Houston, we have a problem.

The Dublin Bay socks are not working out. I’m a little upset.
(Step 1: analyse the problem)
The colours of the exquisite Lorna’s Laces sock yarn are neatly dividing themselves straight down the front and back of the sock. (Note: Ryan’s pattern itself is great, darned nifty even, and cursing swearing or abandonment of said sock project should not be interpreted as a reflection of Ryan’s pattern, but instead a reflection of the knitting disaster which plagues me without mercy) I’ve tried just continuing on, hoping that as I go the colour will begin to fetchingly swirl around the leg, or divide in some kind of entertaining way. (Step 2. Continue on, patience is a virtue) I’ve tried screwing with it a little,(Step 3. Mess with the rules) knitting a little tighter for a row or two to try and shift them, knitting a little looser…but the socks are committed to this course of action. I now realize that the yarn has a greater will than my own, and that I am not going to come out on top. I’m stuck. (Step 4. Open a bottle of Merlot) Either I accept that this pattern is the wonder and glory of this yarn, or I begin to poke myself with the 2.25mm knitting needles hoping that the pain of the puncture wounds will eventually outweigh the pain of having the socks come out this way. What now? (Step 5. Ask the blog. The blog knows all). Try again with different gauge? Trash them in disgust?
To ease my pain and to score mommy points I worked on this instead.
Sam has new running shoes. They are clear acrylic. While I cannot see the pure joy in owning shoes that fog up when you wear them, Sam is smitten. Sam feels that if you are going to have clear running shoes, then you should have really good socks. I concur.
I cast on a mystery intarsia-nightmare project.
I know you wish you knew what it was. You don’t. All will be revealed in the fullness of time.
Finally, before we get on to the very important business of fixing the subdividing socks, a little clarification on the matter of Boye knitting needles. Several of you made the point that these aren’t the best needles around. That they cannot compare to the soft gleam of ebony, the warm feel of wood, the sharpness of Inox points or the smooth connection of an Addi turbo. I agree, but the Boye needles are funky colours. I’m willing to take a lot of crap from a needle if it’s a funky colour.

32 thoughts on “Houston, we have a problem.

  1. Is it a mystery-nightmare intarsia project or a mystery intarsia-nightmare project? The first one sounds more interesting, though I can’t wait to see what it is!
    I think the sock Gods are telling you to write your own Lorna pattern… and post it to your blog so Aubergine can have an easy-in to knit them.

  2. Or Step 6: When all else fails, cast on one (or more) new projects. This will trigger the Problem Project’s abandonment issues and it will immediately cease and desist all shenanigans.

  3. Mystery intarsia project? No question — that MUST be Eeyore, my personal favorite Pooh character and an individual ideally suited to represent the melancholy of Socks Run Amuck.
    Possible fixes. A) Frog and start over at another point in the yarn — likely result = not-so-fetching zigzaginess moved to another side of the sock. B) Frog and use different number of stitches — likely result = different pattern on a sock that won’t fit. C) More experimental — frog and use the skein to experiment in the round by starting the “circle” at different points in the colorway — likely result = lots of time wasted looking for shifting shades of choice only to discover that the zigzag is unavoidable. D) Move to the sock voted as #2 — likely result = more blog demands for intarsia socks.

  4. Oh… it does look rather like colliding fog banks. Wish I could offer helpful advice, but as I am a sock knitting novice (ok, I’ve purchased sock yarn, but not actually cast any on yet) I have none. Is the Lorna’s Laces designed as sock yarn? Seems like the color segments are not long enough to give a striping effect. Argh…
    Mystery intarsia… I’m guessing it’s a smurf.

  5. (1) Thrilled my Dublin Bay socks won the vote! (2) Thoroughly understand why you’re not happy with what your Lorna’s Laces is doing. Either way, it has just been a total kick seeing a picture of at least the beginning of the Dublin Bays on your blog.
    If, other than the fact that you’re not happy with the striping, you have any questions, please feel free to ask away.
    As always, love your blog!

