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June 07, 2007

Sidewinders: Act III

Today I bring you Act III -- the 4th installment -- of Sidewinders: A PerpenSOCKular Pattern.  If you need to get caught up, you can find the previous installments here: The Prologue, Act I, and Act II.

My friends, you're halfway through!  You've flown through paired decreases, conquered paired increases, mastered short rows, and negotiated stitch markers -- please, take a well deserved MCS.  In the next 2 Acts, we'll be doing more of the same. 

In this Act you'll shape the second half of the toe using paired decrease like you did with the heel.  Did you get that?  Just like the heel!  As I said before and will say again -- ad nauseum, I know -- what I love about the Sidewinders is that the heel and toe are shaped in the exact same way.  Symmetry is a beautiful thing.

Things start off easy today.  Shall we get going?

Sidewinders Act III: Toe In


Finishing the Toe

Work straight for (7, 8, 9), [(7, 8, 9), (7, 8, 9), (8, 8, 10) rows.

nonaSays  Here's my trick for keeping track of which row I'm on.  I count the ridges and valleys of the Double Garter cuff.  Each ridge -- or valley -- is 2 rows.  Once counted, I add 1 for the first setup row and subtract 6 for the 6 short rows worked in Act I.  What technique are you using?

Next Row -- Row (43, 48, 55), [(43, 50, 55), (45, 52, 57), (48, 52, 60)] -- Complete the toe shaping by working paired decreases every row as follows:

RS Rows:  Work to 2 stitches before the center toe marker, k2tog, skp, work to end of row
WS Rows:  Work to 2 stitches before center toe marker, ssp, p2tog, work to end of row
nonaSays  If you forget how to work any of these decreases, please refer back to Act I for details.

Repeat the decrease row (10, 11, 13), [(10, 12, 13), (11, 13, 14), (11, 13, 14)] more times.  You'll know you're done when you're back to 2 stitches between the center toe marker and the end of the toe.

Last Decrease Row -- Row (53, 59, 68), [(53, 62, 68), (56, 65, 71), (59, 65, 74)] -- When working this last decrease row reposition your stitch markers as follows:

Keep the cuff marker and center heel marker.
Remove the center toe marker.

When finished with this row, you should be back to:

8 cuff stitches,
(41, 41, 41), [(43, 43, 43), (43, 43, 43), (46, 46, 46) leg stitches,
2 heel stitches -- 1 on either side of the center heel marker -- and
(39, 38, 33), [(41, 38, 35), (42, 37, 36), (45, 41, 39)] foot stitches

For a total of (90, 89, 84), [(94, 91, 88), (95, 90, 89), (101, 97, 95) stitches.

Go back and mark the last toe edge stitch by slipping a safety pin around the edge stitch on the needle.   Again, you'll be glad you did when we get to the Grand Finale.


Can you see the toe forminig, kind of like a little pocket?  Are you tempted to slip your toes inside?  Go ahead, no one’s looking.

Tomorrow in Act IV, you'll finish shaping the heel using paired increases.  You're getting so close!

June 7, 2007 in Project - Socks, Serial Patterns | Permalink


Gah, it's so hard to keep up with you when there's work to be done, dishes to be washed... but I'm trying!

Posted by: grumperina | Jun 8, 2007 5:02:40 AM

Loved reading all about the socks but alas I can not knit them for I do not have the right size circulars. Note to self -buy circulars in size 2.

Posted by: JenW!~ | Jun 8, 2007 5:48:53 AM

Lovely pattern! You did a wonderful job explaining everything so clearly. I may have to grab some yarn and try these out.

Posted by: jessica | Jun 8, 2007 7:26:41 AM

I still have 15 rows to do for Act II. The instructions and your tips have been wonderful!

Posted by: Toby | Jun 8, 2007 7:31:41 AM

I have finished act 1 (and somehow I have added 4 stitched to the leg portion, how DID that happen?!) and I am ready for Act II. This is so fun!

