Thursday, March 03, 2011

Evil Genius Evolves: Gussets

The challenge to toe-up socks is figuring out where to start expanding for the gussets. I used to think the answer was to count rows, and I remain a die-hard row counter -- it's how you make one sock the same size as the other. Still, I get how lots of math turns people off. And that's how I came up with my new lab assistant, Gus.

Gus first made his appearance in the Evil Genius lab during the Arch-Villain project. Rather than issuing complicated instructions to calculate how many rounds long your sock should be and then subtract the gusset and heel rounds, I said:
When your sock is about 4 inches long, measure the distance of 26 rows (or rounds). It's probably between 2 - 2.5 inches. This is your gusset length -- let's call it "Gus." Continue working until your sock is "Gus" inches shorter than the total length of the foot.
Simple. Direct. Effective. And whimsical enough to be non-threatening. I've thought for some time that Gus could be put to more frequent use around the lab, particularly since I can specify whatever I want for the distance. For my own socks, Gus is usually 51 rows, or around 4 inches.

Gus, it turns out, can help me solve a persistent problem: frequently, my socks are a wee bit too long. So if I give Gus some elbow room, round him up by ¼-½ inch, that removes the extra length.

The great Cat Bordhi discovered that gusset increases, when worked 2 increases per 3 rows, could be placed anywhere around the sock. The standard Evil Genius pattern puts them in a fairly conventional line up along the instep, but Ted Myatt argues convincingly that they should be moved away from there. I've grown fond of placing them along the sole, at the width of the heel base, because that provides a nice set up when it comes time to turn the heel.


micah said...

I will not increase. I refuse!

Stephen said...

Love me some Ted Myatt! I'm also into Gus. Would like to try him out.