Whew! I'm back from the abyss. Seems it won't be necessary to separate from my knitting, after all. Just needed to divert myself to something other than all of the things that were not going well.
So, I cast on something new. What? Another sock. Yes! Ok?! Yes!! I said, another sock! Yes, I realize it was zee sockeez zat were making me bat-shit crazy the other day. But as The Yarn Harlot pointed out the other day, like cures like, so if it was socks that were killing me, it had to be a sock that would cure me.
At work yesterday, I picked up a couple balls of Adriafil Knitcol in a loverly mix of colors.
Eeezent zsheee preeeetteee?? (No idea why I'm affecting a faux-French accent in this post.) I've never knit socks with this weight yarn before, but that's what made me think it might be a good idea now...something larger...bigger needles...thus, faster...less time to royally screw them up. (Will take a picture of the actual sock when I finish the first one. Hopefully later tonight.)
Using size four DPNs, I opted for the Broken Rib Socks from One-Skein Wonders (seriously...I love this book...if you had to own only one pattern book, I'd highly recommend this one). They looked nice and cushy, and indeed they are turning out to be so. The broken rib pattern is nice and easy, but even still, if you screw it up slightly (ahem), it camouflages minor mistakes very well. I veered from the pattern when I hit the heel, as I like my way of doing heels better, but it adapted just fine.
The only thing that is bugging me? Despite using larger needles and cushier yarn, I am still getting a ladder down the center of my sole (er, my sock's sole, as opposed to my soul). It's not as noticeable as with finer yarn, but it is still there, and that really bugs me. If anyone out there can fill me in on the secret to no ladders, I'd love to know it. I've tried all of the advice I've been able to find...tight stitches at the joins, using four needles to hold the fabric instead of three...none of it matters. I still get a ladder (or, in the case of four needles, I get TWO ladders! Argh!). I'm a really, really tight sock knitter to begin with, so I can't imagine making my join stitches any tighter than they are without breaking the yarn or the needles. Maybe I'm knitting TOO tightly? Could that be the problem? Anyone?
This actually may end up being a moot point after my discovery today! I've long heard of the Magic Loop method of circular knitting. I thought I'd tried it once and it didn't work well, but then today I got my KnitPicks.com newsletter and they had a link to an online tutorial for doing the Magic Loop and realized no, I didn't remember doing what the pictures showed. So, I pulled out some needles and followed along...
A little awkward at first, but I quickly caught on to it, and I liked it! After I got a rhythm going, it was as easy as working with DPNs (I love me my DPNs!) It ended up being way less cumbersome than using two circulars (I can do that, but I hate the unused circ dangling around...I find it very distracting). While the tutorial recommended using a longer circular for this technique, I had no problem using a 24" Addi Turbo, size 3. And after a little while, I ended up with this...
A little Magic Loop mini-bootie! (Chap Stick added to provide scale reference. ;))
And best of all...LOOK!
NO LADDERS! Not on the bottom! Not on either side where the loop separated the fabric during knitting...nowhere! I cannot tell you how jazzed I am about this! As much as I love knitting with DPNs, this may be my ladderless sock salvation!