The saga of the sock(s) and why you shouldn’t pack in semi-darkness

This is the story of dad’s socks. My dad loves the hand knit socks I make him. He wears them at night when he sleeps and these socks are seriously loved. I have darned them on numerous occasions. He rarely request things, that’s just not his way. So this fall when he asked for another pair I was delighted to be able to knit something for him.  Since I leave things to the last minute, I planned to start them on my way to visit them.

The first pairs I made him were knit in Artyarns Supermerino. since Westport Yarns doesn’t carry that yarn, I had to pick a different yarn. There was a great color of Malabrigo Rios and I bought the last skein. I didn’t actually work out the yardage until this week when I went to swatch. Also, I hadn’t written down the pattern last time I knit him socks, so I was starting from scratch.  Believe me I’m taking good notes this time.

The skein of Rios has 210 yards and l would need just under 300 yards. Of course I was doing this four days before I left.  Why do ahead of time what you can do at the 11th hour?   I looked online to see if I could find another skein. However with leaving in less than a week, this was completely unrealistic. I even contemplated expedited shipping until I saw how much it would cost.

I decided to find a compatible contrast color that I could use for the toes, heels, and ribbing. I picked up a skein of Plymouth Superwash Merino in charcoal. I carefully packed all my projects with (what I thought were) matching needles. When I sat down in the waiting room before my flight and pulled out my needles I couldn’t believe my eyes. Unbelievable. I thought I brought #4 needles. The package I packed did indeed say #4 40″, however, there were #6 needles in the #4 package. That’s what I get for packing in semi-darkness.  You can’t even imagine my furious frustration… I texted my sister and shared my tale of woe.  This would totally throw off my sock plan. She talked me off the ledge.  She had numerous needle sizes with her and there was a local yarn store where we were going. I sighed in relief for that and the fact that I had packed back up projects for my back up projects.

By the time we settled in the first day I was able to get the toes done.  The reason being that I had to darn Dad’s existing socks.  The heels and toes were hanging on by proverbial threads
The first sock I creatively mended with duplicate stitches and careful mattress-stitch-ish needlework.  
With the second sock, I looked up darning socks on youtube and followed the directions.  I didn’t have a darning egg so I used a water bottle.  The results were much better.  Next time I see a darning egg, not only will I know what to do with it, I’ll pick one up to keep with my bag of tricks. 
By the end of the third day I neared the end of the foot.  I turned the heel on the third day.  ON THE FOURTH DAY I FINISHED THEM.  This is what knitting monogamously will do for you.  For the whole visit I only knit those socks.  I just had to finish them before I left.
Happily I finished them in time for him to wear to bed on the fourth night.  His feet were warm and toasty and he liked the color. (I plan on using the left over yarn for another pair and flipping the colors.)
Sock Model:  My Dad, well-known American Publisher. 😉