Tag Archives: socks

How to Screw Up a Fool-Proof Plan (Several Times)

1. Forget how to knit 2 things that are the same size, despite the fact that you’ve been knitting for years and have no trouble knitting multiple matching sized items when you’re knitting them for other people. Develop a plan to avoid Significantly Smaller Second Sock Syndrome by alternating knitting 2 different pairs.

2. Knit sock 1 from pair 2. Have every intention of going back to sock 2 from pair 1.

3. See that Jenny Lawson will be appearing in Minneapolis in like 6 hours. Decide to go. Decide to bring sock 2 from pair 2 instead because it’s simpler to knit.

4. Knit away happily all evening, from cast on to heel turn.

5. Get The Bloggess to hold your sock!

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6. Finish this sock in pretty much 2 days. Try on the pair. Take a pretty picture.

 

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7. Try not to admit that the second sock is a half-inch too short in the leg, because really you can live with that. Try even harder to not admit that it’s also a half-inch too short in the foot, because you can’t really ignore that part.

8. Admit it, set the socks aside, think about going back to the Jaywalkers. Decide the heartache is too much and you have to go with the fool-proof option.

9. Cast on new socks 2-at-time style on 1 needle. As the skein is so tangled you have to cut off a good sized bit before you can even cast on, decide that toe-up with a short-row heel is the way to go, because you don’t need to be adding in running out of yarn halfway through to your list of troubles.

10. Knit along happily, knowing that your socks may be short, but they will be the same length, for fucking once.

11. Realize once you’re halfway through the heel of the first sock that you have too many stitches in the heel. Then notice that about an inch and a half back, you somehow moved the last 3*1 rib repeat from the instep to the sole. Swear unceasingly as you rip out the heel, ladder down that one stupid purl stitch and pick it back up correctly, and redistribute your stitches evenly.

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12. Partway through the leg, remember why you hate knitting socks this way.

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13. Do ridiculous things to try to fix this tangle, including pulling one of the socks off the needles so that you can thread them back through this mess separately and try to undo it all.

14. Realize that you can’t undo it all, but you have now undone several rounds on the sock you pulled off the needle, so your socks won’t be the same length anymore.

15. Cut the yarn, untangle what you can, rejoin, knit until  you feel like the sock is probably tall enough and you probably have enough left for Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

16. Bind off! Shift the needle around! Bind off some more! Cut the yarn — look how much of it is left! you planned that so well! — feeling SO DAMN GLAD to be done with these socks! Pull the tail through the last stitch on one sock! Shift the needle around to do the same on the other!

17. REALIZE YOU LEFT HALF THAT SOCK UN-BOUND-OFF AND YOU CUT THE YARN AND FOR FUCK’S SAKE WHY DO THESE SOCKS HATE YOU SO MUCH

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18. Take a breath. It’s OK. You can deal with this. Undo that bind off and another round of knitting just to be safe. Redo the stretchy bind off. You’re fine!

19. Get to the last 8 stitches. You are very much not fine, you can feel the end of the yarn trying to slip out of your fingers as you knit. Finish off with a regular bind off and see just how close you cut it here.

 

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20. It doesn’t matter. No one will be able to tell when you’re wearing them. Put them on! They’re so comfy! I mean, sure, one is several rounds longer because you fucked up so much. And maybe the legs are a little loose? And the ankles a smidge tight? But it’s fine! Look at them! They’re beautiful!

 

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21. After wearing them for about 3 minutes: heel nipples.

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A Small Adjustment to the Plan

So! Here we are, 3 weeks into October and also my plan to knit a pair of socks every 3 weeks. And how are we doing? Pretty well but also not fantastic.

My first yarn was Funky Monkey! Handpaints in Apple. I’ve never worked with this yarn and I wasn’t sure how it would pool, so my first thought was Jaywalkers to see if I could get some stripes going. It worked! There’s definitely pooling but the chevron pattern is breaking that up with some striping and I was feeling very happy about things in general until last night. I was almost done with the leg and figured a measurement check was in order because, well, I have a problem with different sized socks.

 

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Checking your gauge: A good idea.

