Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Sock Is On Fire!!

And no, it's not because I left a cigarette burning too close to the wool. (Knotty girls use ash trays outside, not near stash or projects, ahem.)

I am working on a pair of socks for my girl, Wendy Lee. She is a very worthy recipient - not only does she create fabulous hair for me, but she is one of my dearest friends and it's her birthday on the 8th!

This is a project I am very excited about for a variety of reasons. I'm sure that you would like to know what they are, so I will feel free to share:

1. I'm using the Lime & Violet Intentions Yarn - Inspiration #1. I really love the colors in this yarn - they are quick jolts of colors, very intense colors, with a lot of depth. Take a minute to read up on Intentions Yarn - it's a great idea. I chose to use the Inspiration colorway because we all need inspiration from time to time - it encourages us to go out and do great things!

2. I decided (after much debate) to knit Express Lane Socks. The pattern itself is very easy, and because I have moved over to the "dark side" and am knitting on 2 circs, they are going very fast. Plus, the recipient of these socks moves at a high rate of speed on a frequent basis. Fitting, no? I am loving knitting these socks.

HOWEVER!!!! (Mentally make the noise of a scratching record, seriously, we're about to go off of the tracks)

The original pattern calls for a short row heel. We all know how I feel about short rows when it comes to socks. (Think of a SNL Bush Sr spoof and raising taxes "Not gonna do it.") I decided that I was gonna be slick and insert a heel flap in it's place, and of course, I am going to utilize the one that I have in a Wendy Johnson (aka Sock Goddess) pattern. My stitch count on the Express Lane pattern (60 stitches) is not exactly dead on with the Nanner Sock heel pattern (64 stitches), so I tinkered with the numbers a bit, consulted the Sock Goddess and determined this could easily happen! I was so happy that my brain is working in the appropriate manner. Please make note of the stitch counts for each pattern - it will make my story funnier, I swear.

Monday night, I started working on the gusset - so exciting, I love knitting this part of the sock. Yesterday I notice I'm not liking it, and there's an error (I switched up how I did my M1 - blech), so at about 7:30 pm, I decided to frog the gusset, fixing the error, and going back to my old ways of doing a M1. I know that Wendy Lee won't care about one error, but I would, ya know?

So I frog. I pick up my stitches, and painstakingly figure out where the seams are, and count my stitches. First, I count them and I have 59. I count them again, I have 61. I count them again and I have 60, 30 on each needle. In my brain, I am thinking that I need to have 32 stitches on each needle, because I need a total of 64 stitches. Well, this sock only has 30 stitches per needle. I curse, I threaten to throw the sock, I contemplate burning it, then I call Opal for an intervention.. She's such a cool cookie, she listened to my rant and talked me out of burning the sock, and we jointly come up with a way to increase 4 times within the lace pattern so it won't be noticeable. All this time, I am trying to figure out, how in the world did I loose 4 stitches? Where did they go? Oh well, I have a plan, so let's move on. Woot!

Yeah, no, not so much.

Think about it, if I'm missing 64 stitches, I can't just increase in the lace - I have to increase on the sole of the foot as well, so that there will be 32 stitches per needle. Follow my thought process here... I can see how I lost a stitch or two in the lace - it happens. But to loose stitches on the sole? How is that? I have checked the sock over with a fine toothed comb - no dropped stitches.. What the hell is going on here?? Whatever - it happens, and if I need 64 stitches, I need 64. Increase 2 stitches in the lace pattern, and 2 on the sole of the sock. (I have a plan, remember?)

I proceed on with the plan ('cause I made one) knit across the lace, adding in my extra stitch, and then realize, I have too many stitches for the lace pattern. Huh? What? If I'm supposed to have 64 stitches, how can I suddenly have an extra stitch - I shouldn't have enough! I bust out the pattern and look at the lace chart. I've got the appropriate amount of stitches. How can this be? How can I need 32 stitches per needle, yet the pattern only needs 30? Where have I gone wrong? I've spent over an hour figuring out how to fix this, yet now my fix won't work!

Get your lighter ready friends - I hear that wool has a nice blue flame.

I decide to read the whole pattern over again, just to see if I missed something. Apparently, I did.

Dear Ms. Knotty Knits,

We regret to inform you that the pattern you are using only calls for 60 stitches in the S/M size. While we do understand that this is frustrating for you to read, and it may cause you to have a fit, it is the only answer we have for you at this time. Next time, read the pattern at the first sign of trouble or frustration.

The parts of your brain that read patterns

What in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks was I thinking? How did I not notice this?? Since when have I been knitting 64 stitches around for this pattern? NEVER!! After an hour and a half of plotting and wrangling and complaining and cursing it, reading the pattern showed that I only need 30 stitches per needle!! Darned cursed Nanner Sock heel!!! It invaded my brain and took over the Express Lane Sock pattern! Remember when I shared that I had gone through and tinkered with the numbers from the heel of the nanner socks to replace the short rows with the heel flap? Why did I have to tinker? Because the Express Lane socks only have 60 stitches and the nanner socks have 64, so I had to mess with the numbers a bit to center the short rows and the gusset increases! But never did I want to change the stitch count from 60 to 64 in the regular pattern! Never! Again, let's repeat a much used phrase from this blog - What was I thinking???

I really had the lighter ready folks. I looked at the sock, looked at the lighter, looked back at the sock, and had mental images of it going up in flames. I thought about sticking it in my empty Hornsby's Hard Cider bottle and made a "Sock-al-tov Cocktail" and throwing it out into the parking lot just for kicks. I thought about putting it in the litter box and letting Two Fingers punish it. I thought about throwing it off the balcony in a "Walk the Plank" sort of fashion.

Instead, I called Opal and gave her the good news. I'm not nuts, I'm just a non-pattern-reading-can't-keep-two-patterns-straight crazy lady who had contemplated destroying a perfectly good no errors anywhere sock.

PS for your viewing pleasure, here's what Cindy sent me for the Plurk Swap. Isn't she just fabulous!!!!! She rocked my socks (literally)! Don't worry, Plurk Swap partner - your box will be on it's way soon!!


Opal said...

I still can't stop laughing about this.. I know that's awful. But.. but... I know you'll forgive me. Eventually. :-)

Lisa said...

I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants! I'm so happy to know that I'm not the only one that does stuff like this!

Jessica said...

Ah isn't it just fabulous what the mind can do to your knitting when you let it?! ;)

Daniele said...

OMG! I could just see you doing all of that figuring too!! This would never have happened if you wouldn't have gone over to the "dark side".... ;)

Love all those goodies. What a wonderful swap partner!

Unknown said...

OMG...thank you for sharing the laughs!

She Knits Socks said...

You are a funny girl! I was laughing so hard. Now I feel better about trying to swap parts of patterns. So you will always keep a pencil handy to make notations on your pattern, right?

I'm glad you didn't set it on fire.

Lori said...

I knew I loved you for more than your good looks ;)

Unknown said...

The brain can be a strange creature.