Sunday, April 09, 2006

Melpomene Socks

In her essay The Knitting Muse, the fabulous Brenda Dayne explores how each of the nine classical Muses watches over our knitting. So today, I want to give a shout out to Melpomene, muse of Tragedy.
She teaches humility, and will give you the courage to rip out large chunks of knitting, and help you appreciate that the best thing about knitting is that most errors are fixable. She wears a raglan garment that is knit from the top down, which she continues to rip out and rework, even as she wears it.
In honor of Melpomene, I wear this tragically ugly sock as I re-knit it.

Don't we experience tragedy because of our hubris? I thought I could cut out the short-row heel pick up the stitches, and knit an afterthought heel with no problem. I should've known better than to tempt the Fates with my o'er-weening pride. The first sock ended up too short, the heel instructions from the KnitPicks pattern resulting in a stunted little heel that clearly will not do.

Something went horribly wrong with picking up heel stitches for the second sock, and I somehow ended up with 70 stitches on my needles (instead of the expected 56). This would've left me with a bizarrely misshapen sock with a hunchback for a heel. Nothing to be done but start over.

But I think good will come of this. A new "Toe-Up Socks" class plan is forming in my head, one without the steep learning curve of my existing class.


Anonymous said...

Zimmermann suggested in Knitting Without Tears that sometimes these afterthought heels work better on 2/3 of the stitches, rather than 50%.

Another thing is that often the problem with a poor-fitting heel isn't the heel: it's what's going on at the instep. My socks fit much better through the heel now that I work a few strategically-placed increases in the instep: they provide more circumference at the place where the foot/ankle is at its greatest circumference, and where the stress and strain of the foot/ankle movement is greatest. It's a little better than simply relying on the heel shaping.

Cat Herself said...

So you've completely frogged the sock? I'm nearly done with the tube part of my second sock and will be starting on an afterthought heel soon. Advice?

Cat Herself said...

Ack. My heel didn't work well at all. I've totally avoided it since Sunday . . . blah.

The code letters I have to type to post this time are "ubafrg" which, in my mind, means "you be a frog" which has me wallowing in blissful rightness. :-)