Saturday, August 31, 2013

Slow Socks, a Step Back, but Progress Still

Projects are limited right now as I'm putting in a lot of hours at work. And everything is considered crucial this time of year and the pressure is really on so I come home with "zombie head." I have done some simple knitting and crocheting, and this week helped Troy with canning his peaches. (All done now, thank goodness!) But lots of evenings, I'm not even up for that.

Ok, so I know the sock looks ridiculously long,
but it really loses a lot of length as it stretches
widthwise. Really.
I have, however, been making some progress on Troy's socks. With long days, I try to take time to take a half hour break and sit and knit while listening to my newly-discovered NFL podcasts.

The first sock was stalled at some point when I had to put the stitches on a thread and have Troy try them on. I was worried about their being long enough and fitting his calf. By the time he tried them on they were very nearly knee socks. I had in my head that they should be longer, but Troy's voice of reason reminded me that they were already plenty long and in fact longer than any other socks he owned. Ok, so off to the finishing cuff...

I decided to work an elastic thread in with the top 1x1 rib:
It is a big pain in the butt, but I hope it will help keep the socks from slouching. The cuff ended up being about 1.75" deep.

Then it was off to the second sock. I was hoping it would move faster since I didn't have to figure things out or have Troy try them on anymore. I think the time not figuring things out is spent in making sure it matches the first sock, but I am definitely saving time by skipping the fittings.

I was making good progress and yesterday was looking at finishing the heel. I worked the heel flap with a knit 1, slip 1 pattern which reinforces the back of the heel. (Unfortunately it also reduces the stretch, and I think that is part of why Troy has difficulty pulling the socks over his heel. Unanticipated consequences.)

On the second sock, the stitches got very tight. I wasn't aware of it, but I was pulling the yarn past the "slip 1" too tight and drawing everything in. As I finished the heel flap yesterday, I stopped to take a look and realized it was not going to work. I compared it to the first sock and confirmed that the second one was a lot tighter. Rip, rip, rip went the heel as I sat in my car (aka "private 3-season room") at lunch.

I got the stitches all back onto their various needles and began again with the conscious thought of not pulling on the yarn. It is working much better.
This morning I am dangerously close to finishing the second heel. (And I've used up all the yarn from the frogging. Any time I rip something out, I am driven to knit up all the progress I had to tear out in that same session. Yes, this can lead to some late nights. But when lunch break is over, you kind of have to get back to work so I'm glad to have hit that milestone and my compulsive brain can stop worrying over it!)

Once the heel is done, it's 2x2 ribbing with increases up the leg. This is when I'll be asking myself, "Why oh why did I make them so long??" Ok, honestly I was kind of asking myself that on the first sock already.

Meanwhile back to knitting. I still have a hope of finishing these by our anniversary on September 9. Since I started these on our 12.5 anniversary trip, I feel like this would be a fitting completion date.

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