It was with some trepidation that I signed up for Sock Madness. I'm not a fast knitter, and I have a job with long and weird hours. Could I even do it? What if there was a bunch of toe-ups? Not my preferred way to go. What if there were lace patterns? I've knit and worn some fairly wild socks as far as colour goes, but I do kinda draw the line at lace. Frankly, men's feet & lace? Not really a good combination.
The Zombie pattern was released last Thursday, but I wasn't able to get to it until late Friday night. Thankfully, top down, but it does indeed involve drop stitches which result in a lace pattern of sorts. Hmmm. The pattern notes indicate that solid or semi-solid would best show the pattern, but they also say "think monster." I decided to go the monster route and dug around in the stash.
Koigu PPPM, colour P129. I really don't know when and where I got this, and I really don't know what I was thinking at the time. It's not my normal cup of tea. I hope that the colours were off on the screen shot when I bought it and I was thinking it was brown and blue, but in real life it's a lot of pink tones and dark blue, with some yellow and green thrown in . All the colours of a really good bruise. :-) Perfect for Zombies!
I knew that if I used a short row heel, I could get a pair of socks out of two skeins of Koigu at 64 stitches, which is the cast-on for these socks. However, once I got into the pattern, I realized that all those dropped stitches are extras -- like, 16 extra stitches in each round. And then I got to the heel flap and started sweating. I would normally make a longer flap to improve the fit, but in this case I didn't because (a) we were supposed to follow the pattern exactly and (b) I was scared I would run out of yarn. In the end, they do fit because the pattern stitch has great stretch, but the flap is a bit short on my foot. I will modify the fit in any future patterns, as I think that would be allowed under the rules.
I did get some awful pooling in the gusset though, which I normally would have fixed but didn't here because it wouldn't have followed the pattern. I also learned that I really do not like picking up stitches along a garter edge. Although it makes a nice, neat join, it took f-o-r-f-r-e-a-k-i-n-g-e-v-e-r to get the gussests picked up.When I was knitting the toe, I ended up putting the yarn in a bag under my chair because I was tired of looking at it and watching it shrink. Luckily, I had enough, with some to spare. I could have made the heel deeper - sigh.
I will admit right here that although the pattern is indeed very nice (see the pic on the Sock Madness page), my goal was to hide it somewhat so that I'd end up with socks I could and would wear. The fleshy tones of this yarn, together with the strong variegation, seem to have done the trick.
"Dude, you got holes your socks?" "What holes? I don't see no stinking holes."
Sock No. 1 was done 10:30 Saturday night, and Sock No. 2 by 11:45 Sunday night. My hands were fine, but my back was sore from all the sitting. The pattern was fun to knit, and dropping the stitches was kind of cool. I liked that little "rrripp" sound they made when you pulled them apart. It's nice to know that I can indeed knit a pair of socks in two days, but I'm beginning to wonder why I want to. :-)
Doncha hate it when someone uses exactly the same colour as the photo on the pattern?