One of the things I love about knitting and crochet is that there is always something new to learn. Think you know how to do short rows? I thought I was an expert, until I read a post by Natalie about her recent mastery of the short-row heel/toe. And I noticed that she mentioned the p3tog and k3togtbl manoeuvres of the pattern she was using. "Ye gads!" I thought. That's not how I do it! I must seek out this method and try it out!
Funnily enough, although Natalie was using the Express Lane sock pattern from The Inside Loop, the sock pattern that I had chosen for my next adventure - the Falling Leaves socks from Knitty - also seemed to use a similar method.
Aha, I thought, I will try this one out and hopefully get to master the same technique. Not so, unfortunately. It was one of those occasions where you get quite a lot of practice at the casting on and it takes a while to get the actual thing going.
First stage - cast on the recommended number of stitches, do a few rows, realise that it's going to be too big.
Second stage - amend to my usual number of stitches, get to the turning point of the toe, then realise I haven't a clue what the instructions are trying to tell me to do!
This is where I got stuck:
"Row 27: Yo, p13, sl next 2 sts knitwise, one at a time, to right needle, sl these sts back to left needle and p2tog tbl, turn work.
Row 28: Yo, k14, untwist next 2 sts, k3tog, turn work.
Row 29: Yo, p15, sl next 3 sts knitwise, one at a time, to right needle, sl these sts back to left needle and p3tog tbl, turn work."
Is it just me? I can't for the life of me work out how to p3togtbl! Tbl suggests that you need to purl the stitch through the loop that you don't usually use when you purl, no? Which makes sense if you are just purling one. But if you have to p3tog, and you have to do it tbl, all I can think of in my head is one hellishly difficult manoeuvre! Or is it just k3togtbl by a different name?
Ouch. I have to stop thinking about it now cos it's making my brain hurt.
That's what happened last night, so I decided to frog it AGAIN and try using the short-row toe instructions from the Express Lane socks. And then when I started on the Express Lane sock instructions, with my amended number of stitches, I thought what the hell, why not just make it easier for myself altogether and abandon the Falling Leaves altogether.
So I did!
I have to report that, just as Natalie said, the instructions are nice and easy to follow. No confusion here! I like the pattern it produces along the edge of the toe, but I do find it a bit excessive, given that I'm used to the 'wrap and turn' method of making short rows, and I never have problems with holes anyway.
Great to have another weapon in the knitting armoury, however!
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