So, having turned the heel on these socks, I've finally gotten to the interesting patterny bits.
Remember, these were deliberately chosen as travel knitting, and yet I didn't want to make something totally plain. Also, while my brother-in-law Tim is a pretty laid-back kind of guy, I didn't want anything too girly (he refers to his wood shop as the Man-Cave, okay?), or more importantly with a lot of YOs that would make the socks less warm than they ought to be. We live in New Hampshire- warm comes first, pretty second.
So in choosing a pattern, it was natural to look to our neighbors to the north, and borrow the Yarn Harlot's charming pattern for Earl Grey socks. I love the little teensy cables, and executed in Tim's favorite dashing red, I thought they would be quite stunning.
But when I got going, I discovered I needed to make a few changes. Because I'm trying to use up as much of the yarn as possible, I decided to knit them toe up instead of top down. And I was knitting these in the car, and didn't print the pictures out with the pattern, so I had to kind of improvise from memory the cabling down the foot. And I was still away from a computer when I got to the top of the gusset, and I had no recollection whatsoever what the transition from foot to the cable panel on the leg looked like. So I just winged it.
I wish I could say knitting the sock with a heel flap was part of some brilliant master plan to compare different heel constructions. But actually, I just happened to have flipped open my book of sock patterns to remind myself of heel proportions and that was the one I happened to get. (I may have to do my next set of socks with an afterthought heel, just so I can collect the whole set.)
We're going to pass lightly over the part where I ripped out the first heel attempt because I was convinced despite the evidence of the pattern in front of me that I was doing a short-row heel. (Peach herbal tea. Really. You were wondering what I was drinking at the time, right? Honestly, if you're sufficiently under-slept, alcohol is superfluous.) We're also going to refrain from speculating as to whether I'll be able to duplicate this piece of seat-of-the-pants knitting on a second sock (why borrow trouble, I ask?).
So, really, the little cable panel up the side is the only true Earl piece I haven't mucked with. But I think that Stephanie, of all people, would understand.