I was at one of the local craft stores the other day, and I came across some wonderful, yummy alpaca yarn. It is a rare thing indeed to find anything but the run-of-the-mill acrylic yarn and tacky novelty yarns in such a place, so I was compelled to buy a couple of balls. I had a vision of a wonderful pair of socks that could be made from such loveliness.
As a dutiful knitter, I whipped up a little swatch before starting. I counted my gauge, cast on the required number of stitches, and went to town. I was knitting merrily along, making great time, while watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann. When the show was over, I looked down and realized, to my horror, that I was two-thirds of the way through making the largest sock in the world. This thing could easily fit Bigfoot.
Now, I would feel duly chastized by the experience if I had not knitted a swatch beforehand. But I did knit one. I checked and double-checked the gauge before beginning. I re-checked it after I had realized the enormity of the sock in question. The math was right, but the swatch clearly had a tighter gauge than the sock. There is no reason for this, and it clearly goes against The Order of Things.
Well, now that I had committed to making one huge sock, I decided to finish the pair. The good thing about socks is that no matter what size you make, you can find someone you know who can wear them. But that still didn't stop the feeling that each and every stitch of the second sock was mocking me, like Nelson from The Simpsons and his sing-song "Ha Ha".
Now I have to go back and buy more yarn to make some socks that actually fit my feet. I will not be defeated by wonky Sock Physics.