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RPM Socks

At long last, I have finished the RPM socks. I started these for Octoberfest, and finished them this weekend. I've read a lot of other knitting blogs that raved about how quick these were to finish. I found they took a long time, obviously. I was able to get a few other pair knit in between, some for myself, and most for gifts.

But these are extremely comfortable, and they just might be my favorite socks of all time. Isn't it funny how the most difficult patterns are sometimes the most rewarding when they are finished?

I just love these socks. The stripes, the swirls. This is the first pair I've knit on US 1. It may also be the last! That's just a bit too tiny for the comfort of my hands. One of the things that really slowed me down is I found I could not knit on the 1's for very long at one stretch, because my hands would cramp up. I'm not really a tight knitter, either. I just felt like the needles would snap in my hands if I knit quickly. And I dislike knitting socks on metal needles. (I'm not a big fan of knitting anything on metal needles, if I can avoid it.)

The pattern was easy once I did a few rows. I was able to work from memory most of the time, though I disregarded the instructions for the heel and toes, as they didn't make much sense to me, and substituted my standard methods. I may have lost a stitch on the instep of the second sock, but that's a small sacrifice to pay for getting the swirls to rotate the other way.

I also waited a long time between finishing sock A and starting sock B, because I had to figure out how to rotate the swirls the other way. Its one thing I wish the pattern had included instructions for. I googled it, but only found two other people who included instructions. One used Magic loop, which I don't do, and didn't find helpful. The other talked about knitting the sock inside out, which sounded way too complecated, and I'm not sure the results would be exactly what I wanted, either. I don't even know how you begin to knit inside out.

What I did (for those who want simple instructions for reversing the swirl) was instead of advancing one stitch every row, I retreated one stitch every row. It takes away your visual cue that a change is coming, but if you keep your focus on the pattern, you'll be okay.

First pattern row: knit six, purl three, repeat to end.
Second pattern row: knit five, *purl three, knit six* repeat to end.+
Third pattern row: knit four, *purl three, knit six* repeat to end.+
Continue retreating in this fashion, according to original pattern.

+Your last knit six will not work out evenly, because your "lost" stitches from the first knit section show up at the end of the row. Its one of those things that make sense once you see it. Maybe. The same thing happens in reverse in the orignal pattern.

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