Over the last couple of nights, I’ve been experimenting on one of the socks (leaving the other one safely on a spare needle at the stitch count called for by the pattern) to see just how much further I’d need to knit before I could start the “turn heel” part of the instructions and still have the sock fit my foot.
I was doing this because I’d tried following the instructions as written (i.e., continuing gusset increases until I reached 74 stitches per round). The results? Just under two inches too short in the foot length. I’m glad I can report I noticed this after only two rows of the heel flap itself, so I was able to rip back quickly and return to the pre-turning-the-heel point relatively painlessly. (Sorry, no pictures. My camera batteries were on the charger.)
So, obviously I’d have to continue the gusset increases until the foot length was closer to my actual foot length. I pulled out an older sock I’d knit (using a non-heel-flap technique) as a reference and measured the foot length there. With that information, I tried again.
This next attempt made the sock almost fit… if by fit we mean “could be forced on to my foot without pain, but couldn’t really be worn comfortably.” It had taken me a few hours to work the additional rounds of gusset increases and to do the whole heel flap, but when I tried it on, well, see my previous sentence.
So I took a deep breath, yanked out the needle and ripped back to a round with a cable crossing on the front/top, because that’s the only way I can feel confident that I know for sure what row/round I’m on. And while I was ripping, I decided to take care of a pesky column of purl stitches that I wanted to be knit stitches (although I think the pattern had them as purls), because it will work out better for the ring of cables that will cover the leg stitches if I have a knit there. (That may not have sounded very coherent, but it make sense in my head, so don’t bother me with additional facts/theories about that, okay? Thanks.)
To avoid an awkward transition round, I just laddered all the way down to the first time I’d made the stitches in the column a purl… i.e., the first round after the toe. Here’s how it looked after the laddering back, with a tiny crochet hook securing the bottom stitch while I shoved my hand in and spread the fabric apart to show you this:
The reworking of the stitches via crochet hook took only a few minutes.
For the next attempt, I worked two full cable patterns’ worth of rounds, with the corresponding increases in the gusset, resulting in an additional 2 or so inches of foot length. Here’s a comparison photo of the two socks as they are now:
As the “turn heel” part of the pattern (as written) results in only about .25 inches of additional length to the sock, I didn’t stop until the sock was almost as long as my foot. And to be sure, I tried it on again. And this time I took a photo to show you all:
Now it’s time for me to snooze the day away, so I’ll pick up with the “turn heel” instructions tonight. And then I’ll try it on again. If it works out lengthwise, I’ll knit the second sock up to the same point. And then I’ll do the math to figure out the leg part, which might be a real feat, given that I’ve far more stitches in a round than the pattern accounts for.
Not to worry… at least not now. There’s plenty of time to figure it out later.