A note to sock knitters who do not live alone: if you are knitting a pattern you know has practically no stretch and you have a history of knitting second socks significantly smaller than first socks, please promise me you will only try such second socks on when your housemate is around. If my husband hadn’t been here last night to pull this sock off of me, I would probably still be trying to figure out how to walk on a pile of carbon fiber DPNs without impaling myself.

I had 2 options: run over my deadline or let go and move on.

 

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Plan B: Another good idea.

This is Barking Dog Opposites Attract in Bonnie & Clyde and I’m just knitting it up plain and so far I LOVE IT.

I think if I knit this sock, then the second Jaywalker, and then the second one of these, I should be good. I want to believe this. I need to believe this. I will follow this plan and all my gauge issues will magically disappear and I will have matching sized socks and it will be glorious.

2 Socks is a Pair of Socks, Right?

I really hope so, because I’ll take all the milestones I can right now.

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On the right, we have a do-over. You might remember these socks from my “finish all the things-along” last year, when they looked like this:

 

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I started them a little over 3 years ago to keep my hands busy on a weekly conference call at my old job. I remembered trying this sock on after I finished the toe and cut the yarn and used some of it in my sock blanket, only to realize it was a little too short. So, my first point here is NEVER do this with a self-striping yarn if you like to maintain stripe pattern consistency. My plan since then has been to rip out the toe and re-knit it in a contrasting tan Kroy that I had lying around. I never got to these during the knit-along, though, and didn’t get back to them until a few months ago.

At which point I realized this sock was actually a good inch or so too small in pretty much all dimensions. I could barely get it past my ankle and then I couldn’t get the heel where it belonged, and it actually kind of hurt to even get it that close to on. So, my second point here is NEVER knit a sock on a conference call at a job that really really stresses you out, because things will happen to your gauge that you will not be able to control.

And I guess my third point is NEVER trust your memory of what happened 3 years ago. Or maybe never trust your feet? I honestly don’t know if it’s my memory or my feet that have changed since then.

 

But it’s all been fixed. I ripped the whole thing out and did the cuff, heel and toe in the contrasting color this time around. I even cast on the second cuff right away, but after just an evening or so of that, it was time to go to San Francisco and I wanted something a little fancier and that didn’t have any unpleasant memories attached to bring on the plane. Enter Java and this glorious hot pink stuff I’ve been hanging onto since the 2010 NH Sheep & Wool.

I made good progress on the plane.

 

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But there was a problem. And this time it wasn’t gauge (well, I don’t think it was gauge; I never check the gauge on socks but the fabric I was getting seemed just about right to me) and it wasn’t stress, it was just that the 60-stitch size was too small and I had a feeling that the 84-stitch size would be too big. The next few problems I ran into were totally my fault, though, so no worries on that front–I’m still TOTALLY able to screw up a perfectly decent pattern through my refusal to count or pay attention to detail.

I don’t even remember everything I did wrong when re-doing these, honestly. It involved a lot of believing I could create an in-between size if I just did the math right, then doing all the math wrong, and then just deciding that I had screwed things up enough that it was better to just look at the pictures and go for the idea of the sock rather than trying to fit what I had done incorrectly into what the pattern was telling me to do. But, hey, in the end I ended up with an awfully pretty sock that fits my foot, so I guess we can’t say this was a total failure on my part.

I just really hope I can recreate what I did for the second one.

They’re Like Leprechauns That Way

Any time I tell myself I’m going to do all the finishing work before taking pictures and blogging a finished project, it’s practically a guarantee that project won’t end up on the blog, so I try to just grab at least one picture as soon as something’s done so that I have something to blog about. If I leave it too long, the whole idea of blogging disappears, and then sometime the project itself disappears in one way or another. After I weave in all the ends, wash, block, etc., sometimes the thought of modeling and sorting though pictures for the best ones and editing photos and such is just too much. Sometimes it doesn’t fit in my schedule to even do the proper photo shoot deal in the first place. Sometimes the item is a gift and there just isn’t an appropriate time to get finished photos before it’s given. (Ask me to tell you sometime about the just plan adorable Sophie I knit last year. I don’t think I ever even mentioned it here.) Sometimes I just don’t want to lose the finishing momentum so I just grab a few pictures wherever I happen to be — sometimes I pluck all the cat hair off the knitting, sometimes not — and move on to the next project.

Sometimes I knit socks and they’re socks so I don’t really even care that much about finishing beyond weaving in the ends.

