The first Diversion sock is done. And, thankfully, it weighs less than the remainder of the ball of yarn. Here it is in its unblocked state.
After knitting the short-rows stitch pattern using German Short Rows (GSRs), and turning the heel with GSRs, I decided to go the whole hog and knit a GSR toe too. Now, short row toes are common enough in toe-up socks – I’ve even knitted such a toe myself with the Fish Lips Kiss technique – but they seem to be few and far between in patterns for cuff-down socks. YouTube likewise. I found one or two patterns and videos showing how to complete a top-down sock by working a toe using short rows, but none for the GSR variant. Which meant I had to work out how to do it myself.
A plain vanilla top-down toe is worked in the round, using decreases at each side of the foot or spaced equally around. The number of stitches reduces down to a circumference of a couple of inches or so, and then the remaining stitches are grafted together at the tip of the toe. A short-row, toe-up toe is altogether a different kettle of fish. It starts with a closed cast-on across the sole at the foot/toe boundary then heads off on half the stitches, back and forth, to the tip of the toe and back along the upper side until it’s level with the starting point. Then the other half of the stitches come into play and the sock continues in the round.
I worked my top-down, GSR toe on the instep half of the stitches. I had to experiment to find out how best to manage the GSR turns, as they don’t stack on top of each other well. The end result looks OK now that I’ve grafted the gap closed on the underside, where the dark grey sole stitches meet the purple and light grey instep stitches that have been worked to form the toe.
This sock has taken me three weeks to make, thanks to all the ripping out at the beginning and a lengthy pause while I attempted to make the short-row stitch pattern work with my usual heel. I’m not completely happy with the heel I eventually knitted – the one the pattern calls for – because it was only worked on 2/5 of the stitches and looks quite narrow when I try the sock on. Also, this was my first flap and gusset heel and I just don’t find it as attractive as a short-row heel. I’m wondering whether the narrowness will make it pull when I wear it and possibly not last as long as it ought to. We’ll see.