Challenge Socks #5: Get Smart Socks

Every time I look at these socks, all I can think is, "Missed it by that much!" Maxwell Smart eat your heart out. I'm considering starting a gallery of Get Smart Socks -- or even branching out with an entire Get Smart line of projects that just don't quite hit the mark.


That's right -- they don't match properly. I had the hardest time splitting this skein! Right around the half-way mark the colors were variations on pinks, purple-pinks, pink-purples, etc, and without a hard line delineating the color changes... well... I messed up. If they weren't so clearly capable of having been matched better, it wouldn't bother me so much. These, though, pretty much scream, "So close and yet so far away!"

I actually bought this yarn in late February 2007. I remember vividly because I made J stop at Acorn Street Shop on the way home from UW Medical Center, where I'd just had surgery for kidney stones. You know how sometimes you think you're doing just fine but you're really totally looped out and it's a good thing they made you bring someone else to drive you home? Well that was me that day! I'd never worked with Noro yarn before. Didn't even have any in my stash. So when I saw this skein of Noro Kureyon Sock on sale, I bought it -- despite the fact that it really didn't look or feel like anything I would enjoy knitting.

And I didn't enjoy knitting them. Not one single moment. The yarn is miserable to work with! It's rough and scratchy. I actually developed callouses on the parts of my fingers and hands that made contact! Moreover, my hands were strained and achey every time I worked on these socks. Every stitch required extra effort. Turning the needles took extra effort. They seemed interminable! I don't know how many times I called my sister to say, "I really hate this yarn."

I found the inconsistencies in grist irritating more than charming. See that bit pooking out weird just below the yellow?

It's an ugh in my book. Pooking is definitely the right word for what it's doing, too. (Sorry I didn't bother to color-correct that picture.)

The parts I liked?

I appreciated the way the colors transitioned. It was interesting to watch as I knit... even as I ground my teeth at the mis-match. I also liked the heels.

For some reason, I really enjoyed the stitch definition and the way the reinforcing thread worked in with the Noro.

I used my beloved Eye of Partridge stitch. This time I put 2 stitches of garter on either side of the heel flap.  It's a neat look.

I really like the fact that they're done, too!

It may be debatable whether my Get Smart Socks can rightfully be counted towards My So-Called Sock Challenge, though. I started them quite some time ago and had worked them up to the point where the gusset starts before I set them aside for a long hibernation. When I pulled the partially knit pair out of my sock yarn stash on February 24 and decided I'd soldier on and finish them rather than frogging them and giving away the yarn, I honestly thought they'd only been hibernating since winter 2010. However, if my notes are correct -- and I'd bet money they are -- I actually cast these on back in February 2009. Read that again: 2009 -- TWO years ago!!! I rarely leave WIPS to languish like that. I did mention that I really hated knitting these socks, right?!

February 24 I picked them back up again. I blasted through the gusset, debated working the faster short-row heel but stuck with my trusted one to ensure these miserable things at least fit, stacked a 3 x 1 rib on top, and knit until I found a stopping point that had a color on the bind-off edge that at least was close if not a match.

So half the socks were done a long time ago. But even though I hadn't frogged them, they basically moved back into my thinking as stash yarn rather than WIP. I'm not playing my sock challenge by any rules other than that I need to use stash yarn and I need to knit at least 12 pairs in a 12-month period, so I've decided to count them.

My So-Called Sock Challenge Tally (as of 2.28.11):
Total: 5 pairs in 3 months

The Details:

Pattern: Mash-Up Magic Toe-Up Socks (designed by me)
Started: February 2009
Completed: February 28, 2011
Materials: Noro Kureyon Sock yarn in a Mork's suspenders-style colorway
Needles: US 1-1/2 / 2.5 mm
Gauge: 8 st/in
Primary Stitch Count: 64

The big question now is whether I'll wear them. They haven't been on my feet yet. I'm told the Noro softens with wearing and that I'll probably end up loving them more than the rest. Wouldn't that be something?! I'm open to that possibility so will keep an open mind. I'm also curious to see how the yarn holds up to wearing since it's not plied. Time will tell!


Elizabeth said...

Well, "missed it by that much" is still pretty damn close! Nicely done. I had to cut and paste to get my Noro socks to match up.

meredithp said...

I think they're very purty, and the casual observer wouldn't notice the very slight dissonance. They'd just say "Wow!".

In other news, I just started on the heel gussets on my very first pair of MUTMU socks! Which happen to be the first time I've done 2AAT.