13 April 2010

FO: Bright Stripes Socks

Another FO to share, and this one comes with a story...

This pair of socks was, well, let's be charitable and say "difficult."
I bought the yarn on sale (I really just could not resist those colors), intending to design a pair of socks for Elinor's sock contest. By the way, I'm really glad the deadline on pattern submissions has been extended into May, because when my sock plan didn't work out the way I hoped, I thought I'd never be able to get a design in!

So my original plan was to make a sock inspired by bright tropical fish. I started out with a twisted rib cuff, which looked great across the slowly changing stripes. I charted out and tested in swatch form a really cool looking cabled panel that mimics seaweed with bubbles on each side. It worked really well with the striping yarn, with twisted knit stitches adding the extra definition and texture needed. I found a great stitch pattern in a stitch dictionary that looks a bit like fish scales. I put these all together, and soon discovered that the purl-heavy fish scales were far more vertically compact than the twisted stitch cable panel, which meant that even a few inches into the leg, the sock was skewing in a really ugly way. RIP!

Next I tried the fish scale pattern all over. This looked alright, but without the cabled panel the scales didn't make as much sense, and the stripes were blurring and looking unattractive. RIP!

Finally I settled on a simple simple stockinette sock with a picot cuff (because I couldn't give up on fancy touches entirely!). The finished socks are beautiful - not at all what I envisioned, but beautiful. Gus agrees and would like to rub his face all over them to prove it.

I guess they taught me the lesson that even design gone wrong can turn into something lovely, and I don't think those design attempts were wasted, because I know the fish scales and the cable panel will show up again in my knitting soon.

Yarn: OnLine Supersocke Emotion II
Needles: US1 dpns
Verdict: I like them in the end :)

What are your design-gone-wrong stories, or design success stories? Let's chat in the comments.


weaverknits said...

You know, I've also experimented with more complex patterns, particularly cables, in variegated yarns. I just finished a project where I tried SO MANY CABLES, so many creative and interesting cables, all of which looked too busy and indistinct in the yarn. After several days of swatching I ended up with something simple and perfect. Like your socks!

Allison said...

I think the eventual simple design is probably more frustrating for people who are end-product oriented than those (like me) who get their main enjoyment from the process.

Kathy said...

Impatience can lead me to a design gone wrong story. Or maybe they are success stories..
If I find I'm too bothered by an intricate pattern, I mix it up with some plain knitting. Sometimes it works.

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