More Horror and Hands of Velcro

My hands are now officially made of Velcro. Or perhaps they just feel that way. The Better Living Through Chemistry people have managed to devise a set of cleaning products SO efficient that they have scoured me of integument. The only way I could work on the Suede T (made of a super-grabby nylon yarn) was to lather up in enough hand cream to fuel a brothel for a fortnight. Which might have been fun but all that lubrication was wasted on knitting. [grin]

In all the packing, another resident of the Chest of Knitting HorrorsTM has surfaced. I can’t quite figure out why this one has sat unattended for so long. It was started about two or three years ago, shortly after Lorna’s Laces introduced Shepherd Sock in the custom color Socknitters’ Rainbow – a hand dyed yarn in a riot of colors. I loved the colors, but it seemed to me that two skeins of it for a pair of socksmadea heady investment. I wanted to do something that showcased the brilliant Rainbow yarn, yet that leavened the total per-pair cost by introducing another yarn. My intent was to publish the result as a pattern on wiseNeedle. Perhaps stripes? Hmmm….

I played around with some stashed yarn for gauge. The yarn that best matched the Socknitters’ Rainbow was Dale Baby Ull – one of my all-time favorite yarns. This machine washable Merino is soft, very easy and forgiving to knit, and perfect for stranding, so I decided to do a simple stranded pattern instead of plain old stripes. One thing I did remember – I favor toe-up/short-row heel socks. They’re a bit narrower through the instep than traditional square or Dutch heel cuff-down socks, so I’d have to keep the stranding pattern loose and simple that it did not constrain the sock’s stretch. (I found this out the hard way after knitting a pair of socks with peerie patterns, that ended up being SO tight I couldn’t get them on). I did want to carry the stranding up through the short-rowed heel. Here’s the result:

Pattern chart

I like the way the happy chaos of the multicolor yarn is tamed by the solid charcoal black. I also like the movement of the little square checks as the focal points shift from stripe to stripe. (For those of you who are wondering – the little coiled wire thingy is a Strickfingerhut. I use them for all my stranded colorwork.)

I appear to have finished one sock, but pooped out shortly after the toe of the second. Why did I stop?I didn’t even remember beginning this project.My only clue is the bag in which I found the hibernating pair. It looks like I was working on them at about the same time as I lost a job, when Start-up #1 augered in after its funding fell through. That was around January ’01, and is still a painful memory (at the time. I drank the Koolaid, and truly believed that we’d pull off the venture). ’01 was not a good year. Iwent on to another start-up company, that one tooteetered on the edge ofthe Big Death before fall of that same year and canned 75% of the staff. Ever since I’ve been a freelance proposal drone. But that’s neither here nor there and largely irrelevant to knitting.

Apparently this pair of socksmust befraught with Painful Associations because until I found it I didn’t even remember that I had been working on it. My choices are now finish off the things, or dispel any lingering curse by ripping them back and making something else again. Sometimes being lazy is a good thing, as it reinforces the fact that I don’t believe in curses. I’ll put the bag aside instead of packing it off to the cubby, and finish this pair of cursed socks after I’ve tucked in the Suede T.

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