Category Archives: Better Mousetrap Socks

Projects tagged with: “toe” and “up”

I’m not a quitter, but those sideways socks annoyed me. I wanted to finish them, yet I knew it would only end in heartbreak. So I did what I usually do when faced with knitting disappointment: rip, then distract myself with new techniques. First there was the Magic Cast On, which is pretty impressive, then there was the cable cast on, which is nice enough, then there were the mitered squares – absolutely scintillating in self-patterning yarn. And before I knew it, I had a whole freaking sock finished. Seriously, two weeks is some kind of record for me – these went so fast, May was almost NaKniSockMo – I am thisclose to a complete pair (and who knows what could happen in the next 10 hours?).

Smoking Hot Socks, almost done As proof, here are Sock #1 and Sock #2 together – there’s no sleight-of-hand or Photoshop trickery going on. These are Monika Steinbauer’s genius Smoking Hot Socks (e-mail her for the pattern, or it’s also available as a Ravelry download) in Trekking XXL 140. I found the garter stitch strip to be sort of understated, colorwise; this incarnation of the Trekking is kind of obnoxiously loud, and I love it. I also have to say that this is an ideal sock pattern for the adventurous or easily bored knitter, because each section of the sock knits up differently – just when you’re tired of the toe, it’s time to slip stitch, then you turn the heel, then you work a pile of mitered squares, then you’re done! Monika recommends a Jojo short row heel, but I went with my favorite tried and true Sherman heel – other than that, I’m knitting the pattern as written.

All I want to do now is knit lots of toe up socks, which seems in direct conflict with my other goal of finishing 14 things this year. Sad but true, waiting for ten more pairs of socks from a slow knitter like me might put us into May 2009, so I’ll need to balance my new obsession with my, er, production schedule. I think I’m going to be one of those knitters with a project scheduled for every day of the week. Then again, I might become one of those knitters who goes out and buys more sock needles.

The siren song of garter stitch.

Without my really paying attention, I managed to complete two sleeves and almost the entire back for Lizzy, the Noro Silk Garden cardigan that I was noodling around with when we last saw each other. I had fantasies that I would be able to finish knitting the pieces for Lizzy in the month of April, and it looked likely except for one thing: the siren song of garter stitch.

Here is what I’ve learned about myself (the “knitting as a growth experience” part of the entry): the easiest project on the needles will invariably rise to the top of the working rotation. I can talk a big game about cables as easy to knit as stockinette or a lacy sock I am dying to make, but apparently there were days this month when purling was too hard, and Lizzy was cast ruthlessly aside in favor of the Better Mousetrap Socks by Debbie New from Interweave Knits Fall 2001; I would show you an FO picture, but the Internet seems to think that I’m the only person who wants to make them. It doesn’t look like much more than a strip of knitting, but simple decreases give you half a heel and toe on each side, then you graft the whole thing together, and voila – a garter stitch sock magically appears, thanks in large part to the inspiring gift of Trekking sock yarn from Theresa as a blog contest prize. Better Mousetrap Sock, in progress

Except not. In late-breaking news of the “knitting as a growth experience” variety, I started the second set of heel decreases and got the sneaking suspicion that while the adjustments I made to ensure the foot was the right shortness (it seems wrong to say “length” here, since that’s not my problem) appear to have worked, the sock itself will turn out to be too wide side to side, with potential bagginess looming all over the place. Damn.

Part of me wants to treat this as a learning experience and figure out how to customize the second sock to fit me so I can reknit the first one in all its garter-y goodness before the Michigan/Ohio State football game in November (yes, these are my secret “M – Go Blue!” socks to be worn in Buckeye country). Another part wants to finish the sock and give the sock and yarn to someone with size 6 or 7 EEE feet – let them knit the second one! And a third part of me wants to admit that the only way God meant for us to knit socks is top down or toe up, and rededicate the yarn to that purpose. What should I do?