Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sock meets butt

I'm generally a pretty stubborn guy, but man oh man oh man, these socks have been kicking my butt hard.

I wanted to do the Dream Twister Socks designed by the very talented Mona Schmidt, who also designed the popular Embossed Leaves socks published by IK in both the magazine and Favorite Socks. (The pattern is available as a freebie on her blog, and -- Oh! I see she's working on a new one too!!)

I loved the design when I first saw it. Down the sides of the sock are some lovely little wavy things.







And down the front and back is this cool medallion. It actually comes in groups of threes, and you can just see the start of the other two medallions at the bottom of the picture.





The problem? Well, first, it's slow slogging. Very, very slow. What you see above is the result of a week's knitting, and it's all my fault. I kept making silly mistakes, and found it impossible to fix them because of all the twisted stitches and cables. I was cabling without cable needle, and kept losing stitches. I had to re-start at least three times, each time having to do the ribbing all over again. Then I smartened up and put in a lifeline after the ribbing. Presto, bingo, no more mistakes. I decided to use a cable needle when I had to cable near the end of needle, becauses it was safer, and not use one in the middle because it was faster. Yeah, that works, but it's hard to keep track of whether you're going in front or behind the needle, because it's the opposite depending on whether you use a cable needle or not. Since my mind is like a seive right now, I had to look at the chart each and every single time to make sure I was doing it right. The pattern is over three charts, one of which has a different multiple. These ain't tv knitting, my friends.

I finally took some time to admire my work. I stretched it out to admire the design. That's when it kicked me the hardest.


I guess I should have used bigger needles. Maybe 2.5s instead of 2.25s? Sigh. I'll re-do them ... some day. But not now. Now I just want some soothing stockingnette ... round and round and round, with no thinking.

For my future reference, I played with the ribbing set-up so it would flow into the design:

* (K2, P2) x 3, (K2, P4) x 2, (K2, P2) x 3, repeat from *

(when ready to start charts, knit first stitch onto last needle and start with Stitch # 2.)

Because I know that somebody will ask, the yarn is the Smooshy that Allison sent me in the Tea Swap, Good Luck Jade colourway -- very nice stuff!

49 people had something to say:

Jane said...

I think knitters fall into at least easily identifiable catagories. The Sadists who make the patterns,the Masochists who knit them, and those who do BOTH! Even though this sock is kicking your metaphorical butt it is really very lovely and you are doinb a beautiful job of Beta testing it for the rest of the sock knitters out there. It looks well worth the effort. Besides, you know you like it :-)

Mona strickt said...

No - it's definitely no TV-knitting. I had the chart with me all the time AND I used post-it sticky darts to mark the row I was on.

But I still do think the outcome is worth the effort.

Delana said...

Those are gorgeous! Maybe one of these days I'll be brave enough to tackle them.

PurlingPirate said...

Wow! They are incredible. I'm just not ready to work that hard on my socks! Socks are my pleasure time! My escape from being a wife, mother of a toddler, middle class existence time. My pina colada and gettin' caught in the rain time. Oops, may have gotten carried away there! Sorry! Better luck when you start them again!!

Shelley said...

So sorry you're having all those troubles with the sock. I think it is going to look beautiful when all is said and done...it's just getting there that's the tricky part. Maybe after setting it aside for a little while and working on something else you will have little or no problems when you pick them up again. Here's hoping!

Monika said...

Well, I guess the yarn was not so much "Good Luck" for you. I'm sorry, but I'm giggling reading your post. I too lost some stitches, cabling without a needle. I hate cables, well you know that. it's a shame, because those socks are really gorgeous.

Abigail said...

Well there is a silver lining is this truama. You gained a lot:

1. The yarn and the pattern are well matched.

2. You have gained much knowledge from the frogging.

3. You improved the cuff design.

4. You have a through understanding of the pattern now.

So I think that things will go much better when you revisit it again.

I do admire your stubborness. Birds of a Feather don'tcha know:D

trek said...

Number Guy, my non-knitting engineer took one look at the picture and asked, "Is that a top-down sock?"

When I told him, "Yes",

His answer was, "It's in trouble."

Ouch. Sorry, dude.

Carol said...

You are right, it is a lovely sock. Unfortunately, that means it's complisticated. damn. Hope your next try, whenever it might be, is better!

CynCyn said...

oh. it's horrible when the pattern you're enamored with isn't enamored with you. unrequited pattern love. hmph.

aija said...

Oh no! I feel your pain on getting kicked by knitting... my lace is *slogging* by, I'm on the brink!

Jennifer said...

Ouch. That hurts!

Jamisyn said...

Well, the sock is gorgeous in any case. I've been there with starting a few times and in the end having it not fit.

HPNY Knits said...

ha! it seems the sock did not belong with the yarn for some reason. I usually like socks as the meditation knitting- so this seems to be the opposite- you got to really stay on top of it. this yarn will look good no matter what.

KnitXcorE said...

wow! look @ those tiny cables! i would be in tears while frogging... :-(

Sarah said...

Ack! It doesn't fit!!

What a shame, the pattern is stunning! (So is the yarn)

Teyani said...

those socks looks like they will be totally worth the effort when they are done. just lovely.
meanwhile, why not give yourself a break and do some simple socks along beside these?
We all need some stockinette now and then to soothe the soul.

Meg said...

ooh, I hate it when that happens! Is there an exercise to target and reduce the instep area? !

LaurieM said...

I do NOT need another pattern like that in my queue, thank you very much. Never mind that I clicked the link, or downloaded the pattern, or even printed the damned thing! It means nothing. I have other fish to fry. I'm not knitting it dammit!

I feel your pain on the snugness issue. I had the same problem with my Austrian Diamonds. All that work, and they won't even be for me.

