Saturday, April 17, 2010

Puke of Argyll

Wikipedia, which never lies, tells me that the argyle pattern is derived from the tartan of Clan Campbell of the Argyll region of Scotland. Now, one of my 5th great grandparents was a certain Mary Campbell, who lived from 1783 to 1873. So one would think I would have at least a trace of a genetic affinity for this pattern, it being a remote part of my heritage and all. But we all have 128 5th great-grandparents, so it appears the strain has been watered own a bit.

I was so looking forward to getting back to these socks after putting them on hiatus for the past month or so, but as soon as I picked them up again, I started having problems. I miscalculated the lengths of yarn I needed for bobbins. I dropped stitches. I crossed the wrong strands. I had to stop for hours while untangling unruly yarn. I somehow added a stitch at one point. I just can't seem to get back into the swing with these things. I'm also a bit worried that I might be running out of gray yarn. If that's the case, I can always make the toes a solid color (either the navy or burgundy), but I'd like to use the gray.

I'm not giving up on this project by any means -- I just wish it would flow more smoothly. This sock does a lot of things differently from normal socks, and I suppose much of my frustration comes from the feeling of doing something for the first time. I need to remember that these aren't ordinary socks, and let go of the assumptions and habits that I've gotten used to in my sock knitting. That's one of the points of trying something new, isn't it?

It could be that my Campbell-ness is just too watered down for me to take to argyle naturally.I suppose I could contact Torquhil Campbell, the current (and 13th) Duke of Argyll to see if he has any tips. But Wikipedia also tells me he is the captain of Scotland's national elephant polo team (!), so perhaps he's best left alone...


  1. If all those bouffant ladies in the 1950s could master argyle socks, you can, too. Summon your inner bouffant and knit on! I have confidence in you!

    (I feel slightly guilty for beckoning you away from the project, though, I must say...)

  2. Sorry that the socks aren't cooperating but it will be an amazing pair of socks when you are done!

    Elephant polo?