Saturday, February 14, 2015

Where to Start?

You may recall my plying this orange yarn from a raveled sweater:

The full story is here. I was planning to use it to make sturdy socks.

Well. After searching for a suitable pattern and settling on this nice tulip pattern by Stephanie van der Linden, I started to knit with the plied yarn. It did not take me long to realize that it was too thick for socks at my normal gauge! All that work and it wasn't going to work. Not in this pair of socks, anyway.

So for plan B, I took the yarn from the front and back of the sweater (since I had already plied the sleeves) and started the same socks with just two strands. Since this pattern is more like a recipe (including such "detailed" instructions as "turn heel") I figured it would be easy to convert it to my usual toe-up method.

But. Once I had the toes done, I took a look at the cable pattern. It was not something I wanted to have upside down on my sock. Most of the patterns I convert to toe up are either identical or just as nice when done upside down. Not this cable.

At first I thought I would be able to convert on the fly while knitting. You can't just turn the chart upside down, but I thought I could figure it out. Then I wasn't sure. I actually did a swatch of just the cable pattern. I figured it out, but didn't do the entire pattern, or write down what I did.

I went back to the sock, but didn't work on it for long. When it had been sitting forlornly in a basket for a few weeks, I realized there was just too much going on at once and I was expecting way too much of myself to be able to convert the chart.

Then. I broke through my mental barrier on this pattern when I realized I didn't have to do it toe-up just because I usually do. What a thought. It's not like I'm worried about running out of yarn--I have a whole sweater's worth. So I ripped out those toes and started again at the cuff.

It's going much better now. As in, I am actually making progress. ;)

They're not speeding along because I only work on them at home. Working from a chart just isn't good take-along knitting. (Well, maybe to a knitting group where the expectation is that you'll be knitting, but not to meetings and other places where you should make eye contact as you listen and talk.) And the chart is 24 rows of non-repeating cabling so I'm not going to be memorizing it any time soon!

It's a very enjoyable orange colour to be working with. My sister made a comment about my orange and grey zig zag quilt, that my trip to the Netherlands is still having an effect, and I think she's right. Hup Oranje!

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