Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Panda Feet

The Journeywoman Socks are done. Both knit and finished and I'm very happy with the result.

Howsoever when I knit these socks I left out a part of the pattern, a most intriguing part. As you can see in this picture (I hope) the gusset is not done in the usual way. Instead the gusset decreases are done on the instep side of the heel/instep border until the instep is decreased away, replaced by the extra stitches picked up along the side of the heel flap. The mathematics of how long the heel flap needs to be to generate the appropriate number of picked up stitches so that this whole thing can work is somewhat daunting, but not too difficult. And if you mess up, you can always quit decreasing early or keep on decreasing at the center of the instep until all is right.

Eager to try this new foot style, I cast on some Panda Cotton in a colorway called "Fall Herbs." (I had purchased this yarn because : 1) it upped the dollar value of my order to an amount that gave me free shipping; 2) the colors are lovely; and 3) I know the resulting socks will be a delight to wear. Notice I did not mention the thrill of knitting with Panda Cotton. I hate this stuff. It's torture to knit. Don't ever let me buy it again.) Finding a pattern that would work with the yarn was the expected agony, but I finally turned up "Charade," a delightful four-stitch-repeat pseudo herringbone stitch. I did the leg in Charade, and then decreased it away as per the Journeyman pattern.

It's difficult to see the transition because of the multicoloredness of the yarn. Here's a closeup. The front vee didn't turn out as long as I expected, perhaps because the row gauge on this yarn is very tight (13 rows/inch). Or perhaps if I had done a longer heel flap and/or had more stitches on the instep to begin with the vee would have been longer. Another strategy might be to decrease every third round instead of every other round . Isn't hindsight wonderful?

Anyway sock one is done, sock two is on the needles, and I would definitely try this gusset design again. It's a fun way to transition to a plain stockinette foot.


Delighted Hands said...

Now that is one interesting decrease-I don't think I have even seen it before. I love the way it gracefully frames the pattern of the ankle-cool. Maybe I should pull out some sock yarn to restore some wa in my life.........thanks for the inspiration 1

Kath said...

Remind me later and I'll explain what "Panda Feet" means to me! (hint - it's a cat thing).

Luni said...

Beautiful socks! That's a lot of work you put into all those tiny little cables. Your even continued the pattern down to the toe!
I like the reverse gusset because it gives you a nice transition to a plain stockinette foot. I've seen it in a heavier gauge yarn, which makes the decrease line more noticeable.

beverlyanne said...

You should be happy with the Journeywoman socks. They are quite beautiful. I am intrigued by gusset decrease on the intep. It is the perfect transition to a plain knit foot. The plain knit on the foot looks particularly right in the Panda yarn, which has a lot of patterning on its own. (Now that I've started to knit socks, these thing make sense to me.)

Leigh said...

Very interesting about the gusset. Even so, it's particular absence didn't detract from your first pair!

Marjorie said...

I really like how that gusset turned out. I think it makes the sock look very elegant, and it might be easier to slip that sock into a shoe, even though those beautiful tiny cables don't add that much bulk.