Thursday, March 25, 2010

FO: Olympic Redwoods

Finished Olympic Redwoods

Pattern: Shur'tugal by Alice Yu
Yarn: Knit Picks Memories in Redwood Forest
Needle: Knit Picks DPNs, size 1
Started: February 12, 2010
Finished: March 14, 2010
Mods: none, just some mistakes
Ravel It!

These socks definitely have some miles on them. And that was before they were worn. I chose this sock pattern as my Ravelympics project, which coincided with the start to my cruise vacation in February. As a result, they traveled with me from Puerto Rico all the way down to St. Lucia in the Caribbean.

I cast on at 9:00 p.m. in a dark car on the way to Chicago to catch a plane to Puerto Rico. Of course, that's when the Olympic opening ceremonies started in Vancouver. It was a painstaking, tedious process, and one I messed up several times. The pattern has a unique cast on that uses a double strand of yarn for one half of a double tail cast on. Except, I thought I was smart since I had started the pattern once before, and didn't read the pattern before casting on. I ended up trying to double up both halves of the cast on and ended up with a really thick cuff. I didn't realize it until I got back home, and by that point I was too far along to turn back. I only managed the cast on and one row of 2x2 ribbing in the car before we arrived in Chicago.

Throughout the cruise itself, I didn't get much knitting done. We were busy all day walking around the different ports of call, and the lounges on the ship where we spent our evenings were too dark. I did manage to sneak in a few rows before bed. I made the most progress sitting in the airport on the way back home. See, our flight out of Puerto Rico wasn't until 3 a.m. We had kicked around San Juan and were tired by the time we got to the airport around 8 p.m. Six hours in an airport makes for prime knitting time.

When we finally got back home, I only had 7 days to finish the pair of socks; I only had a leg done on sock #1. I kept at it until the last few days - I finished the first sock and cast on for the second - before throwing in the towel. The knitting was beginning to feel like work and I didn't want that. I was starting to resent the socks! Once I gave up on the deadline and took a few days off, the socks didn't seem so daunting.

We swapped socksThe other exciting thing about these socks is that I took them with me to see The Yarn Harlot speak. Knitting in the auditorium before, during and after her talk, I was able to make smashing progress on sock #2, enough so that I was able to finish later that night. I like to think that Stephanie holding my sock gave it the extra mojo it needed to zip along.

I've already detailed the first mistake I made with the double cast on mix up. The second was not so much a mistake as it was an oddity. I cast on the second sock correctly. This should have given me more yarn to knit with. As it was, I barely made it on the first sock, having to graft some leftover yarn from the cast on to my working yarn to finish the toe. With sock #2, I ended up several rows short, even after adding some leftovers from the first sock (a yard maybe) and a bit from its own cast on.

If you look closely at the toe of the right sock in the large picture at the top of the post, you can see it doesn't match. I didn't have any yarn that matched exactly, and I sure a shit wasn't about to frog the messed up double cast on from the first sock. I knew I had some of the same yarn in a different colorway (S'mores) that I thought wouldn't stand out too badly. The S'mores colorway had white and light grey in it that would have stood out, so I ended up cutting out the really light parts to only leave the two different browns. If you know to look, you can easily see the difference, but it's at the toe and that's normally buried in my shoe. Plus it gives the socks character, so I don't mind.

The pattern is simple and straightforward, I had it memorized halfway through the first leg. There are only four cable rounds in the pattern repeat and they're simple two stitch cables at that, so the knitting really flies. The pattern is pretty stretchy, I knit the large size (72 sts) and they fit nice and snug. I think this is one sock pattern that I actually may knit again.

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