A few weeks ago on Ravelry I noticed that there was going to be a Sock Madness competition. It turns out this is the fifth year of this competition. It corresponds to basketball's March Madness, though I think it does not end until June. Well, I thought I would like to try it. There are seven patterns to be knit. Everyone gets the first pattern, and if it is completed within the first two weeks, the knitter is put onto a team for the rest of the competition. I signed up for the competition but then sort of forgot it.
On 9 March I went to the Sock Madness site and found that the pattern had been dispensed on March 4th and there was two weeks to do the knitting! I was already behind the eightball. So, I downloaded the pattern the found a good supply of two blues in Baby Ull yarn and got started. I started out on two sets of size 4 double-pointed needles, then at the heel moved the socks to one long size 1 needle for the Magic Loop technique.
The first heel had a very large hole where the leg meets the heel, but I thought I could fix that after completing the knitting. So, knit, knit, knit. No house work, no genealogy, no fabulous meals (or even passable meals. It was a good thing we had a fair amount of leftovers in the refrigerator!), just knitting. I realized that these were going to be too long for my feet so I left off the last 8 rows of the second pattern repeat on the feet, finished the toes, photographed the socks and sent them to the Sock Madness fairy. Whew! Finished on the 15th with two days to spare.
The next morning I found an email saying that my socks, though lovely, did not meet the competition guidelines and needed to be re-knit to include those 8 rows of the second pattern repeat. She also told me not to worry, that there was time to make the change. What! What! Really?! So, I started un-picking the Kitchener stitched toes. This was a real pain so I thought I would clip a stitch up on the pattern repeat then just ravel out. Wrong! That didn't work very well either....so I used my fingernail clippers (the only cutting tool at hand) and clipped all around both toes then raveled back to the right place for picking up stitches to re-knit. It was really a MUCH more complex job than I expected.
Amazingly, I did get the job done, but had run out of the blue yarns, and since we were at the temple this week, I only had some leftover orange Baby Ull in my bag, SO there are two orange stripes. Finally, finally, they are really done and I sent the new finished sock photo to the Sock fairy as well as posted it on the Supporters Sock Finishers thread on Ravelry. I am very happy to have finished them. Bob is willing to wear them, but I think they will be too large even for him! We shall see.
It will be interesting to see what the other sock patterns hold for us. I don't think I will commit so much time to the next sock patterns. I need to get back to more important things, though I do want to use up the sock yarn in my stash.
One of the nicest parts of this competition so far is that the wonderful designer of this sock pattern has sent me several emails. She lives on the Isle of Wight and is a fabulous gardener. I would love to become friends with her...though it would be a sacrifice for her because she is emailing everyone who finishes a pair of her socks! That is a fabulous gift to the knitters.