I downloaded Wendy Knits: My Never-Ending Adventures in Yarn as a trial run. I was immediately taken with the generic, toe up sock pattern. Not that I was ever going to knit a sock from the toe up, mind you. I knit a lot of socks. Oodles. But I've always been a dedicated flapper and the very idea of a short row heel made my head hurt. I knit very nice socks. Who has the time to be learning a new way to knit heels? And toes, for that matter...
Well, it seems that I do, at least at the moment. With the recent bout of back to back storms, I've been sitting at home more than I've been teaching the next generation. I worked literally a day and a half this past week and I have a bad feeling that there is another snow day looming in the immediate future. I finally gave in and did my provisional cast on. I was trapped inside and going a little stir crazy anyway. Why not add a some "heel crazy" to the mix?
The toe-up sock requires two short row endeavors so there was ample opportunity to traverse the learning curve. Some lessons I learned very quickly. For example: if it takes you half an hour to "unzip" your provisional cast on, then you have probably done it wrong. I taught kindergarten. I've done my share of wintertime playground duties. I know a stuck zipper when I see one.
Other questions didn't resolve themselves quite so quickly. I came perilously close to going online and polling the knitting community regarding the best time to ice down my hands. Should I do it right after screwing up the first heel? Or wait until the third try? Would taking a therapeutic dose of pain relievers before starting eliminate the need for ice altogether? What is the best course of action here???
Of course, I eventually figured out that knitting probably shouldn't hurt and that, like the cast on, I was probably doing something wrong. I finally reviewed a few online tutorials for instruction.
Finally, after days of snowbound knitting, I ended up with this:
|Not bad...if you squint and think very positive sock thoughts.|
It is fair to say that these will never be "clog socks." They might be "church socks" since they are very Hol(e)y in places, though. At first I found myself disparaging the short row, but then I recalled how I used to have to stitch up the heels of my socks back in the day. There was always a gap after I picked up the stitches. Now I don't need to do that because I knit very nice flappy heels. I've no doubt I can come up with a neater way to do this with practice.
In spite of the flaws, I'm not displeased with the result. The toe-up sock goes pretty quickly and when you're done...you're done. No weaving of toes, just one little strand of yarn. And I'm pleasantly surprised by the fit. It's really a nice sock, if not a perfect one.
I started the second today. In the event of further weather, I will have something to work on while I wait out the snowflakes. At this rate, I should be able to replenish my dwindling sock supply in short order!
Actually, if this weather pattern persists, I imagine I'll be able to meet my sock needs for life.