Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Black Hole

Credit goes to Jennifer, who captured it perfectly.

I'm working one of those super-secret projects (i.e. something to be published somewhere), and it's using an interesting yarn.

Knit One Crochet Too's Soxx Appeal. It's definitely odd to work with. Not bad, just odd. It's got a great fibre mix for socks -- merino and nylon, and a magic 1% nylon.

I've worked a pair of socks in this yarn, and I liked it very much. There is a balance that needs to be struck in sock knitting, I find... you don't want the sock too tight, but equally, you want it a bit snug so that as the wool stretches out over the day it doesn't become too baggy. I've started recommending that socks be worked about 1 cm/1/2 inch shorter than foot length -- I find that works well. The added nylon in the Soxx Appeal helps out a lot -- the elastic helps the sock keep its shape through the day and ensures that they stay snug but not too tight.

But for reasons I won't (yet) share, I'm working something else in this yarn. Something that requires a largish section of plain old stocking stitch.

Here's the thing about stretchy fibres. When knitted up, they stretch more vertically than horizontally... which means, conversely, that the fabric compresses vertically, too. Which means that row gauge is a killer. I'm getting about 45 rows on 10cm/4 inches. 45 rows! And on a large swatch of stocking stitch, that's a lot of knitting.

As we've been making our way through the first season of Mad Men on DVD -- great knitting TV, and my god what I wouldn't do for an hour in their costume department -- I've been knitting away. And every now and then, I stop to measure my progress. And at 11-12 rows per inch, it seems like it takes forever to hit that magical next inch... forever. There's times when I've measured, to see no progress at all.

It's like a black hole of knitting.

A colourful and comfy black hole, but a black hole nonetheless.


AuntieAnn said...

I'm trying to knit socks with Soxx Appeal, and it's driving me nuts. Because of the elastic, the foot wasn't snug enough. I ripped it back to the toe increases and made a foot with fewer stitches around. So far, so good, but -- how to figure how long to knit the foot? Plus -- I hate the pooling. It looks like purple camouflage, and not in any sort of a good way. This is yarn I encouraged my mother to buy, promising to knit socks for her, so I can't just chuck it, much as I am tempted to.

Many people seem to have easily knit socks with Soxx Appeal without all this angst. I feel as though I am seriously frickin' this up somehow.


Sel and Poivre said...

How interesting that those little choppy sections of distinct red in the stockinette don't seem at all evident in the ball. It always amazes me how yarn's appearance can change from the ball to the finished fabric.