Tour-de-Sock, stage 6: Entanglements9:58 AM
The last stage of Tour-de-Sock was totally random. Or the cables in the socks were random, that is. Starting from the toes, the socks have seven cables and the way they move is determined by a dice and by flipping a coin - or some other method of creating randomness. After the heel, another set of seven cables are added to the back of the legs. Three random numbers determine which cables are going to move at each repeat, and a coin is tossed to determine whether the cables move left or right.
Yarn: Litet Nystan handmålat sockgarn 90 g
Needles: 2,5 mm
For this round, I was thinking that the start would be while I'm on a train returning from a family holiday trip to St. Petersburg or the same evening once we're back home. I was contemplating about whether to pack yarn or not, as it might be that I wouldn't need the yarn during the trip. The idea of having the pattern published in the afternoon and NOT knitting it on the train felt like too big of a risk, so I packed my souvenir from Stockholm, a handpainted skein of neon pink sock yarn. The reasoning behind the choice of yarn was that it was the only full skein of sock yarn in my stash.
Later it turned out that the pattern would be released at 8 AM. I was slightly disappointed by the news, as I had been hoping to have one round that would start in the morning and I could try to knit until I was finished, but obviously I wasn't going to spend a day in St Petersburg sitting at a hotel and knitting. I did wake up at 7 AM, take a shower and pack my things before the rest of the family woke up, so I could download the pattern and get started before leaving the apartment. For the rest of the day I managed to get in a stitch here and there, and then I had the full 3,5 hours on the train dedicated to knitting.
Oh, and the random numbers. As I was knitting the socks on a family summer holiday trip, I wanted to involve the rest of the family in the process. Therefore, I used my kids as random number generators, as it also provided an opportunity for them to learn a new concept. It also taught that random numbers cannot be generated by "randomly" giving them, as the "give a number between 1 and 7" would almost always give the same three numbers (and the younger random number generator would typically first say "8"). There was also an argument after getting numbers 4, 5, and 6. I told that it wouldn't look nice if the numbers are consecutive, but the rest of the crew argued that you can't change the result of the random number generator according to what you want to get, so I did three cable turns next to each other in the same direction. (After this round, I omitted the random numbers on some repeats in order to get cables that also look nice.)
As this round didn't turn competitive after all, I took my time and finished 40th. That makes my overall standing 41st, which is ok if you think of the 1221 registered racers (and not ok if you think of Liina finishing 17th... - congrats for reaching your goal, Liina!). A relaxed team turned out to be a good choice, and Traveling stitchers was the perfect team for me. During the tour I was knitting on an airplane, on a long-distance bus, and on trains; travelling with the socks in Trondheim, Norway, Jyväskylä, Konnevesi and Tampere in Finland, and St. Petersburg, Russia.
I can't believe the amount of time that I've spent knitting socks this summer. I managed to get two pairs that fit me, so I should have enough socks for the rest of my life. The socks that I was using before this were a gift from my sister some 20 years ago. My feelings after the tour: I'm glad that I participated - I learned many new things and tried techniques that I wouldn't have tried otherwise. I also spent way too much time knitting socks, and I'll never knit another pair after this!
Today is RUMS day!