Lately I have been fairly productive with my knitting. I have finished several small objects, as you can see from previous posts, and finally got back to work on the skull socks. I am not 100% happy with the design and I have a lot of tweaking to do, but they turned out all right.
I have finally got back to work on Tiny's sweater. I had to take a rather long hiatus for the sake of my hands. It was become extremely painful to knit it. I think a lot of it has to do with my refusal to use a cable needle. I knit contintental so it's really easy to slip the stitches off the needle and hold them with my right thumb and index finger while purling/knitting the next stitches and then slipping them back onto the left needle. This method is infinitely faster for me and saves me the hunt for the cable needle. But with this particular project, the knitting is very tight and the yarn is very inflexible so it requires a stronger grip on the slipped stitches, which consequently requires a stronger grip on the needles. I have found a decent balance that involves me relaxing my grip a little bit and only knitting 4 rows at a time (which ends up pretty close to and inch so that's not so bad) so progress is WAY slower than I am used to, but it's moving along instead of sitting on the edge of the couch looking accusatory.
The front is on the top. I still think the back looks like it is from a Klingon...
Turkey has been not at all supportive, nor impressed with my knitting endeavours.
I have also cast on the rick socks by cookie a. I am a huge fan of cookie a and I LOVE her sock patterns. I think they are beautiful and interesting, and unlike any other socks I have ever seen. I HATE knitting them. I bought the twisted flower pattern eons ago (they look like something the Loth Lorien elves would wear) and tried knitting it a couple times and was incredibly frustrated with it, after a few full froggings I gave up. I don't mind the occasional frog (such a lie, I HATE frogging) but having to frog the whole thing back to nothing multiple times is more than my delicate psyche can bear.
I bought cookie a's sock innovation this spring and I love the book. It's a fantastic combination of patterns and techniques and goes through some really great techniques for designing your own socks. I tried the rick pattern a few times...multiple frogs...guess what happened? I put the whole thing away for about 8 months. I didn't try any more of her patterns, I was too disheartened by the fact that I hated knitting things that I loved.
The other day I picked up the book again. I purchased a nice simple solid yarn and set about casting on rick socks...again. The level of frustration is not much lower but my knowledge of knitting has increased exponentially since the spring. I am now capable of knitting from complex charts. I can read my knitting in a way that I couldn't before-now rather than blindly follow charts and instructions I can watch what I am knitting to see if it is correct as I go (not infallible by any means, but a huge improvement). The socks still drive me mad.
I have figured out a few reasons for this. I didn't read the other projects on rick before I cast on. I shall do that from now on for ALL of cookie a's patterns. The first thing that was messed was that it says to cast on 60 sts, but most people need 72 (it's a 12 st repeat). This is not because of errors in gauge, this is because the socks were designed to be REALLY skinny. So skinny that 98.2% of the populaiton probably can't wear them. There were people that persevered with 60 sts and a stretchy yarn and ended up with socks that look terrible and distorted (like wattching 4:9 on a 16:9 TV) I got the ribbing done and 4 repeats of the pattern and realized they were WAY to small so ripped them back (there were quite a few mistakes as well).
I also learned that you need to use yarn that is amazingly unsplitty with cookie a patterns. There are a lot of stitches that aren't that easy so non-splitty yarn is a must (like ssk, or ktbl right next to purl sts...blech).
Another great thing I learned about cookie a patterns is they are not conducive to continental knitters. I thought it was just that I sucked, but it's the order of the sts and the ssk's next to yarn overs and ktbl's knext to purls that make me want to shred the knitting and then curl into a ball and suck my humb while weeping softly in the corner. After some serious thought I realized this pattern would be MUCH easier if i was a yarn thrower. This is one of the only times I will say something like this. In general continental is way faster and way easier (Elizabeth Zimmerman said so, and I believe her.) I even read in a few posts about rick that the left sock is way easier than the right sock for continental knitters (yes I am knitting a sock with different patterns on the left and right...le sigh).
And last but not least, switching the ssk's for sl1, k1, psso's is WAY easier and makes for better tension (for me)
...I also suspect that knitting with one of those tiny circular needles rather than dpn's might make for more even tension because there are yo's at the ends of the repeats, which means there are yo's at the very ends of your needles.
So after this in depth analysis of these socks, I am not trying to say the socks are bad, or the patterning is bad, or that cookie a is a sadistic designer. I still think her socks are incredible and I still LOVE the designs. They make you think and figure things out. So if they are approached in that manner, they are fabuluous. I would not reccomend them to anyone that wasn't an experienced knitter-I want to keep my knitterly friends, not have them egging my house screaming obscenities about 87 row, 88 sts repeat charts....
The Socks Talk
5 years ago