I think there are a couple of key pieces of information to keep in mind… you know, things like the terms “top down” and “toe up” and how very, very different those techniques are. Also, gauge. Please, keep in mind that when you work with a fingering weight yarn, that there are a certain range of needle sizes that can be used by various knitters, and that if you want them to be able to get the same pattern as you, that you should include your personal gauge. For instance, when I knit socks with fingering weight yarn and size 2.0mm needles, I get a 8 stitches to the inch gauge.
So, imagine my delight when I searched for “toe-up” socks on Ravelry and came up with these really nice, simple socks for men. I bought the pattern for only $3.50 USD (another score!) and then brought it with me on Wednesday night to my parent’s house to be knit up into a pair of socks for my Dad (but he doesn’t know, I pretended they were for Neil), and then, when I went to cast on, realized that the two sizes listed only required 48 or 56 stitches. Okay, huh?
Now, socks for myself, usually require a mid-60’s stitch number, so only 56 for a men’s size large? I wasn’t until I got the pattern home that I realized that the designer was using a size 4 needle….on fingering weight yarn. I would never, ever, ever use a needle size that big for socks, so I simply increased the stitch count. Until I realized that the socks weren’t even toe-up like the one other person who knit them claimed they were, but top-down. Now, this does not make sense to me at all. How can the pattern clearly say to cast on the stiches and begin the ribbing for the cuff, and be considered a toe-up sock? The heel is definitely a top-down heel, the toe is definitely the last part knit on the sock, so really, how is this possible?
My only conclusion is that these socks were originally designed as toe-up socks, but then at some point changed to top-down, but never coded properly into the Ravelry database. But by the time I came to this conclusion, I had already gotten so frustrated that I had ripped it out, and decided to just knit a plain sock for my Dad since the alpaca yarn wasn’t showing off the stitch definition anyways. I am incredibly frustrated with this pattern, but since I paid good money for it, I of course, can’t stop reading through it and deciding what parts have to be reworked. I’m going to keep the stitch pattern as the base, but I’m going to change just about everything else – the stitch number, the heel, and how long to make the foot, and then which toe to use. And these socks probably won’t go to my Dad, but to Neil afterall.
I’m not going to slander this designer on my blog by saying the name of the pattern, or who she is. I’m nicer than that. But I am going to tell you, that when I do make these socks, I’m not coding them as her pattern, since I’ll have changed everything except for the stitch pattern used anyways. They won’t end up really being her sock design in essence when I’ve finished, and with all the mistakes and the poor writing of the pattern, well, I can’t in good faith connect my knitting to it – too many other minds will be confused by it, and really, isn’t there enough bad knitting ju-ju out in the world already?