Friday, March 7, 2014

Sock Surgery or Why Knitting While You are Tense is Not a Great Idea

Last month I was working on a new sock design, Hearts in Owlantis.  I had the owl and heart design in my mind for a while before I decided to chart it out.  Once it was charted I couldn't wait to cast on!  The first sock came out perfectly.  It fit great and I set it aside while I cast on for the second sock.  It was one of those cold dreary winter days where you just want to stay inside, watch movies and knit.  I often wonder what non knitters do on days like this?  Anyway, Andy and I decided to have a marathon of scary movies and shows - all day long.  We started out with The Thing, moved on to The Shining and then The After (which is a pilot that Amazon has come out with) and finally finishing the evening up with The Walking Dead

Normally I am pretty relaxed during horror movies and I very rarely jump.  I don't know if watching so many in a row got to me this time, or what happened but the second sock was not the same as the first.  Did I notice before I finished it?  Of course not.  Why would I?  I mean really, why would you check to see if the second sock was the same as the first, right?  The colorwork portion of it was pretty tight and very hard to get over my ankle.  I might have been able to wear it, but I knew I would never be happy with it.  I contemplated what to do with it for a few days and finally decided to preform surgery.  It would be better than having to re-knit the whole sock and if I didn't like how it came out it wasn't going to be a great loss.

It looks nice and even and not overly tight here. I didn't do a great job carrying my floats on the back and that was where the issue was.

First I took a needle one size smaller than what the sock was knitted with and ran it through the stitches where I was going to cut.  Yes, cut.  No guts, no glory.

I was careful to find the beginning of the round and started the needle insertion there.  Then I got out my steeking scissors and began cutting.

I made sure to only cut the pink yarn since I wanted to save the cuff and beginning of the leg. 

I cut all the way around and then picked out the little bits of left over pink yarn.

This next part was easy, I just attached new yarn and re-knit the colorwork section and heel as I wasn't crazy about what I had done there either.  When I finished the heel I ran the smaller needles through the foot of the original sock and snipped it off.

Completely separated and ready for grafting!

I used the Kitchener stitch to graft the two pieces together.  I was worried that I would be able to feel the seam where the pieces were grafted when I was done.  I was especially careful not to make the graft too tight or too loose and it wound up coming out very well.  Not only is the seam invisible, but it can't be felt either.  Now both socks fit and are ready to go!  

Margi is in the process of test knitting this pattern and it will be ready for release in a few weeks.  Here is a picture of her progress.  It's in Knitters Brewing Company Serene in Sweet Ruby and Campfire.


  1. Clever save and adorable socks!

  2. I got scared reading and looking at your pictures! I've never steeked - much too frightening! Your surgery obviously worked though, the socks are lovely.

    1. I figured that I had nothing to loose and it was a fun experiment. I think it could also work if the foot of a sock wore out and the top was still in good condition - just re-knit the bottom and the sock is saved.

  3. OMG! I can.not believe you did this. My heart skipped a beat when I read SCISSORS! But by golly, you pulled it off beautifully! You're amazing. <3