in blogland. People must be as swamped as I, as posts are appearing less frequently, and comments aren't quite so copious as usual. I feel the same way; like I don't quite know what to say that isn't, "Still knitting Christmas socks. Still haven't quite finished the shopping. Still avoiding the mall like death." That would be the short of it.
The long of it is that I've just finished the foot on the second of Rick's socks; I might have been farther along if I hadn't tempted the Knitting Fates by declaring that these socks were well in hand, and I that I was pretty sure I'd be able to finish them by Christmas without breaking a sweat. So said I.
Then I merrily knitted along on the first sock until I thought I was through about half my skein, put it on a piece of scrap yarn, and for kicks, asked Rick to try it on. Turns out that, large as Rick's feet are, they are not quite so large in the real world as they are in my imagination. (I should say here that, in spite of all of the griping about the size of Rick's feet, I think that it is better that they are large than not. After all, without relatively sizable feet, a man who is 6'6" might find himself blowing over in high winds, and we wouldn't want that.) In fact, the socks were about an inch longer than his actual feet. Which is enough longer that there is no fudging or getting around it: these socks were too darned long. Simultaneously cursing my imagination and praising myself for not have cast the sock off, I ripped back to just before the heel, picked up the instep stitches and the heel stitches, and started turning the heel again. I was thinking so hard about whether to use the same heel pattern I'd been using (from IK Summer 2007, generic toe-up), or whether to try something that I was thinking should work and which made more sense to me (more on that later), that I was several rows into the short row section before it occurred to me that the whole point of ripping back had been to make the foot shorter, and by stopping just before the heel, I hadn't actually removed any length from the foot.
I ripped again. And I made darned sure that I took an inch out of the foot while I was at it. Then I started the heel again. Now, the IK pattern involved backwards yarn-overs, and the knitting and purling of three stitches together in the second half of the heel. As I was knitting it the first time, I kept thinking, "Surely I've seen a simpler way out there. This seems like more work than I want to do. Haven't I read about wrapping stitches, and knitting the wraps with the stitches or something like that?" Of course, I was far too lazy to go and search for such a reference, so I decided to wing it. As I wung it, I thought, "Someone on the blog is going to have a really good reason for me why I shouldn't be doing this, and by the time I ask, it'll be too late. Ah, well. Tra la la." (Clearly, the end of the semester has affected me in interesting and unexpected ways, not the least of which is the manifestation of a new carefree knitting attitude.)
So, in the first half of the heel, I knitted to the last stitch, wrapped that stitch, put it back on the left needle, turned and purled back to the last stitch, wrapped and turned, and kept on like that until I had about 10 stitches left. Then I knitted to the first wrapped stitch, knitted it together with its wrap and turned, purled back to the first wrapped stitch, purled it together with its wrap, and turned. It certainly seems to have created a heel, although the bits where stitches were worked with their wraps is not as neat as I'd like. On the other hand, they're no worse than the k3tog/p3togs from the other pattern. So. Here's your chance to collectively gasp and tell me why no knitter with half a brain would do this to an unsuspecting, defenseless heel whut never done nothin' to no-one. (Seriously, though, opinions and input are welcome.)
I've got the first sock back to where it was (and even a bit higher with the same amount of yarn, due to the shorter foot), and I've gotten through the foot of the second sock. Here's the top, with the k2p1 ribbing, and the little random cables on the side.
Here's the whole thing (forgive the post-daylight kitchen photos).
Not too bad. The heel's a bit pokey in the back, but that doesn't show on Rick's foot (tried it on again before starting the second, to be sure). Once these are done, I can do some knitting for me!
Meanwhile, I have an iPod question for those of you who use them. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to make it mark my place when I go from an audiobook to a podcast and back again. So, if I'm listening to World Without End and decide that I need a break from medieval England and listen to Cast On, and then try to go back to World Without End, it starts all over again at the beginning. And let me tell you, with a 45-hour audiobook, it is inadvisable to start at the beginning every single time I listen. Is this inherent to iPods, or is this just me? Advice would be much appreciated!