I recently blogged about a pair of socks I was mindlessly knitting that turned out to be horribly mismatched. The mismatch wouldn't have shown from under my jeans and no one would have cared...except for me. So, I ripped the second sock out and started again. You can read about that HERE.
When I knit socks, I would normally find the start of one of the colors and cast on. That way, I could later find the start of that same color to cast on the second sock and have a matched pair. Since I didn't do that this time, I had to come up with a solution and hope it worked. Luckily, it did. I now own a brand new, perfectly matched pair of socks!
To restart my second sock, I pulled yarn from the ball until I found a brown section like the one near the top of the first sock. From that spot, I wrapped yarn around one of my needles (going backward from the brown) 48 times (the number of stitches I needed to cast on). Next, I took that length of yarn and measured seven lengths (the number of rows above the brown stripe on the first sock and still measuring backward from the brown) and cast on with the seventh length. I felt pretty confident that this would work but I didn't imagine it would work this well. The stripes are perfectly matched!
If I had paid better attention, I could have made longer socks. It turns out that I only used half the ball of yarn. That means I have enough yarn left over to make another short pair.
I really should learn how to knit socks from the toe up! That way, I could divide a ball of sock yarn in half and get the maximum use from it...and longer socks too!