Tour-de-Sock, Stage 6: Vertigo 2 Point 0

8:41 PM

The last round of Tour-de-Sock was a tough one. We knew beforehand that it would be four colors and quite a large amount of yarn. It turned out to be stranded knitting using four colors, which is still ok. The new thing here was jacquard floats, and these two combined made knitting slow. Very slow. Actually, most of the participants didn't even get started with these socks, and those who did dropped out pretty soon after noticing how much time it would take to finish this pair.

Pattern: Vertigo 2 Point 0 by Candy Degel
Yarn: CoopKnits Socks Yeah! in colorway 110 Malachite (MC, 49 g), Hedgehog Fibres Sock in colorway Bramble (CC, 35 g), Filcolana Arwetta Classic in colorway 252 Shock Orange (HC1, 31g), and Hedgehog Fibres Sock in colorway Banana Legs (HC2, 17 g)
Needles: 2,5 mm (US 1 1/2)

Unfortunately, I was not smart enough to skip this round. That meant that I spent a week using almost all my free time knitting these socks. 

Jacquard floats was a new technique for me. It means that you add float stitches every two or three stitches apart and purl these stitches with yarns in front. This way the inside of the sock is also almost knitted, and there are no long floats to worry about. It does make the socks rather thick, though. You need to pay attention to the order of your yarns. I only noticed this as I was knitting my second sock: you can see how the float stitches are showing at the top of the large squares. At that point I was wondering how I managed to knit the first sock without learning the technique, but also at that point I didn't care anymore; all I wanted was to get these socks off the needles. In retrospect, I could have easily fixed those visible float stitches with a crochet hook at that point, but now I just have to accept them.

Another problem with these socks was the heel. Turning the heel meant working the square pattern in the middle and decreasing the gusset stitches on the sides. As the contrast color is not involved in the decreases, it meant that I got large holes next to the decreases no matter how hard I tried pulling the main color working yarn. For the second sock I tried wrapping the contrast color around the next float stitch on the sides, and that helped a bit, but I still took a needle and yarn to close the gap afterwards.

The good thing about finishing this pair was that it improved my standing in the competition remarkably. There were only 32 finished pairs on this round, and I was 13th. Those of you who have participated in TdS might find this hard to believe, but yes, finishing one week after publication of the pattern meant that I was 13th! In the overall standings I was 22nd and our team Finnish Sisu finished 6th. I was pretty happy with the result: there were more than 600 knitters who finished at least one pair in the competition! And it's all about charity after all, with registration fees going to Doctors Without Borders.

Here's my set of TdS socks. I got one pair that's too small for adults, and one with too many mistakes to give for anyone, but I also got 4 pairs that I can give as gifts when needed and learned many new techniques. All in all a good experience, that is! But I'll never knit socks again...

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