Problems with Sock Along #1

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I'd been wanting to be a part of a knitalong since starting my blog. After all, I've got some naked real estate in my right-hand navigation column without a string of knitalongs I belong to - or so seems to be the unspoken design and user interface rules of knit blogdom.

When I first caught sight to the 6 Sox Knitalong on one blog or another, I quickly signed up. I've got some sock knitting experience and lots of sock yarn. It seemed a good way to get involved in a knitting community while working on short projects that wouldn't take away from other major projects and design creation I'm working on.

I had good intentions, and I downloaded and printed out the pattern for the first of six socks right away. I didn't get started right away though, and quickly I felt myself slipping into a 6 Sox swamp. The email list for the knitalong generates tons of mail which even in digest I don't necessarily have time to wade through - and if you're not yet knitting the sock, then it's easy to just ignore the mail. (The sock knitters list, which I use to jump on and off of, generates a ton of mail, too. There are just a lot of sock knitters out there, I guess, and they do a good job at community building via email lists.)

At any rate, last week, the moderators gave sort of a first sock "warning" since the first sock is supposed to be done by the end of July. I figured I'd better hop to it.

sockI started first in some Stahl that someone gave me a while back as a stocking stuffer. It is white with primary colored confetti throughout. After a few inches in the cloverleaf pattern, I decided I didn't like how the pattern looked in the yarn. The confetti obscured the cloverleaf holes. So, out the sock came.

Most of the sock yarn I have lying around is variegated, so even though I realize the pattern is shown off best in a solid, I thought I'd try it in some Sockotta I bought on a sock-yarn buying excursion with my mom a year or so ago when she was suddenly really "into" sock knitting.

The variegated yarn doesn't do the pattern as much justice as I'd like, but it's still pretty - and it ended up making unexpected vertical zigzags in terms of color (at first I thought it was striping itself diagonally, and then they changed directions), so I kept going. Everything was going along fine until I hit the heel.

Just assuming since so many knitters had already made the sock that the pattern was accurate, I knit as directed to turn the heel. Or at least I tried to. But the pattern is clearly erroneous. Here's what it says:

    *Slip1, knit1* 15 times (30 sts total), turn and slip1, purl back. Repeat these two rows until 30 rows are worked, ending with a right side row.

    Purl 17, p2 tog, p1, turn.

    *Slip 1, k5, k2 tog, k1, turn.
    Slip 1, p2, p2 tog, p1, turn.*

    Continue in this manner (between *'s, adding one more stitch each time) until all stitches are being worked. 10 sts remain.

Okay, first, if you start the heel on a RS row and work 30 rows, you'll be ended with a WS row, not a RS row. So starting the heel turn with a set of purls is in error.

But keep reading. You then do the first short row with a K5 and the next with a P2. That's not right.

It's clearly not right if you're really familiar with heels and sock production.

But, I'm not enough of a sock knitter to have a heel pattern committed to memory. So, sitting in the car while waiting on someone at the Dr's office, I was stuck. I didn't realize the problem was with the P2 of the second row. I was, instead, confused about "adding one more stitch each time" since the pattern denotes you do this while working between the *'s, which would only add a single stitch over two rows. At least if you read it literally, that's what it says.

I kept trying and the heel was looking obviously skewed, so I gave up for then and waited until I got home so I could check out a dozen or more sock books to see how the heel turn progressed in other patterns.

I finally came to the conclusion that the P2 has to be a typo. It should be P6 (if the previous row is K5), and you have to add one to the number of stitches before the K2tog or P2tog on each row. Okay, so that's fine.

I set off on the heel again only to get worried when I finished because I ended up with 18 stitches left on the needles, not 10.

I kept going, picked up the gusset stitches, and started decreasing them. But then I got worried. After flipping through pattern books again, I just wasn't sure if I'd ended up with too many or not.

So, I frogged back to the start of the heel turn and used the generic heel turn directions from the Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles book. When all was said and done, I did end up with 18 on the needles, but at least I had followed line by line directions and knew that's what I was supposed to end up with!

So, I'm progressing down the foot now. But I still am amazed that I couldn't find any mention in the 6 Sox archives about the pattern having problems. I searched and searched, but nothing turned up indicating anyone had written in and complained - or even posted corrected or clarified directions.

I'm the only one who ran into the problem?

(I somehow doubt it.)

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1 Comment

I think the Cloverleaf pattern gave a lot of people grief for one reason or another, although I don't recall specific discussion about pattern in relation to the heel. When I finished the cuff, I reverted to my usual heel pattern, and dropped the ribbing for the foot of the sock. I am excited about the new pattern just posted...a cabled sock. These knitalongs are an adventure, are they not?!

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