Friday, September 13, 2013

Not for the faint of heart

Do you recall way back when I said I wanted to make a pair of argyle socks? That was over a year ago, and I did start to make them using some red and black Jawoll sock yarn. I know that's not entirely authentic; nylon didn't come about until the '30's, but I had the yarn and it made sense to use it because the person I'm making them for doesn't care that much about the authenticity. He just wants some bitchin' socks to go with his kilt, and really, who doesn't?
They look so benign...
They bad boys are from Weldon's 4D #17 c.1928 - Men's Socks & Stockings, which I got at my favorite place to shop for patterns, Iva Rose Vintage Reproductions. This is one of the earliest examples of an argylish style to be found. These are worked in the round, using only two colors (brown and fawn), which is what adds the "-ish" to the argyle. True argyles are worked flat, and notoriously in more than two colors.

Not too bad, right?
About ten hours of knitting got me this far. This is not a charted pattern, so by the time I got to the first cross-over in a diamond, I got cocky and thought I knew the pattern. And I suppose it doesn't really matter if it's the precise pattern, except the back of the sock has shaping, and I didn't (and still don't) like how that was turning out.

A nightmare, I tell you!
So... I didn't like it. You can probably guess from reading here over the years what comes next.

That's right. I took a trip to the pond. Just now. (After all, these should be done in time for some Christmas.)
It doesn't know what's coming, poor thing.

Surprisingly easy!

Even a bit fun!

Hmm... did that suddenly get a bit short?

I guess there really is no turning back now...
Riiiiiipppp... there?

I guess not.


A pause to reflect.

In context, except you can't see the look on my face.
Now, I happen to know it pays to not just rip all crazy-like down to whatever row. (Don't ask me how I know, I don't want any flashbacks.) It needs to be a chosen row. If it is not, then from that way lies madness. Madness, I tell you! Not that this is particularly sane. But it has its points.

I ripped it down to the first row of red yarn in the pattern.

Then I carefully picked up the stitches with one of the smallest needles I have, likely a 0 or 00 or something like that. Let's put it this way: I have never used these needles for anything but something like this. The benefit of using such itty bitty little death stabbers is that it puts less tension on the yarn loops so that stitches aren't dropped.

Sanity restored.
The actual needles used on this project are the Old US Steel Needle Size 12, a.k.a. modern US #1 (2.25 mm). It varies by brand a bit (I'm looking at you, German dpn makers!), but I happen to use some bamboo needles that are exactly that size.

That is a US #1 I'm pointing with!
So now, that wasn't so bad, right? Not that I'm going to work on them right now or anything. I think maybe I'll actually go do anything but knit, because my other WIP is this:

Cthulhu? The Flying Spaghetti Monster? Maybe.
I only have finishing left on V.'s "Cross Country" pullover. Whose bright idea were these projects, anyway?

Oh, right. Me on both counts.

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