Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tartan Socks: Stupid Heel Flap

Tartan Argyle leg So I'm cruising along on the second Tartan Argyle Sock, and then I get to the heel flap and everything falls apart.

On the first sock I can see that I decreased a stitch on the first row of the heel flap. And when I count the stitches I get 28 not the 30 I would expect in a 60 stitch sock. Which also indicates I must have decreased a second stitch somewhere, not that I can find it.

And I have nothing written down to indicate why I would have done this.

Nothing scribbled on the chart, which would be a sensible place since it's "the pattern".

Nothing in my little metal notebook I keep in my purse, which is where I scribble just about all my pattern notes.

Nothing in the numerous, long winded, supposedly detailed blog posts I wrote about the first sock.

Nope. Just randomly decreased from the 30 stitches that are half the sock down to 28.

I suspect that I wanted the foot to be 56 stitches, which will fit me better, but why not just take the extra stitches out in the gusset decreases?

In fact, I tried to count the sole stitches after the gusset decreases and I think I did get 26. But I didn't account for the stitches used in the seam, so I need to count the foot again.

Also, I tried to count the stitches after the heel turn, as a cross check, and got 16, which can't be correct because my little metal notebook indicates I usually have 18 stitches left after turning a 28 stitch heel.

Still, it might have been nice for me to actually write a note about this important point in the pattern.

Unless I thought I'd be finishing them so quickly that I'd remember. Obviously I didn't expect them to take me, like, a year. Or maybe I was still so flustered by the failure that was the Moccasin Sole that it didn't occur to me to write stuff down.

The Bright Side
Regardless, you can take all this babbling as an indication that I've finished the leg and am ready to divide for the heel.

Well, step back, I spent time last night weaving in most of the ends on the leg. I couldn't finish the last diamond because it was too close to the needles.

Remember I had that cunning plan to work the heel flap before the instep because I thought it would be easier to keep the instep and sole the same length?

Well, it turns out this heel flap stitch count mess stopping me cold is a good thing.

It occurred to me this morning that if I join for the heel flap now it will be rather difficult to weave in the rest of the leg ends later. I'll be working into a tube. I'd have to flip the sock inside out.

So I think I'll work a bit of the instep to give myself slack to weave in the rest of the leg ends.

Then I'll count foot stitches on the first sock obsessively a couple times. Then I'll plunge into the heel flap for the second sock.

On whatever stitch count that maybe.

All before the Olympics start tomorrow night.

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