Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sock in a Sock...not for me

Well the experiment is finished, the socks are done, the yarn leftovers are nicely balled up and put in the mounting pile of colorful suggestions and it's time to review. Knitting a "Sock in a Sock" as per Tolstoy's War and Peace suggests, takes about as much tanacity as reading his famous novel. It had it's high points, I admit. I loved the novelty of it and being able to amaze people with what I was doing. I loved the fact that I didn't have to fight with tangling of the yarns as in some other methods of two sock knitting I've tried. I also loved that it gave me great practice at two handed knitting and I am no longer timid of any Fair Isle project I might decide to tackle. Finally, I loved the cast on I used, of course - since I invented it. But, alas, the negatives still outweigh. There were only two significant negatives, but they were doozies. First, the sock on the outside - the one that is purled the entire time, shows sizeable and quite noticable "ladders". Try though I might, I could not get rid of them. We postulated many theories and experimented with many possible solution, but to no avail...they persisted. Not the end of the world, but not altogether impressive either. But the biggie, the hole in the boat, was the difficulty that ensued everytime a stitch was dropped. Yes, it happens to everyone at some point in time....especially when working with both hands, on slippery needles (because wooden sock needles in a size one are not a good idea, even if you CAN find them). When you drop a stitch normally, it's no big deal...just chase it and pick it up. But when knitting in this style, you have to repair the dropped stitch from the wrong side because you literally cannot get at the stitch from the right side since the other sock is in the way. Fixing errors became a horrendous ordeal; so much so that at one point I actually took the socks completely off the needles, separated them for the repair, and then re-joined them. I DO NOT recommend doing this. The last negative which was really just a slight annoyance, is that you cannot adequately see the socks develop as you knit them because the wrong sides face out. In the case of my friend Ellen, this was a problem because she could not easily see that her yarn was pooling - a situation she would have remedied had she known. So, while I think it's fun to do once, this method, for future sock projects, gets a big "thumbs down" for me. I'm a DPN, one-at-a-time girl, and I guess I always will be.