How could you not want to try the technique?! I mean, it's a seriously cool, motivational visual aid, that. They are very encouraging little fingers.

Have you thought about the fact that with needles that small and yarn that thick you will soon be reduced to a gibbering idiot because you'll probably splitting your yarn with each stitch (and have you wondered if the good Lord gave you a brain, period)?

I have accepted the fact that this yarn splits into more pieces than a cookie that four Things are trying to divide equally. At least in some places. In others? Bwaa ha ha, I'm knitting on!

Gibbering, after a certain point, is actually rather soothing. You should try it.

(oh, and I've spoken with God and He's assured me He will get back to me on that last question as soon as is Omnipotently possible. Seems He's rather busy at the mo. War. Famine. Intolerance by Group A for everybody in Groups B-Z who do not believe or live or love exactly as they do. You know. Basically even bigger acts of human brainlessness than me attempting to make this yarn into socks.)

Thus herein lies, for now, the end of the tale of two (different) socks. Perhaps you'll hear more (if you don't want to, don't click on this blog. Easy, right?)

And if any of you three were wondering what became of the fetching hat, its patiently waiting its turn. While I feel guilty about that (seven-year-olds can still do sad eyes to the max) I'm currently sending out so many resumes and writing so many freakin' cover letters that I'm not quite sure that my mind is focused enough to follow the pattern well. I'd like to avoid screwing it up on the second go round, if that's even remotely possible.

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