Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Why 3?

I love the colors in Noro yarn. especially the long fading repeats. Recently, I started seeing friends using Noro's sock yarn, which uses the same kind of long repeat, but weirdly provides three repeats in a ball. 3? Socks usually come in pairs, right? I get two size six socks out of 100 grams of sock yarn with a fair amount left over. Lots of folks get 2 pair out of 100 grams with little left over, and some can make it on 100 grams if they do a contrasting heal and toe. I don't see how 3 repeats in 100 grams helps any of us. Also, at $20 a ball I wasn't buying another just to get the pattern right. I figured each sock would take 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 repeats, so I sucked it up and knit the first sock, cut the yarn, and knit another the same size. This is what I got.Having been a first hand for 6 years, this drives me absolutely nuts. In a costume shop, the first hand assists the draper and is in charge of laying out and cutting the draper's clothing patterns. That means one of the few things that is solely the first hand's responsibility is pattern layout. Not just the dreaded matching of plaids that you read about in Judy Blume novels, but also matching florals, paisleys, etc and arranging bias stripes to chevron at seams or patterns to mirror themselves at center back and center front. That being said, a heavy stripe pattern being two inches off, like those two socks up there when worn next to each other, is way worse than if the two had nothing to do with eachother.

I couldn't take it, but weirdly enough, for my little feet each sock took slightly less than a full repeat, so I picked the placement I preferred (the second sock I knit, which is the one on the left in the picture) and I started from the same spot in the pattern repeat and knitted a third sock.
Now, if the aliens land on a rainy day and get a soaker on their way from their ship to my door, I can offer a trio of dry socks, helpful to any tri-pedal alien who wears a woman's size six. It felt weird to still be knitting the same pair of socks after I had already finished 2, but look how much better this pair looks:

Now I can wear them in front of my first hand without shame, and can still hear what Chris is saying to me while I'm wearing them. much better.


Mary Ellen said...

Being that I am Cleopatra (Queen of DeNile) I would be able to convince myself that the mismatched pair were "More Interesting" than a matched pair. But I would have been wrong. You made the right call with sock #3. P.S. It's good to have you back in WNY!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

This fills me with joy for a number of reasons, not the least being that I know you wear carefully matched mis-matched socks.

The way the colors played out would have driven me insane, too.