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I’m calling these A Little Something on the Side. Two-by-two ribbing for the cuff with a one-by-one ribbed section running down either side. I continued the one-by-one rib down the heel flap and the toe, as well.

Yarn: Ellen’s Half-Pint Farm Merino Sock, colorway Muddy Waters
Needles: 2 mm Karbonz DPNs
Started: July 1, 2013. These were my “must keep distracted by something purdy during the horrible moving week” project.
Finished: June 17, 2014. This has been the kind of year where taking a year to finish something as quick as a mostly plain pair of socks feels just about right.

But look at that – I finished these over a month ago, took a picture immediately, and they STILL almost didn’t make it onto the blog! These knitted things are tricky little bastards, I tell you.

 

That finishing momentum is an amazing thing when you find it, though. Because, looky here, it’s another actual pair of finished socks! (Photographed a few minutes after I finished them, at the laundromat, and before I bothered pulling any of the cat hair off.)

 

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Pattern: None. Just a pair of basic toe-ups with gusset heel, two-by-two ribbing at the cuff and Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off to finish.Yarn: Kroy Socks Stripes in colorway 55616 Mulberry Stripes
Needles: 2 mm Karbonz DPNs
Started: Um…some time before March 15, which is when I showed you the yarn and said I’d already knit a whole sock with it.
Finished: July 17, 2014

Overall, another lovely Kroy experience, though these two balls did have a few knots in them. You can see one of them right in the middle of the cuff, even. Also you can see how I don’t bother cutting knots out of sock yarn. I’ve never run into knots with Kroy before and I’m never that worried about my socks matching, so I’m not really that bothered by it.

 

Now it’s time to let that finishing momentum propel me through the second sleeve of Common Ground. Some cat whose name I will not mention yanked all the needles out of that sleeve the other day and some stupid knitter whose name also will not be spoken here decided to pick the sweater up by the working yarn for some reason yesterday, so, well, there’s a bit of fixing to do before the finishing can begin. But it’s all too painful. Let’s not speak of it again

16 & Counting

In all the optimism and excitement that the end of a semester inspires, I’ve joined up with a second KAL. It’s not really adding any new knitting to my plate, though, and in fact it fits in quite nicely with the superhero KAL I’m already in. The idea is to take every project that was on the needles, in need of ripping, or in need of finishing (the weaving in ends, sewing on buttons, etc., type of finishing, that is) before August 15 and get it done by October 15. You get points for every 100 yds you knit/rip and can earn more points depending on how long the project has been on the needles.

When I first read about it I thought, “Meh, sounds like fun but I don’t really have all that much in progress. Well, maybe I’ll just check out my projects page and see.” Turns out I had 11 projects in progress, including 4 sweaters and a shawl. Then I went around to gather them all up, estimate yardage knit and yardage left to knit, and get some pictures (the KAL requires an on-the-needles picture and a finished one), and, well, I found 4 more projects that weren’t on my projects page, some of them dating back to 2009.

So, yes, this is the KAL for me, I think. Here’s my list (so far; I’m not entirely convinced I’ve found all the incomplete projects yet), in no particular order:

1. Handspun-Tho-Not-By-Me Socks

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So, spinning just isn’t my thing after all. But yarn-based bartering over the internet totally IS my thing, so I was still able to make arrangements for this Mad Color Fiber Arts Superwash Merino/Bamboo/Nylon Top that had been sitting on my spindle since April 2012 to be spun and plied into 295 yds of 3-ply sock yarn. Now it can finally become the socks it was always meant to be! These will be toe-up so I can use every last yd of the yarn. Yds down/yds to go: 62.5/232.5

2. A Little Something on the Side Socks

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Yds down/yds to go: 156/134

3. Daughter of the Regiment

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When last we saw the first DotR, her skirt had just been cast on amidst much fiddling and she had just broken her second needle. I may need to get a long Karbonz circ to finish these, or I may just finish them on a million Karbonz dpn’s. Regardless, they will be finished on Karbonz and hopefully by October 15. Yds down/Yds to go: really not sure at all

4. Baby Sweater That Just Needs Buttons

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Whether I finish this depends on whether I have buttons that will work. This one took a little longer to knit than the baby took to grow, so I’m not totally sure what I’ll do with it now.

