The Curse of the Brown Stripe


The only thing worse than seeing a problem, is seeing a solution that you can’t be bothered to do. Problem: brown stripe is in the middle of the leg and makes the leg look weird. Solution: rip it out and re-start it before you put too much knit time into the item.

So naturally I ignored this. I completed the sock, put it on and stared at it – or more accurately I stared at the annoying brown stripe. I then noticed that the brown stripe ended on a simple knit/purl part of the repeat (3 rows of this, spanning rows 34, 35 and 36).

I could see a solution, but didn’t want to go there and, being so far in denial I could see Cleopatra sail past, I started the next sock but on a brown cuff. Thirty four rows later and I reached the point that the brown stripe had occurred on the other sock and stared at it. Many of you have already seen where I am going with this (I can hear the slow motion “nooooooo” coming from you). For many of you the idea is so dumb that you probably don’t think anyone would try it, for me it represented a quick fix.


Yes, I tried to graft the new bit of the sock to the point below the dodgy stripe. For those familiar with the cutesy YouTube song “Dumb Ways to Die” feel free to mentally edit this song to “Dumb Ways to Knit”. To remove a few variables, I put in a life line (on what would be row 36) on the finished sock and threaded a life line onto the new bit (row 34). I then pulled the needles from the new bit and carefully snipped and pulled out the row above the life line on the finished one. I then stretched the two pieces over a handy bobbin case to make it easier to see the pattern.


From here on in, the photos stop and the swearing began. Four damn hours. Four damn hours utterly failing to get a seamless graft that would not be noticed. To make matters worse, this all occurred over (and over, and over, and over) the same 3cm of pattern. In my defence the knit facing bits looked fine (as I have had hours of practice grafting toes together) but I stink at purl grafting. I even tried turning it inside out to graft it knit face! If my life had depended on it, and it was an historically important item (proving that knitting was invented by aliens) I probably could have pulled it off, but I then reached two simple conclusions:

1: Effort versus Gain
How much effort would be required to seamlessly graft this? Would I ever be able to graft it perfectly enough to prevent me ripping it out when I see it next to its non Frankenstein twin?

2: Where is the Fun?!
This is my hobby. A single sock takes me just over 12 hours to make and I have just spent 4 hours not making a sock.

Luckily for me I still had the life line in the new bit and I knew exactly what row I had been on. Basically I have just spent the best part of a weekend getting my sock back to the point it was last week. But at least it doesn’t have a weird brown stripe…..



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. pictfamily
    Feb 22, 2013 @ 20:00:36

    that is an impressive amount of effort to evade a brown stripe. I’ve not made any socks lately and must get back to them, although appear to be carting around a pair and a half with the wrong pattern to finish them off with – which is rather unfortunate.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: