I hoard yarn. Often I buy a skein or five with no idea of what they will become. But I always love the colors and the fiber make up. Most often a I hoard fingering weight yarn, and thanks to Yarn Rascal for unearthing skeins from the farthest recesses of the yarn vault, I realize I have quite a hoard of DK weight too. Skeins purchased like this can gently nestle in the vault for years before the right project comes along. This is exactly what happened to my Dream in Color Smooshy fingering weight yarn in the Butter Peeps colorway. I knew that some day a pattern would come along and wham-bang I would have this yarn waiting for it.
The project just recently appeared on Kiwi Yarns. She made a sock and was looking for a test knitter. When I saw her beautiful pattern I knew that her pattern and my yarn had to meet in blessed knitting. So she was gracious enough to send me the pattern.
The pattern and sock are in knitting heaven. The colorway’s pink smudges always fall in the right areas to enhance the texture of the pattern and highlight its structure.
While a heavenly choir of knitting angels sang, I went to find my double-pointed needles to begin the task. I have a small milk bottle filled with double-pointed needles that are long, short, and in all sizes. I found and tried the needle size given in the directions only to find I could not get gauge. The heavenly choir sputtered and then fell silent. I was getting two stitches over gauge on US 1 needles. I needed 9 stitches per inch and I was getting 11. Dropping down one size would only reduce my gauge count by one and I needed it reduced by two. I emptied the contents of the milk bottle on the table and spent some time searching for US 00. Nada. I wasn’t too surprised. Then I searched for US O just to see if by some miracle I could get gauge. I found three workable US 0 double-pointed needles and two that had the same teeth marks in them as Yarn Rascal’s chew bones. I did a gauge check on the three that hadn’t been chewed and as I predicted I only got one stitch closer to gauge.
Waiting for the size US 0 needles to arrive I studied the pattern. If I decreased the cast on by 4 stitches I could produce a sock that would fit me. But, could I find a way to decrease 4 stitches and not have their loss be noticeable and ruin the beautiful pattern. By the time the needles arrived I technically had the same pattern with just 4 stitches missing.
I am now knitting the cuff of the toe-up sock. After I am done with that, I will be working on the after-thought heel. I have never done an after-thought heel. This one seems to have a little more to it than just a straight after-thought heel. Since the instep and the leg came out beautifully I am eager to get the heel completed. I am going into uncharted knitting territory and the designer had issues herself with this heel. Still, the design of the heel will look really good on the sock if it can be worked out.
So tomorrow I hope to hear that heavenly choir of knitting angels warming up when I pick up the needles to begin the heel or it’s going to be a very long day, possibly with tears.