Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shilly shally

Well, maybe not exactly. "Shilly shally" implies indecision. Like willy nilly and dilly dally. I'm decisive enough about the idea. I'm just not sure I want to proceed with the execution.

Like most of the country, it's cold here. Factor in the wind chill and, well, I would never be so gross as to suggest it will freeze the snot in your nose, so let's just say it's rather unpleasant. With the weather at the forefront of my mind, and not entirely ignoring the fact that Clare's scarf really does have to be done before she heads back to Urbana, I started the Aran Isle slippers.

I was determined to follow the pattern exactly as written. I was good, I swatched first to make sure my yarn and needle choice would be enough to accommodate the size change I need to make. It looked like I might be about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch short, but these are knitted slippers; I figured they'd stretch that far, even if they didn't bloom a little in blocking.

On the theory that there are less than 60 rows to knit here and that if all else failed I could call it a swatch, I've knit the first sole. It's perfect. The next step is to bind off the sole and then, starting at the center front (the toe), pick up stitches all around, ending back at the center front and knitting the sides in the round. Once that's done, the instep is knit up separately, blocked, and then sewn onto the slipper.

This is where I got into trouble ideas.

Remember the Not-so-stupid Booties? Also the Stupid Booties for that matter? Let me refresh your memory. For these particular booties, you knit the sole flat (starting to sound familiar?), pick up stitches around and knit the sides (ringing any bells besides mine?), knit the instep back and forth, attaching it as you go, leaving the remaining stitches live and then knitting around for the ankle.

I'm thinking, instead of all this binding off (once you knit the sides and shape the back of the slipper with short rows, you have to bind off all that) and sewing on, why not use the same construction principle as the booties and not have any assembly? Right?

What if I don't bind off the sole? What if I start to pick up stitches across the front instead of starting at the middle, placing the stitch markers as indicated? I could still knit back and forth when I get to the short row shaping at the back, and bind off those stitches leaving the instep side stitches live. If I turn the cable chart upside down (okay, and work the written instruction in reverse) shouldn't I be able to knit the instep from the toe up, picking up the first stitch of each side, to attach it? Just like Jane's Baby Booties specify. This should work, right?

The trick is, I can't quite forget how long it took me to pull off the Stupid Booties, or the fact that I had to knit three of them. Besides, it sounds too good to be true.

So here I sit with cold feet, literally as well as metaphorically.

1 comment:

Diane H said...

Yes. Now, what's keeping you?