It’s Thursday and, friends, I have some sock progress to share!

I was all ready to write another post where I told you all about how I wasn’t making progress on my socks.  I was planning to cast on Asagi last night.  But yesterday was … a day.  And by the time I sat down with a little time to knit, I didn’t have the mental or physical energy to cast on for a new project.  So I pulled out my Hermione sock and had some therapeutic knitting time.

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1.5 socks! 

By bedtime, my languishing Hermione cuff had grown into a full leg!  And when the sun woke me up at 6:30 this morning, I thought, hey, I could go ahead and get up, and have a few minutes of porch knitting while I drink my coffee.  So now the heel flap is well under way!

I did have a bit of a heel flap dilemna. (Warning: what follows is some serious sock knitting minutiae — but what is Thursday for, if not discussing sock minutiae!  If it’s not your thing, though, that’s fine! Just skip down to the bottom and look at pretty pictures of a nearby park.)  Now, I haven’t done a pair of top-down socks in awhile.  The heel flap for Hermione is identified in the pattern as a “slightly modified garter-stitch edged Eye of Partridge Heel.”  When I did the first heel flap, I started the instructions just as written, keeping the border stitches of the flap in garter.  After a few rows I thought to myself, “don’t those nubbly little garter bumps look hard to pick up?  Self, you don’t want to wrestle with those bumpy bits.” I had some vague memory of working a selvedge stitch on some past heel flap. I ripped back the flap, and feeling quite pleased with myself (“Way to use your knitting noggin, self!  Don’t blindly follow the pattern, use your knitterly instincts!”), I restarted the heel flap, slipping the first stitch of each row purl-wise and knitting the last stitch of each row through the back loop.  As I progressed, I thought, well-done me!  Look at this lovely row of open v’s, which will be ever so easy to pick up.

Do you see where this is going yet?

It turned out that those lovely little v’s were in fact quite difficult to pick up neatly.  If I picked up the whole stitch, it distorted the heel flap and left giant holes along the gusset.  If I just knit into one leg of the v, I still ended up with loose, holey, gusset stitches.  In the end, I settled for knitting through 1 leg through the back loop, which results in a sort of twisted elongated stitch.  And then I realized that the whole reason for including that garter border on the heel was to make it easier to pick up gusset stitches!  Doh!  (Teaches me, huh? Getting too big for my britches, not following the pattern!)

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The offending row of twisted stitches. They don’t look terrible, but I wasn’t completely thrilled with this as a solution.

So anyway, this led to my little dilemna for sock two: work the selvedge on the heel flap, in the interest of the socks matching, or give the garter stitch border a proper go.  In my pre-coffee haze this morning, I decided that the socks matching was oh-so-important, so that I should press on with my mistaken method.  Now, though, with an appropriate amount of caffeine in my system, I’m wondering if that was silly.  How noticeable would it really be if my picked-up gusset stitches didn’t match …  What would you do in a similar situation?

The takeaway from all of this: slipping first stitch as if to purl and knitting last stitch through the back loop is not the right selvedge for heel flaps … at least not for me!

I don’t have much else to report on the sock front.  Except that I have a new little knitting station in my “office” that I’ve been using to take writing breaks.  I’ve been struggling a bit with my work lately, so I’ve gone back to using the Pomodoro method (you can read about it here, but basically, you work for a specified time on a timer, then take enforced breaks).  Since Mr. N is only in LA for the year, the apartment we’re in is a sublet.  The sublettor has this great prop/cushion set up for cross-legged sitting.  It’s becoming my knitting seat for quick breaks from the desk:

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Sock spot!

Even though it’s not sock related, I thought I’d share some pictures of a spot Mr. N and I went walking yesterday.  It’s a new favorite!  I found myself thinking a lot about the most recent Pomcast (do you listen? I started in NZ and I love it!) which included an interview with Amy Hendrix, founder of Madelinetosh. She spent a lot of time talking about the beauty of brown grass!

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There’s a group of us who write about socks on Thursdays.  If you’d like to join, feel free to link up and let us know.  Go check out what my fellow sock bloggers are writing about:

Hope you enjoy the rest of your day!  I’ll be back tomorrow trying something new — I do hope you’ll stop by!

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10 thoughts on “Thursday Sockalong: Hermione Heel and a Walk in the Park

  1. Yay for unplanned / unexpected knitting time! When I worked that heel, I was confused at first because I forgot that the pattern for the modified eye of partridge heel was at the beginning 🙂 Those garter bumps definitely make it easy to pick up the stitches and I think it’s one of my favorite heel techniques that I’ve used so far. I’ve never heard about the Pomcast and am going to check it out, as well as the Pomodoro technique. Thanks for mentioning both. I work from home and find myself sitting for hours at a time before I realize that I haven’t taken a break. And then I wonder why I’m so sore all the time 🙂 Those pictures are really lovely.

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    1. Oh it’s good to know that the garter ridges help. I don’t know why, but they just looked hard to pick up to me – then I realized later that they were there to make things easier — next time! I love Pomcast — I binge-listened to about 6 episodes traveling back from NZ!! I like the Pomodoro technique … both because it helps me stay focused (not always easy when I’m working on my dissertation from home, which is most days at the moment!) and makes me be a bit more intentional about how I spend break times. It’s so easy to just get stuck sitting all day …. and when you have a sedentary hobby, that doesn’t help either 😉

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  2. The yarn you’re using for your Hermione socks is really wonderful! It’s unusually pretty but also seems like it will be versatile enough to wear with all sorts of things. I’m always changing my mind about heel techniques. I keep thinking I’ll eventually find the perfect go-to method, but so far, I haven’t. Regarding dissertation writing – one thing I wish I’d had a better sense of when I was writing (and not finishing) my own dissertation was the whole “Good enough is almost always good enough” idea. Eric Barker talks about it here (http://theweek.com/articles/601157/neuroscience-reveals-4-rituals-that-make-happy), but as he points out, there is a lot of neuroscience to back it up.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing this link, Melinda! I loved reading that article. So many good suggestions. I like “good enough is good enough.” It’s important to be reminded of that a lot. What field was your dissertation in? I’m really excited about the socks. I love the neutral-colorful combo – I’m hoping I’ll be able to wear them a lot this fall 🙂

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  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! I’ve been thinking of trying out the Hermione socks for a while, and despite your “mistake” (I wouldn’t have known…) I think yours look great! Perhaps that’s the inspiration I needed to get started on my own.

    Those brown hills look mighty familiar! In LA you have to learn to appreciate the beauty of brown grass, especially these days with the drought. Really nice pictures 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Florence! I’ve definitely enjoyed making the Hermione Socks and recommend them … I like that the pattern is very simple, but you end up with such a fun texture! And thanks for your comment on my pictures! It’s definitely a different kind of beauty than I’m used to, but I really like it (although I do miss the occasional rain storm)! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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