I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Faux-ma-to-mi...
This pair started out as Pomatomus (Pomatomi?). But a few rounds into the leg repeat, super-thin yarn + not-so-pointy needles + vise-like grip = GAH! of momentous proportions.
So, I switched to a pattern that had a similar look minus the sheer insanity - Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern. Ahhh, that's better.
'Cause I'm twoooooo, twoooo-timin...
Don't read anything into this. No, wait, do.
A few rows into the Pomatomus pattern, the k2togtbls and k3togtbls were not... meshing well with this yarn and the Silvalume dpns. Methinks that pattern (which I do plan to knit someday) is better suited to a slightly heavier yarn and, more importantly, much pointier needles. So I frogged back to the 1x1 twisted rib of the cuffs and searched for a sub. The Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks has a similar look but yay! - sans the tbl madness.
The pattern itself is interesting to knit and, as a bonus, very intuitive. After the first couple of repeats, I was able to ditch the row counter and knit from memory. Which, if you can read your knitting at all, is easy to do with this one. Maybe I'm getting better at this!
I don't generally suffer from the dreaded SSS, but the second sock will invariably end up a tiiiiny bit looser than the first. This time, I did them both at the same time on separate sets of dpns, switching between the two after each 10-row repeat.
Now that I've done a pair two at once, going back to singles is going to be like...watching TV with commercials after you've had Tivo! It was so great to be completely done with the pair all at once, I didn't have to try and remember what the hell to do on the second sock because I forgot to write down what I did on the first (*cough* not an uncommon occurence), and they both fit exactly the same. Whee!
Since I didn't want to frog the Pomatocuffs (see what I did there?) back, I simply adjusted the Child's First Sock pattern up to 72 stitches from the called-for 64. Not too difficult, given that it's an 8-stitch repeat. Hey, lookit how that worked out!
Won't you take me to, Funkytoe!
I also went in favor of a round toe over the standard one as written. No reason really, just wanted to see what it was like! The proportions look a little odd, probably because the lace of the pattern is kind of chunky, making the toe seem a bit too drawn in. But they fit just fine, so I'm fine with the funkiness! Plus, if you look at the last pic below, they look kind of muppet-y head on, something that appeals to my 12-year-old sense of humor (go on, admit it - don't you half expect them to start talking to you?).
That being said, I'd probably go with a star toe (see Embossed Leaves Socks) over a round toe in the future. It's much prettier and flows more nicely from the foot.
I so wanted to love this yarn. So, so, so wanted to love it. Yarn Pirate is one of those Celebrity Deathmatch indie dyers whose yarns get snatched up within seconds of going online (kind of like Harry Potter in the lake with the grindylows), and it's easy to see why. She has an incredible way with color - I mean seriously, just lookit it! This colorway is gorgeous, and I mean gor.geous. And oh, the sheen. If I didn't know better, I'd say it had silk in it. Unfortunately, as in life, looks will only get you so far.
This stuff is very soft and strokeable in the skein, and softens up even more in the wash. But, it is on the thinner end of the sock yarn scale and given the relatively light weight of the yarn, the sproing factor didn't feel quite as high to me - something I must have subconsciously been compensating for by knitting even tighter than usual, because my gauge came in at a surprising 10sti on size 1s (I generally hit the lighter weights at 9sti).
I fully admit that had I loosened my grip a bit (or gone down to size 0s), it probably would have been more enjoyable to knit with.
Bye, bye dye...
However, the second, and much larger issue, was with the dye. It turned my fingers orangey brown while I was knitting with it, which should have been my first clue. Then, it bled like MAD in the Eucalan bath, turning the water an alarmingly deep shade of pinky red. That should have been my second clue. But they didn't seem to fade *too* much after that first soak, so I chalked it up to excess dye. After all, I've had other FOs bleed in the first wash but hold their color just fine.
Bye, bye, happiness...
Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case with this one. After wearing them all day yesterday, the dye seemed to be wearing off the soles - particularly in the ball of the foot and the heel. Ever hopeful, I gently soaked and hung them dry again last night, thinking maybe it was just dusty floor syndrome. Nope. They bled just as much in the second wash as in the first, but now they are noticeably faded all over and the dye has indeed started to wear off the soles. The two pics above show the difference between the original yarn and the less vibrant state they're in now.
I'm so sad and disappointed about this. All that time to knit them, and they're losing their color after just one wearing! I suppose I could try to overdye them at some point (um, after I learn how to dye stuff). But that's going to be so heartbreaking, because I really loved how this colorway turned out. *sniff* I don't think I'll be able to look at them for a while. For now, these will just have to sit in the back of my sock drawer until I can decide what to do with them. :(
Update: I emailed Yarn Pirate about the dye issues, and she was AWESOME. She even sent me a replacement skein to make up for it! Really friendly with service above and beyond!
That's a wrap
This was a great pattern to knit, and the socks came out very nicely. If the dye had held, they'd be even lovelier. *sniff*
Pattern: Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern
Yarn: Yarn Pirate in Punkinhead
Mods: Upped the CO, switched to round toe
Lesson learned: Two-timing -- it's a good thing! The other one I can't talk about anymore, because it just might make me cry.