Friday, October 22, 2010

The irony of it...

The other day, the Yarn Harlot wrote a post about how her sock yarn was pooling on a second sock instead of striping like it did on the first. She narrowed the possible reasons for this phenomenon down to: change in stitch pattern, gauge or stitch number. It turned out that she'd cast on a different number of stitches for the second sock than she had the first, thus the difference in how the yarn colors were behaving. She ripped it and started over.

When I read her post, at first I kind of chuckled because I thought, yep, I could see how that might happen, and then I felt her pain at having to rip back a half-finished sock. I mean, that's a lot of time spent and a lot of tiny stitches that are being undone.

Now, it is Socktoberfest, and I've been doing a lot of sock knitting. Finished one pair, working on three others. I finished the first Riff sock earlier this week, and it turned out really cute...

Note how nicely the yarn striped. (If this was a movie, the creepy foreshadowing music would kick in about here.)

I cast on for the second Riff two days ago and got about two inches into the toe. It looked different to me, but it was just the toe, and I figured it was plausible that the colors could play differently through the toe increase section. Tonight I continued on another couple inches and it was clear that the striping of the first sock was not happening. In fact, what I was getting was pooling.

Pooling instead of striping. This seemed so strangely...familiar.

Then I remembered...the Yarn Harlot's sock. So I thought about her reasons...pattern, gauge...nope not issues for me. Stitch count? I stopped and counted. I was successfully knitting 32 stitches per needle, for a total of 64. OK. I usually knit 60 or 64 stitch socks, so that seemed right. I knit a few more rounds. And then it hit me. I rifled back through the pattern to where it specified total stitch count after the toe increases for my size: 68.


With a sigh, I ripped back to the toe, did one more round of increases and set off again. Voila! I've got striping as I did in the first sock. All I can say is thank God this is an easy pattern that I'm enjoying.

I can't help but marvel at how four little stitches can cause such a huge difference in the behavior of the yarn!

It struck me that perhaps I'd been subconsciously influenced by YH's post and that was why I made the same mistake she'd made. But then I realized, no. I made the mistake the day before I read her post. The mistake was mine alone. Still, it's so freaky that I made the same mistake to the same end that she did. Just so weird!


photoknitdog said...

Wow, that is strange! I'm glad you caught the mistake early enough, though, that you didn't have to keep knitting the sock for so long!

Love the autumnal color of the sock, btw!

dirtywaterdyeworks said...

Perhaps it was the work of the full moon. Stranger things have happened.

Thea said...

Beautiful socks - and funny mistake! Also, so jealous of your gorgeous workspace. I so need to figure out mine....