Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Yarn'd: Norway No How

This is Part One of an ongoing series I'm calling YARN'D, in which I discuss falling in love with a project and then not having it work out. THROUGH NO FAULT OF MY OWN (just kidding - it's always my fault).
The meet-cute:
One of the things I love about knitting is that it's a 'traditional' craft and therefore is closely tied to history. Textiles and their creation have important cultural connotations and, frankly, are just plan pretty. The patterns I get most excited about will either be cutting-edge trendy or generations old.

The first so-called 'traditional' pattern I fell in love with was a result of searching for a pattern for cute boot socks during the dead of winter. I came across the free pattern for Norwegian Stockings to Knit at Knitting Daily and fell in love. The colorwork pattern felt familiar - I'm pretty sure I'd seen the Selbu Rose motif on sweaters worn in White Christmas and a few Abercrombie and Fitch sweaters I had in seventh grade. I also was interested to learn that the colorwork pattern is known as the Selbu rose motif - I'd always thought of them as snowflakes. It's just like when I learned that Lady Gaga was singing "Want your bad romance" and not "Watch out for romance!" - aka MINDBLOWING.

The relationship begins:
Having been properly schooled by a free pattern, I looked around on Ravelry and decided to cast on using Knit Picks Palette:

This pattern is FUN, guys. Look how pretty - it just sucks you in. Even though I wasn't creative in my color choices, I'm loving every second of this sock.

Noticing things are a little... 'off':
This is where I admit that I'd never knitted using Magic Loop before. I'd always used three or four Double Pointed Needles (DPNs) to knit in the round. This is also where I should admit that I'd only worked stranded colorwork in the round one other time and the results were... well, you can just read this See where I mention that the fit felt a little "constricting"? LIES. It was way too tight! I'm a tight knitter and knitting in the round just makes it worse (even though my gauge was fine). Oh, and also? I have monster sized calves. Boots were n'er constructed that could fit these Scotch-Irish-Germanic power legs. I was genetically created to spawn and carry milk up hills, not cross country ski to my viking chalet. These are just the facts.

Of course, I just continue on because IT'S SO PRETTY:
 But clearly, things aren't going well. That's the calf part on display. The attempted try-on was semi painful. Tighter than a blood-pressure cuff, that was. The other major problem I ignored was the massive, noticable gap I left at the beginning of each new row. My dear boyfriend demonstrates for the camera:

Remember, this is how the sock looks when stretched to capacity across my Thunder Calf. That ugly seam-next-to-the-fake-seam is just not chic, I'm sad to say.

The break up:
Well, that one hurt. A weekend's worth of work down the drain and nothing but the slight numbness in my toes after trying to remove an extra tight calf-sock to show for it. Sometimes, a knitter will hang on to a project and see if they can pick it up later and fix it. This was beyond repair, so I ripped it all out and put the yarn away.

The rebound:
Clearly, I needed to master knitting in the round and stranded color work. I worked on a pair of Endpaper Mitts again with the correct length of circular needle and things worked out mo' betta:
Something that fits? HOW ODD.
 Of course, I never knit the second one (oops) but for the record, the mitt did fit (so you must acquit!) Then, I realized I had another Selbu rose motif pattern laying around - on the front cover of the Fall 2011 Vogue Knitting, to be exact. So the Palette found its Norwegian home:

And all was right with the world! But I'm still not over it. Sport weight yarn has been ordered and I'll be moving up a needle size with the hope that one day, I shall have my Selbu rose boot socks fairy tale romance I've always dreamed of (since February 2012, that is). I'll keep you posted.

Verdict: Still Pining Away

1 comment:

  1. I find this pattern to be very tricky. I think you did a fantastic job at completing the pattern you looked at. Hope your continuing creating more projects