June 15, 2015

"Dark Side, No Moon" Socks Failure

WARNING: Long post. TL;DR: Cool sock yarn, attempt number one fails due to gauge issues, attempt the second fails due to yarn issues. Socks scrapped and yarn awaiting new pattern.

You might remember that at Fiber Fest, I purchased this really great color-way from Fishknits called "Dark Side, No Moon" of a self striping sock yarn. I had a pattern in mind when I bought it, but after looking over the sizes it made, I was worried that none would fit. After hitting up Ravelry, I found a new free pattern by Paton for Toe Up Socks. Not only did they look like nice, simple socks, but their size measurements seemed like the Women's 7/8 would fit me nicely.
Looks so cool, no?
I am not sure what the 7/8 part of that size means (and I hope it is NOT shoe size), but the length of 10.5 inches is a little larger than my foot so, fingers crossed for it to fit! This is probably a good time to mention that this will be the first pair of socks I ever made!

Working with the D hook is tiny and hard to see, especially since the skein starts with black. A good strong light was needed for this project. I also found that I really needed to pay attention as I quickly messed it up in the first 8 rounds or so, adding an extra stitch at the end of the rows and having to rip it out...
A toe cap!
Which brings me to the fact that this sock is worked in rows... I guess I understand why... but at the same time it makes a seam which I can't think will feel good under my foot. For now I am going to make the socks following the pattern, but I can't help but feel like perhaps working it in the round continuously might make for a nicer foot-feel.

In any case, I love the yarn. The ply is wonderful and the tiny bit of sparkle is nice. I can tell already that the striping colors are going in a standard ROYGBIV sort of order, which is very cool if a bit boring. I was hoping I guess for a more random color order, but they did not have one worked up, so it was hard to tell when in the hank.
Colors look great.
I got about 4 inches into the foot when I realized I forgot to make a gauge swatch... OOOPS. I measured on my work to see the gauge and realized that I was an inch smaller in both directions. Instead of a 4" square, their numbers got me a 3" square. I am using a different brand yarn than the pattern calls for, but it says "Fingering" weight on the label, so it shouldn't matter. I tried the sock on and it fit pretty perfectly, so I decided to just keep going. I am now worried about yarn usage though, since more stitches per 4"square means I will need more yarn than I thought.
Got several inches into the ankle after this pic before scrapping it.
I got all the way through the foot. Bound off and got about 2 inches into the ankle when I realized I was running out of yarn. So obviously it is as I thought and that my gauge being off was using up the yarn too fast. I could have bought another skein but this one was 438 yards which is more than enough for a pair... also at $26 a skein I couldn't bring myself to make a $52 pair of socks... they go on my feet for crying out loud.

My husband suggested that I finish the sock and then frame it as a monument to my hubris.
I ripped it out.

For attempt two, we are changing this thing up entirely. New pattern, new hook size, new pattern size. I am still using a free Paton's Family Crochet sock pattern, but this time it is worked ankle down to toe. Since I'm going to a larger hook, I'm going to make the Women's L5/6 size this time and of course try it on as I go again.

Ok, first things first... make a gauge swatch. Pattern calls for 22 sc to equal 4 inches. Pattern called for a D hook which I used last time, so I tried a larger E hook... still half an inch off. Went out and bought an F hook, made my gauge swatch and it looks to be a tiny bit too large?!

I went and read through the posts with this Panache yarn on the Fishknits Etsy store and it says that the Panache yarn is a two ply. That actually puts it into the lace yarn category, not fingering weight. So that is probably why I can only achieve the gauge with a large hook than called for... because the yarn is thinner. My F hook gauge swatch being a little too large is probably due to the yarn being all bendy from being ripped out.

With those problems sorted out. I got the ankle ribbing done and started work on body of the sock above the heel. I got about three inches down and decided to see if I could pull it over my foot onto my ankle like a sock. Which as you might have guessed did not happen. I'm assuming that since the yarn doesn't have a ton of stretch to it, that the body just isn't going over my heel. The ankle ribbing fits fine. Maybe socks are a thing you need to custom make for your foot and not follow a pattern except in loose terms.

In any case I have scrapped this second sock as well and am going to try to find some other use for this yarn. Bummer, but hooray for learning.