Faster than a speeding frog

No sooner had I written yesterdays blog post, effortlessly exclaiming that I would "easily" finish my sock before the end of the month, than I noticed that the second sock was really different from the first.  The first sock was pooling prettily on the leg (I usually have issues, but this colourway is "tidepooling" so it only seems fair) and the second sock was striping.  That was weird.

Sock the first.

Sock the second.
There’s really only three reasons the same yarn could do two different things. Either I had a different stitch pattern, (Nope. Would have noticed that, I should think) or I had a different gauge (I would say not for this as well.  Same yarn, needles, stress and alcohol levels) or I had a different number of stitches. 

Bingo.  A quick count revealed that I had knit the first sock as a medium and the second as a small.  I nipped out and lay in the road for a bit, then came in and ripped the thing into oblivion.  Considering that today looks like this:

(This is what Sock Summit prep looks like.  Fear us. We are the reason that Post-it notes are in business.  Our entire conference is built on them. Other people have software, we have sticky-ware)  I fear for it’s completion by the end of the month, poor wee blighter – especially since I accidentally slipped and fell last night, and when I came up I had started a shawl. 


I fly home early tomorrow, but have a long layover in Vancouver.  I’ll tell you all about it then.  It’s a nice shawl.  I think you’ll like it.

115 thoughts on “Faster than a speeding frog

  1. The kicker to me is that I like how BOTH socks are coming out. Do you have any friends with different sized feet? Looking forward to the shawl (and SS).

  2. I love “slipped and fell.” Like it was a total accident. Still, the socks are really nice, and I bet they’ll look even nice with the new shawl!

  3. Wow! I can’t believe you’re already into the furnace wars and knitting warm, snuggly things. Here in Texas we’re just starting to THINK about wearing sweaters. And we do AC wars – how long can you wait into the spring to turn on the air conditioning…And I agree with Stephanie the first poster. Both socks are great. Too bad you couldn’t have knitted another one of each!

  4. I slipped and fell on Tuesday, but I came up with a bruised palm and a sprained little finger — I would have rather had a shawl — but I did start a today that is coming along nicely. Safe travels!

  5. Well. Either you finish a pair of socks by the end of the month and I have no comment, or you don’t finish and I get to call you a slacker.
    (Have I mentioned before how very entertaining it is to see you flip out completely over a self-imposed deadline?)
    Go ahead. Work on the shawl.

  6. Love the colorway, good catch on the striping. At least you weren’t at the toe when you realized (which would be my luck).

  7. Surely the long layover in Vancouver will permit you to finish the pair. . . friend Pat and I gave ourselves a waiver for our October socks. It just wasn’t happening.

  8. I was at the new Lettuce Knit location today-how beautiful is THAT! Anyway, asked the very nice woman who was working which was the stinky yarn and she kindly pointed it out and we had a sympathy filled laugh together.
    Anyway, love the sock, love the yarn, love the pattern, wish I had the patience for socks.

  9. Yep, that counting thing. It’s gotten me a couple of times, too.
    I TOTALLY think you should give the Knitting For Kids thing a crack at SS11. Sometimes parents aren’t the best to teach their Kids stuff, and it’s really GREAT when kids learn that this knitting thing means you CAN MAKE STUFF. Like fingerless gloves. Hats. Shawls.

  10. Who is Presbyteria and when is she taking her comedy show on the road? Too, too, funny. Both socks look fabulous, nonetheless.

  11. Have you seen the giant flipchart-sized Post-its? They’re huge and you can stick them on the wall, write on them, and stick the normal Post-its to them to make Post-it groups that you can move around. They are the most awesome invention.

  12. Sure hoping to make my first SS next summer! I am considering beginning Girasole soon. I am about 2/3 through the Lullaby blanket by St. Denis .

