Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Stupid Knitting

Which one of you knitting wackos out there was it that convinced me to knit socks? I don't even like socks. I go out of my way to not have to wear socks. Hell, I don't even like shoes. And I certainly shouldn't be insisting that others wear socks. Actually, knitting socks as a gift for others is sort of hypocritical on my part, don't you think?

Last night, while contemplating the fate of the heel of the sock we discussed yesterday, I decided now might be a good time to try it on a man's foot. (When it was about 3 inches long, I tried it on my own foot/leg and it was fine.) My husband is the only man living at my house so I used his foot. He has a fairly average man-foot. (While I did not take measurements of the recipient foot, I have looked and they are close to the size of my Mister's feet.) I'll breeze right past the part where I pushed and shoved and struggle and tried and cursed and cried (a tiny bit) to tell you: It does not fit. No way, no how. No amount of cajoling or forcing would get this sock on his foot.

I have been wracking my brain trying to think of a man I know who might actually be able to wear this sock. Maybe my 9 year old nephew.

Honestly, I should have noticed along the way that maybe this sock wasn't going to work. It did look a bit narrow but I was convinced it was the ribbing and that, once on the foot, it would have a comfy fit. But no. I could not get it over his heel. I tried to convince myself otherwise but the fact is: the leg of the sock must go past the heel.

So. I will be starting over. I'm not going rip this sock out; I am going to go ahead and knit these socks (not right now, but before I put them aside, I am going to try the short row heel - what do I have to lose now???) Maybe I will send them to the Dulaan project. That might soothe my bitterness a little, if they were to go to a good cause.

Ironically, I was just reading one of the Yarn Harlot's books the other night (can't remember which one) and there was some discussion over this phenomenon and I sort of wondered at this. I had never had it happen to me. Who knew it would come back to bite me in the ass in such short order? I did swatch for this project (heck, I've already made 2/3 of a sock from this yarn and this pattern and it is lovely and human-sized) and I was confident that it would be a good fit. Alas, no.

When I start this next sock (which I will probably do shortly so I don't decide to give up) do ya'll think I should go up a needle size, maybe? (I've been using size 1.) I had convinced myself that the Size 1's would make a better fabric but maybe not. Maybe I am not experienced enough to make this kind of decision on my own. (Obviously.) I have never used 2's for socks. I've used 2's for other things but not socks. What do ya'll think? I'm going to make this next go with Austermann Step, which recommends a size 2 or 3 needle. Luckily numbers are the same in all languages as there is no English on the label.

I think tonight is a good night for some wine.

Today's Quote: I'm torn so I'll let you choose.

"It doesn't matter if you try and try and try again, and fail. It does matter if you try and fail, and fail to try again." - Charles Kettering

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it." - W.C. Fields


Jo said...

I hate it when that happens to me! It is frustrating, isn't it?

As to what to do, I think I'd suggest sticking with the same size needle and just adding stitches. Unless, of course, the fabric is terribly tightly woven or you don't have enough yarn.

Going up a needle size may make the fabric too loose, and the socks won't wear well. I made a pair on too large needles, and they have a tendency to lose their stretchiness after I have them on a couple hours.

Well, that's my two cents worth anyway. Good luck! Don't give up on socks; they're addictive!!

RC said...

So that was your scream of anguish that woke me up?! the pain!
more stitches, not bigger needles like Jo said. bigger needles will make a loosy goose fabric that will not feel good or wear well.
just lookit' all the sock experience you have now! Good Job. Just.Keep.Knitting

EnnaVic said...

Oh gosh - no use me talking knowledgably about socks because I know Nothing and am getting slightly paranoid about the half finished socks lurking around the house. I'm sure they must be plotting.

Good luck :)

Charity said...

I'm finally getting caught up on my blog reading - you've been busy! I'm so happy to see you knitting socks, even with the "issue" with the "gauge". We all get bit in the ass from time to time, don't let it get you down! :0)

Dr. B. said...

I recently heard a quote that I find extremely useful and true -- There is no failure, only discovery.


As for your sock debacle (sock-acle?), I don't think I've ever knit a sock on anything smaller than a 3. I don't know if that will help your situation, but thought I'd kick it in just in case.

Sorry about your sock. I think the Dulaan people would really appreciate them, though.

RobynR said...

Swatches are evil little tools of the devil sent to convince innocent knitters that they are not smarter than the yarn. Not that I feel strongly or anything.
Now, was your swatch flat or was it in the round? It can make a difference because most people tend to purl looser than they knit and . . . oh heck. Ribbing. Might not really make a difference. *sigh*
Also, to make said socks larger, I agree with everyone else that you should increase your stitches rather than your needle size. For guidelines, I'd like to recommend Charlene Schurch's Sensational Socks. I love love love it. She gives knitters all kinds of charts to help in sizing so even if you never use one of her patterns the book is invaluable. (and remember, this wisdom is coming from the vast experience of my whole one and one-third socks)
Lastly, don't be afraid of the short rows. If I can make 'em you most certainly can.

Dusa said...

Girlfriend - For a great first sock knit, you must try this pattern: (I do ribbing all the way to the heel flap.)

I know I know - too little too late, but it has revolutionized the way I knit socks!

Dorothy said...

Wendy Knits has a great new sock pattern with a toe-up heel flap version. The cast on looks easy and it has a heel flap as opposed to short rows.

Here is a link to it. It's a pdf so you need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Nora said...

Ok, here goes:

I knit ALL my socks on 3mm needles - so there!!

Yep, larger needles NOT more sts is my mantra - it's a sock, not a jumper.

3mm needles produce a beautiful, soft, drapey fabric. If need be, just reinforce the toe and heel.

Jessica said...

I have always been a bit skeptical about hand-knit socks. I mean, first of all it seems like a lot of work for something that you don't necessarily SEE when you are wearing it. And then of course, there is the dreaded gauge issue ... I do not like having to do projects that require accurate gauge. Not that any of this matters, since my knitting skills are very pathetic so far. And now your post has scared me even more about the socks. Hand knit socks = scary!
Good luck!

Oh and PS-- thanks for the birthday wishes! And the blog commenting! and the general enhancing of blog-land, with the fun posts and the comments and emails! You rock!