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Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 126

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Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
I love the way these socks look - even if I had to knit one of them twice.

Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 126

This week, I chat with Becky Herrick and share a very simple sock pattern, with a small warning.

Black and Red Socks

These are totally easy, top-down socks in Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Black and Ravelry Red. Yes, the yarn is luscious.

I finished the first sock in the pair while I was on a plane ride. I was all proud of myself for executing the grafting of stitches on a moving plane. I then cast on for the second sock, even more proud of myself.

I have a tendency to motion sickness, so the fact that I was working ribbing at all, on a plane, was making me very happy.

The second sock just zoomed by. I could not believe how fast it was going. I was ready to decrease for the second toe at the end of my next flight, after only about 6 hours of knitting. This is really, really fast for me. I had even worked the gusset decreases while working mostly in the dark of a very dimly-lit bowling alley.

I thought that I had reached some sort of sock Nirvana, where I was suddenly able to knit socks a whole lot faster than before.

And then, I reached the toe. I worked the toe decreases, humming along, not looking closely at anything because I didn't want to get motion sick.

Then, it was time to graft. I rearranged the stitches on the needles and found...too few stitches, in the wrong order, and the whole toe just looking strange.

I've messed up toe decreases before, so I didn't think much of it. But, as I looked more closely, the whole sock looked, well, too small.

I realized I had cast on 64 stitches instead of 68 stitches. So, the sock wasn't just too small, the heel was worked over the wrong number of stitches and the toe was out of whack because I only counted the stitches on my first two of four needles, which made the top of the toe smaller than the bottom of the toe.

Which explained why I had been able to make the thing so fast. I had about 6 percent fewer stitches than I had on the first sock. I wailed, in despair, to my wife, that I had to knit the sock all over again.

"I'm glad you were knitting, anyway," my wife said.


"Oh, we passed through a pretty bad thunderstorm a little while back. You were so distracted by your knitting, you didn't even notice."

So, it was a lesson for me, at least. If things seem to be going a little too well, you might want to stop and count your stitches again.

On a positive note, the Malabrigo held up very well to being torn out and knit over again. The two socks are indistinguishable.


It was so nice to talk with Becky. We chatted about Vermont, small mills, and her e-book, Time On My Hands.