I’ve only ever made two pairs of socks in my life – a pair last year for me (which were a little bit big if truth be told) and then a pair for my brother for Christmas. Both times I followed the simple sock pattern exactly and it is so clearly written that I just did what it said and it worked.
However I’ve been asked to knit a pair of socks for my best friend’s Dad and they need to be larger than normal, which means I have to modify the number of stitches of the pattern. Now the pattern author has been helpful in that she adds some notes at the end explaining that the heel flap is knitted using half the total amount of stitches, and the stitches picked up for the gusset is always a quarter of the total.
I came a bit stuck though, when trying to shape the heel. There was no note about how many stitches to work before turning on the first row of shaping. Fortunately a kind person on Ravelry explained that it is half the number of stitches plus 1. This was quickly followed by another tip from another Ravelry member that the number of rows worked in the heel flap is usually the same as the number of stitches in the heel flap. I hadn’t asked about this, but she saw my question and added it as a useful note. That’s why I love the Ravelry forums. There are so many helpful people!
So the “theory” of sock knitting is finally starting to click. In fact I’m really enjoying sock knitting right now. I discovered last night there are all sorts of different ways of doing heels and toes and knitting from the the toe up is very popular too. So I might try a different pattern at some point soon.