Thursday, February 06, 2014

Vintage Thursday: Argh-yle Stockings

I have been struggling all week with the Men's Argyle Stockings. I'm learning the hard way that it is very, very important to not have too much tension on the yarn you are carrying on the back of a colorwork piece. I already sort of knew this, but I didn't know it in such shocking technicolor as I do now.
The puckering is my tension problem. Which causes a tension problem. In my temples.
This pattern conspired against me. The colorwork goes all the way around the stocking, and when I got to this point I had my housemate try it on because of some kind of subconscious fear I was having. And as it turns out, my fear was justified. It didn't fit. It didn't fit spectacularly. He could only get his foot half way down the stocking, if even that far. The colorwork area just didn't stretch much, and the pattern has one reduce to about 76 sts just before the ankle. That's not exactly giving one a lot of room on US #1 needles to begin with. My entire stocking (well, OK, 2/3 of it) was FUBAR. And that wasn't even addressing my issues with the foot.
He fit it until about here.
I did have the foresight to work the heel with the additional thread that Jawoll sock yarn has in its skeins just for that purpose. I was feeling pretty good about myself at that point, but then I looked at the directions for the colorwork on the foot.

I was expected to simply carry the red on the back of the black all the way across the sole.
All my loose ends.
And I did. I tried. It lasted about two inches, and then I noticed my tension problem. So I cut the red yarn and knotted it at the end of every row. Not a pretty solution but it seemed workable at the time. Another inch or two in and I had the housemate try the thing on. And as I have already mentioned, I had problems. I had to backtrack a considerable distance.

Of course, all that cutting and knotting on the foot means that unraveling becomes complicated. I took a breath and just chopped the foot off.  

This was Tuesday. Or Wednesday. It all just kind of blurred together in my head, as these kind of things do. I may have a kind of knitting trauma, since I have practically knit this stocking twice already. Plus, it is just so darned cold. I don't fare well in these East Coast winters and reknitting a hundred or so rows on US #1 dpns didn't exactly warm my hands any. Somehow, I carried on.

I started unraveling the foot and using the yarn from it to knit the rest of the stocking leg again. I kept changing my mind about what kind of join to use, but at this point, does it really matter? It will probably block just fine. Or else.
I began at around where you see the safety pin, which coincidentally marks Row 100 of the colorwork. I am not decreasing from this point on, and I'm being much more careful about my tension. Right now, I'm at about Row 145 of the colorwork, and have about 20 more rows to go before beginning the heel flap all over again. Contemplating that ridiculous carrying business (Part of why Argyles are worked flat, dagnabbit!) has me cunningly considering other approaches, such as a sole worked separately, or modifying the pattern to work it flat. I'm on the fence about it. All I'm really certain of is that I am certainly not doing it the way they say to do it in the pattern.

No comments: