Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Proverbial Light Bulb

So here I sat last night; amongst the remnants of Kleenex that missed the bin, Sock 2 in hand, and a nagging doubt of accurate foot size every time I stole a glance at Sock 1. I broke down and asked New Roommate to try it on. No one else was volunteering. I figured even though her feet are about 2 shoe sizes bigger, that's only about 1/2" and if it's tight, well that's a good thing. So on they went and... they were too long. I'm still not getting this. The gauge is right. No, I am NOT deluding myself. I am NOT the Yarn Halot's friend Emma (I AM half way through Knitting Rules! at the moment and enjoying it tremendously.) In fact, I am sure that New Roommate's feet are a bit on the narrow side and the socks were comfortable, room to stretch for sure, but not, I repeat NOT too big. Just too long. What to do? What to do?

Obviously what every aspiring Sock Knitter needs is a Sock Knitting Guru or Sensei. I wrote to mine immediately. Laura, who I met at the EweKnitty group in Mill Valley this summer, turns out lovely socks, knows her knitting and is really nice. Since I hold Laura personally responsible for turning me to the Sock, she is the person I turned to now with this conundrum. And though she is three thousand miles from here, she was only a click away on Ravelry, the most indispensable knitting tool of all.

As I write this I am keenly aware that Laura is, hopefully, fast asleep. It's 5:30 a.m. in California. My last missive she could have not seen yet. But her knowledge, perhaps it transcends the time space continuum... Although I had asked H-J J to measure her foot when we started this whole thing, it seemed something a bit too much for her and I was given a European foot size. Damn those Canadians and their pseudo America ways. She may walk the walk with her tiny toes, but she couldn't even give me a normal shoe size. I mean, after 10 years I knew my own but do you think I figured out the conversion for every shoe size? That and Celsius is too much to ask for any American. At least I picked up another language and a half, but that is another story...

Anyway, armed with a shoe size I googled (an official word in the English language,) sock size charts and found that a US size 4-5 was 9 5/8". After that I remembered that I had a book with its own chart, my Ann Budd book Getting Started Knitting Socks, states 9.5" and yet they were too big. Then Sensei writes me that they are supposed to be 8 3/4". And so, after a bit of virtual hair pulling and general desire to throttle H-J J (in the most loving way possible, of course,) she finally took her foot measurement. 8 3/4". Just like Sensei said it should be. Almost a whole inch less than the lousy chart (7/8" to be exact.)

How much is left to do on the socks? Sock 1 needs to be ripped back about another 1/4" and Sock 2 needs about 2" more. Then both need the toes and they are done. And since H-J J's feet really are so small, it only took 1 ball of Jitterbug leaving 2 more. Just. For. Me.

What have I learned? Besides knowing I need to get my hands on Laura's chart? One thing for sure, the next pair of socks I knit are for ME! I realized that all my sock fiascoes had been based on not having the foot the sock is meant for. My niece in CA, my cousin's baby in London, my friend in Jerusalem. All unavailable feet. If I had had a live foot to try them on (ooh, like the one attached to MY leg) I would have had a better chance for early success. So now, I just really want these JayWalkers to fit. Jerusalem is a long way for the socks to go AND come back again for fixin'.


HJ-Junkie said...

that which does not kill us, but only maims us, makes us stronger!

looking forward to warming my tootsies!

Laura said...

Hey now I'm famous! The chart is from Charlene Schurch's book Sensational Knitted Socks. Great book.