The way that sock is

Hello Poppets, and thanks for waiting here for me. I’ve been in over my head for a few days, and today’s the first time the fog of overbooking myself has cleared enough to find my way to my desk for anything other than a sigh of regret.  Jen and I swept two rides on the weekend. (“Sweeping” is riding slower than the slowest rider, making sure nobody gets left behind.) It’s fun, but exhausting, and Sunday’s ride was marked by a beginning in a torrential downpour, that then left us riding the remaining 95km in soggy clothes and shoes, as the rain stopped, and the sun came out, and Southern Ontario was transformed into a steambath.  (I am proud of the lack of profanities I used on that ride.)  Monday we had a Team Leader thing, and yesterday… fine.  I fell asleep.  I took my laptop to the couch and put it on my lap and started to type something to you about how I felt about my hamstrings, and whammo.  I woke up about three hours later, and I’m not sorry either.  There’s a big challenge headed my way, and by wool, I can’t go into it tired. I struggle enough without stacking the proverbial deck against me.  When I woke up, I didn’t write a blog either. I knit. I had a feeling that’s the way the lot of you would have it.

socklong 2014-07-16

I’m plugging along on the Starry Starry Night Socks, and have encountered a problem.  (First, there’s the fact that my monthly sock deadline blew by me yesterday like cashmere at a 50% off sale, but I’m not talking about that right now.) I’m at the toe of these beautiful socks, and I decided long ago that these were for me.  They were fitting (mostly) and I love them.  I kept imagining the part where I wrapped them up and gave them away, and I wasn’t able to do so without feeling resentment towards the intended recipient, so I gave up.  I’m sure the occasional bout of knitterly selfishness can be forgiven, so that’s it.  The problem is that I have (like many knitters) a little bit of an obsessive streak, and in my heart I know that these socks must end at the finish of a star. I can’t see anyway at all that a half star would be fetching at the top, and so that’s where I’m stopping.

socklongfront2 2014-07-16

Last night I knit to the end of the stars, and this morning I proudly stuck it on my foot, ready to begin the toe.  I’m spot on for gauge, and the pattern says that the toe adds about 2.5″ to the foot, and that’s where I’m screwed. I have particularly short feet, and knitting the prescribed toe onto it at this point will make the sock too long for me. The way I see it, I have some choices.

A) I can knit the thing as I’m told, following the pattern and putting a very fetching and proper toe on the end, and accept that I’ve knit another bloody brilliant Christmas present, and accept that destiny has punished the petite footed, once again. (Also a point of consideration is that this sock is actually a tiny bit big for me all over, but up until now I had chosen to ignore that entirely, and I think I can continue to do that.)

B) I can pull the work back, and start the toe 3/4 of the way through a star, and get over my idea that there needs to be a whole star at the end, and actually now that I think about it I don’t even know why I’m putting that option on this list, because it would totally ruin the whole thing.

C) I can rework the toe so that it ends sooner, and have a slightly less fetching sock, although probably still a very good one, and I’ll just have to think over a little math.

D) I could rip back the entire sock and work it on a smaller set of needles so that it’s… screw it. That’s actually not a real choice.

E)  Actually, I can’t think of another option.  Can you?

Shall we move onto presents? I can’t thank you guys enough for the magic you worked on my pledge page.  Knitters, man. You’re not normal people. The fun I’ve had over the last few days explaining that it’s a knitting blog and a mutual love of yarn that’s doing all this has been nothing short of extraordinary.  You haven’t lived until you’ve  seen the looks on the faces of the Rally Leadership as they look at me, look at my knitting and try to figure you all out.  It’s delicious, and I can’t thank you enough, so PRESENTS.

First up, the completely gorgeous Rachel Coopey has donated a copy of her book Coop Knits Socks (It’s a great one) and will be sending it to Keeley S!

coopknits 2014-07-16

The lovely Lee has a beautiful skein of IndigoDragonfly’s 50/50 wool/silk fingering weight (and unless I miss my guess, that’s the rather amazing colourway “beige“) and she’ll be mailing it – prewound and everything, to Lacey P.

fromleeindigo 2014-07-14 (1)

Next, the incomparable Maureen has a charming gift.  She’s donating all 28 of her patterns to Chrissy M…

maureenpattern 2014-07-16

and the best part? Maureen says that Chrissy can keep them or share them as she wishes, and Maureen will email them wherever. Nice, right? (The patterns are darned nice too. You should click that link.)

Last (but oh my, so just only for today) is a beautiful gift from Jaime, at Yay for J.

handmadescarf 2014-07-16

She makes lovely handwoven scarves, and the scarf of Kim R’s choice will be on it’s way to her shortly. (Obviously, since I was in charge of stealing pictures, I like that one.)

Thanks so much to all of you, and know that there will be scads more presents tomorrow… there just won’t be a blog post today if I don’t stop here today.

Thanks everyone!



148 thoughts on “The way that sock is

  1. The other option. Finish those properly and gift them. THEN, reknit them on smaller needles to have something that gorgeous fit you well. No wasted knitting time and you get a pair. OK, not quite as soon, but still…

  2. F) make a solid toe in a matching color and wrap them up as a present for yourself. Hide it somewhere you’ll forget about it for a bit but will find it at just the right time (maybe up the sleeve of a coordinating coat? I realize you’ll probably have evict some hidden skein but you’ll manage, I’m sure.)

  3. Those socks are beautiful. I don’t have a good option, though I’d probably end up wrapping them up and giving them onwards. Socks I get less attached to than I do other things, but I also don’t knit beautiful colorwork socks…

  4. Knit the end of the sock in the striping that you can see on the inside archway of the sock – or make one sock have a white end and the other a navy (oh make them both the same color 😛 ). I like the striped idea best.

  5. OK I’m baffled. I took a look at the pattern and I don’t see why you can’t just knit the toe shorter. I really don’t.

    • Adele, she can, but if she knit in pattern, the next star that appears would end somewhere in the middle of it instead of a full star. And I suspect a partial star at the end of her toes might drive our Yarn Harlot a little batty…

        • I agree with Adele, and I noticed from the Ravelry page that those socks are really pointy if finished according to pattern. YH can easily stop the toes sooner, and with her foot shape (blunt toes) she doesn’t need all of that extra stuff at the end.

  6. I doubt that I could knit those socks and give them away. They are wonderful!!! I would do the math and make the toe fit your particular feet. Why not? It’ll still look just like a toe, but just a wee bit shorter. No problem! They will look just fine on your feet! 🙂

  7. Dearest, just tack a different kind of toe on there, personalize them a bit. You’ve earned them, and whatever you choose will look great!

    • just make sure if you do this that you write down what you do so that you have no excuse for sss [but i don’t remember how i did the toe. how can i start the second sock?]

  8. Those stars look like they are a ways in from the edge unless there’s one on the side of the foot that I can’t see. Can you rip out just a few rows and start your toe decreases while finishing up the stars? Is there room to get enough decreases in before you hit the stars and then finish up with the remainder of the toe? If there are stars on the sides, can you sneak in a few decreases in the blue between the stars as though you’re beginning a star toe?

  9. Pingback: The way that sock is | Yarn Buyer

  10. First, those socks are way too awesome to gift, everyone will be comparing their gifts and wondering why they were less worthy. Second, since the side stars are partial stars, I think you could rip back to the equivalent of the sides and then continue your toe. Or third, rip back a whole star, add a border similar to the ribbing, to set off the stars, they do the toe. Whatever you decide they are beautiful.

  11. I have to throw in with the solid or stripe toe camp. Maybe adapt the star pattern to have one or more smaller star(s) on the solis field of the toe? Not that I know much, I thought they were snowflakes.

  12. If you don’t mind the fit of the rest of the sock as is, finish the toe the length your foot needs, in the background color or a contrasting one that makes you grin when you think of it. And keep them.

    If the rest of the sock feels too baggy for you (some like ’em snug, some like ’em generous), then I’m with Robby: finish them as a present for someone else, and knit yourself a pair that fits you exactly.

