Monday, September 22, 2008

It Was This Close!

It's Monday again, so once more, I spent a significant portion of the day knitting.

Today, I was working on the second Jaywalker sock, and I almost made it. I even unraveled my Gauge Swatch, and used that, but I still didn't quite get there. About the sixth row of toe decreases, I ran out of yarn.

The really sad part? I made a mistake in the pattern, on both socks. If I hadn't, I would have had enough yarn, and the two socks would probably have been identical twins. So I would have finished them both back in June.


See, I knit on Mondays.

The reason that I have that time is that on Monday I spend the day without my contact lenses, to give my eyes a really long break. This is because I haven't had new contacts in far too long, and I want my eyes to last for another thirty or forty years. Yes, I do intend to see an ophthalmologist Real Soon Now. But, in the meantime, I spend Mondays blind, for tax purposes.

The flaw in this plan, of course, is that I don't see well without my contacts. By which I mean to say, with my spectacles on, I can see clearly for about a foot. But they are heavy, and uncomfortable, and interfere with my breathing, and let's face it, a foot isn't very far.

So, generally, on Mondays I walk around carrying my specs, as a kind of "badge of blindness" and just use my naked vision.

Which is about 2.5 inches.

This isn't a problem for knitting, although I do have to close my eyes when I'm pulling the circular needle through, because it can whip around, and it's too close to my eyes (which I would really like to keep, see paragraph above) to leave them open.

But reading the pattern can be problematic. I can't read it while holding the knitting, of course. I have to put the knitting down, hold the pattern next to my nose, remember what it said, knit, rinse, and repeat as necessary.

And too, there's the cat, who likes to sit on my left arm while I'm knitting (or typing on the computer - she's there right now.) So it's more of a move the cat, find the right line, read it, remember, knit, rinse and repeat.

The real problem is that this wasn't my first pair of socks. So, when the number of stitches after the gusset decrease matched the number on the leg, I stopped decreasing.

I totally missed the whole paragraph in the pattern that told me that there should be 42 instep stitches, and 36 sole stitches. It was at the end of a page, and I never even saw it.

I did the whole foot, on both socks, with 42 for instep and sole. 47 rows of six fewer stitches per sock would have made all the difference. 564 stitches not worked would have saved more than enough yarn.


I do remember, back in June, being puzzled about the toe decreases, and deciding that I had done something weird, or the pattern had, but fudging and finishing anyway.

Tonight, though, with nearly twice as many socks under my belt (as it were) I carefully went back through the pattern, and found the paragraph.

Which will teach me to read it all very carefully as I go along, in the future.

The thing is, the socks do fit. I have wide feet. So, with one long done, and one only a few rows from being finished, do I really want to frog and do it right, or should I just chalk this one up to learning, and move on, with a pair of imperfect socks which I'll wear anyway?

What would you guys do?


Shannon said...

Hi Robin! It happens to the best of us. See here.

Is it possible to get another skein in the same colorway/dye lot or even something close? Personally, I wouldn't frog them...but that's me. I have a ton of errors in my Truly Tasha shawl but it is for me and no one else, so it doesn't really matter. That's what makes it art, right?! =) I have learned to accept the fact that I'm not perfect, I'm not a machine, and every new knitting project teaches me something that I can carry forward to the next project. Can't wait to see what you decide!

Dar said...

If it's just a couple of rows, I'd finish up as best I could and wear them. Most of the time, you'll be wearing them under slacks, and when you're not, just fold or scrunch them down a bit and no one will know the difference.

hugs, dar

Robin Wood said...

Hi shannon and dar!

I decided to go ahead and finish them in a totally unrelated color, because there was no more of that yarn to be had, and the yarn store didn't have a solid color in the same kind of yarn, when I went there today.

They did have a different color of the same brand, though, so I got that, and finished the last of the toe. It's kind of black and green, but there are so many things that I want to knit that it will just have to do!

Thanks for your comments, though! (and shannon, that's a really pretty shawl!)

But yeah, as we used to say,"Small imperfections are part of the charm of hand-made objects."