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The Socks That Took Nearly Forever

January 27, 2011

Rib Fantastic socksNot too long before I left for my recent trip, I finished knitting these socks, which I started in September of 2009. I didn’t work on them steadily all that time, of course; indeed I didn’t even have them in my possession for all that time, as I left my whole project bag (a gallon-sized Ziploc, very fancy) at a relative’s house in Washington state last summer and it took a while to get back to me. Even when I was working on them, it went rather slowly, as the yarn and the pattern and I were not the best combination. The yarn (Crystal Palace Panda Superwash in the Chocolates colorway) was a bit splitty, which would have been okay if the pattern I picked (Rib Fantastic Socks from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn) hadn’t had all those increases and decreases. Once I got to the pattern part, one row in four—the ones with the more awkward decreases (for me to do, other knitters might not have any problem)—went particularly slowly and that was enough to discourage me from doing too many rows at any one time. Being me, I didn’t work the pattern as written; I changed it to toe up and did the toes and heels per the Queen Kahuna book. When I got to the ribbing (which I would have gotten to first if I’d done them top down as written), I discovered that the pattern called for a 2 by 2 rib and that didn’t work out evenly for the number of stitches in the size I made. That annoyed me a bit, but since the tops of my socks aren’t visible very often, I decided I could live with the uneven ribbing (two spots on each sock are 2 by 1 rather than 2 by 2).

Rib Fantastic socksOne of the reasons I chose the pattern with all those increases and decreases is because they were designed to break up the areas of color pooling and flashing that this sort of yarn is prone to. It did do that; when I compare the soles of the socks to the tops of the feet or the legs, the colors are definitely more mixed up on the non-plain areas. The yarn has a lot of contrast to it, and the stitch pattern gets a bit lost in all that noise. That might be just as well in this case, since I never got to the point with this pattern where I could read my knitting as I went along. When I look closely I can see spots where the holes aren’t where they’re supposed to be, where I added a plain row that doesn’t belong or miscounted and didn’t switch directions of the decreases as the right time, things like that. So yeah, this wasn’t my favorite knitting project ever, but I did finish it and got a wearable pair of socks in the end, so that’s good. I haven’t decided on my next sock project, but there will be one I’m sure.

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