    I don’t see anything selfish at all in making yourself socks. Your feet aren’t any less deserving of pretty, well-fitting socks than anyone else’s feet. (OK, admission time: I knit my own socks to fit my own feet.)

  13. I totally love the stripes and think that the striped on the toe should have been there all along. It balances the sock. Stripes at the cuff, instep, and toe. Make the toe the right size but put in stripes like the instep.

  14. That toe on ravelry looks very, very pointy. I have short feet as well and run into the same problem. I’ve started reducing at each end for 2 rows, then knit 1 row. Still very nice, but shorter. Beautiful socks!

  15. I went to look at the sock kit, and the listing states: “1 skein of off white, and 1 skein of deep sapphire . If you try to purchase and the item shows out of stock, please message me. Due to unexpected site traffic stock has run low, I anticipate fulfilling any out of stock requests no later than June 30th.”

    Seller has been Harlotted 😀 (didn’t the Blog suggest that you *warn* sellers when you’re knitting something that EVERYone else is going to want to make? 🙂 )

    • The seller of the self-patterning yarn used in the socks from a couple of entries ago has the same problem. I knew I should have ordered right away!

      • I wrote to the seller, as there were apparently no kits left, requesting one at her convenience … and she had ONE LEFT!!! She’s posting it to me tomorrow! Muahahahahaha! #jumpingonthebandwagon

  16. Switch to smaller needles just for the toe. Or gradually switch to smaller and smaller needles. And maybe round out the toe too, it does seem rather pointed.

  17. Knit the sock as written but try on a bit before the end of the toe. You can just end the toe early if it’s really going to be too long.

    I just recently did a Tsocktsarina pattern that cast on more for the toe than I expected (being toe-up) and I was amazed at how well it fit my size 6 and just-barely-not-“wide” foot.

    Also, block before a final decision.

  18. Robby’s suggestion is definitely the best. (I’ve got a son named Robby who is also brilliant. It must go with the name.)

  19. I don’t care for the pointiness of those toes, I’d be revising them into something stripy but rounded. Unless you have a 401 toe (ie, akin to a 401 finger).

  20. I’m not sure why you can’t just tack on your usual toe and do it stripey-style? It’d look just as awesome and be more comfortable than a super pointy toe (I can see, from your pictures, that your toes aren’t super pointy, so why make a super pointy toe?). That pattern is awesome and definitely going into my queue!

  21. The only option I think would work for you is C. (I’m somewhat inclined towards A, but then you wouldn’t get the socks, and I think that might choke you.)

    I wonder whether, in the spirit of reworking that toe, it’s possible to miniaturize a star? Trim it slightly, so it’s still in the same family, and you still have a starry toe (I really like the stripey toe idea others have come up with, but only for someone else who’s not married to the starry toe), but you can end it shorter? Or is there no way to scale that star down that still has it looking right? I’m afraid I don’t have the pattern myself so I can’t see.

    Either way, I think the only way to do this– unless you have nerves of steel and can work yourself up to option A– is to modify the toe in some fashion to get it shorter and starry.

    • I would totally do the math and make a smaller star. Perhaps one that wraps around the toe. So I like your suggestion. AND you must keep these for yourself as reminder of what happens when you work hard and push yourself to the limit.

  22. Several things come to mind:
    1. You’re not done yet? Slacker.
    2. Neener. Toe-up is better.
    3. Norwegian mittenize them. Go re-engineer a toe from a mitten tip.
    4. What, exactly, was that about your sock deadline? I wanna talk about it.
    5. Do something to your bike clips that will result in the permanent stretching of your toes during the Rally. Could be handy in all sorts of future ways.

    • I agree with the toe up approach (not the neener part). Harlot, you’re a fast knitter so just frog it today knowing that the toe up will give you the look you want and you can work the fit issue as well. Just do it!

  23. Hi Stephanie. I am thrilled to pieces that you are knitting my Starry Starry Night Sock pattern.

    If you let me know your row gauge and how long you would like the toe, I will gladly do the calculations for you so that the toe stays in pattern and fits you perfectly.

