Another Hobby Blog

Friday, October 28, 2005

Progress: SET socks

Dear Laurie,

Thank you for being so understanding! I love the socks that I am making for you, and I hope that you love them too and that they fit you and keep you warm! I also hope that they will be done before winter sets in, and I am doing my level best to apply all my efforts to meet that goal.

Since it's nearly the intended deadline for finishing the socks (October 31), and since I am further behind schedule than I would like to admit, it seems an appropriate time to give a progress update.

This is how the SET socks looked on Tuesday:

This is how the SET socks looked two days prior:

Astonishingly similar, no? So similar that one might think that no progress at all had been made in those two days. But such an assumption would be wrong. The length is the same, but the space-dyed section of yarn is completely different. It was an error that could have been avoided, of course (aren't most errors?), and because I didn't avoid it I had to rip and reknit. Not for the first time, either!

So let me tell you about these socks. First and foremost, I still love them and I am still excited about them and I still can hardly wait to see how they turn out, and I hope that they fit properly and that you adore them!!

Now on to the details. Full of enthusiasm, when I first heard about this sock exchange, I came up with A Plan. I thought it was A Good Plan at the time. Maybe it still is, but it was also A Complicated Plan. The first part of The Plan involved dyeing some yarn for the socks. For that, I needed first to get the yarn for dyeing. I thought I'd lucked out! I found some simply dreamy yarn in a sale bin and bought all that was there. I took it home, dyed it blue-green-purple, and hung it to dry...

...but telling you in story form will take forever! Here it follows in basic form:

. Formulate The Plan
. Buy yarn
. Dye yarn
. Discover that one of the skeins hasn't taken the dye properly. It's half-acrylic.
. Look for more yarn that matches.
. Ballwind the (non-acrylic) skeins, even though there's probably not enough yarn to do what I'm hoping to do.
. Realize that new yarn will need to be dyed and dyelots won't match.
. Decide to dye the new yarn solid and use it for contrast points.
. Discover that the brand of yarn is really just not available anywhere in the area.
. Realize that the sale bin is not always a bargain.
. Consider pairing the dyed yarn with something completely different as contrast points. Maybe Cascade.
. Realize that there may be differing care requirements between the two types of yarn.
. Worry about the way that they may shrink and wear differentially if combined within a project.
. Readjust The Plan
. Buy new yarn--with plenty of extra
. Dye new yarn. As predicted, new yarn does not match previous yarn. This is no real surprise, since the colors were intuitively applied, not measured and calculated.
. The new yarn is suprisingly close in color and value to the previous yarn.
. The hand of the yarn is noticably different. (This should have been a Clue.)
. New Plan involves cuffs, heel, toe of charcoal grey and space-dyed legs and insteps.
. Do gauge swatches from charcoal. Make copious notes.
. Space-dye New Yarn.
. New Yarn dries just barely before flight out of town.
. Consider bringing SET project on the trip.
. Ballwind four skeins of new yarn. That's two of charcoal for two cuffs, and two of space-dyed for starting the legs.
. Realize how much space the yarn will take up in my carry-on.
. Realize that this project would be irreplaceable if Security caused problems.
. Decide to leave the SET project home and take something smaller on the flight.
. Return home: unable to find copious notes.
. Have already ripped gauge swatch.
. Spend a day re-knitting gauge swatch and recalculating pattern.
. Try new cast-on. Don't like it.
. Cast-on again, knit a few rows.
. Despise two-socks-on-two-needles method. Maybe it will work better when the socks have more substance.
. Switch to single-sock-on-singular-needle method.
. Realize that gauge is way off.
. Recalculate.
. Cast-on again. Knit several rows.
. Don't much like the single-sock-on-singular-circular-that's-too-big method. The extra rabbit-ear loops of cable that stick out from the knitting are annoying.
. Soldier on.
. Complete first charcoal cuff.
. Join in space-dyed yarn. Knit several inches. (This would be where the afforementioned Clue might have helped.)
. Realize that pattern decreases at the wrong rate.
. Recalculate pattern decreases.
. Rip and re-knit.
. Circluar needle fails: the glue doesn't hold. The points come out of the ferrules.
. The knit ladders. All the way back to the cast-on.
. Rip.
. Get a new needle. While I'm there, I get a shorter length, too. So I can get rid of the rabbit-ear phenomenon.
. Cast on again.
. Complete 1 cuff.
. Join space-dyed yarn. Knit several inches. (This would also be where the afforementioned Clue might have helped.)
. Sinking sensation as I realize I've knitted with the original space-dyed yarn instead of the new one.
. Rip.
. Reknit.

At some point in all of this, it occurs to me that space-dyed yarn plus decreases equal unpredictable color pooling. (blink-blink) Sometimes it astonishes me how I can miss the obvious.

I'm going to keep soldiering on, and hope that the color-pooling doesn't create a hideous effect!

Now that I've finally gotten a good start on them, I am hoping they will start to behave, and I'll be able to finish the socks not too far after deadline!!


  • At Tue Nov 22, 08:24:00 PM PST, Blogger laurie said…

    sooooooooo much work for you...but i did have to giggle at the 'clues' and assorted oopsies ;-)

    i think they're going to be fantastic...i'm so excited!


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