Why, why, why didn't I trust my gut feeling a little earlier? I had a suspicion there was something a little odd about the shaping of the Gentleman's Fancy socks. But I was so happy to knit away thoughtlessly that I really just didn't want to dig too deeply.
In knitting the first sock, I noticed that the pattern had some, ahem, peculiar features. The heel turn starts with an unusually small number of stitches. The toe tapers down to an unusual degree before calling for grafting. The grafting weaves together the left and right sides of the toe, instead of the top and the bottom. These are not errata. They are all perfectly, precisely designed and specified. It was what you might call an interesting sock to knit.
When it was done, I tried it on myself, noticed a little room in the toe. OK, that was good. Extra room in the toe was exactly what I wanted to see. I was just hoping it would be large enough for a bigger foot. Not caring to examine the matter too closely, I focused instead on how handsome the stitch pattern looked when stretched out on the wearer.
As always, I went ahead and rushed headlong into the second sock. I knit my way through it quickly, blithely, unknitting and reknitting when I encountered the inevitable minor second-sock mistakes, untroubled and happy, until the thing was complete.
I held it up, looked at it, before asking for help from world's-most-patient-husband in testing it for size. I couldn't avoid noticing any longer; it did look a little odd.
Only then, finally, did I face the facts. OK, I admit it! The toes are a little pointy. Really pointy. Awfully pointy. Pointy enough to poke someone's eye out.
Just how pointy?
This pointy. Oh, my goodness.
This view is of the bottom of the foot. (Don't ask me why; that's just how it decided to pose for its portrait.) You can sort of see the side-to-side grafting, too, which only serves to emphasize the general abundance of pointiness.
Well, it's an adaptation of a vintage pattern; maybe people's toes were pointier then. Or maybe it was a perfect match to the pointy evening pumps late-Victorian gentlemen might wear with their tightly tapered trousers. But it's more a curiosity than a comfortable match for a moderately rounded set of modern human toes.
And as you can see... the heels are pointy, too.
But I really think that will just kind of stretch away when the sock is on an actual foot, won't it? Yes, I thought so too.
So, it's taken a lot of consideration and more than a few heavy sighs, but....
Dear Fancy-one and Fancy-two,
I'm sorry; I don't know how to break this to you gently, so I'll just have to say it straight out. I'm going to rip out your pointy little toes.
I know it sounds painful. But I assure you, it's going to hurt me more than it hurts you. After all, you'll soon be as good as -- no, better than -- new. You'll be getting proper toes, like all the other socks have. But I will never get back the time I'll be spending cross-eyed, picking up 140 teeny-tiny little stitches in tiny little skinny yarn on tiny little needles. I'm only doing it out of an abundance of love.
Thank goodness, at least I haven't already woven in the ends!