summertime, & the knitting is NOT easy
It started with this yarn…
…Cascade Heritage Paints, which I bought back in May at a LYS, as a celebratory gift to myself for landing an (albeit ill-fated) job so quickly here, fully intending to make myself socks over the summer, as part of my Project Spectrum committment. Now, I’ve bitched plenty recently about how much I dislike hand-painted yarns now, and of course, this yarn IS hand-painted, but I figured that the subtlety of the color changes would make the yarn appropriate for at least some lace patterns. I was right about that, at least.
I cast on Bettie’s Lace Stockings – the dramatic pattern lured me in, and the promise of “easy lace” cinched the deal, because who wants to have to THINK for a nice relaxing summer knit? Well, by the time I finished the first lace repeat, I was cussing like a sailor. “Easy”, maybe, but also awkward as hell, and I was not amused. Woody, however, really liked the pattern, so I said, eh, I guess I’ll keep going. By the time I got to the heel-turn point, I was in the rhythm of the lace, but my row gauge was so effed that the sock only went just past the ball of my foot. Stretched. (I should add that my stitch gauge was right on.) At this point, I decided to bail on the pattern, only because the entire foot of the sock is lace, and the softness of the yarn had me concerned that it wouldn’t wear well… the last thing I wanted was to spend a month struggling with this lace only to have it fall apart after a couple wearings. So I frogged.
Then I cast on Snowflake Lace. Thinking about my gauge issue from Bettie’s Lace, I used the needle size recommended. After the ribbed cuff and one repeat, the socks were massive. I went down a needle size, which is typically what I do to get gauge with socks, and did a few more repeats. Still massive. Now I’m pissed. I frog the socks, roll up the yarn, and throw it in my basket.
Different yarn, maybe. I dig out my rainbow skein of Fleece Artist, which has been languishing in my stash for 4 years – ever since I discovered that pretty skeins of painted yarn don’t necessarily knit up as prettily as they should. I pick a pattern specifically for a busy painty yarn: Mad Color Weave. Ugh. I try one that’s similar but a little more subtle, Show-Off Stranded Socks. UGH. This is getting ridiculous!
Finally, I just give up and realize that I could do this all damn summer, or I could just cast on and make some plain socks.
…Not that “plain socks”, something I’ve made so many times before this, is necessarily a guarantee of problem-free knitting, because after getting an inch into the leg, with needles THREE SIZES SMALLER than the pattern called for, guess what? The socks were too big! Gah!! I decreased 4 stitches and that seems to have tightened them up sufficiently, but how much you wanna bet they’ll suddenly be too small when I get to the heel? because that seems to be how my luck is going.
And really, it’s not just the socks – this is how ALL of my knitting has been for the past few weeks, which is why there’s been little to no knitting content in these parts, and also why production for my etsy shop has screeched to a halt. Maybe the Universe is trying to tell me that knitting and summer don’t mix, I don’t know…