Since I started knitting socks, I've had a rule of only one pair on the needles at a time. It's worked and I've finished my socks, totally avoiding second sock syndrome.. when you only ever knit the first sock of a pair and then start on another.
This holiday trip, I broke my rule. I took yarn and an extra set of needles and started a new pair. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Camping, in a group, with friends. Busy running around to classes, visiting, shopping and camp chores, I figured a mindless knitted sock - in this case a 3/1 ribbed sock, would be perfect. Now the colourwork socks were on the needles and I'd finished the finickity counting the chart part, so the rest of plain knitting. Why didn't I bring it along?
My gauge was off. I knit the second sock in a totally different gauge. There was a noticeable difference between the patterns on the first and second sock. The bottom stripey bit on the second sock, started where the first one ended! I was discontented to say the least. At that point, I was ready to rip the thing out and start again, working to tighten up my knitting. I'd be able to do what I had first intended as well, which was to knit the second sock as the reverse of the first.. so black pattern on a red sock. I had totally forgotten to do so and was halfway through the pattern before I noticed it. sigh..
When I got back home, the patterns had relaxed somewhat and are closer in size now. The big question is, do I try to live with the difference or do I rip it out and start again? (Not only that, but I just realized that I've knitted both socks with the pattern bottom to top, so it's upside down! How in the world did I manage that one?)