Wednesday, September 1, 2010

So close, and yet - no

I really thought I was going to pull through with Man Socks last night in time for a successful finish to the August Sockalong. My goals were to finish the very vari socks (check) and Man Socks (more on that in a moment) and start a new pair (ditto.) Overall I'm pretty happy with what I did get done, especially since I was able to snag a stand-in Man to model the one completed sock:

The big thing for me about Man Socks - really, with any gift sock - is that you can't try it on the person they're meant for. At least with a Girl Sock I can estimate how much bigger or smaller the recipient's foot is than mine, so I can try on myself as I go. But Man is a full size bigger than any stand-in Men I trusted for trying on practise, and how much bigger is a full size?

The smaller but perhaps more significant thing is the yardage required. My skein of Felix from Biscotte et Cie was probably going to be enough for a pair of Man Socks - but Man has a wide foot as well as a larger size so I wasn't absolutely sure. Another time I would plan ahead and do cuffs and toes in a contrasting colour, but I didn't think of it early enough with these, and so the whole experience has been one of breath-holding panic.

I knit a 7" leg, the least I felt I could get away with, and when I finished the toe of Sock #1 above, watching the yarn dwindle down to almost nothing as I went along, I ended up with exactly 16 inches to spare. Yes! And they are a little too long for Stand-In Man. Bodes well for a happy Christmas delivery.

As you can imagine, I felt pretty good launching into the toe of #2 after we established all that, but... the yardage on that half of the skein proved to be a bit less, and I had to think of a fix.

Which is: ripping back toward the beginning of the toe and alternating between the actual yarn and my backup Felix - same weight, similar dye lot, but a straight blue that is in places quite a bit darker than the blue in the original yarn. The idea is to eke out the main sock yarn enough for a subtle effect that might not even be noticeable.

I can see from this tiny bit though that the straight blue is just crazy dark; I'm going to have to go to blue every two or three rows instead of every other. So I'll have to rip back a bit further still if I'm to make it to the end and really blend the colours.

And that my friends is why I did not finish Man Socks last night.

But I did pick out another colour and pattern for the next socks. See, I have another skein of Biscotte in snowflake blues and whites that are just perfect for Veronik Avery's Staccato Socks. And then I think I'm going to try a pair of Bob Socks in the dark blue, with red cuffs and toes and heels from my remaining skein of Felix. Because I'm telling you, that stuff is so soft, it's bliss!

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