Monday, December 19, 2005


....seems someone has a problem with the instructions for my socks.

While it's my prerogative to design and choose as I will and, believe you me, I have my reasons why I use certain design elements, it's up to everyone to skip, change or drop them altogether. It's not like I do re-invent the wheel, eh?

But, I want to play nice and since it doesn't do to ignore the facts, here is what I have to say :

1. What’s up with the cast on?
Yes a 1 x 1 rib cast on is tubular and cool but you have to knit two rows before joining in the round so you end up with 2 un-joined rows. Granted, this isn’t really a huge deal since you can just bring the rows together when you weave in the end but there are better ways to do using the nifty tubular cast on Megan showed me which involves crochet, waste yarn, large needles and knitting in the round. Sure it’s a bit of work but Megan’s tubular cast on is seriously cool and stretchy. However, a 1 x 1 rib cast on is just easier to explain hence it takes up less space on the page, which is maybe why it’s used here despite the two un-joined rows.

I like this particular cast-on used on these socks a lot, it's stretchy, elegant and really not that hard to do. It's true, the first two rows you slip the purl stitches, but since you slip them once on each side it is actually only one row that gets knit and I don't see the problem with fixing that little gap when weaving in the end. Honestly, I find the waste yarn and crochethook method too time consuming but would never tell anyone NOT to use it if they are so inclined. It's just a cast-on and not finding a solution for world poverty, after all.

2. The deal with the heel:
Has anyone ever knit a heel flap like this?
Row 1 – Knit
Row 2 – Knit the first three stitches, purl to last three, Knit the last three
Where is the slipping of the first stitch to form the chain edge thingy along the side of the sock? And this creates a monster wide heel. So what’s up? Has anyone else out there knit a heel like this before – and why?

And get this, when you are done turning the heel, you CUT the yarn. That’s right, you heard me, you CUT the yarn before picking up your gusset stitches. Why you ask? I don’t know, ask Ms. Mona Schmidt, the designer responsible for this pattern. My guess – the heel ends on a purl row so normally you would knit across the heel stitches and pick up your gusset stitches. However, this pattern has you cut the yarn and reattach it instead of just knitting across the 18 heel stitches. Ummm, does this make sense to anyone?

Just because one has not knit a heel flap like this before doesn't mean that it is wrong. I like the garter ridges on the outside of the flap (instead of slipped stitches), one doesn't need the chain edge to pick up the stitches for the gusset. What it certainly doesn't do is creating a monster wide heel - and I haven't had any complaints so far. While I am happy that my pattern has been published, personally I do not care how you turn the heel, go shortrowing for all I care.

Regarding cutting the yarn after turning the heel: So, why didn't you ask me? I don't bite, as anyone in my knitting group who has asked me things can confirm.

Once again, this is the method I prefer, no one has to do it that way. I like to have the beginning of my round on the inside of the foot (where it was before I turned the heel), that's why I cut the yarn and start picking up the stitches on the right side of the gusset. Of course the heel ends with a purl row - how else would it be? Just because I do it that way doesn't mean you all have to cut the yarn *gasp*, too, instead of knitting across and starting picking up the stitches on the left side of the gusset. Go ahead, knit it your way, they are going to be your socks, no?

3. Fussing with the gusset:
So you cut the yarn, and than rejoin it and than pick up the gusset stitches like normal and decrease them like normal. Okay, I actually have no issues with this section of the pattern, I just wanted to try and rhyme a word with gusset.

How else but normal would I knit a gusset? I just start at the other side, s'all!

4. I can’t say anything about the toe yet because I haven’t reached there yet but it looks like one of those nifty star decrease toes instead of the regular toe.

I really do hope you like the toe decreases - I just love how they give the image of a completed leaf when done.

This proves best that people like to do it their way - I do, you do, we all have our preferences how to do things. Remember though: It's just KNITTING!

While we're at it: anyone else out there who wants to ask me why, how, when? Now would be a good time!


Karine said...

Mona,I may be new to the whole blogging thing but I dont think it was worth you waisting that precious time you could have been knitting on that ranting girl. I'm sure that smack talking chicka was PMSing that day. I will be attempting you socks soon and I promise I'll ask for your help if I get confused, I wont blog about it...

nadine said...

i have seen these socks, knit up, and they are gorgeous. Fabulous & lovely. true, i have not knit them myself. I know they turn out to be Fabulous !

that said, you can't please all the people all the time. some people like to whine. i don't know (yet !?) who posted that big rant (the link wasn't working this morning), but she is really .... on the wrong side of the bed.
Like you've already said, if you don't LIKE part of the pattern, do your own thing. This is not mandatory that any one person follow all details to the letter. chill !

on a brighter note: these socks rock.
they are SO pretty. oooh & ahhhh.

nadine said...

ah. i found the blog that had the issues. i posted a comment on her blog about her issues.

maybe she's not normally ... like this. i won't be reading to find out.

Anonymous said...

remember, the people who are most AFRAID of change are the ones who complain about it the loudest.

they have minds that are closed and don't realise that different isn't bad, just something unfamiliar, and-gasp!- maybe better than what they have tried before. but so many people are resistant to change, the only thing they know how to do is reject it before they even try it.

don't get frustrated

Jill said...

Hello Mona,

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post. It is beyond cool to have someone who has a pattern in Interweave comment on my blog!

So here are my thoughts:
1. Cast-on - definitely agree with you that the 1x1 is way easier than dragging out waste yarn and a crochet needle. And I will be using it from now on for my 1x1 ribbed socks. So thanks for bringing it to my attention cause it's nifty.

2. My heel issues only arise because the last time I knit socks using the heel method you mention, they ended up being very wide and bulge in my shoes which drives me batty. So I just prefer a different method from past experiences.

3. I really did just want to rhyme a word with gusset which is the only reason I mentioned it in the first place!

4. Toe - LOVE IT. Think it looks fantastic and is a nice alternative to the 'normal' toe.

So once again, thanks for your comment. And I apologize for not contacting you with my questions directly. I didn't realize that you had a blog until someone (Jo?) mentioned it in my comments. And nope, no PMS going on here but thanks for asking.

Have a great holiday!

ellen said...

I actually finished one of those socks just moments ago, and it is really nice.

I love that cast-on and the twisted rib for the cuffs; I think I'll be using both on a lot more socks in the future.

I had never done a heel that way and I ended up only picking up 14 stitches along the side for the gusset. It turned out fine. If I do another pair I may do the heel in my usual slip-stitch manner - I think that would nicely mirror the cuff. Different strokes for different folks. As written the heel fits fine, though.

The toe is awesome - I'm normally anti-"pulling the yarn through the remaining stitches" for a sock (I could kitchener stitch in my sleep), but with the leaf-like decreases this one is a happy exception.

Now if I can just get the second sock completed by tomorrow morning...

Lauren said...

I just wanted to say that I finished my first pair, yes I plan on doing more, and I had no problems with the pattern. By no means though, am I an experienced sock knitter. Anyway, just wanted to say I LOVE the socks - they are so beautiful! Thank you for the pattern :)

turtlegirl76 said...

Patterns are only a suggestion to some, to others, a bible. I plan on making these for my mother, and look forward to testing your method for the cast-on and toe. As for the heel, didn't Elizabeth Zimmerman have a preference for the garter stitch edging? So it's not like that's a new technique, I'll give it a shot. But the gusset, as you say, I will do however I please. =) Thanks for writing such a beautiful sock pattern!