February 28, 2005

One and Three-Quarters Sock Wisdom

Now that I'm three-fourths of the way through my second sock, I'm ready to share the wisdom that I've gained during this process. I must warn you in advance, that since I am a big fat geek in all things in life, and knitting in particular, I did a little bit of homework prior to starting my sockapalooza sock.

[If you're curious, the books are: Folk Socks and Knitting On The Road by Nancy Bush and Simple Socks, Plain and Fancy and Ethnic Socks and Stockings by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. Armed with these four volumes of sockish knowledge, I doubt I'll ever need another book on knitted footwear again.]

Just to prove that I am three-quarters through my second sock, I offer you this evidence:

Please do not take this as a signal to stop voting - I will keep running the sock tally for several days.

Here's the "Three Quarters Wisdom":

1. Your clenched fist has the same circumference as the ball of your foot. [I learned this from either Nancy or Priscilla - Priscilla, I think.] The natural outcome of gaining this knowledge was the urge to test it. I used the punch test to evalute the fit on both Crusoe (for me) and the Little Shell Socks (for my sock pal). If the sock is snug, but you can get your fist into it without issues, it fits. If you're making a sock for a slightly bigger person, you simply put your fist in and open it a crack. Brilliant.

2. If you use a different guage than the one called for in the pattern, you can determine how many heel rows to do by folding over the heel flap to determine whether it is square or not, like this. (The one in the picture is square - you can tell because it folds to meet the edges of the other half of the flap exactly.) Remember that you will have to adjust the number of picked-up sts along the gusset and that you will need to reduce those sts back down to the original number as well.

3. The skp decrease on the heel in the Little Shell Socks looks like poo. I used k2tog instead. The lesson for people not knitting this sock? Just remember there are many decrease methods out there. You don't have to allow yourself to get stuck with an icky one.

4. Picking up sts a whole st in rather than half a st in on the gusset really does make a difference. Going in only half a st leaves an ugly hole.

5. Yellow is a color that many people have a strong reaction to!

For Those Wacky Animal Lovers:

Nounie believes he is a dog and therefore sleeps where Caia sleeps...

Posted by Julia at February 28, 2005 06:42 AM
In caia | kitties | little shell socks | main | sockapalooza


Love the sock tips...never made a pair (outside of a pair for a baby, but that didn't count) and there's this part of me that REALLY wants to make a pair.

Cute cuddly animals! Always a winning blog technique, if you ask me :)

Posted by: Jenn at March 7, 2005 07:27 PM

Cute animal photo! I think the sock looks great, thanks for all the advice. I'll definitely be using the fist trick! :)

Posted by: Vicki at March 1, 2005 06:11 PM

Ah man, my cats and dogs never sleep together. So cute!

You know, I'm one of the "yellow ain't for me" folks, but the more I look at your socks the more I like them. The shell pattern is cool.

Posted by: jenny at March 1, 2005 12:35 AM

The sock looks beautiful! I like the combination of the pattern on the leg and the lovely stockinette on the foot. Very nice. Glad you kept going with these!

Posted by: alison at February 28, 2005 08:17 PM


Those socks are too cool! I love how they're striping. Your gusset looks quite perfect, too. Clearly, you have come over to the "other side" and joined the rest of us compulsive sock knitters. Welcome to our club.

p.s. On the train this morning, I actually saw another woman knitting - a ribbed sleeve - in orange.

Posted by: Mary at February 28, 2005 01:36 PM

Don't you love that socks have their little "rules" and that you can use them and run with them however you want?

I vetoed a skp decrease just last night in a sock. Didn't even try it to see if I would like it, so I'm glad to know that my instincts- it would look like poo- were valid. I literally said "yes!" under my breath when I read that.

Your pets are precious!

Posted by: Mary-Heather at February 28, 2005 01:11 PM

Your sock looks great, of course! All your knitting is lovely, and this is no exception. And thanks for the notes. I hadn't seen that square foldover thing before. I always change the decreases in sock patterns. On crusoe, I think I did slip, slip as if to purl, knit slipped sts together. Something that finally made it flat. Why don't they put nice flat decreases in the patterns????

Posted by: larissa at February 28, 2005 12:02 PM

Great googily moogily. Your pets are so darn cute.
Will you give them some love from me?

I would have never known my fist was as big as the ball of my foot, but it totally makes sense. Cool!

Posted by: Marnie at February 28, 2005 11:33 AM

Wow ... thanks for sharing these with us. I find them all very helpful ... especially the one concerning different gauges.

Posted by: Agnes at February 28, 2005 11:31 AM

oh what a cute pic! they are adorable. and i'm lovin' your sock. one lucky pal. i may have to get that colorway for myself. thanks for the great tips.

Posted by: froggy at February 28, 2005 07:48 AM