Wednesday night the Iron Knitter competition began, and it was a rocky start for my part. I was still struggling to finish up my Sock Wars weaponry so I could launch them at my target in England. Thursday morning I mailed out the socks along with a big bag of blue M&M’s. Who knows if SIPs will come to me before I meet my demise in that competition, but I’m certainly not sitting around twiddling my thumbs waiting to find out!
Thursday morning I cast on for Round One of the Iron Knitter competition. I’m very glad I waited, since a number of questions were answered overnight after the pattern was released. We have a lot of leeway in this first round. In fact, the only absolute requirements are a 7-inch minimum leg length and using the lace pattern in some fashion somewhere on the sock with at least three repeats of the 20-stitch/8-row pattern. They could even be randomly scattered on the sock if one chose. I like the lacy leg pattern, so I suspect I will keep that part as written. However, I did pull a switcheroo and move to a toe-up pattern. Most likely I will also use a gusset heel instead of the slip-stitch heel as written.
The yarn is really pretty, and I’m enjoying the way it is striping up. The striping pattern is similar in some ways to the Jitterbug handpaint from which Matt’s Christmas socks were made. It’ll be fun to see how the pattern works with the colors, too. Hopefully I’ll find out tomorrow.
We also learned yesterday (or was it today?) that 90% of the field will advance to the second round of the competition. That’s 87 warriors. I don’t think I’ll have a problem finishing in that group.
The real question is: what do I do next? I have one pair of socks on the needles and another pair that I frogged so I could properly wind the yarn. Both pairs are mystery socks, though instructions for only one pair have been fully released (final clue came out today). I most likely will finish that pair (those are still on the needles) and then cast on again for the second pair of mystery socks.
We’ve been told that the second round of Iron Knitter is expected to begin on January 31, though this will depend on the productivity of our warriors. A lot of these folks have also been competing in Sock Wars, so there’s a battle for priorities in addition to the battle for knitting time. I have a sneaking suspicion that I may be planning a little vacation time if I get through the first half of the competition! Not that I’m competitive or anything…