Sunday, January 17, 2016

Year of Projects 5: Week 29

KNIT. SOCK. LOVE. : BFF • Clandestine • Cusp • German Stockings • Gothic Spire • Hedera • In and Out • Lissajous • Marilinda • Mona • Monkey • Pointelle • Rhombus  Sake • Stalagmite • Stricken • Thelonious • Twisted Flower • Wedge

COOKIE A SOCK CLUB: June #1 • June #2 • August #1 • August #2 • October #1 • October #2 • December #1 • December #2

VANILLA SOCKS FOR CHARITY: July • August • September • October • November • December • January • February • March • April • May • June

As I mentioned previously I was not at all interested in knitting either of the Cookie A Sock Club December 2015 patterns - Horatio Herbert or Wavy Entrelac. I don't find either pattern attractive, nor can I see any way to make either one fit in a way that I'd be happy with. So what to do with the club yarn which is supplied as three mini skeins of 37 grams each? I considered striping the three colours as I'm inclined to do with sock yarn scraps, but then I did a search in the Ravelry database for 3 colour sock patterns in fingering weight yarn, et voilà, Dither.

As written Dither requires substantially more yardage of colour B than I had available, so I condensed the colourwork chart by cutting out nearly half the rows to see if I couldn't squeak out a matching pair of socks with my three 1/3rd skeins.

Sock one was a bit of an experiment. After knitting to the end of the colourwork chart on the leg, I realized I had more than half of colour A left. But I still wasn't sure I had enough colour B. Rather than ripping back to add more rounds of A above the chart I decided to carry on and see where I landed at the end of the sock. Woohoo! I did compress the chart just enough to complete the colour B section from 18 grams of yarn! But now I had excess of colour A and I really wanted a longer leg.

Out came the scissors! I cut the cuff off the leg as if I was doing an afterthought heel except that I carried on to separate all the way around the leg. Then I used a Russian join to rejoin A to the bottom of the cuff and added another 16 or so rounds before grafting the lengthened cuff/upper leg section to the lower leg/foot section with kitchener stitching. The graft line is visible in the final sock but I'm hoping that after a few washes and wears the "scar" will fade and the surgery will be less noticeable. At any rate I'm much happier with the longer sock!

And now it's on to sock two! Should be smooth sailing from here!

It'll be a relief to have this pair of socks and the sock club membership behind me. It's been a very disappointing experience for me. When you think of it, sock club membership is about the same as giving someone else your spending money and asking them to pick your patterns and yarn for you. That's certainly a risk. And I can't help but feel that the designer was uninspired and disinterested in the club and simply did the minimum to fulfill her obligations.

I had hoped to like at least a handful of the patterns. Of the twelve patterns offered I would have only voluntarily purchased one (Agave). Six of the patterns were super simple - easily reverse-engineered and not worth spending time or money on in my opinion. At least one of the patterns seemed a dead-ringer for a previously published pattern (Gable > Shur'Tugal). And with three of the patterns (Darjeeling, Horatio Herbert and Wavy Entrelac) I couldn't see any way to make a properly fitting sock from them.

I had also hoped that the yarn bases might be new to me and I hoped to like at least a few of the colours. I was disappointed again. Of the six club yarns, I would not have voluntarily purchased any of them. Three had no nylon content and one wasn't even suitable for socks. Four out of six are available at local yarn shops so there wasn't much exotic about the bases, and most I had already tried. Two of the colours were so appalling that I overdyed them because I just couldn't stand them otherwise. All of the socks knit from club yarns, with the exception of the Dither socks currently on the needles, were given away to anyone who had a nice thing to say about them.

Well enough about that - lesson learned! One more sock to finish up to put the club behind me and tomorrow's another day.


Frieda said...

You are one determined sock knitter , hats off to you ! I love the Dither sock , you are really making the most out of that club yarn . I have always found all these sock clubs to be too expensive for my budget , and really not knowing exactly what you are buying is the deal breaker for me . I also hesitate to join mystery KAL , the ones that charge to join . I always check out the designers patterns and usually don't bother joining in .

Lucy Bowen said...

I'm so sorry about your sock club experience. I have just signed up for one myself in England, so here's hoping for a good one! The sock you have engineered though is stunning, I wouldn't have known where to start, let alone, cut off the cuff.

Becki said...

I am so impressed at the speed at which you knit socks, Lynn. And now I'm mightily impressed at your improvisational knitting skills. Not to mention snipping and joining, and well...making something that I imagine is very complicated sound effortless. These socks you've knit this week are beautiful! And I love the color combination. Wowee! Great job!

Gracey is not my name.... said...

I'm sorry it was such a bad experience. I also only joined her club for one year. I've never made any of the socks...I wonder if Darjeeling is just a bad name for sock patterns...I gave up on Cat Bordhi's Darjeeling when I couldn't get them to fit right.

Allison Anselmo said...

You did such a great job on these socks. I think the color work is awesome and I don't think anyone would even see the join. Hopefully if you do another club it will be a better experience. It's a shame that it wasn't better I know they aren't cheap, plus the time you put into it.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Too bad it was such a disappointing experience. I'd expect more from that designer.

Dither is pretty cool - think I'm going to have to add that to the queue

Renee Anne said...

I did this sock club last year, as well....and a couple of the patterns I may make, not necessarily from the yarn for each club, but otherwise, I don't know. We shall see how things play out over the years....because it will take me that long.

Ruth said...

I'm sorry the club was such a disappointment, you are such a great sock knitter and your ability to make socks fit you from patterns and yarn always amazes me and the fact that this club did so little to inspire you to do that with some and the fact that all bar the socks currently on your needles were given away speak volumes, certainly to me! Now onto those socks I love how you made them fit the 3 skeins you had and they look pretty darn awesome, I did have a mini heart attack when you said you'd cut the sock! Can you tell I'm unlikely to ever do an after thought heel, grafting, no problem cutting it, that's the stuff of nightmares for me!. Anyway I am looking forward to seeing what you move onto post sock club.

Caffeine Girl said...

I did a sock-yarn club some years ago with Yarntini. The yarn was beautiful but the colors were not what I wanted. Too much orange and red, very little blue or green.

I think you made a great pattern for that yarn!

Stefanie said...

Ooh! These ombres are so pretty. I like the subtle transitions.

Gwenyth Love said...

I am sorry you did not enjoy your club. That is always my issue with clubs as well. I do very few of them, and if I do it`s only because of a theme, like Doctor Who. Usually I prefer to save my money for yarn and patterns I really really want. On the plus side, those Dither socks are looking amazing! I really want to try that pattern one day.