My first sock from Cat Bordhi’s new book, Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters, has been an exercise in frustration, humilty, and perseverance. I have only myself to blame; I tried to do too many things at once, blithely confident that this would be no big deal. After all, this book is the antithesis of her previous book (New Pathways For Sock Knitters) which relied heavily on math, charts, and calculations. By contrast, Footprints has you cut out a cardboard tracing of your footprint, mark a few lines as you try on the sock-in-progress, and do not a jot of math. It’s meant to be easy!
Except when it’s really, really not.
The do’s and don’ts, if the whole saga of this sock is tl;dr:
DO use your sock, smoothed flat, to mark the leg line on the cardboard footprint. DON’T mark on your footprint where the middle of your leg actually is, anatomically speaking. (The book says this, but as I missed it, I figured it was worth repeating.)
DO remember that once you knit past the leg opening, the “top” of the sock is the back of the leg, and the “bottom” of the sock is the sole. For a contrasting heel, attach yarn at the center top (the back of the leg). DON’T attach at the center of the sole, or the working yarn from your foot will get trapped and would have to traverse the side of your sock to get up to the leg where you’re going to want to knit with it.
DON’T use a large skein (the 400yd ones that make a pair of socks) if you plan to work a contrast heel while saving the foot yarn for a continuous look up the leg. The skein needs to fit inside the foot as you knit the heel.
DON’T use the three needle bind-off at the heel if you have narrow heels. Or possibly, ever. Work an extra row of k2tog around, then draw the tail through the live stitches and pull to tighten. Otherwise the extra fabric is worse than the ‘ears’ you get at the sides of a Kitchener toe.
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