Really, self? + More than you wanted to know about twisted stitches

One of my coworkers has been in and out of the hospital recently, and I learned that she likes crazy socks. Naturally I was possessed with the urge to knit her a pair, but I needed to do it quickly and so I lit upon the idea of knitting a (sort of) match for one of the single socks I’ve got lying around. I found the one Talking Fish sock I had and decided to knit a mate, except with a more normal construction so that the waves go perpendicular.

wavesocksThese feather-and-fan socks are fast and I will totally knit them again.

But working on this long-hibernating pair got me thinking: this sock was one of the 16 from the Sixteen Lonely Socks post, so I went to check how my progress was going on that.

The results are not encouraging.

It’s been just over two years since then. Of the 16 incomplete pairs at that time, three have been caught up to half-finished, two have been frogged, and -not counting the pair I’m working on right now- only ONE pair has been fully finished. Naturally, it’s the crazy fancy handspun UFOupdatepair, because that’s how I roll.

So what the heck have I been knitting since then? I counted all the socks I’ve logged in Ravelry since then. (Yes. I sometimes knit things that are not socks. I used to knit a lot of shawls but have apparently only done 3 of those in the last two years, which is mostly due to the fact that while I love making them I don’t know what to do with them anymore. Next to socks, the most common thing of the last two years is cowls (9) and fingerless mitts (5), and the latter frankly suffer from the same second-item-problem as the socks, so let’s just not count them right now, ok?)

In the last two years, I have begun no less than 53 pairs of socks. I have finished 26 pairs in the same amount of time, which includes the one pair in the corner of the picture above. Seven pairs have been frogged. That gives me just under 50% completion score and something like a 10 unfinished pairs per year accumulation rate.

At some point I created a “Lonely Socks” tab on my Ravelry notebook so I could try to keep track of it, but given that the tab now shows 37 pairs, I think it’s gotten away from me.

Of course, the current dedication to the socks I’m knitting on for the coworker makes me just want to cast on a million things. I should just embrace my fickle nature and not stress about all the half-finished projects littered in my wake, right?

Hey, anyone want a little lecture on knitting structure as it pertains to twisted stitches?

Back when we were doing a knitalong for my Vergeven pattern, I wrote this up in a forum, but I’d like to expand on it here. Full disclosure- I’m a little crazy with my stitches. The Vergeven pattern uses some very specific increases to get a certain look, but is written clearly enough that everyone can follow along to get the right effect. My personal mods that I do on the fly tend to veer off into weird, and this is one of them.

veeeesLook at this sock (isn’t it neat?*). See how each 2-stitch rib looks kind of unusual? How it’s symmetrical and if you look at the colors they make a tiny little M (or W) shape in each rib?

The pattern is 2×1 ribbing, but it’s not plain knits. It’s not even plain knits through the back loop (ktbls).

It’s p1, ktbl, [k1 so it twists the other way to mirror the ktbl while wrapping the yarn the opposite direction], or something I call a ktbl-mirror. So the rib is *p1, ktbl, ktbl-mirror*.

The first time you put the ktbl-mirror on top of a plain knit stitch, you have to do [slip next st as if to knit, slip it back to the left needle as if to purl, k1 while wrapping yarn around needle the opposite direction of normal].
Assuming you remember to wrap opposite, it sets up the stitch with a reversed stitch mount, so after that you knit it through the front loop (like normal, sort of, except it looks strange) but continue wrapping opposite.

Yes. It is weird and kind of annoying. But look how pretty!

I present, for your perusal, a poorly drawn paint sketch of a closeup of the stitches:

ktbl-mirrorWhen you put these two stitches next to each other in this order, you get a rib with tapered edges. You can also put plain knit stitches in between the twisted stitches (ktbl, k2, ktbl-mirror) and it will make ribs with a rounded look.

I thought it had kind of an industrial look, which is why I used it on the Steampunk-themed socks above.

I also experimented with flipping it, putting the ktbl-mirror on the leading edge of the rib. In this case, it makes a really sharp edge to the ribs that just pleases me to no end.

sharp

See, like these socks->

These have a [p1, ktbl-mirror, k1, ktbl ] rib.

What do you think? Would you ever try it or am I alone in my madness?

*Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete?

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