A few blog posts ago, I received a lot of encouragement from people to get back to my Rattlesnake Creek socks. Even my husband made a comment about how much he liked them. In reality I really liked them too, but quite some time ago they had been tossed in the naughty basket due to my strong suspicion that there was something very wrong with them. It was very early in my sock making attempts when I cast these on and I still didn’t really have a solid concept in my head about how sock construction works. To further complicate the issue, I knit Magic Loop for all my socks as it is the only method of sock knitting that doesn’t make me want to stick the needles into my own eyes to escape the suffering. (Did you know that if you throw a sock that is being knit on DPN’s across the room they will bounce?) Unfortunately, many sock patterns are not written for Magic Loop knitters, so you have to mentally adjust the written pattern on the fly to accommodate the style. Not so easy to do in the beginning.
But there they were, out of the naughty basket and in my hands once again. With merely a moment of inspection it was revealed that yes, there was something wrong with them. Somehow I had made the heel turn about half as large as it needed to be. I have no idea how I did that, but I quickly frogged the turn and reknit it and just like that the problem was fixed. I picked up my gusset stitches to start working further down the sock and that when I discovered this little problem.
My best guess is that I reversed the direction of the cable. For one very brief nano second I considered ripping it back to fix it. But, as the thought of ripping anything back often does, it left my head as quickly as it entered and I decided to live with it. I hate frogging my work back and as my BFF and knitting guru taught me: “There are no mistakes, it’s a designer feature.” I also thought about dropping just those stitches and reworking the cable, but since these socks are just for me that seemed like way too much work. The wonky cable is now part of the sock and that suits me just fine.
So the sock continued. All was well and the first half of the chart repeat was complete, the decreases were almost finished and while the sock is a little snug, (the pattern did mention this might happen, but I was a young sock knitter and apparently ignored the advice to start the sock on a slightly larger needle size,) everything was going swimmingly. Then came the part in the pattern repeats where the cables shift from the area that they are being worked in and reappear in a new section. This is where a new and stunningly glorious problem emerged. My husband had left the room for a moment but came back in to make sure that everything was okay since apparently the “very loud sigh” that escaped my lips could be heard in the other room. I was sitting on my sofa staring at the sock with a cable needle sticking out of my mouth and answered with “uh huh.” It was the kind of “uh huh” that really doesn’t mean “uh huh” it really means that I am on the verge of a rather impress temper tantrum and possible homicidal rage and that I am actually incredibly mad and may even have developed a tic in one of my eyes because of it all and no it’s really not okay at all but I can’t explain exactly what is wrong and even if I could it would just be too much damn work kind of “uh huh.” He looked at me for a second and then very compassionately said “your knitting is misbehaving, isn’t it?” To which I answered “uh huh” again but this is a far sadder and more of a resigned “uh huh” than an angry one. He then said “I fear for its safety.” To which I emphatically reply “uh huh” and we both sort of chuckled a little and then because my husband is smart he wandered over to the computer to read blogs or play games or something while I figured out how to deal with the mess or put the whole thing down in disgust, but he knows not to offer advice one way or the other. I did at this point take the cable needle out of my mouth long enough to state “it’s amazing how many magical ways I’ve managed to mess this sock up.” (Except I didn’t used the word “mess.” The word I used was far less ladylike, and probably not the first one that comes to your mind either.)
But, my knitterly friends, there is a happy ending to all this. It took me a little while to figure out exactly what had gone wrong, but I did figure it out. When I divided for the heel flap all those many moons ago I divided then in the wrong place and thus caused the pattern repeats on the foot to start on the wrong stitch. I didn’t notice until the time to shift the pattern because I have been following the knits and purls as they appear on the sock and since everything lined up with where the sides of the foot needed to be it was easy to miss. Not only that, but with a little more thought I was able to figure out how to keep going without having to rip any thing back. (I did tell you that I hate ripping things out.) To get the pattern to continue in the correct way I have to start this section of the repeats on the 5th stitch and end in the middle of the section. But, it’s all good and it will work and it will be finished soon. Hopefully the second one will go a little more smoothly and thanks for all the encouragement. Without it they’d still be in the naughty knitting basket.