  13. Don’t know if you use actual manila-type folders, but Post-It also makes durable filing tabs!

  14. Presbytera, that was not nice!
    I would go out and lie in my street, but it’s a good twenty minute hike and 100 foot drop in elevation. I finished my October project! A lovely sweater for my husband. I started three years ago…

  15. A long layover in my fair city…? Want a knitting buddy? Some vegetarian food? Beer? Yarn? What time are you here?

  16. Your desk is surprisingly neat. I never got that knack.
    I’m picturing you casting on during a slip-and-fall accident. Ay. Well, at the speed at which you knit, you’ll finish it quicker than I would do a scarf, so no great damage done.
    How are you set for Christmas? It’s only 9 weeks away.

  17. That conference room looks great to me! If conference rooms had beer in them and I was allowed to knit socks in them, I might have stayed in the corporate world!

  18. I hate/love it when I slip and fall like that.
    Also, lying in the street sounds like a fantastic stress-avoidance strategy. Must try it someday.

  19. I always have a pooling problem on sock #2, the first one always stripes. Sadly, it’s happened enough that I’m off multicolor yarn for awhile. Wish I could figure out why it keeps happening.

  20. Must not have been a very busy road! What did you see out on the road that inspired a shawl? Maybe you could use the shawl for a road blanket should disaster strike you again(Heaven forbid). Looking forward to SS 2.

  21. I don’t know what made me laugh more….reading that you had a nanna nap in the road, then slipped and fell into knitting a shawl….or realising both things made perfect sense!!! As for the sock….YOU CAN DO IT!!! YES YOU CAN!!!!

  22. How can you just LEAVE that sock not done ? I assume this is why you call yourself the yarn harlot. What a fitting name you chose for yourself. But really you dont HAVE to live up to that name you know. The least you can do is put the poor wee blitter back on the needles and start it. The shawl will wait it’s turn I’m sure.

  23. or it could be Lorna’s Laces in which pretty much everyone I know has gotten one pooling sock and one striping sock even w/ same # of stitches, same needles and same gauge….
    as claudia would say “just sayin’, is all.”

  24. i am excited for sock summit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    see? see how many exclamation points i used to show you how excited i am?

  25. Stephanie—which sock did you rip out? I’m sure you ripped the unfinished one, but I have to say that I like the stripes better–wb

  26. I have done that so many times..Ergh-Froggy-ville, so now, I start both socks at the same time, on different sets of needles or I put the second on a hooky holder.No more rippiting- Good luck with the summit

  27. Eh, I finished a whole pair once without noticing they had different patterns. I tried them on, then looked around for my brain. Or my eyes. Or anyone who could have possibly noticed and didn’t speak up, so I could smack ’em.

  28. In all these sock pictures, I have noticed that you are using what appears to a deprived Antipodean eye, to be Signature double pointed needles.
    May I ask if they are 8 inch or 6 inch that you are using?
    Our dollar is so good at the moment that I have been considering a purchase – but I use both lengths, so can’t make up my mind!

  29. Your desk looks a little like mine…except that I have five different English classes’ worth of work all over mine.
    Wish they were Sock Summit plans instead.
    Please excuse this first-year teacher’s (i.e. overworked and underpaid public servant’s) growl of jealousy…

  30. You know some of us knitters (well at least this knitter) get that variation between Sock #1 and Sock #2 even when the yarn, pattern, stitch count, and (relative) gauge are all the same.
    Guess it’s the old “relative gauge” issue of mine. Would I do better if I weren’t related to such a thing?!

  31. “I nipped out and lay in the road for a bit”
    You kill me !!
    I am really really really glad that nobody ran over you.
    Don’t ever stop writing and knitting and writing !!!
    Hugs from the Maritimes

  32. Chief Residents use just as many post-its as you to arrange the rotation and call night schedules for residents.

  33. But you’ve been doing so well on the self-imposed sock club this year! Don’t fall down now – you only have a couple of months/pairs to go for a total win!