  24. Would it make sense to wrap the snowflake/star around the toe? So that the first half (or 2/3) of the star is at the top of the sock and then the second half (or remaining 1/3) is worked on the sole of the sock? It would probably only work if you were to have a very flat tip to the toe… Otherwise, I think a slightly altered, smaller star, like Leslie suggested, would look nice and give you the result you want.

  25. Please do not take offense but this is where the beauty of toe up may be felt. Been there. My thought is that your toes will not be seen so end it at the 1/2 star or switch to smaller needles now. do NOT rip it out. it is a work of art.

  26. I think the easiest thing would be to finish the toe by decreasing more frequently so it’s not as long as the pattern indicates. The only thing better than a fetching sock is one that fits. Finish them, keep them, you *deserve* them. Don’t sweat the small stuff. There is too much stuff going on in your life to get bogged down in this decision. Keep calm and knit on!

  27. If they had fit you properly (other than the toe issue) I would advise you to make the toe like the gusset; extending the star tips in to stripes that mirror the decreases. BUT if they don’t fit you perfectly, then they’re not yours (sorry ’bout that). I vote for making as written, gifting and making another pair for your self… you will be knitting the heck out of August, no?

  28. It is all subjective, however I would: 1. have a sock that fits you better in the ‘toe department’. 2. I’m not wild about stripes and thinks that it detracts from the star design (can you tell my name is Stella). I would go for a plain ‘sapphire’ toe, no stripes, finish the stars as much as you could without ripping more than 1 – 1/2 a pattern, smaller needles sounds like a really good idea. 3. Keep them for myself (my inner selfishness showing). 4. Don’t worry too much about the sock quota, the current design takes more ‘knitting’ than a plainer sock. You will get there in the end, especially if you have more travelling happening before Christmas time.

    Gotta love the designer offering a re-write, phew!

  29. If you don’t want to make a shorter toe, tear back to the end of the star *before* the star you’re on now, then start the stripes the pattern calls for on the toe a little bit early (a few rounds before the actual toe decreases start).

    Or if that would make the striped section too big, do a few plain blue rounds (or blue with white dots) first.

  30. You are a brave and stalwart woman (as is Jen!) to have done two sweeps! I hope your hamstrings are feeling better. Shorten the toe, you know you want to and you deserve those socks, dadgummit! I bet they even have Magic Hamstring-Healing Powers and everything!

  31. Begin knitting solid blue now (or bands of blue and white,) beginning the shaping when you get to the end of your little toe. The problem is that you’re conflating “toe” and “toe shaping”

    You’re welcome.

  32. Well… If I’m understanding correctly, you’re not planning to do any more stars, just a solid toe, because your stars have perfectly ended right now.
    Do twice as many decreases on the outside (pinky toe) side, so the sock is customized to your adorable toes (it’s not creepy for me to say that, they really are so darn cute)… End when your foot ends. You were already going to graft the toe, right? So just make the slant of the decreases a little more slant-y on the pinky side, while you either don’t decrease or don’t-decrease-as-much on the big toe side. Time to be sure you know which one is right and which is left!
    Or am I missing the issue?

  33. I agree with the solid toe group. Or you could do a “+ ” shape baby stars to complete the toe. Just a thought…

  34. I vote for a modified toe….But that’s me all over!

    And knitting and napping over blogging is totally understandable and it is what I would have done, for sure. After a 2km swim today I can hardly lift my arms to read the big fat book I have on the go!

  35. Rip back to where you would start the toe. Start your toe decreases, at the same time finishing off the last star (ie decrease around the star). You’ll just have colorworked toes.

  36. You can take Larry’s advice: “Forget about the f#@%ing toe!” :p

    They’re beautiful, & you’re a very fast knitter. Just gift them (which we ALL know that whomever the lucky recipient of those will be one thrilled loved one!), & make yourself a pair where you can indulge in all of your obsessive, beautiful ideas on how it should be constructed for you.

  37. I thought maybe I was missing something but then someone else said it (so I must not be crazy!) – just do the toe in a solid color. I’d vote for the blue but white would be ok too, just harder to keep clean. Beautiful any way you finish them!

