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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Clara Posted - 07/08/2009 : 09:52:33 AM
Hello there!

I'm collecting tales of sock yarn woe and deceit in preparation for my class at the Sock Summit. Have you ever been betrayed by your sock yarn? I would love to know more about the experience - which yarn, which pattern, which needles, and how the whole thing fell apart. Was it on the needles, in the wash, or on your foot?

I realize it can be painful to revisit these things, so I'll kick it off with my own story: I once bought two skeins of yarn to complete two socks. I knit the first one from one skein, ending with just a few leftover yards. Then I knit the second one with the second skein. So far so good.

Until I held the socks next to one another and noticed that the socks were TOTALLY DIFFERENT SIZES.

Same yarn, same color, same everything. How could this be??

I looked more closely at the label (it was one of those industrial German sock yarns) and realized that I had knit sibling socks out of two different gauges of yarn. Somehow they'd been tossed in the same bin and I didn't notice or think to check.

Whew, I feel better getting that off my chest.

What about you?

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher
20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
lella Posted - 08/08/2009 : 12:35:29 PM
quote:
The second pair is also slightly felted, although wearable. They spent exactly two minutes in the washing machine--the time it took for me to get them out after DH announced that he had put in a load of laundry.


Anne, that's what it was like around here. Then I put a little white bag in the side of a hamper JUST for handknit socks. DH doesn't put ANYTHING into the washer anymore.

My Blog @ Zippiknits
Knitting@ Flicker
TMitzi Posted - 08/07/2009 : 09:15:08 AM
Wow! Iíve learned so much about sock knitting from reading this thread, and I havenít even started my first pair of socks yet: try wooden DP needles, buy superwash yarn with some nylon, be faithful in winding the yarn into balls (to avoid yarn vomit), and always check gauge. Off to the yarn store!

Theresa
abt1950 Posted - 07/28/2009 : 1:53:53 PM
Rio de la Plata. Wonderful stuff to look at. I bought multiple skeins. The label said washable. The first pair felted during its first wash cycle and never made it to the dryer. They were a little on the large side when they came off the needles, so they're still wearable, barely. The second pair is also slightly felted, although wearable. They spent exactly two minutes in the washing machine--the time it took for me to get them out after DH announced that he had put in a load of laundry.

Mirasol Hacho--DK weight, the label said they were the same dye lot. But one sock was bright, the other dull. They felted too. It's a good thing that I make my socks loose.

Then there's my very first pair of socks. It wasn't until A year and a half after I finished them and had worn them many times that I noticed the the dropped stitch in the middle of the heel. It's still there.

Anne in NJ

Knit long and prosper
lacylaine Posted - 07/26/2009 : 1:18:30 PM
I have two different horror stories. First, it took me a few tries to figure out to knit socks tightly. But then, the few pair that I made had holes in them pretty quick from family members wearing them while walking on carpet. (That's why I'm now making them all felted clogs, to save the socks!)

Okay, that was really just a learning process, though I wish there was as much info around back then as there is now...So, DH was actually at the LYS earlier this year with me. He saw some Twinkle Toes sock yarn that was basically green and yellow - his beloved Packers/John Deere color combo. When he asked me to make him a pair of socks with that yarn, I said sure! After all, he rarely asks me to knit for him and he always wears what I do knit. I hardly even flinched at buying a skein of yarn at $22.00 (knowing full well that they would wear out faster than hats and sweaters). Then I got them home and found that they were, indeed, 100 grams but only 360 yards. So, I got 2 skeins of KnitPicks Turtle multi to be on the safe side (he really doesn't like short socks) but they are really going to look crazy!

Melanie

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

FO 2009: small market/shower bag; gray watch cap; magic square potholder; five dish cloths, including two new patterns




Panhandle Jane Posted - 07/26/2009 : 06:41:30 AM
I also have had a bad experience with socks wearing out unreasonably quickly. I have vowed to have some nylon content. I must admit to being very disappointed when I looked at the dye contest for the Sock Summit. I found some yarns that I absolutely loved that were available for preorder, but when I checked, they were all 100% wool, non-superwash. I do love knitting them, but I also love wearing them, and I'm just not going to buy what I can't wear.

Blog--http:\\www.panhandleknitandsew.blogspot.com
Ravelry--panhandlejane

cpknits Posted - 07/25/2009 : 6:09:39 PM
The thrum socks for DH and myself shed all over the house, very easy to spot on the light carpeting, vacuum cleaner clogged, never again. DH was wonderful, he worked with me to clean it. These are now bed socks at best. The hand dyed yarn and roving was beautiful though.

Thrum mittens tend to stick to everything while outside, look like big hairy mits, never again. I think it is a better idea to felt a lining for the socks/mittens than to thrum. After the mittens, I made sure I made tight thrums on the socks to no avail. At least they were all small projects even though we both have very large feet/hands.