  34. Well, maybe half the reason…our dev team at work does pretty good business keeping sticky notes in business if the giant whiteboard o’ development is any indication.
    It’s all color coded too. I’m afraid to touch it, I might move something and then the whole system might collapse.

  35. How would I design if I didn’t have sticky notes??? Forget writing on napkins – I never leave home without post-its in my bag. My whole design wall (aka the closet doors) have stickys running down them like gypsy bangles.
    POST-ITS Rule!!!

  36. Be careful in the airport! I’d hate to hear you’d slipped and fell into a new sweater. The shawl sounds lovely, as were the socks!

  37. Sorry about the sock. I do crap like that all the time. It’s really nice to know that you would do the same thing just to make me feel better about myself and my knitting abilities LOL! I’m with you on the whole Post It addiction. I love those things and the only way I can knit from a chart or pattern is to use Post Its to keep my place. Yep, I know it’s sad but there you are. All my fiber friends know that I always have those sticky little things in my knitting bag, unless I loaned them to someone and they forgot to give them back LOL! I also use them for all kinds of other things, but for knitting those little pieces of paper are are indispensable!
    Could you please tell Presbytera that she shouldn’t use profanity in the Comments section of the blog? I mean, really! Pointing out to all of us just how many days are left until Christmas is just plain mean! And then she actually went and wrote the number down. Online and everything!!! Right there where everyone can see it and panic. Well…………… that’s just wrong!!!! Now, where is my Christmas knitting list….

  38. @ Presbytera: Hush with the countdown, already! Stephanie, both socks look lovely; either would have been a winner. I got cash for the birthday so my “slipped & fallen” was at least within bugdet; hope yours was too!

  39. Did you know that Post-It makes a repositionable glue stick? Imagine…now you can turn ANY piece of paper into a Post-It. And, if perchance there are any quilters reading, it works on fabric, too. Hurry to Staples before I buy it all.

  40. Rahahahaha! LOVE the “nipped out and lay in the road”… I hide in the apple tree. There’s a big hole in it..
    Love the socks. I am in college, so post-its are my best friend too. I buy the muliti pak and use gel pens for Ultimate pretty.

  41. I love the slipped and fell comment. I have been slipping and falling a lot lately. Not in starting too many projects if there is such a thing, but in buying yarn. I have bought well into my allotment for the next few months.
    Of course, if my etsy store actually gets off the ground it will be worth it. If my etsy store flops, then I will be stocked with holiday and birthday gifts for years to come!

  42. You slipped and fell into a shawl? Good for you! I usually slip and fall into a plate of brownies…

  43. I love post-its! I use them for everything, and I have different types of post-its for different jobs.
    And I like the socks – very nice.

  44. As soon as I read your comment to the effect that you would easily be able to finish the second sock before deadline, I knew you had jinxed yourself. But there’s nothing wrong with a shawl either.

  45. Gosh! Wish I could “slip & fall” and come up with a shawl. I’d volunteer to go down about once a day! 🙂 Love it!

  46. I am only interested in one thing. Those particular needles: do you fly with them, or do you fear having then confiscated? Because those ones really could be used to assault someone. (I’ve stabbed *myself* hard enough to hurt before now.)

  47. Ha Ha — slipped and fell! You and the shawl have probably been planning this trip out of town for a long time ! Poor sock, it’s always the last one to know.
    P.S. Greetings from Oklahoma City! Love, Love you blog – it’s my ‘must read’ first thing in the morning.

  48. “..I accidentally slipped and fell last night, and when I came up I had started a shawl.” BAHAHAHAHAHA! Now that’s an excuse I hadn’t heard before!
    Vancouver is a lovely, lovely city. You should “miss” the plane and spend a day there in the park, riding a rental bike around the seawall. Yeah… you can knit too if you wanted to. There’s a cafe on the wharf that has a blanket draped over each chair for snuggling while you sip coffee…very civilized place, Canada.

