Thursday, 26 September 2013

Reading the correct version of instructions... helps.

There are a few never-ending things in my life. The Neverending Spinning Experiment, for instance. Or the Neverending Quest for a Publisher for the English Version of my thesis (though there is some movement on that front recently, I have not given up!)

Now, I'm thinking of adding one more item to the list: the Neverending Skew Socks. Skew is a pattern that was published in Knitty back, oh, about four years ago.

It clicked with me straight away. Now, I'm not a big knitter, and I'm not fast, but I like socks. So I ventured out to knit me a pair of Skew socks... and found, quite quickly, that they do not fit my foot. At all. My instep is way too high for them as written.

However - I wanted those socks. Really badly. So I ripped back and fiddled and thought and measured and math-ed some and then some more, and at last I came up with a method that worked. I knit a pair of socks and placed the instructions to the side - for later use.

Time passed, our vacation came up, and I wanted to take some knitting - something small, half-mindless, and nice. I typed off the pattern and took a ball of sock yarn. I knit and knit... and there was that bit in the pattern where I wondered, huh, that looks a bit weird... but I knit on.

Back home, I found that I had skipped into the wrong line when typing the hand-written pattern into the computer. So I ripped back... both socks (two-at-a-time magic loop). Quite a bit. And I knit that part again... correctly, this time. And progressed into the part that I had had almost finished before.

Then I proceeded into the heel part. I knit a bit, and then some more, and then some more... but not much more before I realised that something was decidedly wrong. I was missing stitches. Not only 6 stitches (as before) - this time, it was twenty of them. Now, 20 stitches at sock gauge... that's a lot. A freaking lot.

I went to look for the missing stitches. Had I skipped a section when copying the pattern? Nope. After a goodly while of checking, I found it... I had written a sequence of pattern lines into my hand-written notes, marked them and smeared something like "This!" at their side... but not crossed out or corrected the old version. The old version that had, you guessed it, 20 fewer stitches. And when copying the notes, I had not looked beyond the valid-looking set of instructions...

So the next step in my Skew journey: Correct my digitised instructions, print them out again, and rip back both socks (again, gah!) to where the mini-gusset increase starts. Sigh. The Neverending Skew Socks. If only they weren't so funny...

3 comments:

Panth said...

*grin* I too have Skew on my list of "to do" knits. Only currently I don't have a yarn that would do them justice, so I haven't even started. At least you have got further than me!

a stitch in time said...

Panth, they look nice with every kind of variegated yarn, I think - it doesn't need to be the most self-stripingest yarn ever. Only make sure to try them on frequently when you are in the foot part - they should fit comfortably around the instep :)
(Should they not do that... I happen to have a pattern mod for high insteps.)

Panth said...

Thanks, but the only varigated yarn I have at the moment is one with very bright colours and a very, very short (and abrupt) colour-change.

I shall make sure to try them on. Thanks for the tip.