A Knitting Tale of Woe and Despair (or something less dramatic)

After the spider drama of Tuesday night, I returned home and got to knitting on some socks. Yes, I found my mojo and apparently her name is Kate. In fact, earlier in the week, I had commented on twitter that she has to keep coming to Wednesday night knitting because I always want to knit the socks she’s knitting. Which is, y’know, a little weird, but the girl knows how to pick a pattern and a yarn. In fact, it’s kind of her fault I’m in my current predicament. (It’s not really her fault at all.)

But to back up to how I’ve come to have my current sock problem – a couple years ago, Kate came to knitting and was working on some socks. The pattern* was very cool and perfect for variegated yarn, as there’s a slip stitch pattern that highlights the colors & masks a bit of pooling. Shortly after that, I dug a skein of Rachel’s yarn out of my stash & cast on. And then I got all the way past the heel on sock #1 and put them away. For a very long time.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I decided to start clearing out my WIPs and get to working on them. These socks jumped into my hand and I finished the first one in just a couple hours. I immediately cast on for the second sock and started working on it, knowing that I’d wind up with a single sock if I didn’t. Then, if you remember, I lost my mojo for a bit & started working on another sweater (it’s going very well, actually, thanks for asking). But in the last week or so, I pulled the socks back out and started working on them again. And then I got to a point where I was thinking it might be time to start the gusset increases for the heel.

[Let me interject something here that I need to remind myself of. When doing a project that requires a second identical item, always and I mean ALWAYS write down what the hell you did on the first one. Otherwise you might wind up with a finished object and try to count rows and stitches and increases. OY.]

Let me also show you a visual of what I’m about to discuss:

There is a sad story behind these socks

*sigh* In the year or year and a half that I didn’t really work on these socks, my gauge changed. I didn’t notice until knit night on Wednesday, where I still had 5 rows until I should need to start the increases, but matching it up with the finished sock showed that it was longer. But now, OH NOW it’s a glaringly obvious difference in the sizes, which I can even see in the picture. I find that the row gauge is more of an issue than stitch in this case, but I got looser all over the place.**

Because the two socks are mirror images of each other, I fear the best solution is the one I like the least – I have to rip the new sock out and start over again. I might be able to get by with ripping out only to the toe (who can’t use a little extra toe room, am I right?) and then switch to smaller needles, but I definitely have to frog it and start the pattern over again.

How did I not notice this before I got all the way to where I should put a heel? *sigh*

*The pattern is the Swirl Socks, a free one that can be found here. Mine are slightly modified for fingering weight yarn, which is a pretty easy mod as long as you don’t go and switch gauge halfway through the project.

**Which leads to the problem of the socks formerly known as knee highs. I put them away for even longer than I did these & was just past the heel on the first sock. With the gauge change & my decision to not make them knee socks, I’ve decided to frog them as well, to be restarted sometime in the future and probably in a ribbed pattern instead of just stockinette.