12 February 2006

Olympic Knitting, Day 2 Report

What's that old saying about pride coming before a fall? Anyone know any good sock patterns where you don't have to do any ribbing or heel shaping? As in, can I just knit a tube and stick it on my feet and call it good?

To recap, day one left our intrepid sock knitter pretty happy with finishing the leg of her sock. She had some concerns about the inch of ribbing at the top, but who sees the top of socks, right? If mom wears these suckers with shorts, she's got bigger fashion problems than my knitting deficiencies.

Basically, intrepid sock knitter was ignoring the problem since the inches below the cuff looked great and she didn't have the fortitude of Lone Knitter who has the sense to rip when the going isn't going so well.

Blissfully in denial, she pulled up her heel references and poured another of those slushy drinks and got busy with her short rows.

I know, that's a lot of sock knitting that's been done in two days. It's all a personal bribing strategy. "Grade one student paper and you can knit a row.... Okay, grade a paper and you can knit for 5 minutes... Okay, 15, but then you've got to read The Economy of Character." I'm weak, what can I say?

While speed of knitting has been strong here, technique is a little lacking. Just call me the Bode Miller of the knitting world. See the heel, the bulbous one that looks suspiciously like the bulbous toe of the previous sock flub? A minor gauge issue, I'd say... like a nice, even 8.5 stitch/inch on the foot and leg and a floppy, holey, inconsistent 6.5 - 7 stitch/inch on the heel. Ugh, not pretty.

I still like the look of the short-row heel (more store-bought, I suppose), but the difference in stitch definition and gauge is pretty bad. I think I have a defective purl stitch. Yikes! I'm hoping there's some sort of ointment or something for it.

To rip, or not to rip? That is the question.

I suppose I've already killed the suspense on that question by showing you how far I went past the heel. The late night verdict was to continue on, finish this sock and try a pinch-hitter sock in the middle of this pair. I suppose it's all that empiricism that I'm throwing at my students, but I've decided to make this the Grand Sock Experiment, complete with data collection, maybe even a graph or two. Exhibit A has great stitch definition in the round parts, but a defective purl-related heel/ribbing region. Exhibit B will focus on eliminating the heel problem with a return to the heel-flap method which minimizes the prominence of the purl. Exhibit C will hopefully be the mate to A or B, whichever one looks more wearable.

Or maybe I'll just go buy my mom a pair of tube socks and call it a day!

1 comment:

Lone Knitter said...

Leslie, thank you so much for the compliments on my ribbing, but I must confess that it probably looks better in the picture than it would in real life. Also, it was k3 p1 ribbing, which forms better than k1 p1 I think. In any event, I think your ribbing is gorgeous. I can't believe how far you've progress with grading and all! You're amazing. I'm still working on the leg of my first sock between grading and it's so slow going. If you think that maybe your purl stitch is too loose, maybe tighten the yarn slightly before making the next stitch. (This is probably advice which you've already heard before.) I can't wait to see your next sock completed!