Friday, March 24, 2006

Three Times is NOT the Charm

or: a Tale of Two Socks

or: That Baby is Looking at Me

I got a terrible itching' yesterday to start some socks. So terrible, in fact, that I was kinda happy that my Little Man so so far under the weather that all he had energy to do was watch a movie (and even happier that there was no output associated with the illness!). That meant that we had a "snow day" - no school and the day was wiped clean of any engagements. Perfect conditions for sock researching!

So after a few books being read to the class and the DVD being fired up, I had some "free" time. I really want this to be a Summer of Socks so I can learn some new tricks and have something fun and small to tote to the pool (no prayer shawls in the deep end!). So I thought that I could make this the Spring of Figuring Out How.
Here are some things I want to learn:
  • The Magic Loop technique
  • Knitting with 2 circulars (and if this works - knitting 2 socks at the same time on 2 circs!)
  • Toe-up sock construction
  • Avoiding the Jaywalker (how does a pattern that has such fitting problems get so popular?)
  • Finding a pattern that I really like to make some Christmas socks for brothers who live where it is cold
I also want to try some fancy sock yarns:
  • Socks That Rock
  • Lorna's Laces
  • Cherry Tree Hill
Tall orders for a sick day, no?

I picked Magic Loop first and smugly sauntered over to my make-your-own circular-needle case and fired up the right length, only to find that the metal doohickey that joins the sections will not bend - thus no looping (unless there really is Magic involved). Well, by now the itch is reaching a fevered pitch, so I rely on the friendly neighborhood Internet to work on a toe-up pattern for baby socks (little sizes for practice/baby gifts). I found Just Your Basic Baby Socks and got ready just about the time the movie ended.

I did get a chance to knit again and wound up trying this pattern THREE times. I don't redo much of anything, so this was a monumental step. On the first round, I used leftover Baby Cashmerino and size #0 dpns. Way too tight. I was happy to discover my #2 dpns, so I fired those up and got up to the heel. The stitch numbers made no sense, and I realized I had the wrong number of stitches. All gone again.

Today, I was ready. The right size needles, the right number of stitches, and a heel stood between me and an itch scratched. I followed the instructions but got nowhere. There are holes on the turning part, where the stitched get "wrapped". I think that the numbers might be off. I even tried to do what I thought the pattern meant, and still no dice. So I pulled out attempt #3, but as I started, I realized that I needed a fitting with my favorite baby fitting model.

Here Big Baby marvels at the lack of magic in my dpns and sees the large holes in my white sock attempt. She's still in a good mood though, because failed attempts wind up in her bin. On her left foot is one of the pair of Kid Silk Haze mohair booties from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (not binding off l-o-o-s-e-l-y enough results in socks that would never go on a fat little foot).

So - all that work and nothing to show for it. Not even a Lesson Learned. Pooh! Happily, my Little Man is on the road to recovery. Undaunted, I will continue with a new pattern or maybe long enough circulars for some Magic Loop.

At least Big Baby had fun.


At 12:02 AM, Blogger Mary said...

I knitting my very first sock at the moment -- someone in my knitting group is teaching me Magic Loop (whoo hoo!). I recently found instructions on the internet for toe-up socks, two-on-one-circular. Let me know if you're interested and I'll email it to you.

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Girl, you are on FIRE! Conquered magic loop, onward to two-handed stranded colorwork!

The baby is looking at her bellybutton.

At 4:15 PM, Blogger Pamela said...

I have some baby sock patterns from an earlier issue of Interweave Knits (I think). I'll find the info to send you the link.

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