As we have so many people all concentrating on knitting socks, I thought I would ask this: who follows a pattern exactly?
I used to when I started knitting socks and quite understand the need to do as told. However, I've been knitting socks for several years now and rarely follow a pattern eactly. I often use something entirely out of my head and find a stitch in a stitch dictionary. Usually I change something in any pattern.
Now this may be because of personal preference as to fit. My feet like short row socks and although I love the pretty row of picked up stitches on a heel flap and the following decreases for the gusset, I almost always do a short row heel. I'll do different ribbing, or a picot, or a rolled top Change the toe.
I've never done a mans sock but have a close friend who has a birthday soon. I decided to make him some thick socks. I know he wears Holeproof Explorers, so figured 8 ply Bendigo would suit and would give my fingers a change from 3 ply. I found my very old copy of Patons Winter Warmers and set off. Yikes! All that ribbing. I did it. I was sailing down the leg when I re-read the pattern. Ooops, there is shaping at the back of the calf. I'd decided I would actually do as this pattern says, so I did the shaping. Such a long leg to knit. 30 cm. I'm sure it's longer than men's commercial socks.
I made myself do the heel flap. although I did do eye of partridge instead of plain stocking stitch. Having made one alteration, I felt free to do another. Heel was on 28 stitches but pattern said do only 21 rows of flap. That looked far too short, so I lengthened it. I'm now doing the gusset decreases and found no mention of ssk. Just knit 2 together and the other slant was knit one, slip one, pass the slipped stitch over. So that's what I'm doing with a border of two stitches before the decrease.
It's been interesting doing this pattern, but even here I've made alterations.
So what do others do?