Carol, Wisconsin
Shalee Posted - 07/17/2009 : 12:34:03 PM
I have a basic pattern that I use for my cold weather socks. The first pair, using this pattern, were made using the XXL yarn. I always get the same guage, even using other yarns. Imagine my surprise when I knit a new sock, using the XXL brand, and got a totally tighter gauge. Today I will finish the 2nd sock and then go looking for someone with shorter and skinnier feet than mine! I had just the opposite happen with some Zitron Life Style. Those were too big, but that was OK, since I have a friend that has a lot of swelling problems. I still have enough of that yarn to make her another pair for next winter.

Sharon in NW PA
I always wanted my own library but I didn't realize it would be all knitting books!
Katheroni Posted - 07/16/2009 : 8:02:45 PM
I was knitting some socks for my sister with Meilenweit Cotton Spirit. I was sort of making up the pattern somewhat on the fly, but the yarn was a little skinnier than usual, so my usual cast-on number didn't work. No problem, I adjusted, cast-on again. And again. And again. And again. Five times casting on different numbers of stitches to get something that fit. It's never taken me that many tries. Nevah nevah. I still don't know what was so darn special about that yarn and sock that made it impossible for so long.

It was worth it, though. I love Meilenweit sock yarns.
Ceil Posted - 07/16/2009 : 3:56:15 PM
I guess my only real tale of woe was the socks I knitted in a class. I found a super Regia colorway, and thought my husband would really like it. But how big was his ankle, his foot? I was at the LYS, he was at work. I called him, and he graciously gave me some measurements. But alas, the teacher cared not for details like socks that FIT, just following a pattern. And boy, do I >hate< the heel-flap/gusset that was in that pattern! I never did that heel again. Anyway, the socks are a bit baggy on my DH's feet, but he still wears them. Perhaps my bigger sadness is that Regia no longer makes that colorway. If I could only get it again, I could make right on socks for both of us.

Oh, I have another story, Clara! I >really< knitted my first pair of socks when I was in high school, from a pattern in The Learn-How Book, back in the fall of 1969! I knitted stripes in my school's colors, blue and orange, out of C&C worsted wool. They were bulky and huge and not the same size--and I couldn't quite figure out the heel so had to cut the yarn and rejoin afterwards!--but I had also sewn a bright orange jumper to wear for pep-rally day for the football team (I was in the marching band) and wore that, too, with a navy blue mock turtleneck. You can imagine what kind of a sight I must have been that day! Anyway, both heels had gaping holes by the end of pep-rally day. I was sad that the socks didn't last, after all that work. But I knit really good pairs now.

I wish I could be at the Sock Summit (registration was a bust), but when is the KR Retreat?

Ceil

Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
pdh1969 Posted - 07/16/2009 : 2:01:39 PM
I also have a tale of Smooshy woe. I knit two pairs of socks last winter - one for a co-worker and the other for a co-worker's DH. Cocoa Kiss was the colorway. BOTH of them reported holes in the heels after only a few wearings. I was mortified. I expect socks to last at least through one season and I've worn some of mine for 3 or 4 years. I have several skeins of Smooshy in my stash, but I won't use it for socks.
lamknits Posted - 07/15/2009 : 5:02:06 PM
A long time ago, my daughter and I went shopping at Stitches -- this was back when it was held at the Valley Forge Convention Center, outside of Philadelphia. We both fell in love with Koigu sock yarn, which was brand new at the time. Indulging in some brown vareigated Koigu, she soon began knitting her first pair of socks, destined as a Christmas gift for the new boyfriend. A couple of months later, as our 20 + member family was lingering around the Thanksgiving dinner table, someone asked my daughter to show us the socks. Out they came -- each with a foot that must have been at least 15 inches long! We couldn't stop laughing -- clearly she had overestimated the size of the boyfriend's foot, or she was secretly dating Shaquille O'Neill. My daughter ditched the guy and I don't think he ever got those socks, however, it remains a story fondly told around the Thanksgiving dinner table every year. Just thinking about those gigantic socks makes me smile.

Leslie, in Beautiful Bucks County, PA.
kbshee Posted - 07/15/2009 : 10:55:30 AM
I love koigu, but sometimes (sometimes?) socks made from two skeins of the same colorway look very, very different.

kim in oregon
http://kbshee.blogspot.com
BessH Posted - 07/15/2009 : 04:25:18 AM
I learned to knit socks by using what was "on hand" ... Dale of Norway's Tiur (Tuir?) The socks worked out okay, but they had a different color heel and toe and cuff and instep. I gave them to my husband who was so proud of them he showed them off to everyone he saw. As the felted and shrunk, the cuffs slid down to his heel and looked ridiculous but he still kept showing them to people. I finally had to throw them away! I use real sock yarn now.

Bess
http://likethequeen.blogspot.com
lella Posted - 07/10/2009 : 11:45:19 AM
Gee, mine are mostly perfect *wink wink back at Jane* but I took off on a pair of beautifully patterned socks with some beautiful Panda cotton and a wonderful pattern, early last year.

The first surprise was the splity yarn! I was fretting my way all the way through the first leg, and then, while fretting, got the reduction rows done, or was it increases?

Anyway, I still didn't realize that there were 6 extra stitches as I fretted all the way down the foot nearly to the toe, the toe which started being very resistant to being reduced down. The yarn wrangling had kept so much of my attention that a wide side band had developed without me realizing it.

