I have been working bit by bit on a pair of socks. On the first sock, I somehow distributed the stitches askew when I was repositioning my needles for starting the gusset. I was almost done with the gussets when I realized the sole of the sock was very narrow, and the instep was ballooning.
I ripped out back to the gusset pick-ups and re-did them. Do you know how hard it is to pick up off-the-needle stitches with size 0 needles? It might have been quicker to start the entire sock over.
I learned my lesson, so on the second sock when I was ready for the gussets* I made sure to count my stitches and distribute them correctly. I had done two rounds when something just felt wrong. I held up my sock. Yes, the gussets looked even. I recounted the stitches and yes, I had the correct number on each needle. No, there were no dropped stitches.
And no, there was no heel. Ah.
If you are a sock knitter, you know that it is helpful to put a heel in your sock, unless you want to relive the Tube Sock glory of the 1970s, when you could buy white, knee-high athletic tube socks in big economy packs of 750 and when people's socks were perpetually uncomfortable, ill-fitting, and prone to creeping down into their shoes. Don't you just love that feeling of a huge lump of sock under your arch? Keeps you awake better than coffee.
I ripped out back to before the gusset pick-ups and got all the stitches back on the needle. Do you know how hard it is to pick up off-the-needle stitches with size 0 needles? It might have been quicker to start the entire sock over. (Is this sounding familiar?) I'm now ready to turn the heel. As soon as I get done with the self-flagellation and the wearing of the hair shirt, which I knit from the hairs of my Labrador.
*I thought I was ready for the gussets.