Monday, April 28, 2008

The mystery of gussets

Once my Suns managed to win one game and keep our hopes and anguish alive for another day, I pulled out my stash of left over sock yarn that Amy sent me, found a footie pattern, grabbed my Harlot book and started to work on my first socklike experience.

It's a good thing I had lots of caffeine before I started because knitting with multiple, sharp needles requires one to be on their toes! I think I cast on at least six times before I finally got far enough to actually see something happening. Did you know that if you grab the wrong needle (like one with stitches on it), instead of the spare, that you now have a see of little loops waving at you from the side of the sock? I also learned that those slippery little needles sometimes just slide out. Cats are definitely are not compatible with learning to knit socks! Oh no, they don't try to pull the knitting away, they just flop on my lap, butt my hands with their heads. When I startle, those little stitches just slide right off the end of the needle.

Finally, I actually got through the ankle band, figured out how to knit while holding what appears to be a porcupine, made my heel flap, turned the heel (hurray) and then got stuck. The pattern calls for a 5 needle process for the gussets (what the hell are gussets?) and the Harlot uses 4. I found myself thinking of all those people bringing their first sock to see the Harlot (some of them are overachievers by the way). I read the instructions, I stared at my baby socklet and decided it was time to go to bed.

I have found a video online that claims to simplify the creation of said gusset, and guide me through the perpetual mystery of creating a tube once again for knitting the foot. For all of you avid sock knitters who are exclaiming "But it is so easy!", remember your first time doing anything and keep a good thought for me and my socklet :-)


Roxie said...

What sort of a heel are you doing? Is it a flap heel, or a short-row heel, or something else? Be brave. We can talk you through this without any loss of life or even disabling injuries. After all, six-year old illiterate peasant children have learned how to do this for centuries.

And don't worry. To become a master knitter, it is mandatory for you to make at least a million mistakes. So every mistake you make puts you that much closer to mastery.

Amy Lane said...

What Roxie said--with the possible exception of the peasant children. I've been doing this for a while but I"m pretty sure that those little brats were in the gifted knitting program for non-readers. I'm assuming you're doing a flap heel--so don't worry, picking up the gussets is a pain in the ass, and with 4 needles it requires a lot of shifting stitches from one needle to the other, but it can be done.

And that 'pulling the wrong needle' out thing? You would be highly amused at how many times I do that PER SOCK.

Anyway, you know my e-mail if you need it--bon chance, brave knitter, bon chance!!!

Donna Lee said...

But you've conquered the turning the heel part. That was my downfall. I kept looking at the yarn on the needles in my hands and realizing that I had stitches left on the needles when it said to turn the row. I did not know about short rows. There is a great website, that has lots of photos and great help. Hang in there. It's worth it.

Em said...

I don't discuss my first sock knitting efforts. Let's just say I hold a grudge against Nancy Bush, though it's no fault of her own I decided to jump in without knowing what the hell I was doing. I'm still new to this sock thing, so I'm right there with you, sweetheart!