Sunday, August 26, 2007

Boston and Back

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!


Unfortunately, I think the reduced patterning doesn't really do justice to the stitch pattern. There isn't quite as much variation as I had when the pattern went around the entire sock. Look here for an excellent example of what this stitch pattern can do for you.
By using only three Cable Twist repeats, I was able to keep the stripes from zigzagging. There are "gentle bumps" caused by the slipped stitches, but it's still a stripe.



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:
  1. 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.
  2. Repeatedly telling yourself "It will grow on you" doesn't necessarily mean it will.

43 people had something to say:

Emma said...

Oh, but I think the socks are pretty! The Virtual Vacation sounds like a lot of fun. Wish I had got in on that. I had no vacation this year!

Kate/Massachusetts said...

Knitpicks sells dyes...why don't you try overdyeing the socks for a color you like? It's on my 'roundtuit list to overdye a bunch of my ugly sock yarn! It's pretty awesome what some navy/brown/grey dyes can do to ugly yarns! :-)

Paula said...

Nice save on those socks. I really like the heel.

Carrie K said...

They came out pretty good in the end. Three times? Oh yeah, lazy. Positively slothlike.

I like the colorway. It's different.

marjorie said...

I am not a huge fan of the colors, but you did a masterful job on the socks. I particularly like the heel and the way the colors align on the two socks.

Nora said...

Hmmm, I quite like the over-dye idea. A deep, dark navy perhaps... :)

The heel is fantastic - as is the knitting!

Opal said...

What a great Bostonian package!

I've also learned that if you're not totally excited with a pattern that it's hard to finish the 2nd sock, no matter how lovely the yarn may be.

Micki said...

They're great socks, despite the ugly duckling yarn. Now you can move on to some yarn you really love!

LaurieM said...

Your gusset is impeccable! No matter that the color is ugly, your technique shines through.

I've got a colorway I don't like much and it's being gifted. That spurs me on to finish. :-)

turtlegirl76 said...

Well, as Dugly Uck as you might have thought them to be, I do believe you've found a diamond in the rough! Way to make a potentialy horrendous (sp?) knit turn into something pretty cool looking.

May I suggest my [http="http://turtlegirl76.com/free-patterns/"]Red Dwarf[/url] pattern for transforming a future Dugly Uck? (I hate pimping my own pattern but why the fuck not? It was written with some pretty potentialy Dugly Uck yarn in mind) And there's freedom in the pattern! Have fun with the random ribbing! That's where you play with stitch count!

bellamoden said...

I think these really are lovely socks! And the plain stockinette back to the legs is a clever workaround. I like them!

Shannan said...

I think your socks turned out great. I especially like how your stripes stayed the same on the leg and foot.

Judy said...

I like the colors. They'll look great with jeans on a cold winter day. I especially like the heel.

Liz K. said...

I usually like blue with brown, but I agree, these tones are a miss. You earned a medal with this one!

Jennifer said...

Very fun swap package!

Gina said...

You have made the most beautiful socks possible out of that yarn. In fact, I think those socks are so nice they make the colour less nasty. The heel is gorgeous. I must try that on my next pair.

~Kristie said...

Yeah for you to sticking with it and finishing these socks. I think only working the pattern on the front of the sock was brilliant, but your gusset is perfect!

Kenny said...

Yeah Dave, I must say, the colors are horrid. Sorry. I can't lie. But your stitching is VERY beautiful. Look at how even you picked up your stitches. and look how even your stitches are..... gosh, I couldn't nearly do that well. How do you knit your socks? DPN, Magic Loop or 2 circs?

knottykitty said...

Great swap! What a cute idea! As for the socks, you did an absolutely fabulous job on them. The colors, I must say, aren't the best together, especially as a stripe. I think if the yarn wasn't striping, the colors may have blended a bit better---sort of like it looks on the heels, which I love! You certainly have talent for making the best out of everything you do! :)

Debi said...

Great vacation package!

Your knitting on the socks is suberb but that really is one fugly colorway! :)

Ute said...

Hi Dave,

what a good idea to get regular stripes. :o))) The Rainforest Jasper socks look great!

Stacey said...

that stinks when sock yarn disappoints. that is the main reason i have stayed away from variegateds - too much room for sadness!

they are cute though, and at least they are striped....

Kathy said...

I have to agree with #1. It surely is hard to finish socks when the colors are not entertaining or likeable.

KnitNana said...

I do love the colors of the Cape Cod colorway...I picked up some of it (sock yarn AND bulky, too!) for myself, as it happens...!
(((hugs)))

Pat said...

I cannot believe you started over and knit the legs again!!! It worked though - they do stripe nicely! and I have to say I am in awe of your gorgeous perfect gusset!(ooops that sounds a little kinky!)

Carol said...

At least they're done! And they look fabulous! Sorry it wasn't your fave to work with, but the end result is really very nice! Your vacation swap haul is pretty darned cool too. Bostin bean fron Canada, ~snort~ At least they also make a mean bean!

Matt said...

Good save! I really wouldn't have known what to do on that one.......the colors aren't that bad either.....

Julia said...

Great pattern! Sorry about the color - I also think that navy dye would do it. Just a touch.

kasiaiscarly said...

yum. dunkin donuts coffe ROCKS!

Sarah said...

Your Boston goodies are great!

I like your solution to the ugliest yarn I ever knit with. The stripes do work well with the colors. Those are really hot heels, too! Impressed!

Alwen said...

Let's see, that colorway isn't called something like Sea & Sand, is it?

I love how you made the stripes work out! Must remember that, as well as the high instep trick (I have those, too).

limedragon :-: Harriet said...

Love the Red Sox bookmark!

Yay on finishing these socks. They look darned terrific!

Zarzuela said...

Nice swap package! And I think the socks look great. :) You've definitely learned a thing or two. The stitch pattern is really interesting.

Jessica

Jen said...

Way to persevere through the colors! I don't think I could.

DEEP END OF THE LOOM said...

I'm sorry and I'm one of your biggest fans, but the knitting on the socks is fab but the color yuck!! Looks like seaweed wrapped around the most pristine colors of blue ocean. You were absoultly correct the are fugly.

Terri said...

Good for you for sticking to it and getting them finished. You did a great job of them - beautifully knitted as always. Yes, it's a weird colour combo, but you handled it with style. :o)

CynCyn said...

lovely work on the socks! i hope the yarn is comfy enough to make up for you not liking the color combo.

lexa said...

I like how the socks turned out! Glad you were able to maintain your stripey goodness. :)

sko_G knits said...

although color is subjective, i think they turned out great!! i actually think that color combo is nice...but you have to know that the sock itself, from a craftsmanship standpoint looks amazing.

Janelle said...

Now that's some striping success! Despite the colors, the stripes look awesome. And the heel is perfection!

Hege said...

Your socks are great!
Have a nice weekend :)

Chelsea said...

Dave, I really like these. The colorway looks great in this pattern and it looks to me like you had planned everything right from the moment you saw the yarn. :) They look fabulous - but send them to someone else who likes them if you don't. Someone would wear them proudly every time without hesitation. Good job on saving a yarn that didn't appeal to you in the first place.

mle said...

OMG! thanks so much for the linky! I LOVE how your ugly ducks turned out in that pattern! and I'm glad to know that STR hold up well in the dryer.