Monday, August 4, 2014

DNF: Tour de Sock 2014

The Tour is over, the dust has settled, and I am here to sheepishly confess that I did not finish. I didn't knit the last pair, a pair of double knit socks.

What happened? Well, timing was the major player. The sixth pattern was released while I was on holiday with my parents and siblings in London, England. I had taken all my supplies with me, fully intending to knit during our down moments, with the plane ride home and the last day of the Tour available for a mad sprint to the finish line as needed.

The thing is, there weren't many down moments on this particular vacation - which is sort of unusual for my family, we usually holiday as a pretty laid-back bunch - and I've never done double knitting before. I cast on, worked the first toe, and realized that there was no way. No way I would ever finish by the deadline. I was too slow with it, and there weren't enough moments for me to make much headway before the flight and the final sprint day, which would mean the best case scenario would have me knitting the second sock in a single day - and I have yet to do that with non-double knitting (single knitting?).

I considered persevering, as a learning experience. Then I fiddled with the doubly thick fabric I was getting, and considered that I wouldn't be able to wear these socks with shoes, which means I'd hardly wear them, and did I really want to use up two skeins of precious sponsor yarn on a single pair of socks that wouldn't see much use?

So I heaved a sigh, and pulled out what I'd done.

In fact, once the haze of the race had cleared, I had to face the fact that I'm not wild about the way my Wye socks were fitting, so once we were home again, I pulled those apart too.

So this year's Tour has me in a three-way tie for 82nd place, and I have four pairs of socks to show for it.

I have a glint in my eye to do better next year.

Until then? I have other things to turn my attention to. Like this:

That there is an Owlie sock, the second in a pair I started for my sister last summer, flailing about between stages of Tour 2013. I got the first one done, and about half of the leg of the second, and then I put them down for rather a long time. Knitting them rapidly became rather chore-like - the needles are the 'new' Knit Picks Sunstruck DPNs, a batch of the made in China ones, and wow I do not like them. They feel sort of plasticky, and the stitches seem to stick more than with my other KP needles - all of which were from made in India batches. I could have switched the needles, but at the time when I set the sock aside, I was thoroughly sick of the whole thing, and when I finally picked it back up again to take as in-flight knitting to London, I was a bit worried about needle confiscation at the airport, particularly leaving Heathrow to come back, and left these ones in, reasoning that I wouldn't be terribly upset if they were taken from me. As an aside, there was no problem at all in either direction. (I didn't really expect to lose them departing from Canada.)

Anyway. They're nearly done now, I'm just playing a bit of yarn chicken. I've only got a few rounds left of the foot before starting the toe decreases. Will the yarn hold out?

Admittedly, this is not a particularly high-stakes game of yarn chicken - I have more, there's a remnant cake of this yarn from the first sock...somewhere. I have a pretty good idea of where it is, but I could be wrong. Either way, my life will be easier if this yarn makes it to the end.

Which would be good, because my sister wants these socks, and running out of yarn just before Kitchenering will force me to put the sock down while I search out that remnant cake, and if I am feeling frustrated, who knows how long it will be before I pick it up again...

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