Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tartan Socks: Mocked by Moccasins

Tartan sock off black I have a feeling my experiment with Elizabeth Zimmerman's Moccasin Sock technique is about to come to an abrupt and messy end.

I suspect I'm not going to like the fit of the finished socks, which is a major de-motivator for proceeding.

However, it is a cunning construction. It looks all goofy on the needles, but magically transforms into a sock on the foot. It will eliminate the need to sew the side of the foot shut, which is a plus. I'm also surprised at how well the heel fits, even thought it doesn't have a normal turn.

The problem is I'm not sure how much of my discomfort stems from the construction of the sock, and how much is because I'm trying it on while it's still on the needles.

I'm closing in on the bottom of the foot, where the sole will be grafted shut. I can't decide if I should finish it and get a true fit, or if I should cut my losses now. I was smart and did not cut the red and yellow yarn after working the toe. Of course, if I was to back track, I would have to pull back all of the heel/gusset/instep shaping, which would take me back to the center of the last black diamond at the ankle.

Wiggle Room, or Lack Thereof
The main problem is in the toe.

Remember a few posts ago when I was worried the Tartan Sock was longer in the foot than the Pirate Arrgyles? Well, totally misplaced fear. Turns out the Tartans are three rows shorter, and I'm feeling their loss.

The toe pocket is very close. It is hard to flare my toes. And the foot seems short in general. It makes my toes curl under. But at the same time the fabric on top of the foot looks baggy.

You can see how much of the sole I've worked. I'm through both sets of toe decreases and theTartan Sock on black one set of heel decreases.

At first I thought I should pull it out and work the red toe decrease section over more rows to give myself more room. Then I realized the top of the foot looked baggy, so that didn't seem the proper fix.

I don't know if I should work more rows between the decreases on the theory the slack will stretch up the sides to my toes were I need it. Or if I DO need to make the foot longer. She says when you pick up for the sole you should have double the number of stitches you cast on, and I didn't.

Under Foot
Then I'm also worried about the feeling of the finished sole under my foot.

You graft the very bottom shut. This shouldn't be an issue. Grafting/kitchener stitch is seemless.

But it also sounds like you do that draw-string bag closure thing under the toe and heel. How much of a lump is that going to make? Am I going to feel it when I walk?

I once crocheted a pair of slippers with a sole that started with a chain that you worked around, increasing on either end. I felt the lump under my heel. It was pretty uncomfortable. Granted, that was with worsted weight 100% acrylic yarn and these socks are fingering weight wool. But still.

This all means the Tartan Socks are stymied at the point you currently see them. They've been in that condition for a few days now while I dither.

On the bright side, I've turned the heel on the Second Scrappy Socks and I've almost finished Stella's Second sleeve.

I guess there is something to be said for having multiple projects on the go!


  1. You are brave to even try argyles!! Wow! They look great, but I understand your concern with lumpiness under the foot. Is there a way to graft what you're told to "drawstring"? I can't think of anything else that would work better. Sorry.

  2. I feel your pain. Wanting to continue on a project that you have a bad feeling about is rare for me. I admire your skill in the argyle world - I hope it all works out!

  3. Comments! OMG I'm so excited.
    Usually I respond to the commenter via e-mail, but I thought I'd try something new and respond in a comment myself. This will create the illusion of a conversation. :-)

    I think EZ instructs closing the heel and toe with a drawstring because they are arch shaped. I'm pondering whether those stitches can be distributed so I can incorporate them in the grafting.
    But that would require me to finish the foot. Which is looking highly unlikely.

  4. Wow, you're really on a sock kick! You'll have warm feet this winter, that's for sure.
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