Up and Down the Ladder of Life

I finally finished the heels of the Ladder of Life Toe-Up socks, which I’m making for hubby.  I promised earlier that I would devote a whole post to the many things I’ve learned while making these socks … but that’s not this post!  They’re not finished yet and there could be many more disasters adventures ahead.  But I do have a “ladder” story, which seems appropriate given the name of the stitch pattern. 

Once I finally got to the cuffs for both socks, my fears that I wouldn’t have enough yarn began to recede.  I was starting to cook … gettin’ a rhythm goin’, you know?  When suddenly, I noticed something kinda funny looking:

A single-ply stitch hanging on for dear life with a 3-ply dropped stitch right below it! (I have a few comments on my experience with this much-recommended Trekking XXL yarn, but I will save it for my wrap-up post.)  In the meantime, this was not an aesthetic problem where I could debate the pros and cons of leaving the error in — although it was on the front of the sock in a fairly obvious spot.  If I left it alone, then the only thing between this sock and a future ladder of dropped stitches would be that one ply of yarn!  Thanks to my recent experience with the baby shrug, I knew I could probably duplicate-stitch over to the dropped one and secure it but I didn’t relish the idea of trying to match the variegated yarn. Especially since I would have to work from the other end of one of the balls in use or wait until I was finished knitting.  You can’t tell from this picture, but that little row of stitches was 12 down from the active ones!  Twelve rows of frogging.  Ech.

But after a few more moments of puzzling, I realized: that single ply of yarn bravely clinging to its proper place was actually the saviour of the day!  Thanks to that little ply, the column of stitches was not lost … so this is only a topology change (though an extensive one).  That is, I wouldn’t have to force a bunch of stitches into places where they hadn’t existed before … only undo a bunch of stitches, fix the one that had gone wayward, then put all the undone stitches back.  OK, that’s a big “only” for someone of my skill level … but heck, what’s the worst that could go wrong?  Twelve rows of frogging, right?  It’s been done!

So, here’s the damage:

Please note that what is on the needle in front is (supposedly) one stitch.  Looks like four. Can we say “splitty”? I don’t think the final results are as tidy as the original column of stitches:

But (unless there are more situations like this as yet undiscovered), at least the sock won’t come unraveled someday!  Actually, I think the socks will be very nice when they’re finally finished.  To end on a positive note, here’s a more or less full-sock picture:

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6 Responses to “Up and Down the Ladder of Life”


  1. 1 Sharon knitting in California March 6, 2008 at 6:02 am

    Might have been a problem child for you, but I really like it. I like the pattern and the colors. Kudos for you!

  2. 2 Kathy March 6, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Thanks! I love the colors too and the stitch pattern adds texture. I’m pretty sure the only things that will register with hubby are: 1) fits OK or doesn’t fit so well and 2) Brown = good. He freely admits that he doesn’t pay much attention to decorative details, so I guess the stitch pattern is for the rest of us (should we be nearby when he exposes his sock-clad ankles) …

  3. 5 loosepurls March 9, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Good job!! I am still at the “just frog it” stage. You are amazing for fixing it in progress!!! It looks great!

  4. 6 Kathy March 10, 2008 at 2:01 am

    Hah, I ended up frogging 12 rows later when hubby said ‘make the sock longer’ … I guess the fates had 12 rows of frogging in store no matter what!


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