  6. I dunno. Maybe you could try knitting from the toe up? The toe increases and the short rows for the heel might jiggle things around a bit.
    The sock looks okay to me as is, though I can only see the one side of it.

  7. Knit as mosaic?..? using one strand from one end of the skein knit 2, slip 2 for one round. On the next round, using one strand from the other end of the ball slip all the knits and knit all the slips. Will change up the the color pattern.

  8. Sad to say, there’s a reason why my sock yarn stash contains something like 50+ pairs worth of Shepherd Sock and I have only knit one pair. I am entranced/obsessed with the colors in skein, but really dislike the way they knit up.

  9. There is no use continuing to knit these socks. You won’t like them even if you do finish them, and I think the zig and zag thing is there to stay. However, on the Crusoe socks, you have the stranded thing over two stitches. I think you should rip back to ribbing and give them a try for a few rows. Even if it zigs and zags the same, I think it would look funky….in a good way.
    Make Ryan’s socks in another yarn.
    Love Sam’s socks. I made a pair from the same yarn same colour, and they are always the first ones I wear. The wool is as nice to wear as it is to look at. And what a great kid….wearing see-through shoes so she can show off her Mom’s hard work.

  10. I had something similar happen with LL Hawaii. Decreasing the shank stitches by 4 sent it into a slow spiral. Does Dublin Bay have the lace clock on both sides? You could play with making the clock wider or tapering the back of the shank…?
    That project-is-failing feeling is such a bummer I usually have to take a time out or eat chocolate. Did you swatch the broadripple pattern in that yarn?

  11. I vote for starting over and doing some entrelac socks. I love the look of entrelac but have never done it myself.
    Love your blog. It’s so inspiring to see your projects. Am terribly envious of Snowdrop-both the babe and the shawl!

  12. Harlot! I told you, ENTRELAC! It is the only way to show off that yarn. I don’t understand your aversion to it, and if I can knit the entrelac Christmas sock from Knitting in America, YOU, THE Harlot, can knit a pair of normal entrelac socks. They are easy! You don’t have to knit any more than for regular socks. The stitch count is the same, c’mon, you can do it! NOTE:I love the Dublin Bay pattern, and plan to knit it myself, so I am not ANTI- Ryan’s pattern. Just, PRO-ENTRELAC!!

  13. The Lorna’s Lace Sock – The yarn hates the pattern. You hate entrelac. I have learned to veto any pattern that doesn’t look like I’d enjoy knitting it. Try the broad ripple or the one with the slip stitches (I forget the name).
    The Needles – I’ve spent a fortune over the years on all types of needles; bamboo, birch, walnut, Bryspun, Pony Pearls, you name it. What a waste.
    When I sit down to knit, I reach for my good old Boyes. They’re nice and slick, and much cheaper than AddiTurbos. No problems with the joins, but it’s easier to move up all of those YO’s if I push the knitting up in bunches – tring to do it a few stitches at a time stretches the stitches out lengthwise and prevents them from moving from the thin cable to the thicker needle. HTH
    Sam’s socks look fun and funky! Finish them up first, then it may be easier to face re-working the Lornas Laces.
    Thanks for the great blog! I was a fan of your old posts on KL. On your own blog you have been set free to write whatever you want. It’s the only blog I look for daily.
    Stitch happy!
    Maddy in Florida

  14. Can you knit a couple of rounds with one skein, then a couple with the other (started at a different point)? It’s a bit of a drag to carry a second skein along when you’re really only working in one colour, but it might solve your problem.

  15. The last pair of Lorna’s Laces socks I did started out with a big purple blob in the midst of striping. I kind of didn’t like it but I like the color purple so I chose to ignore it.
    In the end, that blob ended up spiraling down the length of the sock. It is actually kind of cool. But they were purple and green socks and that pattern behavior might be more appropriate in that colorway. (http://www.woolberryfarm.com/Knitting/AlienSocks0310.jpg)
    I’m going to be knitting the same pattern in the same colorway, you could always wait and see what mine end up doing to see if you like it afterall…

  16. Don’t have any suggestions other than what’s already been given, but where would I find that Dublin Bay pattern? I’ll search down your archives a bit to see if you’ve got a link. And Sam’s socks are great!

