Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sock Fail

from Ravelry user Sandra
I apparently am not over my zig zag craze.

When I needed a project I could take around with me, I looked for a sock pattern I could make with some Patons Kroy Socks yarn that I already had. It's one of those yarns with slow colour changes that I can not seem to resist. I picked it up a summer or two ago at Erica's sidewalk sale.

I started to knit the pattern (Jaywalker by Grumperina, fyi) converting it to toe-up as I went, but I didn't think I was getting the best look from the yarn. The colours didn't change fast enough for the zig zag pattern to show up.

On top of that, I took a second look at the ball band and realized even with two skeins, I didn't really have enough to make long socks. I like long socks. So I thought I would kill two birds with one stone, or solve two problems with one bullet, or pick whichever violent metaphor you would like, and buy another ball of the same stuff in a contrasting colour. That would allow me to stripe to bring out the zig zag and to stretch out the yarn to get longer socks.

I went back to Erica's first but missed their closing time by five minutes. I met a lovely woman from Minnesota in their parking lot. Or I assume she's lovely under better circumstances. She was apparently visiting her daughter nearby and needed a sewing notion. She was incensed that they would not let her in the store to buy it. "Just one bobbin, that's all I need," she kept saying. I finally told her to tell them on their website because I could not do anything about it! I also directed them to another store that I hope had it. She uses a Viking machine and I'm pretty sure their bobbins are proprietary. I'm not sure there's another dealer in town besides Erica's.

Oh one more thing, since I'm so side tracked already. At some point I had to try and tell them how to get to the other store. I could drive there, but couldn't think of the directions right away and they didn't live in town. So I go to my car to give them an old map I had, and by the time I get back the daughter has it pulled up on her phone. Of course...

Anyway, from there I went to Yarn Gourmet, where I do not go very often at all. They do not carry this yarn. They do carry Mini Mochi that I made my Circle Socks out of and love so very much. This time, however, they had no colours to entice me at all. I wanted to buy some but the colours they had just said, "Nothing to see here; just keep on walking..." So I did.

While I was there, however, I managed to pick up my first set of Addi Turbos. These are the "affordable" top notch needles. (Compared to Signatures, for example, which are something like $45 a set.) But Addis are very good (I had heard). They're metal which is what I was looking for because I had shattered one of my Harmony (wooden) dpns while working on this sock. For the pattern, you need to do a double decrease and it puts a lot of pressure on the needle. Enough pressure and...snap!! I worked for a while with four instead of five needles, but buying the Addis was the perfect solution. I really like working with them. I was worried because they're 8" instead of 6" and I sometimes thought the 6" were too long. But they're great.

Anyway, (I am being wordy tonight, aren't I!), I didn't find any wool there.

One more thought as I was leaving was that Joann's carried a lot of Patons yarn and maybe they would have it. An added convenience is that they have late hours. So off I went to Joann's and sure enough they carried this sock yarn. I had a number of options, but the best one seemed to be this grey, black and red self-striping yarn:
It seemed a little bit of an odd combination but I convinced myself it would work. And after knitting the foot of the sock, I have to say I think it does. It's different from the first colour, which gradually changes from one colour to the next. It's self-striping in the sense that it will be grey for a while and then suddenly change to red and then after a while it will suddenly change to another colour. It's a different effect and some people like it. I myself would rather have more control over my stripes (you're so surprised) and would just work with different colours. Striping is so easy that I don't know why they make self-striping yarns. But oh well, it will be handy for this project since I'm using it interspersed with the other yarn.

I merrily knit along on my new size 2mm Addis. Added a few stitches for a gusset. Went and turned a heel in the first colour,
and then continued up the leg, now doing the zig zag all around. It's looking so pretty, I thought, I have to try it on.
That was a problem. The bottom part of the sock (the "foot") was pretty snug, but I was able to get it on pretty easily. And it's supposed to be snug. But the heel and the leg part absolutely would not go over my heel. It's not wide enough and there is absolutely no stretch in this zig zag pattern. Grumperina warned me of that in the pattern but I thought I had enough stitches. Apparently not.

You can see that I have already taken the needles out (it was a silly hope that the socks would go on if the needles weren't "in the way") and am now deciding if I have to take it out to the top of the heel and add stitches there, or if I have to take out the heel as well and work on things at the gusset stage.

Before I rip, though, I had better measure my gauge in the pattern so I can figure how many stitches I will need. I also will probably change to larger needles right after the heel. The fabric is very firm on the 2mms, which is what I wanted for the sole of the foot, but the leg could be looser. Then I'll get to see if my size 2.25mm Harmony needles are up to the task or if I get to buy another set of Addis!


  1. Sit back, take a breath. Sleep on it.
    Have you attempted Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel?

    Let me see if I can find the link.
    here the link:
    this heel allows it to 'fit your heel' and is so very easy. I played and then paused the video 'til I'd catch up then continued right along with Cat.

    Sox are so much fun, aren't they.


  2. p.s.
    just added this pattern to my Rav Queue.
    Thanks for the 'enabling'


Comments are moderated so you will not see yours post right away. Thank you for leaving a comment; I enjoy reading each one!

May I suggest?

I Say! or at least I did once...