In March sock knitting people run a fun competition based loosely on the US basketball competition known as March Madness. There are 7 rounds of patterns. The first pattern is reasonably straightforward and as the rounds progress the socks become increasingly more complex in design.
Every registered competitor who completes a pair of socks in round 1 will be placed on a team with approximately 40 players per team. It is announced ahead of each round how many will proceed to the next pattern/round. By the 7th pattern there will be one member from each team left to battle it out.
Competitors don’t sleep at this stage. They get fed by their spouses while they knit knit KNIT. Usually a Fin wins. It’s great fun and great suspense! Here’s the group on Ravelry.
The fun has already begun and there are two patterns to warm up with. I’m doing the second warm up pattern is Don’t Tread on My Toes by Heidi Lenore:
Lenore is a Indy 500 fan and based her design on cars, racing and tire tracks. There are four versions, here presented with most straight forward one on the left and the more intrinsic one on the right.
I’m doing version C. Here’s where I am after two days knitting:
Not much progress on the second day considering this is where I stopped after day 1:
But I had many difficulties with the fit of the heel and the heel flap. The pattern is good, mind you. It’s just that I have weird feet and a gauge to match them.
Below is the pattern when all the gusset increases are done -interestingly placed at the underside of the sock!- and the heel is turned:
It doesn’t have enough length for me, the heel should turn at the end of my foot.
This is caused because my row gauge is off. I’m doing 52,5 rows to the 10 cm and the pattern states 48. In a 20 cm long foot that’s 8 rows. Which is exactly what I lack, 1,5 cm in length.
I ripped back and knitted 8 more rows after the gusset but before turning the heel:
Ah yes. Better. This is where a heel should turn.
Normally you’d lengthen a foot before you make the gusset increases. But because I have a wide instep I need those gusset increases to appear where they are.
Now I made a heelflap and let it “eat up” the stitches on the left needle right up to the patterned part. Just like the pattern says I should.
I couldn’t put the sock on anymore. It was way too narrow. Caused my gauge, I’m sure my stitch gauge is off too (I’m going to measure it afte
I’m at 35 st per 10 cm. Pattern says 34 st/10 cm. That’s not too different… did I read the pattern wrong? By now I’m so flustered I’m knitting it my own way: I’m now knitting in the round from the point shown in the last photo. No heel flap.
I occasionally decrease and it will end up with two gussets tapering to the ankle bone. But I’m wrecking the original pattern and I feel awful about it. This is absolutely not allowed once the competition starts, you’re supposed to knit the pattern as is. Even if it doesn’t fit you (or anyone you know). This is to ensure that everybody knits the same amount of stitches at a minimum. Levelling the play field.
I’m sure I make too much of this. I should just relax, tinker some more and enjoy the ride.