So I was cruising along on my HCY Happy Jaywalker sock and was about 2" into the foot when I realized that I hadn't stopped my gusset decreases when I should have. In fact, I just kept decreasing and decreasing and decreasing. I was down to about 22 stitches on the one circular when I was supposed to have 32. I blame this completely on Wendy since she and I were bouncing emails back and forth when it happened. So I inserted a lifeline and began to frog back to the point I thought I should have stopped the gusset decreases. Thought. That's the operative word here. Let me tell you, the only thing worse than frogging is finding out that you frogged twice as far as you needed to. AUGH. The only thing worse than my knitting that night was my math, so I frogged 20 rows instead of 10 rows. You know, ten extra stitches... every other row... equals 20 rows, right? Except that I forgot that there were two decreases each row, every other row, and not just one. Anyway.... bad math.
So I decided I would fill y'all in on a little secret that I read about somewhere on the Internet (okay, so it's not much of a secret if it's somewhere on the Internet, but still) and share with you how I got over my fear of Kitchener stitching the toes of my socks. It's called a wooden sock darner (because in the olden days they actually used to DARN their socks when they got holes in them!) and I swear by them now. It makes finishing the toes of socks so much easier for me that I actually look forward to it now. I found sock darners for ultra cheap here, or you can go the pricier route and get a vintage style darner instead. I went for cheap and bought two for good measure. BTW, these wooden sock darners make excellent weapons if you happen to have one in your knitting bag and are attacked the parking lot of your LYS.
Once you get down to your toe, insert the darner into your sock either before or right after you do your Kitchener stitches. I insert the darner before I Kitchener because it seems to help me see where everything's supposed to go a little easier.
While I Kitchener, I leave my grafted stitches fairly loose to be tightened up after the needles are out of the way.
I then go back with my tapestry needle and gently pull the grafted stitches tight.
Having the sock darner inside the sock really allows me to be able to see which "threads" to pull on and makes for a much nicer toe seam.