I frogged it all the way back to the leg. It took forever to get that pair made.

My Blog @ Zippiknits
Knitting@ Flicker
jtamsn Posted - 07/10/2009 : 04:32:25 AM
A few years ago I was making socks for Christmas gifts. I bought 2 skeins of sock yarn made by a major manufacturer, same colorway, same dye lot. They were perfect identical twin socks, then I looked at them......2 completely different colors! (looked like 2 completely different dye lots..very obvious). I thought what do I do now? They were for one of by brothers....I gave them anyway. He is one of those who lives a few states away, but you never get a thank you. As I suspected, never heard how he liked them. Glutton that I am, he's getting more this year, but they do match.
judy

ceecee Posted - 07/09/2009 : 5:01:32 PM
Hooboy! If I'd never knit socks before and saw this thread, I don't know if I'd want to start! So many things you learn along the way. Thank goodness there are so many feet sizes, they are bound to fit someone's feet if your first socks don't fit yours. And if they're a little funny looking from pooling or flashing, you can always slide them into a pair of shoes. Ah, but that's where we come upon the deceit in sock patterns and yarn and the ensuing tales of sock knitter woes. Never believe a once-size-fits-all sock pattern. Feet come in different sizes, shoes do too, so why should sock patterns not account for this? Lazy pattern writers or evil ones who feel you should figure it out by yourself even if you've never knit socks before? And then there's the precious fiber, hand-dyed yarn at precious prices. Beautiful at look at but clearly not made for feet that walk. Yeah, I have many tales of woe and have learned from each one. The best fitting pattern is the one you put together from experience. Sock yarns with nylon do wear better despite costing less. And they don't need to be pampered with *gasp* hand-washing. Lovely hand-dyed yarn doesn't always turn out a lovely pair of socks. Don't trust anyone who tells you "this is the BEST pattern, heel turn method etc." unless they qualify it by saying "for me". Knitters learn differently, just as feet are all different.
KnittingKittens Posted - 07/09/2009 : 4:20:07 PM
Ich kan ein bisschen Deutsch. Clara, I would be happy to yell at your socks!
fiddlerbird555 Posted - 07/09/2009 : 4:17:22 PM
Socks? Socks?

There were two trajedies in my sock-knitting life. One is on my ravelry page. DD asked for green socks with pink hearts. Not my favorite color scheme, but .... So I made them. And, being my second attempt at colorwork around the cuff, I managed to make them loose enough. Unfortunately, I didn't know the difference between "washable" and "superwash". About twice through the machine, and they were 3 sizes too small. I suppose the ending of that is sort of happy. Someone's Persian grandmother saw them, and said if I didn't want them, she knew what to do about socks that were starting to felt, and she took care of her grandchild (about the same age as my child) a lot.

The other one, no happy ending. Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles. Sockotta yarn Columbine pattern (forshadowing? I now live near Columbine) was taking them everywhere in my purse to work on. One day, on the way home, I got in the car, my needles got in the car, the ball didn't -- all the way along the highway, cross town, didn't notice anything until we were home.

____________________________________________________

I can go loopy, or I can knit. Your choice.
hillstreetmama Posted - 07/09/2009 : 3:02:26 PM
The first time I tried socks - years ago - I didn't know about "sock yarn", so they were ridiculously thick, and had ladders you could climb on. My next attempt was sale yarn from KnitPicks...it was navy, because that's the color I wear the most, right? I swatched, I calculated, I began to knit. I couldn't even see my stitches on that dark yarn, and finally abandoned the project. (I know where they are, those tiny bits of toe-up, two-at-a-time socks, but I'm not going to rescue them.) My first (finished) socks were from Lorna's in a beautiful color combo of browns and blues. I was so proud of them, and they washed so nicely. I wore them maybe six times, and then <sob> I went to put them on, and there was a HOLE! On the side of the ankle, where nothing rubs or pulls, the yarn just unhinged itself, and stitches were unraveling. I set the sock gently aside, vowing to mend/darn when the light was better, when I wasn't tired or stressed. The sock is still in the drawer, waiting. It's been almost two years.

Jan
socks4all Posted - 07/09/2009 : 12:25:17 PM
This was over 10 years ago so I don't remember more about the yarn than it was a Regia, but not one of the "fair isle" stripes. It was orange and yellow that formed thick slanting lines that changed about every inch. The balls were 50 grams, so one for each foot. I knit one, then the other. It was like I had used yarn from 2 different manufacturers. There was no point on the 2nd sock that looked anything like the first. The 2nd was a whole bunch of disconnected dashes. These were supposed to me a gift. I bought another ball, same dye lot, same colour. It turned out differet too. Now I had 3 socks, none of which matched. (Yes I had the same # cast on all 3). A 4th ball was bought in desparation. For the most part that ball looked like the first from cuff to heel, then all of a sudden, it changed to match the first sock. My stepmother got all 4 socks. I told her she could match them to her hearts content. I do know I never bought that line of Regia again!

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