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Matchy-match dilemma

I knitted a sock. No news flash there, although it’s been a while since I used self-striping sock yarn. All winter I’ve been making unpatterned aran-weight socks (looooooove them). But now it’s a bit warmer, I don’t want boots and their accompanying thick socks. It’s time to whip out the tiny needles and the skinny yarn. I’ve got way more self-striping sock yarn than I really need (especially since I don’t wear out socks very quickly). When I first discovered it, I caught self-striping fever. FEVER. The only cure: more yarn. These days, I’m more of a semi-solids girl, but hey. Sock yarn is as sock yarn does.

I liked this Opal colourway because it reminded me of a winter landscape, all shades of grey and white, with flecks of black here and there. I finished this sucker in about a week, which astonished everyone (FAST SOCK STUNS CRITICS), including me. It is everything a plain and simple sock should be.

Single, self-contained, content

But there’s a catch with self-striping sock yarn: the business of matching. I spent most of an evening casting on the toe of the second sock, working a few rounds, then ripping back — over and over, trying to get it started on just the same spot in the colourway, trying to get matching socks. When I was sure I had finally struck the bullseye, I charged ahead, knitting gaily up the foot. I may have even given a trilling little laugh and reflected on how clever I was, although I don’t think I went so far as to say “caloo callay” or break into a bit of the old “hey nonny nonny”. That’d just be asking for trouble. Then I got out the first sock to see how they compared:

Sibling rivalry


Serious mismatch there.  Huge. Did I mention I’d tried to be especially clever and ended the first sock at a point in the colourway that I thought would minimise how much yarn was wasted between ending the first sock and starting the second? That’s how anal forward-thinking I was. Serves me right for trying to be clever. So, big decision: do I rip back and restart, aiming to get the second sock matching the first one? Or not?

And frankly, how important is it that socks match? I’m not a matchy-match person: I don’t coordinate or accessorise, I just wear stuff. I love my knitted socks because they’re funky and comfy, not because they’re precision productions. (See if you can guess which option I’m leaning towards before the next blog post.)

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