Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hey ho, What's Afoot?

A foot! 2 of them actually!

Finally the central portion of the sock is done! The stitches have been divided, (and everything is all a bit awkward right now) and work has begun on the foot portion of the sock.

At this point the center bottom of the sole is 5 inches long, and the instep is 0 inches long (OK, maybe 0.25 inches)--The sole needs to be 9 inches (4 more inches) and the instep needs to be 7 inches. At the same time, the 80 stitches I started the foot with need to be decrease—to something closer to 66 or 68- so there is going to be some shaping going on—short row shaping.
To the left of the image are the stitches (on holders) for the leg; to the right the stitches for the foot. (By the stitch marker, a few stitches on the top instep) 

The foot portion (and the leg portion) started out with 80 stitches each. So step one is decreasing—which will be done on the center top of the sock. The first few rounds (that 0.25th's of an inch) were all decrease rounds The first 3 rounds after joining the top of the foot were worked with 2 decreases per round (80 minus 6) and one set of increases--(the sole portion of the foot has been increasing 2 stitches every 3rd round for several inches now, and I want to keep that up (and keep the bias fabric in place.) But decreasing every round is too steep a slope. So now the decrease will proceed at 2 every other row.

BUT—If I am going to continue the bias patterning—with every 3rd round, there will need to be a set of increase on the sole. So I will be both decreasing (on the instep) and increasing (on the sole)--but at different rates.

Taken over 12 rounds, there will be 4 sets of 2 increase (8 increases in 12 rounds) on the sole, and 6 sets of decreases on the instep (12 decreases in 12 round) or a net of 4 stitch decrease—which is not enough.

So I will sneak in a few short rows, and after 12 full rounds, and 2 sets of short rows, the will be 8 increases on the sole, and 16 decreases on the instep-- a net of 8 decreases 
The count now is  76 stitches, which will become first 68 stitches. This will add about 3 inches to the top of the sock (the instep) but only add  2.5 inches of sole) –Then... 

Well I am not exactly sure! 68 stitches is more than average--(for me, by about 8 stitches) but with a bias knit fabric, more stitches are needed. The stitch count will be close to right. I can always omit a short row, or more likely, add one—depending on how the socks fit.

I will still need 4 more inches of instep—but only another 2 inches or so on the sole—So a more intricate set of short rows will be needed for the toe final few inches and toe shaping!

But the bulk of the foot will be completed in 12  full rounds—and what lovely rounds they will be. Rounds that grow smaller and small--(not larger and larger!) and rounds that will make the socks look like socks (and not like some sort of strange skull cap!)

It's not likely I will finish the socks today. I might not even finish the foot part of the sock today—so these socks are going to be late and not finished until next year. (NEXT YEAR IS TOMORROW!)

But I can live with that—they are only socks after all!

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