Posted by: MissyJoon | Jun 8, 2007 7:42:09 AM

Oh, nona, my needles are on their way. I'm itching to try these!!

Posted by: allie | Jun 8, 2007 8:50:09 AM

I now know what you mean by the distortion warning regarding the toe increases. My "decrease" toe slope is a little more pronounced than the increase side, but not too bad. I actually put my little toes in there.... fits like a glove...er, I mean a SOCK!! Thanks again. Having great fun here!

Posted by: Kathy in Iowa | Jun 8, 2007 9:13:04 AM

10 raws to go to finish Act II and then Act III here I come! Forget about all other nonsense such as work, dishes, etc. :)Thank you!

Posted by: Rachel | Jun 8, 2007 11:03:53 AM

I am in the middle of knitting my first sock EVER and am just not sure I should put it down to do these! But I came over from Grumperina's site and am just captivated by this. I DO have size 2 circulars. Hmmmmmmmm. To Sidewind or not to Sidewind, that is the question.

Posted by: Laura Sue | Jun 8, 2007 11:10:06 AM

I will *so* be making a pair of these! Beautiful symmetry!

Posted by: Kathy | Jun 8, 2007 11:33:48 AM

Great fun! Act III completed and I'm ready for the next installment.

Posted by: Maia | Jun 8, 2007 12:21:26 PM

gah. Two glasses of wine (it IS Friday evening) and I lose the ability to count to two. (Never mind, that mistake in the cuff will be a fond memory invisible to everyone but me. I'll avoid more errors by finishing the decreases in the morning. Thanks, Nona!

Posted by: sarah | Jun 8, 2007 2:24:44 PM

gah. Two glasses of wine (it IS Friday evening) and I lose the ability to count to two. (how many glasses of wine was that?) Never mind, the mistake in the cuff will be a fond memory invisible to everyone but me. I'll avoid more errors by finishing the decreases in the morning. Thanks, Nona!

Posted by: sarah | Jun 8, 2007 2:25:51 PM

I have yarn that I think would be funky and fun for these. I have the needles I need also, but I'm using them for another pair. Finished one of that pair this morning, tried to cast on the 2nd, and have frogged it three times now. It's just not being cooperative. Maybe this is a sign to do a pair of sidewinders, or at least one, before I finish the other pair I was working on? Or am I totally trying to justify myself casting on something new before something else is finished?

Posted by: Tracy | Jun 8, 2007 2:40:45 PM

I've got to ask you about your gauge here. Do you really get an acceptable fabric at 7.5 stitches/inch? For myself, I can't imagine being happy with socks knit with fingering weight yarn at less than 9 stitches/inch. (The golf socks I'm working on now are 9.5 stitches and 13 rows per inch, on 2.25mm needles, which is giving a lovely fabric with Meilenweit Cotton Fun.) Every time I've tried to get a looser gauge, to follow a specific pattern, I've ended up very dissatisfied with the finished product. As a result, I've mostly given up on published sock patterns. However, the Sidewinders are such a cool idea that I'd really like to try them. But I have no intuitions at all about how to correct for my gauge, whether following the numbers for a 9 1/2 wide sock would give me something that fits acceptably on my 8 1/2 M feet. Any ideas?

Posted by: alice | Jun 8, 2007 8:51:49 PM

Hi nona- me again. My decreases on the toe are quite a bit looser than my increases- any hints on how to even them out?


Posted by: Kate Freedman | Jun 10, 2007 11:02:40 PM

Oh boy! Starting Act 3 now!

Posted by: Nancy | Jun 11, 2007 3:06:18 PM

The way I keep track of what row I'm on is to set out skittles or m&ms or raisins (depending on how healthy I'm feeling) and eat one per row worked! It's an excellent strategy. Sometimes I try to see if I can keep the candy in my mouth for the full row - that way while I'm working the sixth row of 8, my third-to-last skittle is dissolving slowly in my mouth... yum.

Posted by: ari | Apr 17, 2008 2:45:32 PM

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