Monday, June 20, 2016

Sock kits and a sock fail

It's years ago now that my friend Sandra suggested I kit up some yarn I wasn't using, and I don't remember much about that conversation except the phrase 'kit up some yarn'.  Doesn't that sound so - organized?  Aspirational, even?  Something about the cheery, efficient tone in her voice made me feel that if that yarn got kitted up, it would get knit.

Even though we all know there is some yarn that will never get knit, unless it moves to somebody else's house.  Only so many hours in the day, right?

My 100% superwash merino Vesper yarn is totally going to get knit though, because as you doubtless know by now, I absolutely love it.  It's SO soft.  It's so colourful.  It's so stripey, and I love stripies.

The entire process of kitting sock yarn is time consuming - for me at least, because I like to knit both socks at the same time and have a light bag to tuck into my purse.  It would be a lot more yarn-efficient if I knit straight through from one big cake and just referred to the to the top of Sock #1 to ensure that Sock #2 starts at the same point in the stripe - less cutting away of unused cake, shorter tails in general.  Apparently I prefer wastefulness, and up-front effort, to ensure I have a lightweight, compact bag to cart around every day.

That said, I do have some sympathy for you guys.  Stuck day after day watching the progression of stripey socks while I continue to put all my creative energy into home renovation planning.

The other day I saw somebody I'd told about the house project 18 months ago, when we took possession of our 'temporary' condo home.  He asked if we were back in the house yet, and I said Nope, probably this fall.  He just looked at me and said That is the longest renovation project I have ever heard of.  And I get it - it's hard to explain that we have one guy and one helper doing almost everything except for some specialized tasks that get farmed out to teams, like the basement drainage and the HVAC work.  And that part of the reason it is taking a long time is because if Ray sees an opportunity to improve the function of the design, he will always stop work to call me and see whether I would like to make that improvement.

(this is why, for example, we now have a shower that's 42" x 48" with an 18" wide shelf for linens, instead of a 42" x 60" shower. seriously, one of our showers was going to be almost as big as my ENTIRE OFFICE. so, so glad he called me about that.)


Even though I know it is a drag for you to keep on looking at sock yarn in all its various stages, I am glad I did this kitting.  These are three or four more kits in the cupboard, which means that even if I knit nothing else, I have enough yarn to get me well through the rest of the renovation and back to some cosy future time when I can take on more complex projects, and write up the stripey and lacey fingerless mitt patterns I have promised you.

Also: it's so PRETTY.

And it takes so many hours to cake this much yarn, I feel a real sense of accomplishment, even though I haven't actually made anything.

In spite of my best efforts, in fact.  Are you sitting down?

22 rounds, people.  22 rounds of a lot of K1tbl, P1 ribbing (which takes forever even without there being about 140 stitches per round or super sharp pointy needles) before I could test my gauge planning and try it on and discover that it was too tight on, and then test it against the original sample and discover that the tightness was the result of having cast on WAY too few stitches.


Well, at least I have Vesper.  These are the four most alluring-to-me colour combinations.  That one on the right is called Beach Glass and it is just dreamy, with the turquoise and orange and lime green balanced by a warm off-white.  So restful.

When I'm finished grafting some sock toes and freeing some needles, I am totally casting on one of them to cheer me up about the too-small ribbing project.

But fear not!  I have since ripped out the ribbing and cast it on again and am now working my way back up to 22 rounds.  I'll show you how it looks when I get there, okay?

Meanwhile: take care and I will see you tomorrow!


Laurinda said...

Those really are very pretty yarn pictures! I envy you, & other sock knitters, those beautiful skeins. But I have other joys (ask me about my fabulous Columbine spinning wheel!)
Thanks for sharing them with us <3 Now I'm off to try to find something to knit using 230 yards of bulky-ish handspun :-D

Mary Keenan said...

oh WOW Laurinda! I stopped looking into spinning wheels after I bought my Ashford so I didn't know about Columbines... they are GORgeous and I love the giant bobbin! That's one thing that I don't like... I can never make the final plied yarn as long as I want because the bobbin gets full. Congrats!!