Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sock Genius Fail

If I don't shape up, I'm going to be forced to relinquish my claim as the Evil Sock Genius. I keep knitting beautiful socks that don't fit human feet.

EXHIBIT A: These socks were to be a Mother's Day present. I called them "Enelram," a toe-up adaptation of Cookie A's Marlene socks. They seemed fantastic until I finished the first one and discovered that it was an inch too long in the foot -- or would be, if you could pull the tight thing on in the first place.

EXHIBIT B: Figuring the problem was with my heel strategy, I decided to suck it up and follow the pattern. It made no difference. Only with much tugging and swearing could these socks be pulled on.

The problem, of course, is gauge. The pattern clearly specifies 24 stitches to 4 inches. (I would argue, however, that "6 stitches per inch" is more clear). I didn't notice that these socks need thicker yarn and bigger needles than usual. In my defense, a 68-72 stitch circumference normally indicates the yarn and needles I was using.

EXHIBITS C-F: These are prototypes for a pattern I'm working on (more about this later). I have ripped back and reknit the heels repeatedly, trying 4 different heel strategies. During this process, I had to admit that my numbers for the Evil Genius Sock are just wrong. Maybe they work on a plain stockinette sock, but like Exhibit A above, with a patterned instep they produce a sock that is both too long and too tight across the arch and heel. The 4th attempt finally produced something acceptable, but even that falls short of perfect.

The Evil Sock Genius pattern will have to undergo some serious revision. But first, I need to figure out what I'm going to do for Mother's Day.


rcclive said...

Don't give up title yet! Just keep after it (you've already given it more tries than I would have) - Sock Genius will win out!'


--S. said...

But I love how the prototype pattern looks so far! I'm certain this is merely a small stumble in the consolidation of your Evil Genius Empire.

Cat Herself said...

I have every faith that you will succeed in conquering the foe of math challenges.