First, the successes: Claudia says my plying is much more balanced:
So that's great, and I feel good about it. However....once I get the hang of the spinning & plying, I may be destined to knit only rectangles forever. My sock is a disaster. Helpful folks on Ravelry got me right through the heel flap and turning the heel. I learned about slipping stitches and ssk and even found a great video to help with the latter. And when I saw that heel start to take on a cup shape, I was thrilled! "Hey! I'm getting this! I'm knitting a heel, by golly!" I foolishly thought to myself. Then came the gusset, and 'pick up and knit the chain selvedge stitches'.
Ya know what I learned? That when you throw a sock in utter frustration and despair, it sort of just flops. There's no satisfying-yet-accusatory THWACK like I got when I threw Getting Started Knitting Socks. No, my misbegotten sock just laid there, double-pointed needles askew, like a dead fish used as a voodoo doll. I thought I knew what I was doing (okay, I hoped I knew what I was doing), but when the directions went on to say "you should have 54 stitches total" and I had 60, and it was a twisted mess, and the needle holding the reserved stitches was not on the same side as in the utterly worthless book photos, I gave up. Lots of knitters have told me it's a great book, and I'm sure it is....I'm blaming the user, not the author.
At first I swore no more socks. I can be happy knitting pot holders and scarves and blanket squares, right? But I need to get over this. Millions of people have knit billions of socks over the ages. So, I will bring it to CountryWool on Saturday, ask where I went wrong, and then ask Claudia for the easiest sock pattern she knows (that will let me use this same yarn). And I'll try again....after all, 24 hours ago I had never knit a heel flap and turned a heel, right?