I said, Black is cool

At some point a witty saying will materialize here. Right here. Watch for it.


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January 28, 2009

Cat Bullet

getting off on the wrong foot

Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions,Started Projects — Cat @ 5:00 am

Just before Thanksgiving, I purchased a skein of sock yarn from Maple Dale Gal. It was bright yellow, deep red and rich black, and was called “Bird in a Cage.” It has deep, vibrant colors, is soft and squooshy, and I just couldn’t wait to get my needles in to it.

I was so excited that I decided to save it to cast on for the long car trip down to Dallas and back. However, I must admit that I did “cheat” a little and began to work on the swatch before hand. The yarn was so nice and knit up into such a soft, firm fabric (exactly what you would want in a swatch). I was a little amazed that it knit up at 7.5 stitches per inch. So amazed, in fact, that I took the swatch (and the ruler) down the hall to a friend of mine and asked her to check my gauge (Don’t worry- she is a fiber fan as well, so she didn’t think the request at ALL odd). She confirmed that yes, indeed it was 7.5 stitches per inch.

Let’s do the math, shall we? 7.5 stitches per inch times 8.25 inches (the circumference of my foot) equals 62stiches.

This enchanted and amazed me because this was acceptably close to the number of stitches required to make the “Koi” socks from a newly acquired sock book The Eclectic Sole. I thought… what better??? Black/Yellow/Red “koi” socks, because those are all colors found on that particular type of fish. I was “hooked.” sorry, couldn’t resist a fish pun…

Ten hours later (yes, even before I left town), I had accomplished the ribbing and maybe one half of one repeat. It looked terrible. Nope, no pictures, because I was not able to comprehend the situation. But everyone assured me that it was the classic case of Sock Yarn/Sock Pattern mismatch. Ten hours of excrutiating, hand-cramping, finger numbing knitting resulted in nothing that my foot would want to be seen in.

So, I put the sock away until we departed for Dallas. Somewhere in Oklahoma, I pulled out my ten hours of work and started over. Tried various patterns, yet none of them looked really good until I went back to my favorite “Yarn over Cable” from Sensational Knitted Socks. Finally, I had something that looked nice and I merrily knit along. Kept knitting along (mostly on bus rides), turned the heel, and started working my way down the foot.

The entire time, gentle readers, I kept ignoring the voice in my head that said… “Gee, those socks look a little small.”

“How can they be too small?”, I asked the voice… “I did a Gauge Swatch!!!”

Eventually, the voice in my head became a full fledged choir complete with accompanying orchestra. I had to give in to the demand that I try the sock on.

Uh, Oh…


Well, I could get it on. Techncally.

But… Aren’t you supposed to be able to bend your ankle when you have the sock on? And why were my toes turning blue???

Again, there is something seriously wrong here.

Yes, my friends, the sock was definately too small. My choices were to find someone with a smaller foot or to Frog the whole thing. Well, since it was a special yarn, I couldn’t bear the thought of giving it away, so I decided to frog it.

During the holiday break, I set up the ball winder, deciding that if I was going to frog the sock, I was going to do it efficiently to avoid yarn tangles. I decided that the best idea was to start winding from the outside of the yarn ball, having knit and re-knit the first end of the yarn so much that it was getting a little fuzzy.

Starting the frog process

Um, what was that about avoiding tangles?

Tangles galore

That didn’t work out so well. However, I perservered and finally got the ball rewound in the opposite direction. After that, it was a simple matter to use the ball winder to frog the sock as it wrapped the ball.

Frogging the sock

So now the lovely yarn is sitting in a time out until I feel “it has learned its lesson.”

Yep, that’s the ticket. It is the SOCK YARN that needs to learn its lesson. Nope, the knitter has nothing to do with it.

In the mean time…

Black Pearl sock yarn

Tomorrow: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Sock Yarn).

pitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patter


  1. And have you knit a dunce’s cap for the yarn as it sits in its “time-out”? That is a great yarn tale of woe. I can hardly wait for the Black Pearl story. Maybe socks and knit swatches are the problem? And, yes, Duckers probably needs some foot wear. Have not decided what kind yet.

    Comment by Donna W — January 28, 2009 @ 7:50 am
  2. I am so sorry about the fitting of the sock :( It was fun to see how it looked knit up a bit! I hope you find a pattern that will work…..those socks sure look like you! Love the purple yarn!

    Comment by Nachaele Olson — January 28, 2009 @ 8:30 am
  3. I hope it gets out of time-out soon, that is great sock yarn for a cold winter month.

    Comment by gale (she shoots sheep shots) — January 28, 2009 @ 11:59 am
  4. That naughty yarn!!! I do love the purples though. We need to find a way to meet in the middle, my socks always end up a bit baggy.

    Comment by Claudia — January 28, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

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