5. Too-Big Leyburns

Why so big, Leyburn? Why?

Hoping I can figure out my mods on this but if not I’ll have to rip the first one back to before the heel and just follow the pattern this time. Yds down/yds to go: 152/152

6. Moonlight Lady Mittens

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To match the Moonlight Lady hat and scarf. Yds down/yds to go: not sure, things are a bit too tangly to weigh and measure right now

7. Garter-Stitch Scarf

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Yds down/yds to go: 108/362 or until I get bored

8. Improvised Fibonacci Stripe Cardigan

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Yds down/yds to go: haven’t measured/don’t know what this will take because I’m not working from a pattern

9. Kristi

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Yds down/yds to go: 195.5/110.5

10. Conference Call Socks

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Yds down/yds to go: 122/not sure ’cause I have to rip out the toe and make this one a little longer

11. Striped, Seamless Set-in Sleeve Sweater

Yds down/yds to go: um…I don’t actually know where this one is right now, so I’ll get back to you on that

12. Plain and Simple

Photo on 8-15-13 at 2_Fotor

Yds to rip: 455

13. Francis Revisited

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Yds down/yds to go: don’t know but I will – I swear! – get around to lengthening the body and sleeves so I can wear this one this fall

14. Oceania Shawl

Yds down/yds to go: don’t know/until I can’t stand it anymore

15. Toast

This is not the most exciting pattern to photograph.

This is not the most exciting pattern to photograph.

This sad little mitt has been sitting around for 4 years because it fits fine but just isn’t long enough for me and stockinette tubes are apparently so difficult to knit that I’ve never found the time to fix it. Yds down/yds to go: guessing from the pattern specs, around 60/more than 60

16. Green Lantern Sweater

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Yds down/yds to go: 59/not sure but I bet it’s a lot

I know I said earlier that I started with 11, then found 4 more, but I just listed 16 projects. That’s ’cause I found another one while I was writing this post.

This is definitely the KAL for me.

Finding Kneesocks

I finished the knee socks.

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Pattern: None in particular, just cobbled together from what I know about socks.
Yarn: Knit Picks Risata, 68 g each Waterslide & Clementine
Needles: 2.0 mm Knitter’s Pride Karbonz
Started: March 2011 the first time, May 2013 for the re-do
Finished: June 23, 2013

There are a lot of things I like about these socks.

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I like the stripes. I like that I figured out how to knit a 2-color short-row heel without cutting the yarn and rejoining. I like that they actually are the same size and length as each other, especially considering that was one of my main goals for these socks.

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I like that they’re tall enough to wear with my boots. (Because I looooooooove my boots.)

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I like the calf shaping.

Yes, I like these socks a great deal. Just about every detail worked out how I wanted it to. These socks are great.

Until I walk around in them.

This is what happens when I walk around in them:

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I can see a few things that make these socks less than awesome. One is that I knit the ribbing on the same number of stitches as the top section of stockinette. Because ribbing is stretchier than stockinette, I really should have gone down several stitches for the ribbing so it could stretch and grab onto my leg, then increased when I switched to stockinette.

The second problem I see is that the ribbing sits right at the widest part of my calf. This, combined with the fact that I didn’t build in enough negative ease in the ribbing, means that if it slips down just a little suddenly the ribbing is about 2″ larger around than my leg and it’s basically all down hill from there.

I think the main problem here is the yarn, though, or more specifically my inability to work with it properly. The last pair of kneesocks I made were pretty much exactly like these (except one was at a much tighter gauge than the other, of course), and they stay up fine, but they were 100% wool. Risata is cotton/wool/nylon/elastic, so of course it’s going to behave differently. I didn’t think I’d need to worry about it too much, because I figured the elastic would help keep the socks up. These socks are just not stretchy at all, though. The yarn doesn’t even feel that stretchy to me, so I guess I wasn’t tensioning it properly while I knit. I’ve only worked with one other stretchy yarn (Fixation) and it was an absolute pain to hold correctly but the socks came out stretchy. This yarn didn’t feel difficult to work with so I think my problem is that I didn’t notice I wasn’t holding it correctly because it didn’t complain at me like the Fixation did.

So, if I want to fix these socks, there are a few things I need to do.

