Grumperina might not like four (I can't believe she's been knitting for only four years. I remember when she first started and we 'met' through about.com. Gosh, I wish I had started knitting AFTER the internet took off!), but it does have some important qualities. It's pretty important when it comes to socks and mittens, for one.
I'm calling these intermission socks. I actually had a time, back in May, when I didn't have much on the go, knitting wise. My mom's secret sweater was just not working, I had the Montego Bay scarf, but that was ho-hum, a few other little things. I had just gotten two sock books and there were a few patterns using Cascade Fixation. I was currently using it to make a Zaftig (http://www.knitty.com/) and thought "I"ll just whip up a pair of socks to finish off some of this Elann version of Fixation." I really wanted to use up this verigated yarn, but it was less than two balls. I had a lilac colour that was supposed to 'go with' it, but elann's idea of 'go with' isn't the same as mine. That's happened twice now. The pattern I wanted to do, I checked out on Ravelry.com and decided I didn't like it in the verigated yarn. So, I just used the suggested needle size and number of sts, casting on from the toe. It was too big. I think it started with 56st, and I ended up using 48sts. The first one went fine; I did it up through the heel (a short row heel, even though I don't like them, I figured the stretch would help; and I added an extra three short rows at the top of the heel). Then I started the second one, just before my knitting group headed off on a road trip.
I got a little way up the foot of the second one, and thought "Hey, it's striping differently, even though it's the same ball of yarn." I did a few more rows. It kept striping. I counted sts. I had only 44sts. Four can be a powerful number with striping yarns!
You can see where I added the missing four sts (I think I did it over two rounds to spread it out a bit), and the subsequent change in pattern. It's the sock on the left up top. I don't mind it. They are very short, basically ankle socks, and very strange feeling, but nice for the summer as my slippers are very worn out and I don't feel like making myself a pair of felted wool clogs right now. Despite trying to avoid ladders by knitting one more stitch on to each needle, there are very visible ladders up both socks, but not just one ladder; there's two ladders separated by one stitch. What's up with that?!
(BTW, I've had these done for almost a month!)