Thursday, May 28, 2009

At Last, Actual Fiber Content :)

By Leigh

Remember these socks?

Chequerboard Socks in progressThese are my Lucy Neatby Chequerboard Socks. This is the project I didn't pack away during moving, so that I would have at least some fiber in my hands to help me keep my sanity in the midst of the chaos of boxes everywhere and not being able to find anything.

I've enjoyed working on these socks, and they've been interesting because the short row garter stitch toe and heel are new for me. I didn't think I would care for them at first, but they match the thickness of the stranded knitting for the chequerboard body of the socks, and so work quite well.

But I've run into a problem. Not because of the pattern, but because of my foot.

The checks are stretched so tight before and after the heel, so as to pull them all out of shape. I'm not happy with how this looks and am not sure what to do about it.

The pattern calls for sizing the sock based on the ankle measurement. I admit I didn't do this because I have skinny ankles. I used the ball of my foot instead, and as you can see, the sock fits fine there. But the ball of my foot has a much smaller circumference than before and after my heel, hence the pulling.

What to do! The only thing I can think of is to somehow increase checks, but am not sure how to do that without distorting the checkerboard pattern. The logical place is at the bottom of the socks. Still, I'm stumped! Suggestions???

Posted 31 May 2009 at

Related Posts:
Socks: One Pair Done & Another Begun
Fiber Forum Weekend


Theresa said...

Hmm, well, frogging back and putting some increases in or if it's wearable and just not pretty, finish it and do the second sock with adjustments. If that works out wonderfully you can always do a third sock and keep the first one as a spare! Bummer though it's a beautiful sock either way.

jae said...

I would rip back to just before the heel and M1 a number of stitches in the green spaces between the checks. Work the short row heel (now it will be wider and deeper because of the extra sts so should stretch less). Then you can decrease them back out at the end in the green spaces around the ankle. Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Socks book recommends this technique. Good luck whatever you decide!

Life Looms Large said...

No advice....but I feel for you with sock trials! I do really like that pattern, but I can understand why you want the checks to all be square.

If you're going to go through the process of knitting socks, you want them to come out great!

Good luck! Nice color choices!


Anonymous said...

I'd ask Lucy herself! Here's her
contact page. She's very good about
answering questions. She's on
vacation at the present so checking
e-mail may be spotty.

sewnup said...

Asking Lucy is the best course, but in case you decide to plow forward before she gets to you----I might try to pull out the part that's tight and reknit that portion with larger needles. Often you can change gauge quite a bit that way without disrupting the pattern. If that failed I might give myself some extra stitches across the bottom of the foot area which won't be much seen.....says she whose socks always get darned anyway in the end. Good luck! sewnup

Dorothy said...

I wonder how much you'd gain by changing needle size?

Of course anything like using a different needle, adding in stitches, will make the sock look different to the pattern.

If you've knitted toe up socks before, how do they compare to this one in terms of size? could a heel style that has a gusset help? (Charlene Schurch, Sensational Knitted Socks has this type of heel in toe-up) does the stranding of the colours reduce the amount of stretch in the sock?

charlotte said...

The colors are beautiful, but I understand your annoyance. I am sorry that I have no advice at all. Bur I think it's interresting to start a sock from the toes, I always knit the opposite way.
I wish you good luck!

Wool Enough said...

I've always found it much easier to accomodate foot peculiarities with a gusset-type heel. Short-row heels are great sometimes, but if they don't fit exactly right, they pull on the foot. I also concur with those who suggested a larger needle for the tight bits. Going up (or down) a needle size here and there as needed has saved many a sock project for me.

Sheepish Annie said...

I'm useless here. My working theory is: What's inside the shoe doesn't count. This could account for some of my issues with "fit..."

I do love those socks, though. I think you will probably be happier with them if you find a way to add the increase. The commenter who suggested going directly to the pattern author is on the right track, I'd say.

Sharon said...

I'm curious how the double thickness of yarn in a pattern like that actually feels in a shoe. I'm not sure I would be able to wear them as socks though they would be adorable as slippers - just put a non-skid something on the bottom.

Jewel said...

They are looking pretty good!

How is the house coming along?

Sue T. said...

Late to the party, but...

I have this problem also with short row heels, so much so that I simply won't make them. Since you are doing the heel in a solid color, it doesn't matter when you knit them. So, try this: rip the sock back to where you started the heel, but instead knit in a length of waste yarn and keep knitting with plans to do an "afterthought" heel. EZ mentions that, and there are other sock designers who have instructions. The difference? After you finish the sock and remove the waste yarn & pick up stitches, knit 6-8 rows on the afterthought heel before you do any decreasing. This will add depth to the heel and more room across your instep without having to adjust number of stitches, needle size, etc. Just adding those extra rows in the afterthought heel makes a world of difference. Good luck!