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January 29, 2009

Cat Bullet

The Curse of the Black Pearl (Sock Yarn)

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

When last we left our intrepid sock knitter, the “Bird in a Cage” sock yarn had flown the coop.

OK, not really, but work with me…

What could be more soothing than brand new sock yarn, freshly acquired and in lovely shades of grey, purple, lavender and brown.

Lorna’s Laces “Black Pearl” colorway

Lorna's Laces Black Pearl sock yarn

It really is beautiful. Having worked with the Lorna’s Laces before, I was really looking forward to this project.

I picked out the perfect pattern for this yarn, too. It is called “Blackrose” and it is from the Winter 2008 edition of Knitty.

I knew that my yarn was much thinner than the yarn called for in the sock pattern, but the designer helpfully added multiple sizes to her pattern, so all I had to do was knit a gauge swatch and then pick the number of stitches that was closest to what I needed.

Anyone else getting an ominous feeling about this??

I studiously knit a gauge swatch. It was a full-on gauge swatch, with a garter stitch border (to prevent curling), stockinette portion approximately 3 inches square and I even cast off the top edge and removed it from the needles. Gosh darn it, I was going to get a proper number this time.

So, my gauge was 8.5 stitches per inch. Let’s do the math again: 8.5 stitches per inch times 8.25 inches equals 64 stitches. Oh, look!! The pattern has a size with 64 stitches!! I’m ready to go.

(Gentle readers, Math has never been my strong point. I do realize (now) that 8.5 x 8.25 = 70 stitches).

So knitting merrily away I go, working from the top down. I’m about 3/4 of the way down the top of the leg when the everpresent choir and orchestra chime in (oddly enough, this time with an upgraded trombone section) and state emphatically that I MUST TRY THE SOCK ON RIGHT NOW…

Having learned my lesson about arguing with the choir, I tried the sock on. Sort of. Really, I did try, but there was no possiblity that that particular sock was going to fit onto my foot. Ever.

*sigh* Didn’t I USED to be able to knit socks???

Murmuring “Off with their Threads” (which seemed appropriate for a pirate colorway), I took advantage of a quiet Saturday night to frog the sock and redo the cast on and ribbing, this time with 68 stitches (NOT a math error, this time… the next size up was 72 stitches, and it is generally thought that a few stitches smaller is better, if you want your socks to stay up while wearing them…). The next day, as I sat at the counter in the deserted Arsenal bookstore, I focused on the knitting and got the sock back up to where I had been before I frogged it. Upon trying on the sock, it seemed to fit reasonably well.

The sock progresses, and I successfully turned the heel over this past weekend. And yes, for those of you who doubt me, I can, in fact, wear the sock. Which isn’t exactly a sock yet, but you get the idea…

Black Rose Sock - Started and Fitting!!

Not the best picture in the world, but it is close enough.

I hope that everyone has been having more success with their various projects than I have…

pitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patter


  1. I love Off with their Threads. Do you think it is time to start a support group? :-) They look good so far. Good luck.

    Comment by Donna W — January 29, 2009 @ 8:19 am
  2. It is beautiful! I always thought you were such a math wiz! :) You crack me up with your details of how the frogging process plays out! Have a great weekend! :)

    Comment by Nachaele Olson — January 29, 2009 @ 8:30 am
  3. The sock rocks! Love the color and pattern.

    Comment by Mom — January 29, 2009 @ 10:36 am
  4. Cat, are you actually knitting socks on circular needles this time, or did you do some switching just for taking the picture?

    Comment by Ginger — January 29, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

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