Well, here it is. The first draft of my sockpal sock, entitled 'Bastille Day.' And mes amis, it is le guillotine of socks.
I have narrowed the problem down to two areas: 1) the heel and 2) the front ankle where it lines up with the middle of the heel. I think I could have done a couple of things differently to make this better. First of all, I should have knit the heel on a bigger needle. I am now sure that the red and white yarn is a finer weight than the blue. This made the heel way too tight. If I had knit the heel on a larger needle, I think it would have loosened things up in the ankle, too. Everything up to the heel is great—the toe and the foot are fitting fine, even with the stranded knitting. But getting this thing on with that heel is too challenging a thing for me to inflict on a poor, unsuspecting sockpal.
So, I'm putting this away for a while and am not going to start a new one and try to correct the problems. I'm going to work on something easy for a while. Something I know will turn out nicely. Something that will build my knitting confidence.
Frankly, I'm considering knitting a Clapotis right along with the rest of the knitting world. I just listened to the Knitcast interview with Kate Gilbert, the Clapotis designer, who lives and works in Paris, and was very inspired. All I would have to do is master the stitch pattern and not worry at all about fitting. Oh, and pick pretty yarn—no problem. I'm not usually one to jump on a bandwagon like this, but I did jump on the knitting bandwagon in the first place so what makes me think I'm such a lone wolf?
A word about Knitcast—this is a site with recordings of interviews about knitting. Unfortunately I couldn't figure out how to download them from the site, but I read the comments and discovered that you can access all the programs through iTunes if you have the latest version that lists 'Podcasts' in your source sidebar. Click on 'Podcasts' and search for Knitcast. This brings up an option to subscribe, which downloads the current show. Then click on the triangle to display past episodes, which you can then choose to download. Very fun! I'm downloading episode 09 right now and can't wait to hear it.
For even more inspiration (of the non-audio variety), go to the Victoria and Albert Museum web site and look at their knitting collections, interviews with designers, free patterns, and information on regional knitting.