  38. Time to get over the socks (too big) – finish them properly and gift them. The right socks for you are in your future. Celebrate one more pair for the gift pile!

  39. Harlot, Harlot, Hartlot…tsk…tsk…tsk.

    Let’s have a chat, girlfriend. No, wait, I have just one small question, “Do you really want to swim in your starry socks?” I agree, they’re beautiful. Stunning. I’d love to make me a pair, but if I go to all the trouble of making the darn things, I want the little darlings to fit smartly, not have to battle slouchy sock. Talk to the designer, learn how to cheat the toes, and wrap ’em up for a short-toed, dear friend across the miles.

    Now as you settle down for the night in front of the campfire during the bike rally, wouldn’t it be nice to knit the stars under the stars? And, they’d be a valid reward for a race hard fought.

    Think about it. (Oh, and if you can’t think of a friend across the miles, let me know. I’ll send you my address.)

  40. Um how about making the toe shorter and striped to match the gussets? Or even to match the top ribbing?
    And perhaps a bit of fulling afterwards to slightly shrink them?

    I covet those socks. If you wear them to events folks might want to take them off your feet.

  41. Think of the toe as an arch ( like a decorative one over a window). Cut the star pattern in half,
    or less, and use the top half for your toe. The curvature of the semilune will match the curvature of your nicely rounded foot.

  42. Sometimes, to keep the juices flowing, you just have to knit for yourself. Even if it turns into being for someone else to your surprise when you’re done. Sometimes you just do–and keeping them when you do is a fine thing to do, however you end up finishing them.

  43. I say rework the toe. It will still be fetching no matter what, and you’ll have beautiful socks. I know you and I know that no matter how beautiful this pattern is, you will snip these socks into tiny pieces and eat them from boredom if you have to knit them again! 😉

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  45. Wouldn’t it be ironic if those Fortissima Colori self-striping socks that you jilted in favor of the Starries fit you perfectly? (I bet that couples therapist is shaking her head in a knowing manner. She has seen this drama play out before — the harlot entranced by the promise of a shiny new partner/project, suddenly not so starry-eyed when reality bites.) Perhaps you were destined to pair off with those boring, loyal old Fortissimas after all. ha.
    How fabulous that the designer offered to customize the toe just for you. It’s good to be Stephanie!

  46. You may be helping riders by sweeping but little do you know you’re getting me through the awful awful process that is studying for the Washington State Bar Exam. You and knitting . . . . Keep up the hard work!

  47. Option C.

    I also knitted these socks and I know how much work they are. Not a present for someone, a present for you!

    So just rework the top, it can be a plain simple top as nobody will look into your shoes ..

    I made the top striped, like the sole and I am happy with these socks, even that I see them more as a piece of art than a piece of clothing ;=)

  48. There are 3/4 stars all down the sides of the front and back panel – start the toe at 3/4 of a star and you’re actually improving the symmetry!

  49. Hi, the Starry Socks are fantastic! I’d go back a few rows to the place where the toe starts. Then start the toe decreases plus the toe pattern, with the exception of the stitches where the unfinished stars are, so you can finish the star pattern on the toe. They will look better that way than on another persons feet or too Long or too short on your own. Just make it look like you intended it. It will be fine.

  50. May I suggest Option F? (Sorry, didn’t read through all the comments) – do knit a shorter toe (who wouldn’t want to keep those gorgeous beauties!) but use a different colourwork pattern than the stars.

    How about a row of diamonds or little rhomboids across the toe? Or something that apes the stars but is smaller and you can adapt it to the available area. It’ll look beautiful! Like a band across, dancing lightly across your toes!

    Go on, put your inner designer hat on. You know you want to.

  51. If you want to keep them I also vote to add striping that matches the heel and cuff and add it to the toes. It would look very good. Whatever you decide the socks are beautiful.

  52. Either: Accept that they’re too big. Finish this sock as intended, then start another pair for yourself. (What? You can finish the second gift sock later. In theory.)

    Or: Pretend they fit just right and design a smaller star to end the toe with.

