Saturday, March 10, 2012

Yarn Harlot would be pleased

For the past couple of days something inside of me has been saying, "Finish everything." So everything comes off the needles. I imagine this is the opposite of startitis...finishitis maybe? Or maybe it's me being tired of just having 2 pairs of knitted socks because they haven't turned out right or I get stuck having just knit one sock.

I went to finish the second Monkey sock. The first one flew off the needles last summer and I really meant to cast the second one on before deciding that I should finish the second sock I started before Christmas (this sock is still languishing). I put the Monkey down,put it in ravelry and forgot about it. Three days ago I pulled out the yarn to start the second one. I had nothing in my ravelry notes about what needles I used, nor my cast on method. "Not to worry," I thought as I grabbed my size 1s (2.25mm) and cast on. I got through the ribbing before I realized that it wasn't turning out like the other one.

The colorway was a pea green, to deep teal and deep purple. It was spiraling and not looking at all like the other sock. On the other one, the colors were not spaced so nicely and looked random. This new sock looked sad in comparisson.

I ripped it out and cast on again. Knit a bit, realizing it was still spiraling and ripped out again. This continued 9 times. According to my husband the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So I decided to change my approach.

I found the cast on spot on my sock and counted how many stitches I had in that color, and noted the color of the last cast on stitch. I matched this up with my current sock and cast on again. It still wasn't right I wasn't casting on the last 4 stitches in purple. I tried this again with same results.

I finally thought "I must have used a different needle size!" Surely that had to be it. I went through my stash to find my size 1.5 (2.5mm) needles. I cast on again. Same results still not casting on the last few stitches in purple. I decided to try it anyway and it continued to spiral.

I ripped out again.

I finally decided I must have cast on over 2 needles since my cast on's were normally super tight last summer. I cast on over two size 1's that made the cast on work perfectly. I went through the cuff, and started on the pattern. And it STARTED SPIRALING!

I ripped out yet again.

I decided the problem had to not be with me, and had to be with the yarn. I took out my measuring tape and measured each color. The teal was shorter than the purple. Aha! That had to be the problem, two different dye lots would give different results. I went fishing in my stash for the other ball only to find I lost the label. No matter, I was a knitter with measuring tape...somewhere.

With a measuring tape secured, I measured the sections. They colors were the same. I realize now I probably could have just held the yarn up next to each other, but I now have the bonus of knowing where a measuring tape is...I think.

I cast on over two 1.5's, the cast on still looked good. The cuff looked even better. The pattern looked better, but it was still pretty spirally. I had to loosen up my gauge significantly to get it looking like the other sock. I probably should be knitting with size 2 (2.75mm) needles for it.

Did my gauge really tighten up that much in less than a year? Obviously or I wouldn't have cast on over 2 DOZEN times. In the end, I still may be insane, who in their right mind casts the same sock on that many times?

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