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Archive for December 26th, 2009

Pair #177, formerly Pair #135

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

I finished a pair of socks for Brian today. Their name is Pair #177. However, they are partially cloned from Pair #135, which I finished in early October of 2006. (Ravelry members can see my project page here.)


The original yarn is Socks that Rock Heavyweight. It has no nylon in it, so there is no surprise that they did eventually thin out.

I considered darning them, but there were thin spots from the toe through the heel and even up on the lower section of the leg portion. There was no way to darn these successfully. (Photo below is the original pair on their first day. The colors are off, but it’s a clue to how they looked.)


In good form (following my Norwegian ancestors who wasted nothing), I used the un-worn-out top leg portion of pair #135 as the top of this pair.

You Bet, I Cut. Otherwise I’d Toss!

I had to discard about the bottom inch of the leg because the fabric was weak. The leg was short already, and I wanted the new pair to be more generous. Therefore, from about 2 inches above the ankle, I reknit until I marked a place for the afterthought heel.


For an inch or so, I alternated the old yarn with the new, to make it have a better color transition.  I think I really succeeded. They do not look awkward as if I started with a new yarn.

Yarn Choices

The old yarn is a light worsted weight. The new yarn is actually two strands of sockyarn held together as one. I used a strand of a grass green Kroy 4ply, and a strand in army green, of what I believe is Regia but which may be Socka or some other standard sockyarn (it came in 50gm rounded balls).

I’m thinking that using the two colors of green together as one yarn, was a big help in the transition between the multicolored handpaint, and the new parts of the sock.

For those socknitters who are still with me, both pair #135 and #177 were knit  top down. Both had afterthought heels. The first pair was a bit snug on Brian, so I think he will enjoy wearing this rendition even more.

The Ups and Downs of Long-Term Creative Projects

I’m now pleased with the new pair. I sure had a few hiccups on the way, though!

The project started probably last June. We were on a road trip and I thought I would darn socks in the car. Instead I cut off the leg and started in on the knitting. I got most of the feet done in that week, if I remember right.

Then life got in the way. I knew where this project was, but it sat patiently for months.

When I got it back out? It looked like I needed to make two heels and the socks would be done. So I made the heels. I had Brian try one sock on. It was at least a half inch too short, maybe more. I figured I had to rip two toes and do it again.

When is a Pair not a Pair?

Mistake. Apparently one sock was an inch shorter than the other, and that was the one Brian had tried. I don’t remember anything about this from earlier knitting sessions… but clearly in looking later, I’d added more toe to the sock Brian did NOT try on. There were extra yarn ends to support this idea.

You can guess what happened next. I didn’t know they were different. I ripped out a toe to reknit it… but I ripped out the one that was the RIGHT length. Whoops!

I realized it at that point, when I put the socks next to one another to compare. The one I’d ripped, was missing a toe but the same length as the one which had a toe knit. Sort of funny, in retrospect!

The good news is my motto: “If you liked knitting it once, you’ll like knitting it again.” On Christmas morning I had two toes to reknit and I finished those. I worked in all the yarn ends (far too many) after lunch.

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a Pair… #135

Then I took a “Sweater Stone” to the old parts of the socks. They had a lot of pills on them from being well-loved since 2006. The stone is a mild pumice which is gentler on knitted fabric than a sweater shaver, yet it removes pills very well. In the photo below, I’ve used the stone on the left leg but not yet on the right.


So now the legs looks newer than they have in years. And the feet are truly new. I’m pleased. Brian’s also happy to have a usable pair again. Win/Win.

My Turn?

Now I get to work the ends in on a neckwarmer I knit in bits and pieces this last week (mostly while waiting in line). Rae gave me the kit of yarn, lovely Debbie Bliss Cashmere, for a variation on my One-Day Neckwarmer. I need only work in ends, block, and wear. Can’t wait!

Well, I also have work to do. I allowed myself 2 days of not doing work knitting, though I do have a test knitter on task for the “beanie” variation of the Keys & Coins hat.

I did do some photo editing for that pattern today. So, starting 12/26 I’m back to that job again, and it’s going very well.