Friday, February 10, 2012

Fix It Fridays (2)

So I had these socks:

They were fine socks. I made them back in the summer of 2009. (Obviously, I finished them on a road trip.)

But as I wore these socks, I realized that they really were too big. Too long in the foot. They were knit from the toe up, and I hadn't made careful enough calculations about how many rows the heel would take.

So I have worn these socks over the last couple years, but not often. They would slide around on my foot too much and would bunch up in shoes and boots. Not good.

Time for a Fix It Friday intervention.

First: figure out how much too big they are:

and make a plan. Since they were knit from the toe up, I couldn't just ravel them from the toe. (You can't undo your knitting from the "bottom.") I would have to snip them some distance up from the toe and then knit the stitches to make a new toe. I did some careful calculations about how far back I should snip them, redid them when I didn't like the results and took the plunge.

I snipped a thread just over an inch back from where my toe ended, and tinked out the row, picking up stitches as I went:
Once I had a whole row out, I had a sock on the  needles and a dismembered toe:
(I was surprised at how disconcerting it was. It was unmistakably a toe and should be attached to a foot.)

Then I rejoined the yarn and pulled out more as I needed it directly from the "old" toe. I joined in about the crudest way I will let myself--I knit six to seven stitches with both yarns held together before continuing with the new yarn. (The crudest method would be a knot--I will never allow myself that!)

And then started shaping the toe immediately:
This was a very wide sock (72 sts) so I did decreases every other row to 48 stitches and then did the decreases every row to hurry things along. Otherwise the toe was way, way too long.

At 24 stitches (12 each side), I tried them on one last time to make sure,
Troy calls this the "catfish."
and then kitchenered them together:

Then I had one sock done:
If you can't see the difference between the right and left, I sure could feel it! Success!

Then I had to repeat it for the second sock. Also success!
I was left with two extra toes:
They look sad to me. I will not be saving them. Even with the infrequent wearings, the yarn was rather hard-worn and is not worth trying to use again. Plus, I still have some left over from the original ball if I ever need any of it for darning.

At the end of the process, I was playing with this leftover strand:
Troy saw it and asked what it was. I said it was a row of knitting, and it is. Every row looks like this, and it is just because they interlock with each other that it all stays together. Most yarns have a pretty strong memory and when you ravel it, it is kinky like this. In general wool has more memory than cotton, but they all do this. It's a very interesting texture to play with.
Fix It Fridays Summary:
Project 1
: shorten sweater sleeves
Cost: $0
Time: ~1 hour

Project 2: shorten socks
Cost: $0
Time: ~4 hours

You wouldn't necessarily think my two Fix It Fridays projects have anything to do with each other, but after posting the summary, it occurs to me that they are the identical repair. And I fixed them both in the same way--snip a thread, undo a row to get live stitches on your needles, and knit back down the other way. On the sleeve I only needed to bind off the stitches, and on the sock I had to knit a new toe to finish it off. Otherwise, they are the same!

I am very happy with this fix and plan to wear my socks today to celebrate.
These are some self-satisfied socks!

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