Damned twisted stitches will break your heart.

Ann K. said...

BUMMER! The pattern looks awesome... Please do get back to these socks eventually, they are stunning!

limedragon :-: Harriet said...

Ouch! I'm sure next time they'll turn out even better. Meanwhile Stockinette soothes the soul. : )

Jen said...

I've got my first lace project on the needles, and I'm discovering that I'm much too ADD to work on it. Tink city. Question, you're the second blogger who's mentioned a "life line" recently. I can guess what it is, but how do you add it?? I be needing some life line!

Kelly said...

gahhh I hate when you get sooo frustrated with a knit you just want to throw it out the window. Someday the perfect yarn will show up and you'll try it again and it will all go smoothly!

turtlegirl76 said...

Not only would I go up a needle size (or even 2) but I would consider adding in a few stitches in the purl ridges. They are worth the effort by the looks of it but it's going to take a lot more than .25mm to get it over your heel.

Paula said...

Maybe it wants to be a mitt instead of a sock?

Opal said...

I feel your pain. I had a similar experience with another pattern recently. Also, I have a really hard time cabling without a needle with fingering weight yarn. I usually just bite the bullet and use a cable needle.

Chelsea said...

I think that this yarn is just gorgeous! I'm glad that you at least got to do a swatch with it. ;) Hang in there - do something mildly amusing for a little while. When you're ready, the pattern will be waiting...

Carrie K said...

I think that sock is really not into you. Yet. But it's so gorgeous and the yarn is so perfect for it! Better luck next round. But now? It needs a nice long timeout.

Terri said...

Hmmmm, don't you hate that. Sorry these socks are giving you a pain in the butt. You've got me intrigued now. I'll have to go look at the pattern and see a pair finished. But... it's only curiousity. I don't need any butt kicking right now. :o)

Terby said...

Those are gorgeous. Suddenly I have another pattern I desperately want to knit. I'd send you my recent run of too-large knitting if I could. Sometimes you just have to wait for just the right combination of yarn, pattern, and needle, despite what you really want to have happen!

Beth said...

Good idea to just put the yarn in time out for awhile. It really is beautiful and the pattern looks lovely but you sound like you deserve a little break.

I LOVE your baby elephants below. They are the cutest thing ever.

Stacey said...

how frustrating! i hate when a little mistake causes me to rip and re-knit! good idea on the lifeline though!

Pat said...

I'm NOT letting you discourage me from making these!! They are in the queue waiting for a "difficult knit" slot to open - I'm saving your ribbing plan - Thanks for figuring it out!

Missy said...

I'm sorry your socks were being such a pain in the butt. Hopefully it all works out next time around.

Magatha said...

Here's an overused commiseration, "Been there, done that!" It sounds snotty and it's really meant to tell you I've done this dance a couple dozen times myself. What I find particularly irksome is when I try the same pattern one, two and three times, all thwarted, and I begin to realize I may never have those coveted socks.
Try again this winter. This is a tedious pattern, clearly and you need focus and time.

KnitNana said...

Plain stockinette. I don't blame you.
How stunning they will be, IF you can make it through sometime...Not that I doubt you can, but like someone else said, I don't want to work that hard for my socks!
lol
It's darn gorgeous yarn....
(((hugs)))
(((hugs)))
You deserve a second batch for those...*wink*

Sean said...

You're a brave man to try that pattern. I'm still doing the most basic of sock patterns. Maybe next year I'll try some fancy stuff like this. Hang in there!

Holly said...

Those twisted stitches are not at all forgiving, are they?

It probably won't work if you go up a needle size (you can guess how I know this).

Adding in padding stitches between patterns is the only way you really can enlarge one of these patterns, then the look is just not the same.

Just like Arans - figure 20% or more draw in (not stretch)

argh - my deepest sympathies

lexa said...

That sucks! Hope the stockinette soothes the soul! :)

Magatha said...

I was going to examine the pattern to see what could be done besides needle size to help you out, but it appears to be undownloadable, no matter what I try. So I'm not touching this unlucky thing with a ten foot dpn!
;-)

Dave said...

Jen:

I don't know if you'll see this, but I have no other way to get hold of you. A lifeline is just a piece of yarn, or dental floss, that you run through your stitches so you can rip back to a save place.

JessaLu said...

Oh that totally sucks :o(

Lynn said...

You lasted longer than I would have!! Nice looking sock and GREAT yarn, but SO not worth the frustration!!! I agree, stockinette that you can go round and round while watching TV or socializing. However when you DO go back to it? It will look fantastic!!

Pink said...

Mine went to the frog pond this morning...

they are staying on my STOKBID list...

I love you rib so much better, I'm going to be a copy-cat, hope you don't mind, seeing as how it's your fault I found this pattern...

thanks...I think!

Elinor said...

Dave, that looks like a really kickass pattern, although I can see how it would be a real slogalong. Think of the wonderful socks you'll have if you can stand it... I would definitely go back to that pattern with your mods!

bellamoden said...

That is just so PAINFUL. Been there, done that, frogged with much frogging. I hope you get to show it who's boss... it's really a gorgeous pattern.

marjorie said...

It's a beautiful pattern in beautiful yarn. Take some deep breaths and consider another go at it--maybe after a "trial separation". I agree with the suggestions about adding some padding stitches. That would give you some extra width and allow you to work with the same basic pattern.

marjorie/primetimeknitter.typepad.com

Jen said...

So sorry to see that the sock is not treating you kindly. I'll have to check out that pattern on mona's website though. I hadn't noticed it before.

Anyway, you've been tagged for a meme if you feel up for playing along...

chris said...

Sorry that sock was giving you a hard time - it is beautiful! I've had knits like that, kicking my butt, that I just have to step away from.