Grok* the Sock

Look, when the Yarn Harlot says that you can't do something, you just can't. It is not possible. She's that knowledgeable, and yes, she's that good. Also, I like to think I am a smart person. When an intelligent, witty, kind and experienced woman tells me that knitting does not do X, I don't try it. Learn from the lessons of others, you can't live long enough.

On Sunday morning, the Philosophical Knitter and I were preparing to learn about sock knitting. I'm quite enthused. I am working on my first pair of toe-up socks, and I'm hating them. (Non-Knitting translation: you can start a sock at the cuff or at the toes.) And I'm grooving, because my idol is saying that she thinks that toe-up socks are just dumb, because among other things:

"You cannot knit a heel flap with short rows on a toe-up sock".

My eyes travel to the sock I am, at this very instant - this exact instant - knitting. In her class. This toe-up sock.

And, um, more or less, it has a heel flap. Modified. But there was a flap, and then I turned the heel, and then I picked up the stitches along the side of the flap and I knit them, and then decreased, and that gave me a gusset, and yep, this is a heel flap. There are only 2 kinds of heels in hand knitted sock, and I'll be honest, I don't even know how to do the other kind. This *is* a heel flap.

Ummm. Ahhhhh.

And I look at PK, and sure enough, she has the same heel. I know she has the same heel, because neither of us really used a pattern for our socks, and we had a discussion at lunch, and we decided on a heel flap. And in fact, we knit a heel flap. Indeed, when the time came to do the first one, I was in Emergency with Mr. Spit, and I had no Internet, no pattern book, no nothing. I couldn't even use my phone (and while I'm mentioning it, does any one find it odd that my $20 cell phone will wreck multi-million dollar equipment?).

So, I turned the heel. I sat and looked at it, figured out a plan, arsed it up 3 or 4 times, and then just finally dug in and knit the darn thing. And you know what? It worked. Really, it did. As you can see, it looked like a heel! It had short rows, and a gusset. It's a heel man, and I assure you, I started at the toes.

So, now I have this sock, and friends, this sock should not exist. There is a possibility that this sock is bending the time-space continuum, and it is also possibly responsible for every strange thing that Micheal Jackson has ever done. This sock is a problem. And it is sitting, plainly existing, in spite of the impossibility of the situation: a toe-up sock, with a heel flap.

Umm, Erm, toe-up sock with heel flap?!

I start knitting my freak-show sock under the table.

I'm not sure what to do. Do I rip it out? Bury it in my back yard in the dark of night and never, ever speak of it again? Holy yarn, help me. Woolly nylon, this is bad. Cheap acrylic bad. Getting to the end of a 300 stitch lace pattern, out one stitch, bad. Very bad.

I keep listening to the class, learning lots, but honest to wool, my world has been rocked. Finally at the end of the class, I put my hand up, very gingerly. I don't want to ask this question out loud. I want her to come over, so I can very quietly say:

"Umm, Stephanie, I have this toe-up sock, see this one right here and it's really a toe-up sock, and it's really got a heel flap, and yes the gusset goes up the leg and not down the foot, and I made the flap smaller and picked up fewer stitches, but really it's a heel flap and I knitted it on toe-up socks and oh, please for the love of wool, tell me I haven't broken knitting, and you aren't going to take my needles away from me, and strangle me with acrylic, and I'm really sorry, but you see I just didn't know that you couldn't do it, so, well, I did it, and I'm really sorry, and if you can't have a heel flap heel in a toe-up sock, tell me what I've done. Please?"

The Harlot says it's ok.

It's the same style as an absolutely brilliant designer named Cookie A came up with in 2006. It's called Baudelaire. And if I broke knitting, she broke it first. Also, she is teaching at the Sock Summit, so I don't think she broke knitting.


It's from Robert Heinlen's Stranger in a Strange Land. No, I didn't get the reference either.