Roundabout Exit 151 storm recovery is nearing completion: electricity is ON, phones are ON, Internet is ON. MEGA-LAUNDRY and MEGA-IRONING are done. Fallen branches have been chopped and neatly bundled. And while I was offline, the paperwhites came along nicely. Here they are in their glory (gentle readers will have to imagine their heady perfume). Alas, they've since succumbed to a common ailment, flop over. Ah well, it happens.
During the power outage I worked on the Sock Madness 4 Round 1 sock, Simple Side to Side Socks by Deborah Swift. The well-written pattern was easy to follow. Which was good, as most knitting happened by candlelight. The pair squeaked in just before the midnight deadline at 11:40 PDT – 10:40 p.m. AKDT or cough 2:40 a.m. EDT. But squeak in they did; I advance to Round 2.
The unusual flat and sideways construction of the socks means they have more stretch vertically than horizontally, the reverse of conventional sock constructions. There's lots of grafting – the long seam, afterthought heel, and toe – and lots of 4-into-3 picking up and knitting. Finishing the socks feels very like finishing a sweater.
Alas and no surprise, between the reduced lateral stretch and the lack of a heel gusset, it's a bit of a struggle to get the socks on my Frankenfeet. Once on, they tend to slouch. I'm aware of the picked up and knit ridges at the cuff, heel, and toe – they don't fidget me, but they are prominent enough that I think they would bother people with sensitive feet or a lot of friction in their shoes. Pity – the tight heel fit could be an asset for athletic wear, but the blister potential seems too high.
Overall, I'm happy with these sideways socks, my first. The designer has listed many variations to address various fit issues. If I were to make another pair, I'd use a stitch pattern with plenty of vertical stretch, such as Old Shale, and add a heel gusset. But now that Sock Madness is underway, a second pair will have to wait a while – Round 2 starts Friday!