Friday, October 26, 2012

The Curse of the Bambino

No, I haven't suddenly become a crazy baseball fan. But this post is related to socks, and cursing, so there you have it.

Earlier this month, I joined a knit-along for a pair of Caret and Chevron Socks, which I was knitting top-down. I love trying new things like knitting while sleep deprived, or seeing if working from the wrong chart will still result in the correct pattern for your size. (Hint: Neither worked out.)

I'm the kind of girl who has some turquoise splotches on her beige carpet because I don't use silly things like drop cloths while paintings. I also never use a 'lifeline' in lace knitting, which makes frogging back tricky at best. Once I correctly navigated the first two repeats of the lace chart (after I ripped back and started over for the correct size of course) I didn't need to have the pattern with me anymore, which meant I could work on the socks while waiting in the pick-up line at school, while watching The Colbert Report or while pretending to supervise my big boys at the park.

After I got going, I was at the heel turn before I knew it and prepped to attempt my first short row heel with wrap and turns (abbreviated WNT). Short row heels are not my favorite because they always end up a little wonky. However, since this is a knit along I decided to play nice and work the pattern as written. A fellow knitter linked to a youtube tutorial by Cat Bordhi,* which shows a clever way to conceal the wraps when they're knit together. My heel was looking pretty good until I realized that in my tired state, I'd 'unwrapped' stitches that weren't actually wrapped. I considered ripping back and doing it again, but it looked like these socks were starting to turn into a practice pair, much to my dismay.

The foot went super speedy, thanks to my new 8" addis (who knew they made them that short?! It's circular sock knitting to the nth degree of ease!) and brought me to the toe. I no longer cared about playing nice, because I didn't want my toe to look as wonky as the short row heel, so I proceeded to do my normal toe. Then I put the sock on was too short. Blerg. I took the 80 hours it takes to thread your needle back into the patterned row just before the toe so that I could work another round of the pattern. I grabbed the yarn and ripped back. To find that my needle was one row off on half of the sock. So I took the needle all the way out and started to tear out my stitches. Round after round of work was wound back onto the ball of yarn and I planned to just start the sock over again. It's not like I'd spent precious time on that sock. No, it would all be fine. I was winding faster and faster as my frustration mounted until...I realized that when I came to the heel, the stitches would be split between instep and heel stitches and I'd be able to easily find my have the chance to redeem my heel. Yes, yes, that's what I'd intended all along! Who wants a sloppy old heel anyhow? Not me, certainly.

After watching the tutorial again and being sure to work the heel in the daylight hours, with big boys at school and the babe asleep for limited distractions, all of a sudden it was 2004 (come on Red Sox fans, I know you'll be with me), the heel was turned and it was on to the foot. Success.

*Funny story, I never saw the part 2 until writing this post, which shows how to conceal the wraps correctly for the purl side. Needless to say, my second sock will have an even spiffier heel.

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