Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tricksy Knee Socks - Part Two

After my experience with Nancy Bush's Clock Stockings pattern, I knew I needed some help to figure out how to shape knee socks. I found it here. I followed the directions, measuring the length and circumference of my leg in a multitude of different spots. Then I did a gauge swatch, devised a strategy, and cast on.

This is the first sock:

The pattern – if such it can be called – consists of five repeats of K10, P2, K2, P2. The K10 panels were intended to handle the increases and decreases, and the P2,K2,P2 bits supplied some elasticity. I began with 80 stitches, increased to 88 for the calf, then back down to 80, then tapered down to 55 stitches at the ankle. And in general I'm happy with the result. But as you can see from this side view there are some issues.

The calf increases and decreases worked out fine. I did two at a time around a center line. No problem. Excellent fit, and at the end I was back to the 80 stitches I started with. So next . . .

I thought it would be a good idea to do two decreases on each 10-st panel to get down to 70 stitches and then a while further do the same thing again to get to 60 stitches. And I thought decreases on the sides of the panel wouldn't show. Not true. Those two spots where the panel curves in? Yes, those would be the decreases. I'm going to consider this a "design feature" for this pair, but never again.

To add to the pain . . . I decided 60 stitches was not quite snug enough for the narrowest part of the ankle, so decreased one more stitch in the middle of each panel to get down to 55 stitches. This decrease doesn't show at all.

As I did the gusset decreases I was noodling about how to handle the 55 stitches at the toe. Then I discovered I had made a mistake on one round and left out a decrease on one side. So I had 56 stitches. Problem solved – 28 stitches front and back, and a nice standard toe. Now that mistake has become part of the design.

I have learned a lot from this one sock and I'm going to knit the second one exactly the same—mistakes, "design features," and all. But I'm looking forward to casting on a new pair with a new, improved design.

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