  • Practice how I tension a stretchy yarn.
  • Depending on how the tension experiments work out, possibly rethink my gauge and needle size, because these stitches feel very loose to me once I put the socks on.
  • Make the socks longer so the ribbing passes the largest part of my calf.
  • Work in some serious  negative ease on the ribbing.
  • Maybe knit the whole socks in rib and skip the stockinette entirely?

For now, these are just going into the “someday” basket. I gained 2 finished projects this week including these socks and I don’t want to lose that good “finish all the things” feeling just yet. Plus we start The Move on Monday and I will definitely need something new, shiny and simple to distract me. Preferably something that involves very little accommodation for the shape of my parts. Suggestions are always welcome.

Two Solutions

I’m working on a few different ways to combat the problem with mismatched sock lengths and gauges I talked about in this post. After finishing up those socks I decided to revisit an old mistake and I restarted some knee socks in KP Risata I attempted and abandoned a few years ago. I was going to just knit one sock and then the other like I usually do, but partway through the ribbing on the first one I thought about how long knee socks are and my problems with socks matching and the prospect of getting all the way through one very, very, very long sock and then not only starting another very, very, very long sock but trying to make it the same as the first very, very, very long sock — which means remembering everything I did, which means keeping accurate notes on Ravelry, which means the two socks would not be the same really because I’m terrible at keeping accurate notes on Ravelry…. Anyway, I decided to try out something a little different.

The easiest way, of course, to make sure your two socks are the same size is to knit them both at the same time. I’ve done that before on one long circular needle and while I don’t really mind, it is very fiddly and I always get confused when it comes to the heels. Also I have no long circs right now, because every stupid sock-sized one I’ve owned has broken at this point.

Another 2-at-a-time technique I’ve seen in a few places but never tried is knitting each sock on a separate set of dpn’s and moving through both of them at roughly the same speed. Before I decided to try it out on these socks, this technique never really appealed to me. I thought it would make the whole process feel longer, always putting one partial sock down to pick up another and do the exact same thing over again, rather than just putting a finished sock down only once to knit a second one. But in addition to my concerns about my socks being different sizes, I was kind of enjoying knitting the ribbing and thought it might be fun to keep knitting it a little longer, so I tried it out. Got through the ribbing of both socks, then moved on to the stockinette portion before the calf decreases and knit both of those. Still fun. Calf decreases next. Wait, this was loads of fun! I was tearing through these socks.

Next came the heels and, well, we hit a little snag. First, I just sailed right past the first heel and forgot to switch socks. Not such a huge problem, until I saw this:

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Calf on one side, heel on the other. Not much like my actual legs. And look how far I got before I realized it! I didn’t actually notice this until I tried it on to make sure I was good to start the toe. Of course, it’s still a wearable sock, it would just have the calf shaping on the shin. But I just couldn’t finish it like this.

I also couldn’t stand to rip this out yet (HATE ripping stripes like this), so I switched to the other and was very, very careful when I got to the heel.

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Success! After that it was no big thing to finish this sock.

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I’ve since gone back and done the tedious work of ripping out the foot and heel on the other one. The heel’s been reknit and we expect a foot and toe, oh, just any day now.

But I said I was working on two solutions to my sock-mismatch problem. Knitting two-at-a-time like this is a good solution I’m finding, but it’s not a solution that will work all the time. If I’m doing all my knitting at home on the couch, it works just fine. But as soon as I have to go out for something I’m going to want knitting with me. And carrying around two separate knitting projects is a little tricky. Not that my purse isn’t big enough to hold them, but 10 dpn’s and 2 balls of yarn is a bit more trouble than I need to be reaching into every time I want my lip balm. Carrying around either 2 balls of yarn or a center-pull ball and a 40″ circular with 2 socks on it is likewise purse-unfriendly. So basically I’m using these socks to explore all my options for getting perfectly matched socks every time.

The technique I chose to knit these socks helps with both the gauge and length issues I’m trying to combat.  The reason I chose these socks in the first place, though, addresses just the length issue. This second solution still needs a little planning, so it’s a secret for now. More detail to come in the nearish future!

