Tour-de-sock, stage 3: Diamondback socks8:37 AM
Third stage on Tour-de-sock introduced a pattern that made several knitters drop their needles before even starting. I was happy to face the challenge, and learned some new stitches while at it. Nevertheless, it took forever to finish this pair and the result wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. And still, I'm planning on knitting another pair!
These socks have a diamond pattern that is basically achieved with short rows - a lot of knitting back and forth, that is. The instructions say that it would be a good time to learn to knit backward. It would save time if you didn't have to turn the work all the time. I thought that learning some new stitches would be enough for this round, and kept turning my sock. I hadn't used shadow wraps before, but the instructions were clear with good pictures, and it didn't take long to get the hang of it. Also the opposite of kfb (knit front and back), i.e., kbf (knit back and front) was new to me, and I might use that more in the future. KLL and PLL (knit/purl left leg) increases were also something I hadn't tried before, and I'm still not quite sure what is the 'leg' of a stitch.
I was hoping to finish the socks before Midsummer celebrations, but I guess I should have learned to knit backwards as this pattern was really the slowest pattern ever to knit. I ended up traveling to a small island with no electricity with these socks. I had to turn my phone off to save power until Midsummer day when I finally finished the socks and had enough power left to send pictures of the socks to the judges.
I was hoping to make a pair for myself for a change, so I went with size L, tried it on after finishing the second tier of diamonds and everything seemed to be ok. Now, the problem was that I didn't pay attention to the gauge. (Here's a question: why is the gauge given for 1 inch in some patterns, for 4 inches in some, and in this special case for 2 inches?!) This meant that my gauge was way off: I had 32 sts per 4 inches, when the pattern called for 18 sts per 2 inches and so my socks turned out too big for me. Which would be ok and I can always give the socks to someone else (not that I know of any women whose feet are bigger than mine...), but it meant an extra diamond through the leg: quite a bit of unnecessary extra work in a speed-knitting contest.
By the time I got to the toes I had to re-read the pattern a couple of times, and then did the decreases as instructed. It seems that some knitters went the 'normal' way and had to redo their toes, so I'm happy that I didn't do what felt right, but what was instructed. I finished 63rd, and I'm afraid that with a non-competitive round 2 and this one combined a certain knitter whose main goal in the contest is to beat me is going to reach her goal. Which reminds me that I haven't even written about stage 2!
This was again an opportunity to learn, so I'm happy that I did it, even if the end result is not exactly what I was hoping for. And now that a couple of days have passed, I'm even thinking of trying another, more colourful yarn that might look good with this pattern (the same one I used with my turquoise broken seed stitch socks). It's sport weight, though, so it wouldn't take as long to knit! Although, I have to admit that I burned the instructions at the summer cottage fireplace after finishing with this pair...
Participating in RUMS.