Spiral stockings Part 2: the Staggering

The remnants of my double pointed needles (at least the ones that aren't jammed in the stocking). I only buy them at Goodwill now because I've lost so many.

The remnants of my double pointed needles (at least the ones that aren’t jammed in the stocking). I only buy them at Goodwill now because I’ve lost so many.

I have started this stocking three four times now.

In the immortal words of Kay Gardiner, as simple as this pattern is, I am simpler.

Attempt #1: I thought the stitches would be easy to count, because I’m using enormous yarn. They weren’t, so I used a bit of orange string to mark the beginning of the round, and got out my clicker, which I predictably forgot to click. Also, the orange string vanished into the bowels of the sock. I finally settled on attaching a safety pin to the end of a chain of tiny safety pins every time I finished a round, and then starting again after I have 5 safety pins in a chain. This is the point at which I stagger the rib, which leads me to…

Attempt #2: I’ve noticed, in knitting patterns that are translated from Norwegian or Danish, that they leave out a lot of detail. This is probably because they expect you have been knitting since age six. In the absence of other information, I guessed that the staggered rib should be extended using a purl stitch, and I guessed wrong. The purl left a weird little diagonal bar that ruined the staircase effect of the rib, but it took me a while to realize this. If I’d had a Norwegian third-grader to consult, I’d have saved a lot of time: use a knit stitch instead.

Attempt #3 was going well, until I left it unattended, and my cat lay down on it. She doesn’t like being moved.

Attempt #4 looks good, so far. I had an epiphany: not all knitting needs to be portable. I got rid of the rubber bands on the ends of the double pointed needles, because they were slowing me down, and I’m hiding the whole thing from my cat in a little box under the couch. I may be inept, but I’m also stubborn. These will be done by the new year.

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