Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Skew U

It's been two weeks since released Skew as a mid-Winter Surprise, and I've been ecstatic about its generally-positive reception. I know that no sock construction can be ideal for every foot, but of course I want the Skew sockitecture so suit as many feet as possible, so I've been working madly on fit modifications. Here's what I've come up with so far.

  • Higher instep: In the first row of the "Inner ankle" section, increase six times on the sole of the foot. Explicitly: for the left sock, when 25 stitches remain in the round, work (k1, RLinc, k1) 6 times, k 10, SSK, k1. I bet you can generalize for the right sock. :) Then, when you work the first round of the "Heel shaping: Left sock only" section, k 13 instead of k 10. The Kitchener-stitched section in the Origami Moment will have 18 stitches instead of 15.

  • Roomier legs: The double decreases in the "Decrease mini-gusset" section serve two purposes. First, they remove the stitches introduced on the top of the leg in the "Increase mini-gusset" section; and second, they shift the structural line on the outer ankle forward. In order to accomplish the second objective without removing stitches, I suggest that you work only three double decreases (instead of six) in the
    "Decrease mini-gusset" section, but omit the opposing decreases (SSK near end of round on the left leg; k2tog near beginning of round on the right leg) on alternate rounds. The result is 78 leg stitches instead of 72. You will need to work an extra set of short rows on the leg before the ribbing.

  • Thinner legs/ankles: Try eliminating the increases on either side of the first ankle marker (for the left leg) during the "Inner Ankle" section on every fourth round, three times. The result is 66 leg stitches instead of 72. You will need to work one fewer set of short rows on the leg before the ribbing.

  • Roomier heel back: Several knitters have expressed frustration at the snugness of the band at the upper back of the heel. I admit this requires a little wiggling to pull on, but for me, the fit once the sock is on is exceptional. For many feet, the high-instep mods described above will add sufficient wiggle room to pull on the socks. I've tried working additional rounds in the heel section, but the result was too much distortion in the leg (the outer leg vertical band ends up too far towards the back). I intend to try adding some short rows over the heel band, but haven't test-knitted it yet. Stay tuned.

    Tracy Purtscher said...

    Thanx for all your hard work. Gotta tell you, I've never been gobsmacked with a sock pattern, or frankly ANY pattern, like I have been with Skew. Pure genius.

    Marcia said...

    Just finished my Skews tonight, and I love them!

    One of the socks is a little tight when as I'm pulling it on over my heel, but once it's on, it fits well. Because of the unusual construction, I couldn't quite figure out what would give a little more room there - making the foot a little longer before starting the inner ankle section?

    Wollgut said...

    You are totally awesome for working so hard on this pattern to make it work for everyone! Thank you.

    Wollgut said...
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    ann I am said...

    Thanks for posting these mods. I've been working like a crazy woman to get the needles free from another project so I can cast on for the Skew. Just started them yesterday--so far, I'm intrigued.

    Oyceter said...

    Thank you for the mods! Er, just to double check, for the higher instep, we should do the (k1, RLinc, k1) six times, not twelve?

    Susan said...

    Thanks for the tips.
    FYI I think you may have a typo on your "higher instep" recommendation:

    "when 25 stitches remain in the round, work (k1, RLinc, k1) 12 times, k 10, SSK, k1."

    The above takes 37 sts, not 25. I'm guessing you meant " (k1, RLinc, k1) 6 times..."?

    Lana said...

    Sorry about the typo in the high-instep instructions; it's fixed now.

    Susan said...

    I think it's really cool that you've posted all these mods, and wanted to add another suggestion to the pile:

    I tried both your "higher instep" mod and the short-rows around the heel band, but found the ankle was still too small for my heel to fit through (not just the band around the heel, but the actual ankle above that, where you continue knitting after you've kitchenered the heel). Doing increases on the sole doesn’t help because they cancel each other out when you sew them together at the heel. So I added 6 sts to the instep as follows: on the “k around” rows in the foot repeats, I added 1 increase 2 sts from the COR (the same place where you normally do the increases), but only on the instep side (2 sts before COR for the left sock, 2 sts after COR for the right sock). I did 20 repeats of the “Foot” section and did my extra increases on repeats 9 - 12, 14, and 16. This fixed all my fit problems--gave me a higher instep and a roomier ankle--and I didn’t need to do any of the other mods.

    Presumably you could also add sts by decreasing along the decrease edge every 4 rows instead of every other row.

    Ashley said...

    I have narrower and shorter feet than the original pattern but found it very easy to figure out how to make my own mods for the right fit. Love, love, love this pattern! Just posted a review on my craftalong blog.

    Karen said...

    As usual, I am late to the party. I just heard about this pattern on a recent podcast (I forget which one, since I listen to so many). I wondered if you had any mods to suggest for someone with size 11 feet? I suppose I could just go to a looser gauge, but that usually ends badly for socks (they either feel bumpy or wear out faster). If not, I guess I will just have to find someone with smaller feet to knit them for! It is truly an amazing pattern.