Sunday, January 4, 2009


Four hours ago, this was a completed sock.

It was done, complete. I'd biffed a couple of place in the toe decreases, but that was okay. It was my first sock and it was Done. Then I tried it on. The foot was too short.

I'm using this pattern. For the most part, the instructions have been pretty good for a beginner, so I just went along with them. I'd started out making the sock for size 8-8.5, because I cast on without the pattern in front of me and my friend said go with 60 stitches. That was pretty good advice, because the sock seemed to be okay in circumference. But the pattern said to knit till the foot measured 4.75" from the center back of the heel for size 6-6.5, which is my normal size. Since sometimes I go up to a 7, I decided to knit till it was 5", then decrease. Still too short. I was thinking maybe my wide feet shortened it up a bit?

Then I checked a couple of other sock books, and I'm convinced the pattern I'm using is WRONG. The Yarn Harlot says the length of a woman's size 6 foot is 9" and that knitting a top-down sock 5" from the picked up stitches should fit an "average woman". I take that to mean someone with slightly bigger feet than I have. The picked up stitches on my sock are about 1.25" from the center back of the heel. So, the Yarn Harlot thinks I should have started the decreases somewhere around the 6.25" mark.

Laura Chau, in Teach Yourself Visually: Sock Knitting, says a woman's size 5-7 is 8.5" and that you should knit the foot till it's 2" less than the total desired sock foot length, measured from the center back of the heel. Which would be about 6.5", not 4.75" as my pattern recommends.

Wonderful. Now what? I have some yarn leftover from the first ball, but I determined that if I knit the second sock the correct size, I won't have enough yarn to knit a 3rd sock from the leftovers of the two balls. So my only option, since I want to actually wear these socks, was to frog back to before the decrease. I ended up going back an additional inch or so, because it was easier to see the stitches at a light/dark color transition. With the help of some crochet hooks, a set of skinnier DPNs, and not without some swearing, I think I'm in good shape. I have 60 stitches on the needles, and I'm pretty sure the top needle is centered with half the stitches on it. One good thing about having your stitches laddering on the bottom, it shows where your needles used to be. I might be off by a stitch one way or the other, but I don't think that's going to make *that* big a difference.

So I'm bummed that I basically lost half a day's knitting, but I'm glad I recovered and will eventually have a sock that fits. Stupid pattern. I'll be knitting till it's about 6" from the back of the heel. Based on the initial try-on and the information above, that should be pretty good.

In other news, it looks like Emma is, after 15 months, finally starting to get used to the kittens. Several times over the past few weeks, she's jumped up on the couch next to Blue. Today she was sitting on my lap when I had to get up. When I got back, I found this:

And last week, John took this picture:

Hmm...Tastes like chicken!


1 comment:

monicam said...

Connie, the good thing about having to rip out and redo your knitting is that it makes you a more experienced knitter because you have to analyze what you're doing and make sure it's right - however that doesn't take away the frustration! See you for DJ - Monica