Never Quite the Same

When knitting socks with self-striping yarn, you have two choices: try to make the stripes match or just start the second sock where the first one left off and see what happens. I almost always take the “hey, man, whatever” approach because I don’t have time for such nonsense and also I don’t really mind mismatched stripes.

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In fact, it would be silly of me to try to match up my stripes when I know going in that the two socks won’t be identical anyway. For one, with all the picking-up-and-knitting and ssk-on-one-side/k2tog-on-the-other going on in a pair of socks, even both sides of the same sock don’t match when I’m done with them.

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I have to demonstrate this with one side of each sock, of course, because no amount of yoga can make you flexible enough to get both sides of the same foot into one picture, but you get the idea. I always get that little gap on the ssk side of my gussets and toes. The picked up gusset stitches are a little looser on that side too. I know there are tricks for avoiding these issues but socks are my default knitting, what I keep in my purse to work on in waiting rooms or what I work on to keep my hands busy while I watch TV. It’s not unusual for me to put a sock down halfway finished, knit a sweater, and come back to that sock 3 months later. Or 6 months later. Or, this one time, over a year later. For default knitting I like default stitches. Socks that require me to remember fancy things are strictly for un-distracted couch knitting.

The downside to treating sock knitting this way is that it can cause even more variation between socks. For this pair in particular, my gauge changed quite a bit between February, when I finished the first sock and started the second, and last week when I picked the second sock back up after taking a break to knit the secret blanket. The second sock is definitely tighter than the first, which I can’t really show you with a picture. I can show you the other difference, though, and it’s one I run into a bit more often than I’d like.

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That’s not the camera angle — there’s a good half-inch difference at least between the leg length of these socks. Which, considering the fact that I didn’t even know where the first sock was when I  started the heel of the second one, isn’t as bad as it could have been. I’ve definitely had a pair of socks come out with one at least an inch shorter than the other, so I guess my “that looks about right” skills are improving! I really should get on a permanent solution to this problem though. I need to figure out something I always have near by that I can measure my standard sock leg against.

Pattern: Just your basic cuff-down sock w/gusset heel. 76 stitches.
Yarn: Zitron Trekking XXL color 1003
Needles: 1.5 mm Knitter’s Pride Karbonz — which means no breaks! no bending! I got through an entire project without killing any needles you guys YAAAAAAAAY!!!!!
Started: February 2013
Finished: May 25, 2013

I don’t need a Tumblr on top of everything else, so…

…I’m-a share my unfucking stories here and be a member of Team Unfuck Your Habitat from afar. (But before we get into this, go spend some time at that link if you don’t already know about it. It will change your life. I am not even joking one little bit. Mostly because you get to say “unfuck” instead of “clean” and really that right there is enough to change your whole perspective on chores, I think.)

I’ve made some strides lately in my continued quest to have enough storage/recognize that I have enough if I would only use it wisely. First, I found the Hutch of My Dreams (!!!!!!!), which means I can get more things off my counters or out of my kitchen drawers that don’t belong there and start using those spaces for things that do belong there. Then, having this big, beautiful hutch in my kitchen blocked off some access to the shoe bins and also got me thinking about how I don’t like our official place to keep the coats, hats, etc., which is in a messy pile on top of the shoe bins. This in turn led to me thinking about how many pairs of shoes are in those bins but never get worn. I’m sure you know this story. Fix one thing and everything you didn’t realize needed to be fixed suddenly stands out in sharp relief.

Also, I’ve been dabbling in the UfYH method for maybe a month now and it’s really helped me keep a few tough spots under control AND not stress out when things get messy. I was ready for a bigger unfucking and when I got up yesterday and looked at the hutch space and the coat pile I figured this was as good a weekend as any to get this project checked off the list.

Here’s one side of the space (technically the dining room or breakfast nook but when we have a table there we never eat at it and it just becomes another surface that belongs to the cat). You can get the basic idea of the hutch from this shot but I’m still in the process of refinishing him so you’ll have to wait for the full reveal until he gets his own special post one of these days.

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This is the other side, with the shoe bins and the coat pile.

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So, as you can see, there was much to be addressed in the nook. Most of that stuff belongs there, at least for now, but there were plenty of boxes and piles of mail that would benefit from a trip to the recycling and certainly everything on that bookshelf could use a little tidy up.

