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We can’t tell if they’re identical or fraternal twins….

I’ve been working on knitting this pair of socks. It’s a pattern called Jaywalker, really popular free pattern that a lot of people have made. Usually when I make socks, I embrace their fraternalness at the outset. Even when I make socks out of monochromatic yarns, the two socks don’t match perfectly or completely. The gauge changes or I screw up (*ahem* “add a design feature”) or whatever. Even if I knit them both at the same time on 2 needles, they are never the same.

So, naturally, I used self-striping sock yarn for these Jaywalkers, because the Jaywalker pattern is a zig-zag, and that looks just too darn spiffy in striping yarn. Usually, striping yarn is a guarantee that my socks will look similar, but will not match. The stripes are never in the exact same places. The makers of these yarns deliberately change the repeats so your feet don’t look like candy canes, so even if you start a sock with “pink,” it’s likely that one sock will have “orange” as the next color, and the other will have “blue” instead.


No problem– I don’t mind at all. My feet aren’t identical, after all.

I usually start the second sock within minutes of finishing the first, when doing 2 socks separately. That reduces the amount of difference between them, and it helps combat Second Sock Syndrome. I was really impressed with myself for starting the second sock, even though it had been overnight between grafting the toe of the first sock and casting on the second.

What did these socks do? Oh, yes. You guessed it. I’ve knitted one complete sock. I started the second. Things looked… eerily familiar. I have knit all the way to the heel on sock #2.

The stripes matched up. Perfectly.


I won’t say “these socks are identical,” because I have already made enough mistakes in them that that is an impossibility. What I will say is that, when they are on my feet, they will *look* identical, due to the stripes matching up.

I’m flabbergasted. I don’t actually know what to do with matching sock. I’m guessing that somewhere right in the middle of sock #2’s instep, I’m going to discover some enormous glaring problem that will fudge up the whole stripe pattern. But if not… just wow.


I visited with an old friend in Wellesley today– someone I’ve known since college. He had us over for dinner to meet the new baby and catch up. I brought the Amazing Striping Socks with me.

Sure enough. After I’d picked up the stitches on the heel and was working the first rows of gusset decreases. There it was. The thing I KNEW would be there.


Oh, yes, indeed. A knot, tying two different colors of the striping pattern together. And, naturally, changing the stripes so the socks will. No. Longer. Match.


Sock #1 heel gusset: Notice purple-pink-orange-blue sequence.


Sock #2 gusset: Purple-orange-black-and-white stripe sequence.

Muahahahhah…. I feel some kind of perverse joy in this. Like, I could not have fully enjoyed these socks if they hadn’t found a way to screw up that perfectly amazing surprise delight.

I feel vindicated. Also: pleased to be already on the decreases, having turned the heel before dinner. The gusset decreases are the part where your sock forms a kind of triangle below the ankle. It’s after the bend for the heel, and before it turns back into a tube (for the long narrow part of your foot). I am about 12 rows away from the home stretch– the foot tube, from which there is nothing left but stockinette until long enough, then decrease to the toe and bind off. Of course, this sock will have 2 extra ends to weave in, where I had to overlap the yarn. But otherwise… really, it’s almost like being perfect!

PS: I don’t really want perfect socks. Why should anything I knit be perfect? It’s all made by me! I want it to look like it was made by me. Wonderful, creative, silly, IMPERFECT me!

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