  49. I feel your pain – I’ve been trying to finish a pair of socks for my husband…he wanted argyles, so I made an argyle sock. It was so big, it wouldn’t even stay up on the leg! So I ripped it out and redid it – now it’s too small to fit over the ankle. Yargh!

  50. I feel a bit like I should go running through the airport lokking for you….since I’m sitting at gate 79 in YVR……
    But that seems a bit stalker-ish…
    I’ll be the one Kinear-ing you in the ladies room…..

  51. Stephanie, you are an imaginative writer! Love the image of you slipping and falling and coming up with a shawl. As for Presbytera and her reminder of Christmas, surely, with all these months’ worth of socks, some of your gift list is taken care of already. If not, well, everybody needs socks, and at the rate you knit, you should be able to whip out several pairs before Christmas.
    Nathalie, you had to remind me, didn’t you . . . five English classes, in my case all Freshman English, two remedial. That was back in 1983, but I’m still having flashbacks!

  52. “I accidentally slipped and fell last night, and when I came up I had started a shawl.”
    LOL! That happens to me sometimes, too, although usually I fall right into a scarf.
    Good luck with the rest of the organizing! =)

  53. Now we know what the airfare savings went to… a new shawl! You are probably multi-tasking and making it for a christmas gift too! Show us a photo of the planning desk at the end of the planning phase and the orderliness might look a bit different. Yaaaaay for office supplies. I heart Office Max.

  54. Interesting about the pooling. I don’t have much experience with variegated yarns (I’m sure that’s not the proper word) but recently knit a pair of fingerless gloves with a lovey pink, grey, mauve and purple combination. Ended up passing on the whole thing when the colours were pooling in a way I didn’t like.
    Is there anything one can do to prevent this? Probably not, especially with a narrow project.
    Thanks, Steph,

  55. Well – socks come, and socks go! Long live the shawl. I bet you can make great headway on the new sock during the layover and silence the Evil Presbytera.
    Sure wish I could manage SS11. Oh well, but I think I’ll take out my frustrations by slapping down Evil Presbytera for taunting about the upcoming season. (Don’t say the name out loud) Those of us who are NOT speed knitters have enough pressure, already! BAD, BAD Presbytera!

  56. I had a terrible time with a pair of STR socks. I’d get a nice pattern going in the colours, but then something would go funky and the striping would totally change. I think I tried 3 or 4 sock patterns and then gave up and just accepted that it was a weird skein. At least you have a reasonable answer for your issue 🙂

  57. I can’t wait to see the shawl, but I just have to say that Tidepooling is my all-time, absolute, no-questions-asked favorite colorway from BMFA EVER. Which is funny, because individually, I’m not sure how many of those colors are “my” colors, but together? Pure magic.

  58. More often than not I get one sock that pools, and one that stripes. But I love my fraternal twins just the same.
    I started my Christmas list yesterday, thanks Presbytera!

  59. So which sock did you rip out, the medium or the small? Or did you rip out both and decide to make a shawl with the same yarn?

  60. I want Sticky ware! I am tired of fighting my computer at work. Stickies behave better for me. Can you convince the Boss for me?

  61. Did you know that Post-its now come in Extra Sticky? I don’t know why but I had a coupon so bought them. I like the slightly larger ones in pretty colors with lines on them. Some of us don’t write as well as we knit.
    I also like fraternal twin sox – not too matchy-matchy. But the pooling one looks better than the stripey one.

  62. I don’t tweet, but I do have Lily Chin’s phone number. I don’t usually travel in such lofty circles — we were on a knitting cruise together last fall. E-mail me if you want it.

  63. For you and all the rest of the Post-Its junkies out there, I found color-coded Post-It index cards at my neighborhood Office Max last winter on sale. I bought every package they had. I love them for organizing novel scenes. They may be discontinued. (God, I hope not.)
    @Presbytera–bite your tongue. It’s way longer than that many days (I can’t repeat that blasphemy) until, well, you know. I’m not even wearing a jacket to work.

  64. Can’t do anything without post-its. . . and now those super sticky!! Whoo-hoo!!! Love ’em!
    You probably don’t remember my pooling/striped sock pair I showed you when you came to Canton, NY, but I did knit the same size, with the same needles, and the same skein of yarn. I still wear them like that. Very interesting fraternal twin socks!

  65. Whenever you write about the post-it note, I wonder if you have the Post-It Glue stick for when regular post-its aren’t big enough and must create 8-1/2×11 inch sized ones.

  66. Hi! Can’t wait to see the shawl. I am actually in the “thought experiment” stage of a project that will only work if I can figure out some serious pooling. Weird that it is hard to avoid when you don’t want it, and hard to encourage when you do. No fair…
    Love both versions of the sock, by the way. Which one did you keep?

  67. Did you finish one pair of the Self-Imposed Sock Club sock early one month? If so, I think you are owed the right to finish one pair late. I really like sock the first!

  68. They’re both beautiful socks … and I’d probably get enough for a second pair, anyway.
    (My day was just made, or unmade, by a center-pull ball of sock yarn deciding to kill itself by pulling out through the center in chunks. And eating the outside end in the process.)

  69. “Nipped out to lie in the road..” “Fear us….stickyware!” LOL!!! Thank you. Too bad the socks were different sizes. If they’d been the same size with different patterns you could have just labeled them as “forever young” and pretended to be your own daughter when you wore them. Does any one know a teenage girl who didn’t go through a stage of wearing intentionally unmatched socks?

  70. Layover in Vancouver? Lucky you. I always get laid over in Dallas/Fort Worth, but there is an awesome Starbucks at the American airlines concourse (American Airlines itself is not awesome at all.). This Starbucks is awesome because it has little cots and blankets in a “nap nook.” It’s really quite comfy and quiet at night, even after repeated visits. Ask me how I know.
    I know you have a layover, and it’s in an airport, but at least the airport is in Vancouver. Take comfort in that., mon vieux. (Your usage may be different, in Cajun that means, “my dear old friend.”)

  71. sticky note= great for getting crumbs out of keyboards
    why would there be crumbs in your keyboard?
    Signature stiletto dpns= awesome needles, the “buttercream” of knitting needles, worth every penny
    looking forward to seeing shawl and sock re-knit

  72. I get pools & stripes also, no matter what. I’m convinced that the yarn manufacturers set the color sequencing up for crocheters, not knitters. I REALLY wish the distributers would label their yarns as to “stripes” or random/sponging colorations. Even under jeans, I couldn’t wear pools and stripes, even if the colors were the same. Men would not tolerate this in, I don’t know – woodworking supplies, so why do we?

  73. Hush, Presbytera! Stephanie will finish this month’s socks, and November’s AND December’s, all in their own months, just because she knows how many days there are until Christmas…it does reoccur the same day each year, and despite the counting thing, to which we are all prone, she can knit far faster than I can, despite being busy making SS11 happen for us all. (I think the reminder of Christmas is a harsh reminder we are all slackers, so no laughing!) Go, Stephanie! Knit, knit, knit faster! You can knit it!

  74. Were it I, I would have frogged the “pooling” sock-not my preferred aesthetic-and knit a second striped sock. It would have fit someone as a Christmas present-right?

  75. I love that you admit to your screw-ups. Makes the rest of us feel so much better and makes you seem so like us. I was going to say makes you seem normal but that might not be the way to go here.

  76. Arggh! I just did the same thing. But thanks to your post I realized things weren’t looking the same before I finished the cuff of sock #2.
    Time to start over with the correct number of stitches.

  77. Hmm, completely unrelated to the knitting and post-it-noting, that is the same kitchen table I have!

  78. “nipped out and lay in the road a bit”…exactly what I could have done yesterday when I discovered that my newly completed vest looked skewed because I had sewn the front shoulder top to the ARMHOLE instead of to the TOP – a discovery I did not make until I had finished adding a border to the body and both armholes!

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