I started some new socks recently. The pattern I’d originally begun with this yarn really, truly wasn’t doing it for me and so, as the rules of this nice not-so-little sock club I’m part of state, if you don’t like the pattern, do another one.
So I did. A Cookie A. pattern I’ve wanted to do for so long. Kai-Mei. These ones. You can’t help but be drawn to the lace panel that snakes around the foot.
They appealed to me because the variegated yarn I was using, Vintage Purls in ‘Tuesdays Child’ would look good with all that ribbing. The leg went surprisingly fast – less than a week thanks to buses and coffee dates at lunch.
I started the foot with great excitement. Finally I was going to find out how to construct that lovely panel.
It took me three attempts. THREE! Now I’m not dense when it comes to knitting. I know my way around cables, lace, charts and some interesting construction techniques so when this one threw me I was not happy.
This is where a Support Crew comes in handy. I tell you, when you’re in a knitting pickle, get yourself a Support Crew, even if that crew amounts to one person. I learned – well really I already knew it – that one experienced knitter achieves more in a few emails than hours of scouring forums and blogs looking for some clue as to what on earth was going wrong.
I was rescued. By Drk. By the time I was emailing her for the third time in twenty-four hours asking if she had a clue where I was going wrong, I was starting to feel like she must be at the other end of the email shaking her head with frustration. She said to me, ‘You’ve done much harder knitting. You’ll have a light bulb moment. You really will.’
And I did. Proof. This is the heel end of the foot, with the beginning of the lace panel, which is astoundingly easy to memorise. Sometimes, we can’t see the wood for the trees.
If you’re curious about what it was that had me stumped, and you’re thinking of making these let me explain. At the end of the chart, you’ve got four yarn overs on your needle and you’re asked to scoop them together with the next stitch. I could not figure out what this meant. I was actually trying to knit them together but trust me, that’s not possible. You have to drop the four yarn overs and scoop them up that way. Simple. Couldn’t be easier. Did I see that right away? No.
Also, you nibble (to borrow a word from Elizabeth Zimmermann) across the foot, eating into the ribbing on the top of the foot. That’s how you get that panel to curve across the foot. I so didn’t get that at first.
Now, I get it. And I’m will be fine. Heartfelt thanks to DrK and her patience. I hope the panel looks neater by the time I reach the end of the foot. Each one gets a little better.
Edited: In discussions after this post, Drk suggested maybe I hadn’t quite got the stitch right. I looked hard at the pattern and other examples and saw she was right. I ripped the foot out, started again and now have it, finally, right. Phew.