There are several posts I keep meaning to write, including one I've actually started about Junah's Easter outfit, but in honor of my sweet husband (who said to me just a few hours ago, "I don't see enough yarn around here. Need to get more yarn!") and in keeping, somewhat, with Sara's most recent post, I'm going to post here about Jason. And his socks.
My favorite wedding picture (oh, it's so hard to pick) is actually a pair of pictures (that, strangely, I don't have framed) taken while we were dancing:
Big smiles and lots of laughter. That's what we had then and have even more of now.
And I love this one, too. Jason's dad took it right after the ceremony.
Jason turned thirty-one last week. We've now known each other, been friends with each other, (except for a a few gaps when we weren't speaking to each other, of course) for more than half our lives.
Last year I made Jason a pair of socks (my first ever pair of knitted socks) out of Cascade Fixation, at a horrendously small gauge, that took me forever to finish. This year I wanted to be sure that I had his present ready for his birthday. So I spent the week and a half before his birthday working on a new pair of socks (and cursing the size of his foot!) whenever I had the chance. Hard to do when most of my day is taken up with nursing (I can knit and nurse, sometimes) and changing diapers and playing with a beautiful babe. And I had high hopes of completing a matching pair for Junah.
This sock pattern is what I'll call my basic sock pattern, even though I haven't made it very many times. But I've only strayed from it twice. It is loosely based on the Knitting Fiend's Sockulator II (toe-up pattern) since that is the pattern I made Jason's first pair from. Ease isn't included in it so I usually just use it for the length of foot and foot circumference, but of a size smaller than I'm actually making. I've abandoned the backward loop method of casting on (mostly because I can never find the last loop when knitting down the second side of the needle, if you know what I mean) in favor of the figure-8 cast on as demonstrated at Hello Yarn. I cast-on using US #1 size dpns to make the figure-8 loops then switched to the US #3 needles I used to make the sock. In this way I avoid having to tighten the loops on the second needle and am assured a tight, nearly invisible cast on row. Since I'm lazy and was trying to save time I decided to do all of the increases using a kfb instead of the invisible lifted increases the Sockulator uses. And I knew before I even started that I would have an uneven looking toe as a result but I told myself that Jason wouldn't care, would never even notice in fact, and it would all be fine.
Right. The right side of the toe looked fine, but the left looked poopy. Bumpy and uneven and yucky and...I just couldn't live with it. I had to start all over. My problem was that I had been working the kfb on the second stitch and the second to last stitch on each side of the sock. The fix, which looks fine and maybe even neat, was to work the kfb on the second stitch and the third to the last stitch on each side of the foot.
Things went fine. For awhile. Then I realized that I was knitting an even bigger sock than required.
So I ripped back again until I only had fifty-two stitches instead of sixty.
Which was nice because fifty-two stitches is a lot faster to knit than sixty. If I was mathy I might figure out how many stitches I saved myself over two socks...
20" of sock x 10 rows per inch x 60 stitches x 2 socks = 24000 stitches
20" of sock x 10 rows per inch x 52 stitches x 2 socks = 20800 stitches
24,000 stitches - 20,800 stitches = 3200 stitches
Okay, so I'm a little mathy. Here's a little more. I timed myself (when I was trying to decide late that Friday afternoon if i had any hope of finishing the socks before Jason got home from work) and one round took me two minutes (at the speed I was knitting in 2x1 ribbing -- holding a sleeping babe and watching Heroes online) which means I saved myself...
[52 stitches / (2 minutes x 60 seconds)] x 3200 stitches = 1386.666 seconds or 23 minutes
Which I lost tonight doing useless math.
And I nearly finished (finished but for the finishing) the socks before giving them to my Raiders loving husband. The ends were woven two days later. And he loves them.
Oh, and for the record:
Mission Falls 1824 Wool in Raven (about three balls) and Charcoal (one ball) on 3.25mm Addi Turbo Circulars using the magic loop method.