How’s that working out for you?

Don’t even ask.

DON’T EVEN ASK.

DON’T. EVEN. ASK.

Eh, shit.

Well, I completed the first sock of the latest grandma sock pair and it SUCKED ASS.

Despite having switched needles from US 0 to US 1 for the leg portion of the sock, it still came out too tight. The cabling rows were like little tourniquets, cutting off my circulation entirely, which is really bad news for grandma whose legs are bigger to start with, and swollen most of the time.

You see that safety pin? That’s the last cabling row that I thought was “acceptable” in terms of circumference. Everything else got frogged so quickly that I had to stop myself to take that photo (look – the needles are already out!).

I brainstormed a few ideas with June’s help; they were all along the lines of increasing the total number of stitches. I tried several different things, including making the cables wider and even adding more cables (uhm, ugly, anyone?) but the results just weren’t doing it for me. I must have frogged… six, seven times.

Wait a minute! Seventy-two stitches on US 1s should produce a perfectly reasonable sock circumference if there are no constricting cables! And that was my light bulb moment, which occurred as June and I exchanged e-mails about shawls (Shawls? What shawls? Heh).

I decided that I would gradually decrease the number of cable crosses, until the sock just becomes k2, p1 rib. I planned out the first row – it would have only 10 out of 12 possible crosses – and when I knit it, I totally botched it up. Of course, there’s no other way! And I didn’t catch it until I was ready to do the next cable row. Man! All the frustration and the worn yarn messed with my head.

So I’m back at the beginning…

I think I need to take it nice and slow because if I have to frog again, it will be the entire sock!


Little baby grumperina.com has been growing beyond any of my expectations, and I’m as proud as a website mama can be :). I ran short on bandwidth last month, and I’m on my way to a repeat performance this month. As a result, I have purchased another domain which provides me with 350 times as much bandwidth. What does this mean for you? Absolutely nothing! My blog remains at the same address, all links and URLs should work, and I will not be republishing any old entries. If you spot something that isn’t quite right, you let me know, okay? The only difference you’ll see is bigger, less-pixilated pictures, and perhaps even more of them – oh yeah! Those of you with dial-up connections – I’m keeping you in mind, don’t worry – I’m not about to go nuts :). You will continue to not see pictures taken in natural light, though, since no fancy shmancy website can ever supply me with that :).

45 thoughts on “How’s that working out for you?

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  1. Stephanie

    Very cool. I love the video! I’m interesting in combined knitting. Do you use that exclusively? I’m a continental knitter, but have wondered about it for awhile now. What do you see as the benefits (if you don’t mind sharing)?

  2. freecia

    I really think that knit movies are awesome. Haven’t you ever wondered how Wendy or Stephanie (Yarn Harlot) knits? Don’t you just want to get a zing of satisfaction by watching their fingers fly?

    I can’t be the only freak…

  3. Angela

    Very, cool. So you’re purling the front side and knitting the back, right? Yes.. do share the benefits of combined. I’m a continental knitter too. That purl looks way more efficient!

  4. Colleen

    There’s something wonky with my computer (it’s definitely on my side) and I can’t get this thing to work, but this is a very cool idea.

    Yes, I do wonder if your knitting is anything like Wendy’s…

  5. Teresa C

    You are the coolest knit-blogger around. You know how to do everything! The knitting, the filming, the editing……. And that is just in this one post!

  6. andrea

    ahh! that’s the way i knit too – i was pretty sure it was combined, but to actually *see* someone else making the familiar moves, yay! that little video is awesome – and the technique great! thanks for sharing ;)

  7. Ruth

    That is *extremely* cool, and something I really have to learn to do. (I’m talking about the knitting technique, but the video is pretty cool, too.)

  8. Judy

    Thanks for showing us the technique! Looks really neat.

    I was a combined knitter for a long time when I knit before (without actually what it was called) but I had to relearn when I started knitting in the round because the stitches slanted. Do you find it hard to switch from one kind to the other?