To start, I cleared off the bookshelf and put everything back on in a more organized way. I moved it to a new position against the freezer to make room for some coat hooks on the wall. I shuffled things around on the hutch so I could wipe down all the shelves (due to general lack of space, I’m refinishing from the top down so I can use each shelf right away when it’s done and, well, there was flour everywhere). I sprayed one side of the floor down with a vinegar/water/Dr Bronner’s mix I’ve been favoring lately and let it sit a minute, then went after the floor with a Magic Eraser (if you like the kind of fun that’s also disgusting, I highly recommend this).

On the other side, I emptied and then vacuumed all the canvas shoe bins and gave them a light spray with vinegar, just enough not to soak through to the cardboard underneath. While they dried, I wiped down the shelves with some rubbing alcohol after scraping off some stickers I apparently left on there when we assembled them a few years ago. Then I moved them out of the way and gave that side of the floor the same soak-then-Magic-Eraser treatment. Anything that came out of this corner that could go in the trash or the laundry did.

Oh, and I spent my breaks playing Mario. I will get all those giant coins–I WILL!

Anyway, after a 45/15 apiece, this is how the 2 sides looked:

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ooooooooohhhhhhhh

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aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh

After my last Mario break I sorted the shoes into “keep and wear now,” “keep and hopefully wear again someday” (all my cute heels need to take a break for now because on my list of things to unfuck is some foot/ankle pain that’s making icepacks and orthotics my best friend these days), and “junk it” piles. Then – and I’m not even kidding here – I cleaned all the shoes that I didn’t throw out. Like, vacuumed a winter’s worth of salt and sand off them and wiped them off with a damp cloth so they’d be cleaner when they went into storage/back in their bins. Do yourself a favor and never look at the bottom of your flip-flops. I ventured down to the terrifying space where the dead spiders live basement and found a box so I could pack up my heels. I put all the bins back together and into their new homes, 1 on each side of the nook. I hung up the coats and hats. I kept the most-used shoes out and put the rest of the “keep and wear now” stuff into the bins. I even washed the cat’s dish because it freaks her out when I do that.

When you type it all out like that it sounds like it must have taken forever, but this whole thing about breaking time into manageable chunks and taking scheduled breaks makes things so easy and I’m just shocked at how much I can get done in 45 minutes.

So this is where we ended up:

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So much tidier!

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It still needs some tweaking but I’ve spent a little over 3 hours on it this weekend and that’s plenty. Next up, I need to do a big hand wash session for the winter knits this week and then that black basket can find a new purpose in life. Also, I need to finish the hutch, of course. I really want to do that by the end of the month so there’s some serious sanding and painting coming this week as well, I suspect.

Lastly, if you came here looking for yarn content and don’t so much care what I do with my nook, I can tell you that I’m 1/3 of the way through the second sock of the pair from my last post. So far it’s looking exactly like the first one so I’m not bothering with pictures. Still loveloveloving the Karbonz needles, though. If you’re sick of wood and bamboo but can’t use metal, I highly recommend them. And I promise to be back with exciting yarn news very soon.

But first there might be a post about our new bed and how we unfucked the spare room.

Goodbye, February. I won’t miss you.

Seriously, was that the stupidest month ever, or was it just me? Maybe it was just me and you had an excellent February, which I do hope for your sake. I, though, am happy to see the back end of a month that could not possibly have been as long as it felt, especially considering it’s, you know, the shortest one.

But! I have knit a sock. I even started the second one right away.

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(Also, say hi to Fun Bobby, my new compuper. We are having lots of fun except he is too easy to get along with and this long-time PC user is constantly baffled by how nothing takes 75 steps or requires a wizard or anything anymore.)

And I got my lovely shipment of KARBONZ NEEDLES THEY ARE BEST from Jimmy Beans, along with a darling little Lantern Moon case.

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I ordered a second set of 1.5 mm, 2 sets of 1.75 mm and 3 sets of 2 mm needles. I think I have all standard sock knitting covered here. I need to get some 2.25 mm for the next time I’m tempted by some thicker sock yarn, but I can conquer almost anything with this range of sizes so I should be good for a while.

And now I’ve to go start March off right by packing as much excitement into this first weekend as I can. Today: rearranging the bedroom and using the new steam vac for the first time! And I’m not even being sarcastic about how excited that makes me.