Tuesday, August 26, 2008

God help me, I finished them! A tale of sock horror.

Yet another FO. These socks both pissed me off to the extreme and made me happy that I've clearly learned more patience in my knitting.

And a little closer...
And closer, still....
Pattern: Spring Thaw Socks by Cat Bordhi, found in the current Knitters mag
Yarn: BMFA STR lightweight in Amber
Needles: US 2, worked magic loop
Mg's of Xanax taken: 50
Don't get me wrong, I love these socks. As soon as I saw the pattern I HAD to make them. Seeing as how I 1) have giant feet and 2) am not exactly a pro at knitting socks from the toe up, I had some trepidation about doing these. They're 56 or 58 stitches and I'm used to doing more like 64-80 depending on yarn and needles. After trying on the toe several times I deemed the width sufficient as the twisted rib has incredible stretch. Seriously, unstretched these socks are about as wide as my three middle fingers. So obstacle one solved. Then came that goddamn gusset increase. I don't know why, but I NEVER trust the directions when it comes to where I should start doing them on toe up socks. This pattern has a very concise formula, as do most Cat Bordhi patterns with the "new" architectures, but I was confused. Seeing as how these socks were to be stretched to amazing proportions, I didn't know if I should be measuring my gauge for such calculations while it was just laying there or on my foot. I think the first go at these, I took my stretched measurement and then totally overshot my foot length. You have to do a certain number of rows in pattern to get to the heel and when I was at row 17 of 44 the foot was already working it's way up my ankle. Frog #1. I carefully ripped it back and started again....and apparently ripped exactly back to where my measurement mistake had taken place and did the exact thing over again. Frog #2. I carefully ripped it back and made sure to actually go back further on the foot. Still too big. Frog #3, though this one occurred at about row 30 in the pattern. It then occurred to me to redo my measurements. I used the unstretched rpi and remeasured my foot, finding it to be about half an inch shorter than before. So I started again. Then something else happened...which I've obviously blocked from my memory because of the trauma and I had to frog it AGAIN.
So...I finally got my first sock finished, though I ran into mild issues with the heel. Due to lack of attention span, I did something that got my stitches all over the place rather than on there designated needles. I muddled thru. When it came time to bind off I painstakingly searched the internet and found a good tutorial on the tubular bind off. I went to work all set to complete my sock and quickly found that I had left the friggin' 16 page tutorial at home AND the internet at the store wasn't working. Considering that my sock was my only knitting for the day, I was peeved. Luckily I had the foresight to look in the magazine index and there were instructions. I then found that I loathe doing a tubular bind off, but I got thru it. Apparently, though, where it says in the instructions to pull certain stitches "snug", it's a vicious lie. I then sat there and picked thru my stitches to loosen them and in the process ended up with some jacked up bind off that looks like armless person did it with their mouth and feet. So happy was I to have the sock done that I just said fuck it.
After all this it, I handled the remaining yarn and found that it felt disappointingly light. I scoured the store for the scale and couldn't find it. Putting my faith in sheer luck, I cast on for the 2nd sock. When I got home I broke out the scale and lo and behold, sock #1 weighed 2.10 oz and ball remains weighed 1.9 oz. "Fuck!!" I thought...and said...a lot. Since I already had some of the toe done I weighed it, too. It was something like .5 oz but had a needle stuck thru it. I decided to go ahead. It shortly became apparent that there was no way in hell that I was going to have enough yarn....you know, because I couldn't have figured that from the missing oz's on the scale. I decided to suck it up and order more yarn only to find that Amber was one of the colorways that BMFA pulled just days before I needed it. So I checked on Ravelry to see if anyone had some up for sale. No. I decided that I could get a good ways up the leg and even though ,because these are toe up socks, any mismatched color would be the showing part, I could substitute a similar colored yarn at the top. And then I knit as tight as I could.
Somehow, and this is beyond me, I was able to finish the socks with the one ball of yarn. I even had a tiny bit leftover. AND my second sock is a little longer than my first even though I knit as tight as tight can be. And Voila! My socks are complete and I am nervous breakdown free!
Last night I cast on for some Mittens Interrupted by Eunny Jang with some StormMoonKnits Celestial Bulky for which I've been hoarding until the perfect project came along.
My hand really doesn't look like a brightly colored cow hoof....at least I hope not. I'm super happy with these and they're such a joy to make after the hell of the Spring Thaw socks. I was planning on finishing them at the hospital today while my grandpa saw the doctor but I, ever the tard, left all the finishing tools at home so I just sat there in the waiting area holding them. I may even have them finished tonight if I don't royally screw up the thumb. I have a way of doing that. I think they're completely awesome and thank StormMoonKnits for creating such a yarny masterpiece with which I can work. The thought of making these probably is what kept the Xanax at 50mg's rather than 150-ish.


Karolion said...

Those mittens rule! What pattern are they??

And I love those socks. I am not a toe up knitter either but I think I might have to tackle them soon too..

tinkknitz said...

Lindsay, your socks are gorgeous, even though make me feel slightly dizzy. What a great color. And what a gifted storyteller you are. I could almost hear you gnashing your teeth.

Love the toasty mittens too!

Javajem said...

I love those socks! The pattern is awesome!

theaco said...

Congratulations! The socks are beautiful and you have a wonderful example of perseverance and triumph to share.

....but did you really have to tempt me with another sock pattern...now where do I go get that knitters mag ...lol