I bought this yarn recently, Lorna’s Laces Solemate, color The Bean. I showed you a picture before, but it’s pretty yarn and this post will likely not have another picture in it, so here, take another gander.
It’s my first Lorna’s Laces (as far as I know – there has been the occasional unlabeled sock mini) and I love trying a new yarn for the first time. I like to try to mark the experience somehow. The fact that Googling “outlast fiber” brings up links to fucking NASA, people, only made the need to do something special with this yarn that much stronger. This isn’t just yarn – this is space yarn. If I knit these socks right, then between them and my titanium wedding ring, I’m pretty much set if I ever end up in space without a plan.
Enter Cookie A. I have very specific rules about socks (no lace! no holes! make sleeves or somesuch if you want lace & holes!!), but I also like a challenge, so I have chosen to own a copy of Sock Innovation, which is not entirely full of lace and holes. It does have some Acceptable Socks, and when I pull it off the shelf for a browse, I focus on those. For example, I have Sam queued up and promised to a skein of Mocha’s Fiber Designs Molly’s Toes I picked up at NH Sheep & Wool last year, though I really wish the pattern continued onto the top of the foot and am considering mods on this one (very. specific. rules. for everything).
So, after I ordered the Solemate, I went looking for the right pattern, eventually settling on Bex. It’s possible this was mostly because the sample featured in the book is white, and my yarn was mostly close to white. However, I am not going to lie to you, so I will say right here for the world to see that the better part of my reasoning for making this choice was that I could call them my Beany Bexes. And tell you how I bought the yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool, thus making the experience that much beanier. (In fact, that particular purchase was beanier than you know, but that’s a story for another day.)
So, last night I cast on. And cast on. And cast on again. I would like to say I made it X rounds further than the cast-on (substituting any number for X, really, I wouldn’t have been that picky) at some point, but alas, no.
(Important background info: I have recently taught myself how to do a long-tail cast on purlwise and LOVE how this looks. Since I have always preferred the look of the purl side of a long-tail cast on, I’m also loving how it doesn’t involve any yarn gymnastics when I cast on, turn the whole thing around, then start knitting with the working yarn in totally the wrong place. And also how I can do a ribbed cast on, which is my new favorite thing.)
Attempt 1: I read over the pattern once, then checked the first row of the first chart. Seeing all purls and yarn overs, I did a long-tail cast on purlwise. So beautiful. I got on with my p2, yo, p3, whatevers, and after a while it all felt weird. I was like, “How is this only increasing about 20 stitches overall if there are, like, 18 yarn overs in the first round alone?” I ripped.
Attempt 2: I decided that I didn’t need to understand the math, I just needed to trust it, and I did exactly the same thing as in Attempt 1.
Attempt 3: See Attempt 2, except this time I decided to just go with the weird math in round 1 and fudge the numbers, and I actually got started on round 2. I got as far as “kfbfbf” and realized Ms A was just having a good laugh at my expense. I ripped.
Still wanting something intricate, elaborate, delicious for this yarn, I scanned the book one more time, briefly settling a few times only to see that made up instruction (kfbfbf – seriously, I was just in no mood to accept that that was possible) and realize I needed to keep on truckin’.
Then I saw Kristi. Reminiscent of Bex but not so intimidating (none of that kfbfbf nonsense, for one). Looked like it would be pretty in my chosen yarn. The suggestions for sizing down (a possibility I’m trying to keep in mind, since all these patterns seem to be written for an 8-inch circumference, slightly stretched, and I’d really need that 8 to be a 7 if I’m going to live any sort of fully realized life) seemed much more manageable than Bex’s no seriously this is easy suggestions.
I cast on.
I started the first round of the first chart. Thought it seemed a little weird. My eyes sort of started to cross, and as they did, they wandered across the page and I noticed something very important.
Something that looked like this:
I’m sure now.
I was YOing when I should have been K1TBLing. Also, all that long-tail-purlwise nonsense was about half uncalled for, as all those K1TBLs which were not YOs could have been cast on regular old knitwise to make things neater.
I had already cast on 64 (which at this point was really 256) and I was not ripping this sock again. Even if I now understood what went wrong between me and Bex, I was not going back to her (and her nonsensical KFBFBFs). I had chosen Kristi and with Kristi I would stay, whether she was right for me or not. I was going to Marge Simpson the hell out of this sock.
I am halfway through the third round. No mistakes so far. With me and Kristi, it’s the real thing.