20 May 2007

Tale of the Toe

I’m not sure I’m lovin’ this.

The Bear stoically endures modeling a work-in-progress.

But back to the abovementioned (or, to be more precise about this layout, belowmentioned) Eastern Cast-On. Thanks, Interweave (and Ann Budd): once again, you have revolutionized my sock-making. The provisional cast-on I’ve been using for toe-ups until now is fine, but equipment-intensive (I always find myself wanting to cast on at moments when I don’t have waste yarn or a crochet hook handy). Furthermore, the toes of my sock pal’s sock are black, and the thought of trying to unzip and pick up all those teeny tiny stitches, given the tendency of black yarn to be invisible, was causing me some concern (even with Wendy’s post about unzipping reassuring me that I’m not alone in my lack of fluency in this technique). But now: wrap the yarn around the needles, knit into it, and you’re off.

(Of course, it took me about an hour of obsessive, dead-to-the-world, hunched-over-in-some-no-doubt-bizarre-and-embarrassing-posture knitting in a local café to figure out how to do it. Those line drawings always make it look so deceptively easy, and I always feel stupid for not being able just to pick up the needles and whirl away on my first try. I have the same problem with cookbooks.)

The toe with which I finally emerged from the coffee shop, blinking blearily at the light like a waking groundhog, not only gleefully resisted all my attempts to photograph it (being black), but also proved, on inspection, to have been knit for the full-sized cousin of the beloved bear who is modeling my current attempt above. Somehow I had misremembered my sock pal’s foot as being 10 1/2 inches in diameter (an extreme overstatement), and this particular toe, character-ful as it was, would have been too big even for that. Rrrip.

A black cloud? A UFO? You decide.

Anyway, now I am heedlessly plunged into my toe-up, multi-colored and multi-designed sock. And I am just not sure about it. On the one hand, I may have figured out how to fix the discrepancy between the slip-stitch sole and the striped top of the foot by adding a couple of extra rows on the sole at intervals; and adding a slip-stitch pattern on the top of the foot (I am thinking of a diamond inset with my sock pal’s initials. Tacky? Tell me) will help even up the discrepancy further. If I like the pattern, that is. Right now, it is that diamond, in particular, that I am unsure of. But without it, the top of the foot may look just too plain. I might have to go back and add some ribbing or something.

Top (note the questionable inlay diamond beginning to emerge at the center)

One thing is working the way I planned: the slip-stitch makes a nice thick sole.

Bottom (in which my hand demonstrates that it got a manicure since the last photo op. However, it now thinks this picture makes it look pasty, and fat. There’s no pleasing it.)

Given the number of times I’ve ripped so far, I have a new concept – I think I will document, not places I’ve knit the sock, but places I’ve frogged it. Yesterday, for example, I frogged in the break during an opera performance. Too bad I didn’t have a camera.

PS - I see Blogger now saves drafts automatically. Gosh, they were listening.


s b said...

I like the idea of a diamond pattern, but I (personally) wouldn't want my initials in it. I love the color of the blue/green yarn--with those color changes, your sock is anything but boring. I really like it a lot!

Seanna Lea said...

Everytime I hear about monogrammed socks, I think of the monogamous socks one of my friends has. They have numbers on them, so it is easy to match them up into pairs.

I love the sock colors, and think it is looking great as you currently have it planned!

fabienne said...

wow i really like the colors you picked! i sure hope i'm your downstream pal! i still have to receive my yarn before i can cast on, but it's ok i have another black sock i'm working on which is taking up all of my knitting time. your sock looks great so far!

Jennifer said...

Great colors! I especially like how the sole looks.

Regenia said...

I LOVE the idea of a monogrammed sock... My aunt gave me a monogrammed towel-wrap thing for use in the dorm when I graduated from high school and it always made me feel so high class walking back to my room from the shower.... Monograms and pearls- the mark of a fine southern belle :)