Tuesday, February 27, 2007

wrong red; wriggly red

First of all, I want to let you know that I've updated the Sweaters From Camp "endings" post. It's a couple of posts below this one, or you can find it linked in the sidebar. I was pretty sick last week, which is my excuse for taking so long to update it. And it's still not done, as I want to go through and link not just participant blogs, but also posts with finished projects. That will come later, when I have the time and patience to devote to it.

Secondly, my face somewhat matches the hue of my Chalet sock. My Chalet socks. My former Chalet socks. Chalet sock bits. Unfinished, never to be finished Chalet socks.

I must partially rescind a complaint about a pattern error. One of the errors I alluded to is still an error, in my book. That is that the pattern is a multiple of 4 stitches, and the instructions for the p2k2 ribbing indicate that you should have 2 stitches left over at the end, which should be knit. In fact, your last 2 stitches per round will be knit in the ribbing section, but that's part of the p2k2 pattern, not in addition to it. A minor miswording in the pattern, and merely a silly frustration for most of us, but a potential source of great confusion for a newer knitter.

The error that I must rescind, kind of, relates to reading the charts. The twists in the chart are represented by diagonal lines that span rows. The chart key presents 2x2 blocks (4 stitches total), but does not specify whether you do the twist on the first or second row of the block of stitches affected by those symbols. I was interpreting it so that I did the twists in the first row of those blocks, but it became clear fairly quickly that one is meant to do the twists in the second row of the blocks. This affects setup rows and other types of twists, causing weirdness and conflicting instructions if you interpret the key incorrectly. I'm a bit embarrassed that it took me a couple of inches of knitting to figure this out, though I'm also a little disappointed that the pattern doesn't specify this extremely important detail of interpreting they key and reading the chart. Since knitters are generally used to reading charts from bottom to top, I think this is an important oversight. So long story short, it's not really an error, as much as a lack of complete instructions, leading the more stubborn among us to plow through, creating on-the-fly alterations, until we face reality and start over.

I did start over once I realized my error in interpreting the chart key. It wasn't a huge problem, but made reading the chart more difficult, and necessitated that on-the-fly tweaking, which was making things more complicated than I'd like. When I cast on again, I decided to make a small alteration to the pattern. Take a look:

Chalet sock - wrong wrong wrong

Chalet sock - alteration

The photo on the top shows the seam braid as written in the pattern. Well, kind of, as you can see that my original reading of the pattern resulted in me leaving out some twists. But that's not the point of these photos. Notice how the seam braid starts after the ribbing. I wasn't all that happy with how this looked, as it made the ribbing a purely functional detail that was just slapped on to the top of the sock to help it stay up. I preferred that the ribbing be incorporated more fully into the design, saw how the seam braid perfectly lines up with the knitting, and in my second try at the sock started that chart during the ribbing portion. (See the second photo.) I really like the look of that, and when I one day knit these socks for real, will definitely incorporate it into my interpretation of the socks.

I'm pretty sad that these socks are a former project, instead of a current one. In my last post, I mentioned the slight bluntness of my needles and the slight splittiness of the yarn. These were annoyances I was willing to overlook while I was still completely enthralled with this new technique, so excited about the patterning emerging from my fingertips that I was willing to ignore just about anything (including, obviously, chart reading deficiencies) to keep the beauty flowing. Unfortunately, I came to my senses, and realized that it was going to be too much of a trial to knit two entire socks in a slightly splitty yarn, with needles that aren't sharp enough. So I grudgingly pulled the needles out, and have resigned myself to waiting until I have the right materials before I knit these (or similar) socks in their entirety. But this was certainly a learning experience in more than one way, so I suppose the effort was worth it. And I'm keeping both of those little socklets intact, because I'm still not over their demise. They were so pretty. It's hard to let go.

Supremely frustrated with all of my knitting, I cast on for a colorwork hat. Which I can't show you yet, as I have yet to block it. But red socks were still in my system, so I pulled out Sensational Knitted Socks, found a stitch pattern I've been eyeing ever since I got the book, and cast on for some socks in cherry red Dale Baby Ull.

crustacean sock scan

The photo completely creeps me out. I love it. I'm calling them my crustacean socks, because the stitch pattern reminds me of little armies of crustaceans (or perhaps fossilized impressions of ancient crustaceans) marching up and down my leg. In bright red yarn. In an image that my scanner made supremely spooky. (The camera just wasn't cooperating, as I've found it extremely difficult to photograph red. Especially when jittery from coffee.) I adore my sock, I adore my scan of it, and am excited to get going and finish the pair, so I can walk around with creepy crawlies all over my legs and feet.



Blogger Dave said...

I really like your (prospective) Chalet mod, and will have to remember that if I ever get around to knitting a pair, but I supremely love the crusty socks -- I'm looking forward to seeing a modelled shot of those babies. :-)

2/27/2007 12:41 PM  
Blogger Elinor said...

Oh man, that sucks about the pattern error. It's a cool pic though! Red is impossible to photograph. It's right up there with navy blue.

2/27/2007 11:04 PM  
Blogger knittingphilistine said...

I love the critter socks! So much more personality than the chalets.

2/28/2007 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow...your scanner did that? They look like little lobsters! Too cool.

3/02/2007 7:23 AM  

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