Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's my party and I'll try if I want to

L 2008 socks

Finished (and handed over, months ago) socks for a size 11 foot in The Knittery's merino slim sock wool, on 2mm needles. I am so glad I have a few skeins of this stashed, because it made the most lovely, fine, slinky fabric.

The previous socks for my brother-in-law ended up being quite a success. He's not the easiest person to find presents for - though chocolate is always welcome - so I planned to make socks for him again for last year's birthday. Since it's pretty hot around here in January (yes, January 2008), I didn't feel too bad giving an IOU. I knit a single tiny red sock and stuck it to a card.

I can't even remember now precisely all the ins and outs of getting these socks done! When I was actually knitting on them they didn't take too long, but for various reasons there were some long breaks. One of these happened because the twins were on the way and I was knitting for them instead of their dad. I know I had a fair bit of guilt about taking so long.

I ended up with the first finished sock being several rows too short in the foot when K (similar sized foot model) tried it on. I had already done some ripping and reknitting and was determined not to go there again. Well, really, all that ribbing had been done last - these were toe-up socks, as always. I had also finished the second sock, at the right length, while thinking about what to do with the too-short one.

I decided to see if I could get away with:
- cutting a hole
- picking out a row
- knitting the extra rows required
- grafting the two pieces back together

Sure, I knew this might take almost as long, and would definitely be more fiddly, than just ripping it out and reknitting. I knew that my grafting might not be up to scratch and the finished result might not look good enough. Still, I wanted to try it. Sometimes I am just like that. 
Before I cut the hole (picture below) I threaded pieces of wool through the row before, and the row after the one I would be picking out.
arrow cut a hole
So I ended up with each piece ending in live stitches neatly threaded.
picking out
Unfortunately one lot of stitches was twisted, and I had inordinate difficulties getting them the right way around as I transferred them onto the needles. I don't know why - I mean there is really only one right way and one wrong way (except for multiple twists, I suppose but that would be really obvious).
This photo might look a little familiar to some of you. Alwen's post last week actually reminded me to get on with this story. Of course, she was on a slightly different reknitting adventure.

It all worked out ok in the end. I did have to do the grafting twice, but that's pretty standard for me! The first graft had lots of twisted stitches and was also too tight, causing a hard ridge inside the sock. The second time didn't look perfect, but it smoothed out quite well after a wash. It's nothing a non-knitter is likely to notice. (I guess saying that is just begging for a comment from L saying he did notice) I also ended up with a lot of ends to weave in because I had to attach new wool for the grafting - the yarn from the picked out row was very tired looking after the first grafting attempt. It was all a bit risky and not an ideal strategy for a gift sock. But in the back of my mind I knew that I had another skein of the same colour and if worst came to worst, I could chuck the sock and knit another one.

I'm really very glad I didn't have to, though.


Rose Red said...

geez, I'm glad you didn't have to knit a whole new sock too! Amazing that you did all that!!

Donna Lee said...

I think I would have ripped it out but the urge to "just try this" might have won out. I'm glad it worked for you. They are great colors for socks. And the little dress for your niece is adorable. I love the way the increases make a perfect a-line skirt.

Bells said...

oh what a nice little adventure - well done!

Alwen said...

You know, when I do stuff like that myself, I feel all calm and pretty sure of what I'm going to need to do, but -- seeing those snips on the sock! Yikes!

They are gorgeous looking socks. I love the fabric from the fine yarns.

Rhonda said...

I love a bold knitter! That's a great result - the stripes look good too. I'm impressed.