01 November 2007

Sock Woe-Jo

I did something really stupid just a little while ago—I joined NaBloPoMo. My blogging lately has been boring even me, so in an attempt to make myself post more than a couple of times a week, I agreed to post at least once a day. We’ll see how long I go before I skip a day. I predict that the weekends will be the hardest.



My sock mojo is failing me. It’s not that the mojo is hiding under the couch or in the cat box along with the spider that lives there (really—a spider lives in the cat box). It’s not gone, just malfunctioning. And so I dub it Woe-Jo. WJ has succeeded in making me start a sock with the same yarn 4 times plus 2 major ripping backs (rippings back?). It started off as a Jaywalker. Too many stitches on needles too large. Riiiippp! Too many stitches on smaller needles. Riiiippp! Completely arsed-up triple decrease. Riiiippp! After the 3rd ripping, I thought I had everything fixed and settled. I started working on the larger of the 2 sizes indicated in the pattern, toe-up this time instead of top-down. I even got all the way to the heel. Turned the heel. Realized half-way through the heel flap that my math was completely off. I was going to need to do more gusset increase rows in order to have the heel math turn out right. Rip back the end of the increase rows. Do a bit more math and realize that the whole increase section needs to be moved closer to the toe or the sock was going to be too long. Rip back to the beginning of the increase rounds.

Then I put the sock in time-out while I finished the baby blanket.

When I finally picked it up again last week, I realized that the Woe-Jo was not liking the Jaywalker pattern at all. I try to listen to my inner knit demon when it comes to projects not working the way I want them too. If for any reason I am not feeling the love for the current project, it gets ripped and the yarn used for something else. So, I ripped again and started searching for another pattern.

Enter the most basic problem in this whole saga—I really don’t like the yarn. It’s Lana Grossa Meilenweit and it’s really scratchy. The past 3 pairs of socks I have made have been from either Koigu or Lorna’s Laces. Very soft and squishy yarns. The Meilenweit is absolutely twine-y in comparison. I know it will make for durable socks, but it’s wearing on my hands faster than softer yarns. I am firm in my resolve to use this yarn, though. The colors, while not anything really special, are interesting enough (really short color repeats which make for a variegated result). So on I plugged.

Once I had ripped out the last incarnation of the Jaywalker, I searched about for a very simple pattern that I could easily memorize and knit quickly. What I settled on is the Elongated Corded Rib (I think that’s the name) from Sensational Knitted Socks. I am working from the toe again, on 80 stitches. The pattern is a 4 stitch, 8 row repeat. Varied enough to keep my interest, and simple enough to memorize and work quickly. Problem solved.

Or not.

Due to the fact that this is a variation of a ribbed pattern, it’s really stretchy. I am getting 9.5 st/inch, which for me would mean 80 total stitches on size 1s, but when I last tried them on, they were awfully large. Not ginormous, but not very fitted either. I’m really picky about my socks fitting just right. I hate loose socks. I could probably continue on as is and the socks would turn out fine—they’d be a bit loose, but nothing fatal.

But here’s the thing: I hate the idea of spending so much time on something that I don’t absolutely love. I think I owe it to the Sock Mojo to only make socks that I really love, from beginning to end. That nagging feeling I have that something is amiss just won’t leave me be.

So here’s my solution. Cut the yarn, pull out the needles, set the unfinished sock aside. At this point, I have ripped out and reknit that section of yarn so many times that it’s getting very splitty and a bit worn. I will start a new sock on size 0s this time, on the same number of stitches. If I need the extra yarn I will rip it later. I just can’t face ripping it now.

Here’s to turning the Woe-Jo back into Mojo! I will finish this pair of socks if it kills me. And I will love every minute, dammit.


Blogger buttercup said...

I feel your pain. I went through the same thing a couple of months ago and only just finished my first pair of socks since then. I really beleive that the Mo/Woe-Jo rears it's head when we get a little too comforatble with the gauge we get with the yarns we love and when we pick up a similar yarn - blammo! Fudged up socks.

You did the right thing. Back away from the sock with the bad "jo". ;-)

12:59 PM  

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