I promised the story of the socks awhile back and so, here it is.
Here are the socks. They are knit with Crystal Palace Yarns Maizy Print. (It's color Meadow Mist) It's really not my favorite yarn to work with. It feels as though it should have some stretch but I found that when I worked with it, the stretch did not make a bouncy yarn to work with but rather stretched out and then was tight and not at all giving. I also ended up ripping and reknitting these several times and the yarn did not hold up well. It was very splitty and I am very glad to be done knitting them.
The pattern is Serpentine socks from WendyKnits book Socks From the Toe Up. Although part of what kept me ripping and reknitting was the desire to knit them from the top down which they are now knit from the top down.
You may be asking yourself, then why do these ordinary-looking socks have "quite a story all their own" they sound ordinary enough so far. Well, it goes back to when they were just yarn. I tried knitting with it and didn't like the result so they were shoved into a pile of works-in-progress. Then they were ripped and started again in something else. Again, ripped and restarted as serpentine socks. Then they were ripped and restarted as top down serpentine socks. Then, finally one whole sock was finished but it was set aside. I knew I wanted to do a self-imposed sock club this year and this single sock along with a couple of others was bothering me. Why have single socks lying around. Finish the pair and enjoy them right?
I chose this one to get finished first. I dug it out and found the charts and examined the sock and made notes about how to knit it to match the first. I started knitting and remembered why I had put it away. I didn't like the yarn, I didn't like the colors, I didn't like anything about it. (I do think they will be nice cool socks this summer though) I had decided to finish them though and if you know me in person you can attest to this, I'm sort of stubborn. I was going to finish and so that's what I set out to do. When I was on the foot of the second sock, I tried on the first, just to look at the pattern and admire the sock, maybe to encourage me to finish a little bit too, and I realized something.
It was short. Now I don't mean that I couldn't get it on, it stretched and fit just fine but my toes felt squished and if there's one thing I can't stand it's squished up toes. Like if your toenails are too long (and I don't let mine get very long) the socks won't fit. I knew what had to be done. I was going to have to finish the one I was working on and rip back the toe on the first and finish it properly, otherwise it was going to bother me. So, I diligently worked on the second sock, knowing what was coming though. That rip and reknit of the toe. I finally, finally finished the second sock and proceeded to unpick my woven in end, my lovely kitchener stitch and my well-made toe. Then, I diligently put the stitches back on the needles. It was then that I noticed something. Something...wrong.
If you look at the chart for the Serpentine socks and if you have the book you should, they are beautiful and fun to knit, even in less than appealing yarn. Anyway, there are purl stitches at either side of the repeats. I knit the second sock with 2 purls in between the pattern, just like the charts would call for. I knit the first sock with only 1 purl in between. I cut that extra purl out. My little knitting world twisted a bit as I contemplated ripping that first sock (or the second really) out entirely and reknitting the whole thing. I just couldn't do it. So, I finished the first sock...again. I just left it. These socks might be forever tainted in my mind because of this and I don't feel like they are good enough to give away so they sit, curled up in my sock drawer looking all innocent. Maybe I'll wear them, maybe I won't. Only time will tell.
What did I learn from all this craziness?
A) If you change a pattern that's beautiful and well-written as it is, you invite your own trouble. You have been warned.
B) If the yarn doesn't work out several times and you start to hate it a little bit, it's okay to give it away or even throw it out if you don't want it anymore.
C) I cannot give away a gift I feel is inferior, even if I hate it with the burning fire of a thousand suns and I don't want to look at it.
In lighter new, I went to sheep shearing last Saturday at Ramsey Family Farms and came home with something:
You'll have to hear about it later though. I have class handouts to make. whew!