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!