Totally Unrelated Sons of One Mother
May 18, 2006
Sock on the left: “What’s your problem?”
Sock on the right: “What’s YOUR problem?”
Left: “You’re boring.”
Right: “You’re loud.”
Left: “I hate you.”
Right: “I hate you more.”
Left: “You suck.”
Right: “Mommmmm he said suck.”
I can’t believe these two socks came from a single ball of yarn. One’s loud, one’s quiet–it seems so obvious now, but as I nursed these socks along, I thought they would be more alike.
See? In their, um, deflated state you can see the randomness that is Trekking XXL sock yarn. How many miles of yarn would I need to go through to find a repeat?
I would like to point out the single most spectacular fact about these socks: they are LONG! So LONG! Incredibly LONG! Can ya see how long they are? Anybody out there who has lived with a size 10 foot (which is, like, a 41 in Europe, or a 1,000 in Esperanto) knows the disappointment of the average sock department, the heartbreak of heel creep–O! what does it take to get a fitting sock that doesn’t look like a Man Sock?
It takes making them yourself.
Which brings me to
Technical Observations I Have Made While Making This First Pair of Socks
1. If you are on the cusp of manufacturing your own socks, my only advice is to do what I did and purchase a copy of Cat Bordhi’s book Socks Soar on Two Circulars. She has been sitting beside me the whole way through this process–I can hear her voice in the advice she dishes out so cheerfully. I think these socks turned out because she told me how to do it, in the clearest possible way. There was no way to screw up if I did what she said to do. The screw ups came when I was sleepy or distracted or trying to knit during “Casino Night,” the epic final episode of The Office. Would the secretary and the sales rep finally get together? Who wouldn’t drop a stitch and knit backward?
2. Circulars v. double-pointed needles. Two needles v. five. I was warned that the dangliness of the circulars could prove troublesome. This was not a problem. And I was relieved that I wasn’t losing double-pointed needles in my car. And because there are only two joins instead of four, I didn’t lose stitches over the ends of the DPNs–at the end of each circular needle’s work, I’d zip the needle halfway through. Which was a tidy little security feature. And–I didn’t do that thing I do sometimes with DPNs, which is to inadvertently yank one totally out of the thing I’m working on. Which would have been disastrous with these size 1 stitches.
3. Merciful yarn. A crazy yarn hides a world of sin: warbly ribbing, the occasional yanked stitch, the entire toe portion of the program. I’m thinking I grafted down there, but who the hell knows or cares? It covers up the end of my foot, and I’m grateful.
4. If you can read, you can do anything. My experience with socks proves this. But I will say that I couldn’t have done it so easily had I not spent time at the yarn shop studying socks with patient Charisse. Once she showed me where the gusset starts and stops, what parts should not be considered gusset, and where exactly the heel turns, Cat’s directions were ace. But it made a big difference to see a basic heel flap sock in the flesh before I had to attempt a gusset.
Off to go find another pattern. This is the BEST.