04 June 2007

Sock-er Contest

I just spent a week in Maine with my new nephew, who will be two weeks old tomorrow. The sock was very impressed with his beautiful feet (though it got a little worried, since it was already ripped out once for being too big, and these feet appeared to it to be very small indeed. I reassured it that it was indeed the perfect size for its intended recipient).

In honor of the baby, and of the general Sockapalooza spirit, and of hearing for the first time from my sock pal – I have a sock pal! I am sooo excited! – I am holding my very first contest. A skein (2 socks’ worth) of top-quality sock yarn is waiting for the person who can correctly answer my following sock-design-related question.

To pose the question, I have to go back a little into the history of my sock-pal sock. I initially tried to decide between horizontal and vertical stripes, and (as you can see) ended up opting for both: vertical stripes on the sole, horizontal stripes on the top.

I had to rip out my first attempt since due to knitter error it was miles too big.

Here’s how I set out on Attempt #2:

1. I am doing the sole in a slip-stitch pattern, while the horizontal stripes are plain stockinette. (I’m sure most of you know that the slip-stitch pattern for vertical pinstripes is K1, slip 1, K1, doing two rows in the round for each color – with color B, you slip the stitches you knit with color A, and knit the stitches you slipped.)
Since the vertical stripe slip-stitch pattern knits up much tighter than the horizontal pattern on the top of the foot, I threw in two extra rows of the slip-stitch on the sole alone (back and forth once in each color) every few stripes.

2. To deal with the switch from one color to another, which occurs in the middle of the vertical stripes on the sole, I decided, when the color changed, rather than K1A, slip 1B, K1A, etc., to do K1A, K1B, K1A, K1B: that is, stranded knitting rather than mosaic knitting for the four stitches immediately around the color change. This made a firmer join, and I already knew from swatching that there is no visual difference between K1, K1, K1 stranded knitting and K1, slip one mosaic knitting.

3. I got rid of my original idea for a diamond pattern on the top of the sock; in the smaller, svelter size it no longer seemed to need it.

After I had gotten about halfway up the foot of this sock, I had to rip the whole thing out again.

And here is my question:
Why did I have to rip it out?

All the information you need to answer is included in this post. In short, I should have known better – but the answer was only evident to me with hindsight (and with the faulty sock in my hand).

Send your answers to me at diva341 - at - mac - dot - com by noon on Saturday, June 9. If there is more than one correct answer, I will determine the winner by drawing a name out of a hat or some other appropriate container, like a knitting bag.

As for my sock: attempt number 3, I’m pleased to say, is just ducky. In fact, we’re up to the heel turn.

1 comment:

Designated Knitter said...

Well, I suspect that the problem arises from the fact that when you do the slip-knit striping, you are essentially doing the same row twice, therefore for every two rows, you get one row of growth. When you do stranded knitting, every two rows grows at a pace of two rows. Therefore, the stranded section was growing twice as fast as the slipped section, which would eventually get wonky.