My place of work has a crafting club that meets once a week at lunchtime. It's nice. We sit, we gossip, we knit, we spin, we do other crafts, we help each other out, we eat our lunches. Last summer we also ran a learn-to-weave session at the staff conference. We needed materials, of course, so sent out an email soliciting scraps of unwanted yarn. Ended up with a ton of the stuff!
The pile of scrap yarn was so large that it took four of us an entire lunch hour to sort through all of it. While digging through I found a neatly-wound cake of sock yarn. It was pretty, and I seriously pondered taking it home with me until I woke up to the fact that it was only about 50g of yarn, which is not enough to make a pair of socks. So I set it aside and kept digging.
Imagine my shock when, a few minutes later, I pulled out an entire sock - one that matched the cake of yarn I'd just found!
One of my colleagues suggested that I try it on. It fit my foot perfectly, as though it had been knitted for me. Of course I decided to swipe the sock and the yarn. I figured I'd be able to reverse-engineer the pattern at some point and get a new pair of socks for the work of just one.
Well, this was months ago, and the sock and its matching yarn have been sitting in my WIP basket ever since. I've pondered starting to figure it out every so often, but never had the mental energy. It wasn't exactly a high priority.
A few weeks ago a Ravelry friend asked me to help her figure something out in a pattern she was knitting. It was in a book I didn't own, but as it was one I'd wanted for ages I decided to just buy it. One can never have too many books of sock patterns, after all. It came, we talked, her problem was resolved. I was flipping idly through the rest of the book when I had another surprise - there, on page 43, was the cable pattern for my mystery sock! I had found my first clue!
The book in question is more of a design-your-own stitch dictionary than an actual pattern book, so I still have a lot of stitch counting and experimenting in my future. But I'm a whole lot closer than I was. And to help me out even more, the anonymous knitter didn't sew in his or her ends. I'm able to tell from the placement that the sock was knit toe-up with a short row toe that was provisionally cast on. So helpful.
The initial burst of figuring things out inspired me to do some counting, so I've actually started making the second sock. It's 60 stitches, 6 repeats of the Yarn-Over Cable pattern across, and 15 repeats up the length of the foot. I'm using 2.5mm needles, chosen by the very scientific "hold the sock up to other socks I've knitted and pick the needle that gives me matching gauge" method. I'm also using two circulars because all my 2.5mm DPNs are otherwise occupied at present.
I think it's going quite well so far!