Friday, April 4, 2008

Accomplishment at Last!

I finally finished the Serendipity socks.

They're lovely and were great fun to knit. I like the pattern; it was neither too hard nor too easy. And I learned new things such as a new kind of toe, and a new kind of toe finish. The short row heel wasn't completely new, but I was reminded again how easy it is to make holes at the sides of the heels. Then I learned how to patch such holes when the sock was complete. I hope that on my next short row heel, I'll remember what to do to avoid the holes in the first place. I love the way the heels and toes make a bulls-eye pattern with the striping.

On another note, I followed the advice of a couple of fellow Ravelers on how not to have "row out" in your stocking stitch fabric. Rowing out is caused by imbalance in the tension of your knit and purl stitches. One is tighter or looser than the other which shows in a distinct horizontal line across the fabric. In my case I purl waaaay too loosely. You can see these horizontal lines in the baby cardigan I frogged a couple of days ago.

In order to fix this, I made a swatch where I knit only into the back of my knit stitches and I reversed the direction of the throw yarn around the right needle on my purl stitches. I can see how this method tightens up the fabric: my stitches were getting so tight that I almost couldn't move them on the needle. For me, tighter is good when attempting to get gauge. But DANG! Too tight stitches are what drove me to abandon knitting when I was 10--the tighter the stitches got the more my little hands sweated and the more my little hands sweated the tighter the stitches got in a never-ending descent into knitterly madness! 10 is waaaay too young for madness of any kind. I was being driven there daily by my little brother.

Anyway, back to the present. With this now too tight swatch, I still had the "rowing out"!!! sigh... I think I'll go back to plan A: use a smaller needle for the purl rows and forget there was ever such a thing as row gauge. Thanks anyway to the Ravelry buddies who offered the solution.

1 comment:

Kare said...

The socks look great. One pair a month has got to be tough to keep up with, no?
How's the baby sweater going now?