Yup, I went to Massachusetts, and didn't even have to leave home -- my "souvenirs" from the Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap arrived!
Angela somehow knew exactly what I would have picked out to bring back home with me! Coffee, tea, Yankee candles, a beaded snowflake, tour book and baked beans (baked in Canada, I might say! LOL) And she made that very cool bookmark with the Red Socks! She also made the stitch markers which unfortunately you can see very well in that picture, but they have sea-themed dangleys on them -- sweet! And of course she sent yarn.
Cape Cod, of course! Thank you so much, Angela -- everything was perfect! My mini-vacation was certainly a welcome break.
Of course, once I got back to real life, I was still faced with my Dugly-Uck socks. I was trying to keep the coloured stripe pattern flowing through the gusset while maintaining the stitch pattern, and I think I succeeded.
The problem was that once I switched the foot over to stockinette, the striped wonked out on me. There were several ways I could have done it, but I decided it would be easiest to just put the pattern stitch on the front of the leg and foot and keep the back and the sole plain. It worked!
On one sock, the stripe got a bit wider just before the heel. I lay the blame for that squarely on the horror movie I was watching as I was knitting it.
I still think this is a weird colourway. To be fair, in the pattern that came with it, they suggested that if you didn't want stripes, you could alternate ends of yarn. I was only able to find one picture of finished socks using that technique. I think it's nicer than the stripes, but I'm too lazy for it. (To the extent that I reknit these socks what? three times? LOL!)
The Socks that Rock yarn certainly feels nice as you knit it, and it makes a thick fabric that should be soft and warm. I had to wash these before I took pictures because the yarn was re-knit so often that it looked a little uneven. They were taking forever to dry, given our recent patch of humidity. I checked the label and Blue Moon recommended the dryer. In they went, and out they came, looking great. Bonus!
I was able to play with the band heel a bit more. I originally thought that you couldn't really alter the sizing of it, but you can if you treat it more like a short-row heel than a heel flap. In other words, you can't just make a longer heel flap, but you can use more than half the stitches for the flap, which has the same result. I ended up using half of the stitches plus 4 extras, which gave me four extra rows in the heel flap. The fit is perfect on my high instep, and there is no gusset wonkiness.
Other things I learned while knitting these socks:
- Knitting with yarn that doesn't particularly appeal to you can lead to Second Sock Syndrome. I really had to force myself, often unsuccessfully, to work on the second one.
- Repeatedly telling yourself "It will grow on you" doesn't necessarily mean it will.