Monday, May 26, 2008

World's Worst Sock

I probably should have saved this story for Halloween... This is a tale of a rotten sock - be afraid.

One of my challenges for 2008 is to align the right yarn with the right pattern. I play around with this a lot and when it starts to look wrong, I frog. Usually.

It's inevitable that if you knit a lot of socks that at some point it all comes together in the worst possible way. If this occurs at the same time the knitter is feeling particularly stubborn, a real disaster strikes. This is such a sock.

The yarn I chose was controversial: Tofutsies in a bright color.

I got this yarn in Hawaii, on the Big Island. I hadn't really heard much about tofu and crab shell fiber and I was seriously intrigued. Also, I was just at the beginning of the sock addiction, and all sock yarn was good yarn. I went for it.

Disclaimer: There is nothing actually wrong with this yarn. The color is wild. The gauge is tiny. There is no stretch. Big deal.

Bad choice #2: The pattern. It's a lacy cabled sock with little to no stretch. Again, nothing wrong with the pattern itself. Just the timing of it entering my life.

I cast on the toe and the yarn pooled strangely. I should have frogged immediately. I normally would have. But I was still curious about the pattern which had elements new to me like a princess sole and lacy cables.

FYI: A princess sole is done in reverse stockinette, so the knit side is against your princess feet and the purl side is facing outward. Yes, this means purling every row of the sole.

I kept knitting.

I turned the short row heel, and the sock was too tight. I ripped back to the foot and tried a stretchier garter heel over more stitches. I could get it on, but it was tight.

I kept knitting.

It was ugly every step of the way. What was I thinking?

1. I've already spent too much time on this sock. It's going to have to work.

2. This is for Sock Madness. Even though I was already eliminated, I wanted to stay and knit in solidarity (and be eligible for a prize? Shudder)

3. I'm a sock knitter now. I have to find a way to make this work. Failure is not an option.

SO... I re-defined failure and eventually frogged the thing. I can't believe it happened to me. Such an ugly sock.

Are you ready? Meet the ugliest sock I ever knit:

I couldn't even be bothered to photograph it on my feet!

Why would I show this off?

1. Because it happens to all of us.

2. As a reminder to not be so stubborn.

3. To keep an open mind about "making it work."

Seriously people. This is the real craft of knitting. It is filled with poor judgement and errors. It is a window to our real selves. It's about getting back on the needles without fear.

I have since knit lovely things, and there is more to come.

Finally, here is proof that I frogged it. Bye ridiculous beast!


Jennifer said...

I like it! Of course I love socks that pool and flash, but if it doesn't work for you, then frogging is the best choice.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your descriptions so much! You need to put these experiences in a "Book of Yarns" xoxo Momae Ewe

Anonymous said...

hehe! sometimes failure can be so endearing!

Squibstitcher said...

What an awesome post! I love your honesty and ability to retain humor in a situation that many of us would have been extremely frustrated by, and/or to uncomfortable to share openly. It's so nice to hear and learn from other knitters' experiences. Thanks!