Friday, January 18, 2008

Blocking Party Imminent

I like to wait to block things until I have a few things that need blocking. I feel bad using a bunch of wool wash (currently Soak in flora) for just one small item, so I like to wait until I can fill up the tub and get a bunch done at a time. I have a Hemlock Ring blanket waiting for its bath, my Mystery Stole 3 is FINALLY all knit up, and now I just need to finish one pesky little detail on a pair of Aaargh-yles, a Christmas gift that just didn't make it and now needs a bath before being sent off.

Can you see it?

Other than the slight difference in gauge which will be mitigated with blocking, look at the second sock. The one on the right. See how the white lines don't quite touch in the centers of the colored diamonds? Yeah, that's an oops. When you're making argyles, you knit the leg flat, then you seam it up later. These are not quite traditional argyles, as I stopped the pattern at the foot instead of continuing down into it, but they are constructed up to the heel as argyles should be. Nine strands of yarn coming off the needles which causes a lot of tangling and therefore swearing, especially when you realize that you started to decrease the skull a line early and so the cross lines are not going to line up and you have to rip back about ten rows, ten rows of eighty-two stitches with NINE different colors all wrapped around each other each row to get rid of holes and I did the same thing on the first one except I thought the chart was wrong but fixed it and WHY CAN'T I READ A STUPID CHART I WROTE and...

Times like these, when you have to rip back a whole bunch of rows to fix something you should have realized when you started, calls for a drink. Not an alcoholic one, as that could worsen the problem, but a nice, calming drink.

Mmmm, hot apple cider with caramel, whipped cream and some cinnamon on top. The mug was free from the college women's center, I did not pay for something that had that saying on it!

So, now, I need to rip back almost 100 rows of mattress stitch because I stitched the wrong bit. For mattress stitch, you stitch the bar between the first stitch (selvedge, edging, whatever you want to call it) and the second stitch. This brings the second stitch on each side nice and snug together. When making argyles, you realize you have to do this, so after you chart your diamonds, you add a stitch onto either side so you can mattress stitch them together and the cross lines line up in the back. I did that part. What I did not do was stitch into the bar between the first and second stitches. I stitched into the bar in the middle of the first stitch. Which brought the two ends of the first stitch on either side together, creating what seemed like a whole stitch between the cross lines. Maybe an illustration will help...

The arrows on the first bit show the direction of the yarn. It loops around and around, and you see the "V"s as the fabric of the sock. In the second one, I originally stitched under the blue lines, along the orange dashed line, which left half of the first stitch visible. Since I was stitching two sides together, the two halves got together to make a whole incorrect stitch between where the nice white lines were supposed to touch. So, I ripped out the orange line of stitching, got a drink, put in Seven Years in Tibet, and started to stitch along the pink line, picking up the green bars and making a nice seam. This made the white cross lines actually looked like they went all the way around the sock, instead of being a nice, big, obvious seam. Fixing this was especially important since the second one was done correctly the first time and would have brought lots of attention to the fact that the first one was WRONG.

Still not correct gauge-wise, but it's time for a bath and a block since the seams are now beautiful and matching!

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