  17. Hmm, the mystery isn’t only what the intarsia motif could be (although following the Disney reasoning in the comments I’m hoping for Malificent). Unless I miss my guess, that’s a provisional cast-on I see. What could the plan be? Too bad you don’t use circular needles so you could spread it out more… 😉

  18. I have absolutely no suggestions for the socks. But I love the idea of clear shoes! I was SO close to buying a pair of clear duck boots at my LYS. Some yarn company puts them out (just markets them, I’m sure they don’t make them). Because what better way to combine my two obses… interest of shoes and yarn!! And those socks are sure to be seen through any fog!!

  19. I have absolutely no suggestions for the socks. But I love the idea of clear shoes! I was SO close to buying a pair of clear duck boots at my LYS. Some yarn company puts them out (just markets them, I’m sure they don’t make them). Because what better way to combine my two obses… interest of shoes and yarn!! And those socks are sure to be seen through any fog!!

  20. If it were me, I’d be to giddy after the wine to care.
    The next day I would wind up the second skein and knit alternating the skeins a few rows at a time in order to try and make it stripe well.
    If that didn’t work, I’d finish the wine and burn the socks.

  21. I’ve got nothing for you. If this happened to me, I’d just go with the yarn flow. What’s wrong with a cool bi-color sock? Shoot…you couldn’t replicate that if you wanted to.

  22. I vote for Eeyore, that was my first thought upon seeing the intarsia project.
    Oh, I completely agree about the funky colored needles (even though, as a complete contradiction, I do not really enjoy the Boye needles). Hence, when I was watching a Japanese tv show and saw a girl knitting with huge (about size 15) ORANGE, acrylic-looking almost semi-translucent needles… I immediately wanted some. The closest I have found are the Lion Brand acrylic needles, which are pink, periwinkle or orange depending on what size… I LOVE them. I think it’s really just needle envy… I see the Boyes everywhere, so they don’t hold that much power over me, but needles on a Japanese tv show?? I’ll spend hours online hunting for those. Go figure.

  23. Hey, what’s wrong with a little color pooling? Remember the computer-geek motto, “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.” I was looking at some of the Broadripple progress photos on the knitalong site and came across one that has color pooling, and it’s really working out! So here’s a little inspiration:
    But if it’s really not lighting your candle, then frog on, frog on.

  24. lorna’s laces always gave me those pools, so i switched to koigu and never looked back 😉

  25. I tore out my first pair of Lorna’s Laces twice – it actually hurt my eyes to see colour-pools from the Rainbow skein. I finally doubled the yarn and knit a quick pair of DK socks – think I’ll try Koigu next time…. it’s a pity, though – the LL is so nice and soft and the colours look great on the skein!
    I vote you bang out this pair while holding your breath and try again with another yarn. Looks like a very cool pattern!

  26. I know this is totally off the subject of socks (sorry – I’m too scared to try one yet – have yarn, but no spine) but I was wondering if you have a picture of your red mexican wave shawl? I read about it on your blog, bought the kit, and when I look at the yarn I go “Yuck – what can this possibly look like knitted up?!” Can you help? thanks!

  27. I have only made two pairs of Lorna’s Laces socks. One pair came out really strange – on the left in this photo you can see that they don’t really even resemble one another in how the color pooled, let alone resemble Ryan’s pretty ones!
    But I made another pair from a different colorway and it turned out fine.
    I guess I’d say just knit them. But maybe I have not truly perceived the depths of your hate for them…

  28. So these are the socks you suggested I wait to see before I started my LL Aslan. Well, they look fine to me. But I’m pretty laissez-faire when it comes to color pooling. I did recently rip a sock that I didn’t like because of the way the color was stacking. I reknit the sock from the toe up and the color distribution was much better. The pattern itself was a mess though so I’m ripping them again.

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