Gussets and Lace; or Learning From Your Mistakes, Sometimes.

January 10, 2014

For me, while turning the heel requires the most concentration, I actually have the toughest time with the gussets, or the set up for them. You’ve seen the heel flap is pretty easy, if you are not making mistakes. Turning the heel simply requires a bit of concentration. I have been known to set socks aside for a week or so until I could have a private block of time to finish turning the heel. But once the heel is turned, you start picking up stitches that you will, in effect be decreasing in order to obtain your original number of stitches over the next dozen or two rows. 024

So, why pick them up in the first place? Good question…Because you need them so the sock will fit. If you’ve ever read Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (I believe), there is a scene where she gets impatient with her mother for not sewing her elephant pants and decides to do it herself. She draws out the shape, cuts two, and sews them together, only to have wasted the fabric because she didn’t make allowance for the elephants hind quarters. Well, if you don’t make allowances for the shape of your foot, your socks will become something else, or wasted yarn. They could possibly become wasted hours if you do go back to make allowances for the shape of your foot or something else entirely if you get tired of picking up stitches along the selvage edge of the heel flap. Selvage edge meaning the slipped stitch along the edge of the heel flap.  005
I knit the first set of selvage edge stitches onto the needle, then I continued with row 1 of the pattern, wondering why row 1, when I left off with row 16 and had been working from 16 to 1 as I knit. I knit along the pattern and then picked up the second edge of selvage stitches and knit the first eleven stitches of the heel flap. I then placed my marker and moved on to round two. Round two began decreasing stitches slowly and said to continue on in pattern for the top of the foot stitches. I did, and knit row 16 of the pattern again. So, now I have an odd repeat of row 16, row 1, row 16, row 1. I could rip this out and begin with row 16 again, but I really dislike setting up the gusset stitches, and I hope this pattern variation will not be too noticeable.
However, what I realized as I am formed the gusset, is that it seems I have knit the pattern upside down as it was presented upside down the entire time I was knitting the leg of the sock. The good news is I’m not knitting tea pots or anything directional into the pattern. I’ve also knit with variegated yarn that has some spots of high contrast, though the colors are muted. Leave it to me. This yarn is not optimal for seeing the actual pattern. Some day, I will likely have to buy a solid color sock yarn and work this pattern again, a little closer to the correct way of doing so. For now, enjoy laughing with me as I make mistakes and attempt to repeat the mistakes that bear repeating on the second sock. 001

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