Bad, bad tigers!

I started these socks back in October 2006. The yarn is Spunky Eclectic‘s Superwash Wool/Nylon blend in the Tiger colorway. It’s not on the Spunky Eclectic site anymore. I bought it at one of her summer sales and was so happy that I did. It’s beautiful, finer than most yarns, and is soft and non-itchy to boot. I had dreams of beautiful, wavy tiger socks that would be the envy of all who saw them.

I wanted to do Wendy’s Generic Toe-Up Feather and Fan socks. I was certain it would show off the lovely striping in the yarn. So I cast on and started knitting. Because I have plenty of needles and a bad habit of SSS, I stopped when I got to the heel of the sock #1 and started sock #2. When I finished the foot of sock #2, I went on to the heel of that sock and because I just couldn’t wait, I started the feather and fan cuff right off. I got about an inch into that then tried on sock #2. No go. Didn’t work. At all. I had my daughter try it on. No go there either. The feather and fan just wasn’t stretchy enough.

I was so annoyed that I didn’t even take the time to take a picture, which is really too bad. That sock was really pretty.

So I frogged back sock #2 and tried another lace pattern on the cuff. I got the same result. That was pretty too, but again, I didn’t bother with a photograph.

In a fit, I started frogging sock #2 again. One little teeny tiny stitch got away and before I knew it, I’d frogged the entire sock. Disgusted, I wound the yarn into a ball, stuffed sock #1 and the ball of yarn into a Ziploc bag, and buried the whole thing in the bottom of my knitting bag, where I forgot completely about it for a time.

Flash forward three months. I’d finally gotten over my huff and really, really wanted my Tiger socks. I decided that I’d just go forth with a plain old stockinette. It’s boring, but the yarn was so awesome that I figured it would still be beautiful.

So I pulled out the ball of yarn and started knitting the foot of sock #2 again. I knew my knitting gauge. I knew from experience how many stitches that I needed. So I just cast on. And knitted. And knitted. I noted vaguely that the new sock #2 seemed to be going slower. I dismissed it. I was knitting on size 0 needles after all. It was bound to go slowly. I kept knitting sock #2, finished the heel, and then knitted a bit on the cuff. About an inch in, I stopped to try it on. Much to my pleasure, it fit beautifully.

At this point, I decided that sock #1 needed some attention. I knitted the heel and then counted the stitches to make sure that I hadn’t lost anything along the way.

That’s when it hit me like a brick. Sock #2 has eight more stitches than sock #1.


I felt like such an idiot! I looked at the two socks side by side and one on top of the other. One sock foot was about 1/4″ bigger than the other. It seems that I used 72 stitches for one sock and 80 for the other. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

I started thinking about it and measured a few times. The size difference wasn’t really that bad. I mean, yeah… They were different sizes, but not by much. The average person wouldn’t notice that one sock fit a tiny bit more tightly than the other. Then I noticed something else…

Tiger holeIt seems that my problems went beyond just using a different number of stitches for the sock. Somewhere along the heel, I’d dropped a stitch and some wraps. That was impossible to overlook.

So once again, I frogged. I went half-way down sock #1 and then increased the 72 stitches to 80. It looked a tad funny if you look closely, but not that bad. I continued work to the heel. Then I got distracted with other knitting projects, including my wonderfully beautiful Baudelaires.

Tonight, I pulled the socks out again and spent an entire evening doing the heel of sock #1. I finished and was so pleased with my work…. Until…

Yep, you got it! Another error. I’d worked the heel on sock #2 on 60% of the stitches and the heel on sock #1 on 50% of the stitches.

@#@ @#!!!!! $#$@#!!

I haven’t had this happen very often. Not in knitting and not in life. But this is one occasion where I’m thinking that all the powers of the universe are screaming, “Just give it up!” “Just move on!” “Don’t look back!”

I’m amazingly obstinate, though. A friend once told me that I made up for a lack of talent with incredible determination. I’m seeing that as true here too. I hate to admit defeat on anything, and this has become something of a mission for me. At this point, I’m so set on getting this darn project done, even if it means that I have a really badly knitted pair of socks that fit so weirdly that no self-respecting knitter would ever wear them! If nothing else, I’ll frame the blasted things with a little plate:

Good rule for knitting

3 thoughts on “Bad, bad tigers!

  1. Pingback: Bookgrump » Summer knitting goals

  2. Pingback: Bookgrump » Slaying the tigers

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