Monday, April 07, 2008

Flap Crappy

Flappy 1
They look so innocent, don't they? You'd never guess they're big fat PITAs in disguise.


Ever feel like a project is cursed? As if some mystical, evil force is determined to piss you off until the end. of. time.?

Yeah. These were them.

Oh sure, they look all sweet and innocent. Kinda like that little girl in The Bad Seed - right before she sets your shack on fire and runs off with your class prize.

11th time's the charm. Or not.
Here's a quick rundown of the many, many, many visits to the frog pond these socks made:

Frogs 1-3 - Toe up. About 3 different stitch patterns, rip rip rip.
Frogs 4-6 - Cuff down. About 3 more stitch patterns, rip rip rip.
Frogs 7-10 - Toe up again. About 3 more stitch patterns, rip rip rip.
Frog 11 - Finish heel, rip heel, add more rows to foot, knit heel again.
Frogs 12-13 - Rip start of leg and add 4 stitches after heel because EoP pulls in and can't get the damn thing over my ankle. Rip again and add 6 stitches when 4 proves to be too few.
Frog 14 - 1x1 rib for cuff. Too loose. Rip.
Frog 15 - Keep EoP on front and do 1x1 twisted rib on back. Start bind off, see that EoP curls like stockinette, rip again. Finally, end misery with 1x1 twisted rib.

So, you're asking, why so many frogs? Because they were cursed. Cursed, I tell you!

Also because nothing, I mean NOTHING, seemed to be clicking with this colorway. Everything I tried looked like utter crap (not just crap, utter crap). Right around Frog 10, chemgrrl gave a shout out to the Aquaphobia pattern. It's beautiful, but it also has cables and stuff that were gonna slow me down. And, as you can imagine, by this point I just wanted to finish these damn socks as quickly as possible.

So, I used that pattern as inspiration and just did some EoP all the way up the front with a couple of purls on each side. A short row heel, some ribby cuff, and bam! Figured I'd end up with a great pair of socks.
Flappy 2
You will not defeat me! Disappoint, yes. Defeat, no!

Well, I figured wrong. Okay, not *all* wrong - I do love how the colorway knit up in the EoP. Of course, that's not too surprising - you know me, I never met an EoP flap I didn't like! Also, because the stitch pattern naturally draws in, the overall fit is nice and snug. Just how I like it.

Unfortunately, that's where the love ends. The drawing in that makes for a snug fit also makes: a) the stockinette toes pucker, b) the socks constantly twist about - particularly on the feet, where they tend to rotate inward (I don't think the P2s on each side were a strong enough stabilizer), and c) the front of the socks sit about half an inch lower than the back.

Ah yes, a virtual extravaganza of failure. But hey, at least they're done! That's something!
Flappy 3
You'll do for now Sherman Heel - but Heel Flap has my heart.

P.S.
Oh, about those heels - I'm normally a flap-and-gusset kind of girl, but decided to try a Sherman Heel on these. They were easier to work than wrapped short rows, and a clever technique (wraps only in the set-up row) totally prevents those dreaded holes at the instep. And of course, they knit up a lot faster, too!

That said, I'm not real keen on how the knit-side pick-ups look. The pick-ups on the purl side are much tidier. Heel flaps are a much better fit for my feet, too. But there is a time and place for short row heels, and when it comes around again, I'll definitely give these another run.

If you want to give them a try yourself, you can find the original instructions for the Sherman Heel here, and a kickass chart with different stitch counts by Hipknitism here.

Yarn thoughts
This yarn was a prize from Socktoberfest 2006. At the time, I was on the hunt for a colorway with shades of honey and toffee (must've been pms-ing). The ladies at Woolarina did a beautiful job, and they couldn't have been nicer. Super friendly, easy to contact, all around an excellent experience.

The yarn itself, though, wasn't quite as soft or sproingy as I prefer (if I didn't know better, I'd swear it had some nylon in it). On, they feel about the same as my McDera's. Fine, but not wow. But they should wear well - there was only a minor tint in the soak and minimal pilling once dry.

Wrap it up
Well, they're done. Sadly, that's the best thing I can say about them! But it's okay. I'm working with some squooshy Vesper now to help ease the pain. ;)
Flappy 4
Flappy
Pattern: Toe-up, EoP w/P2 border, Sherman Heel, 1x1 twisted rib cuff
Yarn: Woolarina Handpaints Sock Yarn in a custom-dyed colorway
Needles: KPs size 1, 32"

10 Comments:

Blogger Bezzie said...

So nice to know I'm not alone in my heelflap love.

If you hadn't listed it, I would have had no idea that they were such a pain. I think we've all had those evil-gotta-pre-wash-the-yarn-in-holy-water projects!

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Jeanne said...

Very nice socks - I have to give you huge kudos for sticking with it through that many frogs - I think I would have tossed the yarn. Hope the next pair treats you better...

5:44 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

As much of a PITA they were, they did turn out pretty cute. Although, with the shiftiness of it, not sure I would knit them, even though they are super cute.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Funny how such pretty things can be the devil in disguise. They really are lovely socks, and the pattern does favor that colorway. Congratulations on pushing through!

7:03 PM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

Oh but they're so pretty. It sucks to be disappointed by such prettiness. But pretty they are. I like the look of that Sherman Heel. I"ll have to try it.

7:14 PM  
Blogger The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Somehow the word 'sherman heel' is just really, really funny...

4:19 AM  
Blogger SJ said...

That's quite a sock saga. I'm glad that you finished them, even if it's not love. On to better things!

4:53 AM  
Blogger knottygnome said...

they turned out very nicely. i know how much it sucks when projects won't behave. at least now you can freely move onto a labor of love.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Beverly said...

What a story! I too have had yarn that was cursed, and therefore ripped a dozen times before settling on the right pattern. Seems that those yarns never become something you're in love with. Too much resentment builds up to really like the finished object.

They look great though. The EoP stitch is lovely with that yarn.

7:38 AM  
Blogger chemgrrl said...

You are just not having good luck with your projects lately, are you? Well, excepting the lovely McDeras. These are lovely too, even if they *are* knitted Satan incarnate. Maybe you should only wear them for your less-than-pleasant tasks, like cleaning the toilet or doing your taxes. It would serve them right!

10:23 AM  

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