    Also: Pick up the next sock deadline in August after you’ve regained your rest, your mind, and the ability to type without falling asleep. 11 pairs in 12 months is still pretty good, and as far as I’m concerned, everything you have on your plate in July pretty much absolves you from this deadline anyway.

  53. It sure looks like you can just do a shorter toe working with the original pattern, maybe skipping some plain rows between decrease rows, which would also make the toe less pointy and more rounded.

  54. Can you make the star smaller so it fits your foot? (Sorry if that’s been suggested. I can’t read 100-plus comments.)

  55. The pattern picture shows some particularly pointy toes. I think I’d end the toe sooner and have a flatter toe but maintain the striping.

    Good luck! I’m off to find yarn to knit myself some starry socks

  56. Could you possibly keep the snowflake motif going up into the toe? I can see a clever knitter like you being able to maintain the pattern as you do the toe decreases.

    That way you only need to rip back a few rows, incorporate the toe decreases into the pattern, and then you have a pair of socks that fit.

  57. I have no idea if I’m the right Kim R, but how cool would that be? Watching with great hope that all of you meet your goals before the ride begins.

  58. Has everyone on your Bike Rally team reached their pledge goal? Could you/would you post a link to anyone on your team that may be a little short, so that we knitters can make sure your whole team is supported?

  59. Two options:

    A.) Knit as written and keep them as lovely slipper socks, (which don’t have to fit the same as street-wear socks.)

    B.) Switch to smaller needles for the toe so you finish with a star AND it fits! Ta-DAAAA!

  60. Do what I do – make them the full 2.5 inches in the toe to get your star, then wash and dry them (using the delicate cycle) in the machine. They shrink every so slightly but enough to make them the right size.

    //ducking and covering now as all the real knitters out there shoot knitting needles out their eyes at me//

  61. If s/one hasn’t already suggested it, can you decrease the toe sooner, at a sharper angle, so the sock doesn’t end up as long?

  62. You are a knitter … design yourself a custom toe. Make those socks your own! I think the idea of the snowflake runing down into the toe is a great idea … maybe with a few white spotty-spots sprinkled over the top of toe.

    • I just looked at the Ravelry link .. and I like the suggestion above for a solid blue toe. The stripes don’t like they belong at the toe (and it does look pointy too).

  63. hmm…keep the socks. (says a selfish knitter who doesn’t feel guilt about it) I think they would be pretty if you finished them off in all blue, or with white lines decreasing down to the toe.

  64. They don’t look too big, they look juuuust right. I like the idea of ending the stars where you are. Will you then do a solid blue or a solid white or a striped toe? Can’t wait to see!

  65. Truncated toes on me, too, so I feel obligated to respond. My toes are so short they don’t bend; they just sort of curl a little.

    I bet you only have to eliminate about 6 rounds. Instead of working decreases every other round down to say, 16 sts, work decreases on rounds 1, 4, 6, 8, and every other and so on until there are about 36 sts. Then work decreases every round until there 28 or 24. Nice round toe with broad end. Good luck.

  66. Hi Stephanie. I sure wish you’d find another name to call your blog readers other than Poppets. Just asking you to give this some thought, maybe as you’re riding the Rally rails? 🙂

  67. I think if you rip back to 3/4 of a snowflake, you might be able to do a few toe decreases AND finish out the snowflake and then start the stripes…..but I bet you totally can’t cope with that…….I’m not sure I could either. What a bummer! you could rip out a snowflake and then do a bit of solid blue before the stripey toes. Have you thought about putting weights on your toes to try to make them longer?

  68. plain blue toe, if you’re determined to keep them.

    finish as directed, give them away, and knit again on smaller needles for yourself if you can get past wanting them for yourself.

    under no circumstances should you rip. . .

  69. I’m just out of the loop enough to not know if the yarn is superwash or not, but if it’s good old-fashioned “will shrink and/or felt if agitated in hot water” yarn, I vote for finishing them according to pattern, then felting them just enough to fit. And keeping them!

    Otherwise… uh… I’d probably reknit on smaller needles, cursing all the way. 🙂

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