  9. Mary

    Wow! I am amazed! This way of knitting and purling is the way I learned to knit from my grandma, but I have had to learn a new way to knit in the round. I am happy to have a reason to use my old method!! Great video… very clear!!

  10. Liz in Nowhere PA

    whee…that’s what I do. Now I know why I can’t explain how to knit to newbies–I’m doing it backwards from what someone else told them. I feel so much better now…I thought I was knitting like an idiot savant and unable to teach anyone.

  11. Laura

    How very cool! That’s what I’d thought you were doing by your earlier descriptions, but it’s neat to see in video. Works just great with MSN and Quicktime, by the way. Now you’ve given ME something to do beside the dirty dishes over there.

  12. Kim

    That is really neat.. Thanks : ) It was a little hard for me to see it though.. kinda dark.. but that could be my monitor I guess.. (Remember the orange?)

  13. betty

    The video is real cool!

    This is the way I was purling when I began knitting continental, but I didn’t know how to “compensate” the twisted stitches. So now I purl the conventional way.

    But you have to knit combined with two strands, it makes much more sense!

  14. Meg

    Ha! I love that the video is showing us you “deliberately knitting very slowly”… your normal speed must be too fast to film using normal digital / video technology.

  15. Becky

    The only double knitting I have ever done was stockinette on both sides (for a reversible scarf). Does this method work for that? I always had to have both yarns in the back when knitting (the front side) and both yarns in front when purling (the back side). I am thinking what you are doing is a differnt type of double knitting, or maybe it is stockinette on one side and reverse stockinette on the other so that’s why you aren’t moving the yarn?

  16. Jess

    Did you ever have one of those moments when you learned something new, and were absolutely captivated by it? Not because it’s faster (although it is), not because it’s useful (it’s that too), but for the sheer joy of what an elegant solution it is?

    Hoping you’re as big a geek as I am.

  17. marichan

    It’s so amazing the care you take with your knitting. I’m sure your grandma appreciates all the love put into her socks! And I’m not surprised that you needed more bandwidth – you are one popular gal! (for good reason, of course!)

    ps – thanks for the birthday wishes!

  18. Angela

    Good luck with the sock. I definitely feel your pain. I had to frog this pair of socks I’ve been working on twice already. I’m onto my third attempt.

  19. Christie

    I thought you were blogging about gene mapping or something. I guess knitting is equally as complicated. Glad to hear you found a solution to the sox issue.

  20. jody

    i always struggle with this too! i’ll avoid patterns like this one for that exact reason. your solution makes sense though. i’m interested in watching the results.

    btw, the lorna’s looks like it’s taking the ripping just fine. would you agree?

  21. Carolyn

    Oh that was so me with a hat last night! I ripped it out about 7 times…the poor yarn. I put it away and finished the vest. Which by the way would work lovely with that recycled yarn as you pointed out. I wasn’t sure about wearing all those cables for myself, but I really didn’t mind it on. I think it would look great on you!

  22. Stephanie

    I’m sorry you’ve had to rip so many times, but your perfectionist nature won’t settle for less than … well … perfection. It will be beautiful when it’s finished and then you’ll have it all worked out for sock #2. May the knitting gods be with you.

  23. Ruth

    Debi beat me to it … I think a switch to Shepherd Sport might solve your problem. It’s a really nice yarn to knit with … the result is very soft and cushy.

  24. Jen

    Back in the day when I didn’t understand gauge, or the effect that cables had on gauge, I tried a cabled sock. Tried. I quickly discovered no way in hell was that fitting over my feet, so they became wristwarmers. Except that they were still too tight. Frog pond. Hang in there. I have every confidence that you’ll figure out an answer to your tourniquette cabling issue.

  25. Colleen

    I’m sure that you have this all figured out, and I’m curious to see how you’ll manage ending the cables. I can envision a couple of solutions, each looking a little bit different.

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