Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Fickle, Faithless Knitter

I loved my little cable sock pattern. I loved the feel of the Fortissima yarn. I loved the color -- a rich dark green. Things were good between us. But my eye was captured by the lovely jewel-like rainbow hues of my Jitterbug purchase. My fingers had to stroke the enticing softness of this magical yarn. Usually I can be content to put a new yarn acquisition next to the computer so that I can see it and pet it occasionally, but not this time.

It started innocently enough. I was anxious to see how this scrumptious colorway would look as it was knit up. I only intended to knit a swatch. Just an experiment in color. That was my first mistake. The bright colors called to me. They told me they would be perfect as Jaywalker socks. I agreed; I found Grumperina's pattern. I got gauge on US 1's (I knit VERY tightly, it is a rare thing for me to get gauge with the recommended needle size). I gave in to the temptation to knit this sock because I have been waiting a long time for the right yarn to come along. I know the rest of the knitting world has used this pattern many times, but it was the first time I had tried it.

I knit until my fingers were sore (it didn't take that long since I was using little sharp pointed metal needles). I loved the way the pattern looked, but hated the way the resulting fabric felt. It was stiff and no longer enjoyably soft. What to do? Was this a sign that I should put this siren song calling itself sock yarn back on the computer desk and go back to my neglected cabled socks? Possibly, but I ignored the sign. I was a woman driven with the desire to make the perfect sock. I quickly ripped and frogged, and I started over.

I needed larger needles, but that would mean an adjustment in the number of stitches. I switched to US 2's for the cuff and cast on only 60 stitches. I also switched back to bamboo; I really don't enjoy using metal needles. This worked nicely, but I was afraid that the pattern for the leg would be much too tight on size 2's so I started the pattern with US 3's. I wanted it to be stretchy enough to go on over my foot and ankle. Instead of knitting 7 stitches between the increases and double decreases (as per the original pattern), I only used 5. It seems to be working, and I absolutely love it! I will probably switch back to size 2 needles for the heel and sole. I love this yarn!

I will try to have pictures by the end of the week when my camera comes home from Colorado.


Sharon said...

I knew you couldn't leave TB empty-handed. :)

susan said...

good choice! i love jitterbug, the colors, the feel, oh my goodness, it's wonderful.