Starting over

26 Mar

Knitting socks is one of my small pleasures. In the last month I have made several pairs using hand dyed yarn, using the same pattern. But, sometimes I need a change and when my February Herstory skein arrived in a solid color, I knew I would need a different pattern.

I chose a pattern I’d knit a few years ago for my sister. It has a strong texture pattern, that shows off the yarn, and looks much harder than it is. It is really all math and repeated patterns.

The thing about knit socks is that you knit them to fit. The directions tell you to make the foot a certain length, knowing that every foot is different. the once place you can generally count on being accurate is the toe length.

The pattern I was knitting said I should repeat the foot pattern 10 times, but it should measure “2-1/4″ (5.5cm) less than the desired total length”. I have small feet so knew I probably wouldn’t have to do 10, I did nine, tried them on and decided it was the right place to stop the foot pattern and begin decreasing for the toe.

As always, I tried it on as soon as it the ends were woven in and I was disappointed. They were just a little too short. I let them sit overnight.

The next morning I got my scissors and cut the toe. I pulled on the ends, taking away the little shreds and began the unravelling of the toe. It was over in a matter of minutes. I picked up the stitches , unknit one more row, then began adding one more round of the foot pattern before knitting the new toe.

And voilà, a sock that fits.


I know many people who like to knit two at a time on circular needles to prevent second sock syndrome (After having finished one sock it becomes difficult to go on and finish the second one to make a pair). I prefer the traditional one at a time, on double-pointed straight needles. Call me old-fashioned, but this time it served me well, because I might have had to rip out two toes.

10 Responses to “Starting over”

  1. jet197 March 26, 2017 at 7:10 am #

    Beautiful socks, and I admire your ability to take them apart and make them right again! My grandma taught us to knit, and that was always a weakness of mine–I can’t bear to have to take something apart and to refinish it.

  2. shrontk March 26, 2017 at 7:42 am #

    Knitting is certainly a lost art. I love to crochet and it can be frustrating when you start, rip out and restart sometimes several times before you are satisfied but the end result is important so that it is useful. Knitting and crocheting are great life lessons. If we aren’t satisfied with how things are going we need to take the time to restart instead of ramming through to just finish. I also could relate to the “second sock syndrome”. I am guilty of this and we need to learn to stick to tasks to finish. I enjoyed your post I could relate to it on so many levels.

  3. JudyK March 26, 2017 at 8:26 am #

    I love that pattern! I never learned to knit or crochet or anything similar to that, and I wish I had. Being old-fashioned did serve you well this time, didn’t it? Yay for old-fashioned! ~JudyK

  4. arjeha March 26, 2017 at 9:26 am #

    Kathy is very familiar with “frogging” since she has done it many times. You now have a pair of custom made socks. Beautiful workmanship.

  5. Joanne Toft March 26, 2017 at 9:34 am #

    What a great pattern! I love the socks. I am working on a baby blanket but am afraid to try socks. I learned to knit as a kid by making slippers. One was way to large and the other was to small. I was so disappointed. I am not afraid to try anything that is not one piece. I love how you were able to repair and change the length. So cool!

  6. Fran Haley March 26, 2017 at 12:11 pm #

    I am greatly impressed, as I cannot knit or crochet. I did some cross-stitch, once, and was maddened by having to take stitches out to re-do. I cannot even imagine CUTTING the yarn and adding on – it boggles my mind! The sock is absolutely lovely,

  7. Lisa C March 26, 2017 at 3:30 pm #

    That’s a lovely pattern! I liked reading about your process. I am often starting sewing projects, discovering they don’t fit or that my seams are not as straight as I wish they were, and not going back to them for months.

  8. mrssurridge March 26, 2017 at 4:46 pm #

    I am always amazed when someone creates something that I thought could only be made by a machine. I need to learn to do this as I would much rather wear socks than slippers. I love “second sock syndrome”! I think it could apply to so many more situations than just how it is used by those who knit.

  9. beckymusician March 26, 2017 at 5:49 pm #

    Such a pretty pattern and beautiful yarn! I was fascinated by your explanation of calculating the correct length and then ripping out. Enjoy the socks!

  10. Sonia March 26, 2017 at 7:21 pm #

    That’s a beautiful pattern. I can knit and crochet, but I’ve never tried socks, they looked way too hard. And I HATE having to undo and start over. But socks look small enough that starting over could be less frustrating than a whole sweater.

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