Wednesday, February 28, 2007


On the weekend, I enjoyed an intense knitting session with my Oregon Vest. Afterwards, I was left with a taste for lace, and since I intend to savor my beautiful project, I indulged. Since it had to be a small project, I cast on Nancy Bush's Birch Leaf socks from the Gathering of Lace. Then I had an intense session of knitting lace:

Perhaps I'm just intense these days.

It was fun, but I have a problem and I'm prepared to rip. Just look at how tight the sock is over the instep:

My Monday night sisters-in-string all told me that it's fine, not to worry, they're beautiful socks. Well, yes, but I'm not satisfied! The problem is the pattern is written for a ladies size medium. I have rarely ever been a medium in my whole life and so I went up a needle size to a 2.25mm. This gave a looser fabric which made me concerned about wear, so I went down to a 2mm needle on the heel. Look at the difference this makes:

See how much more the green heel pulls in? The other problem is that the green socks use a band heel where you can see that the orange heel is the more common, wedged-shaped version. A band heel is narrow and has a very short gusset.

To fix this, first I'll rip. Then, I'll knit the heel on the 2.25 mm needle and use the common heel turn. But not tonight. Tonight's knitting is for savoring the Oregon Vest. Intensely.


  1. Denise8:54 pm

    Just add a re-enforcing thread to your heel, gauge should not be effected, and it will wear well.

  2. Oh, the trials and tribulations of sock knitting....
    They ARE beautiful!

  3. I have had problems with patterned socks that carry the stitch pattern down the foot. Yukon Gold, Monkey, Jaywalker and a few others come to mind. I have a very narrow foot, but still had a struggle getting the sock on. This may not help you, but I create a mini gusset on the instep side of the sock. I find that 8 stitches total takes care of the tight fit. After I decrease the regular gusset I decrease the mini gusset stitches. I don't do them as I am decreasing the gusset stitches, because this is just where you need that bit of extra stretch. The mini gusset doesn't really show. A bit extra work, but worth it for a comfortable fit. You might want to put in a life line first.
    Really the only places that you need that bit of extra stretch are the cuff and the instep area. The rest of the sock usually needs negative ease for proper fit. Sorry to ramble on, I am full of flu medicine :-)