I’m working on a pair of Poseidon socks, and I can’t recall ever feeling such a wide gulf between my enjoyment of the product, and my feelings toward the process.
I find I don’t fall so neatly into the “process” or “product” category. I knit for both, and other reasons too. (Is there such a thing as a “materials” knitter?) But this is the first time I can remember loving the product whilst not feeling very cozy towards the process. That’s not to say the pattern is hard or bad, because it’s neither. However, as is the norm when I choose a sock pattern, I am having to tweak it to fit my enormous man-sized feet, because it’s written for a 60 stitch sock, and I do not have a 60 stitch foot (unless we’re talking sport weight yarn and a 3 mm needle).
The Poseidon pattern is basically a recipe and a stitch repeat, and the repeat is a simple 12 stitch, 8 row repeat, which wouldn’t ordinarily be mentally taxing. However, the repeat ends with a YO on rounds 1 and 3, which is fine when it’s the first repeat because the repeat starts with a k1. I don’t like ending a row with a YO; I have to physically remind myself every round that it’s there and to make sure and loop my yarn over before starting on the next needle. It’s not that that’s difficult, either, except that I have this weird tendency to insert a few bonus YOs at the end of the needle periodically when I make socks. To avoid this, I have to be especially careful to not YO at the end of the needle. Essentially, I have to intentionally make the noob error I’ve had to recently carefully train myself not to make.
The pattern itself calls for two repeats of the stitch pattern, bracketed by a k2 at the beginning and k3 at the end. I left off the k2 and only k1 at the end, to keep things nice and centered (as well as avoid the end-of-needle-YO-conundrum), but did 3 repeats of the pattern so as to have a big enough sock. Then I foolishly decided that, rather than making a nice, simple 72-stitch sock with 37 sts on the instep and 35 on the sole (and moving the extra stitch around once I got past the heel) that I should make a 74-stitch sock, with an odd number of sts on each side. What further complicated this was the fact that I had cast on an even number of sts, because that’s just what I usually do. I did read the pattern beforehand, but I didn’t really work it out visually in my brain, I just jumped right in. So I cast on even, realized I’d need an odd number, added an additional lone increase on just one side, and did the same thing on the other side (I guess because my first instinct is “make it match” rather than “leave it uneven and make it work later”).
Then I got to the heel and felt like, well, a total heel, because I wanted to make a Fleegle, and I had never done one over an odd number of sts before. To complicate matters, I also had to worry about keeping the “extra” stitch in the right place, as well as bringing the pattern down the heel as far as I could (which of course, isn’t necessary at all, but something I do because I’m a fussbudget about stockinette heels and toes). I was trying to figure this all out both mentally and on graph paper, on very little sleep and at a point in time where I was very likely to have my train of thought interrupted (which it was).
Then once I got started on the heel, I realized how much mental energy I had wasted, because once I was working the stitch pattern all the way around, I wouldn’t even need that extra stitch. In fact, I’d need to get rid of it, otherwise I’d have an obvious break on both sides of the pattern and it wouldn’t flow naturally from front to back. This also meant that I’d have a YO on the end of the needle occasionally, whether I liked it or not, unless I was willing to shift around to interrupt the stitch pattern in the middle. (I realize, of course, that the pattern is meant to have a stockinette break between the front and back of the leg, but I wanted it to be continuous.)
Now I’m working my way up the leg. I have decreased away those extra stitches and it’s pretty much smooth sailing. But Poseidon was quite stormy for a while, and as I have a propensity to make things more difficult for myself by overthinking, I have no one to blame but myself.