So Meg has informed me that I have to post some "technical sh**" to keep the balance between her style (read: far more interesting) than mine. Ideas include "designing something" and "coming up with a different way to graft." She also informs me that Cat Bordhi has come up with some weird new way of doing sock gussets, which means, of course, that it must be good.
See, we have this expression we like to use. It basically goes like this: "I like so-and-so; it's nice and weird." This can range to anything from an Irish tune playing on the CD player to a knitting technique to a reference to the spouse (the last being a term of endearment). A variant of this is: "I think you'd like so-and-so because it's nice and weird." As you might imagine, we have a fairly unique relationship.
So, without further commentary, I present my latest epiphanies in the world of technical knitting.
I finally figured out, thanks to Charlene Schurch and Sensational Knitted Socks, what exactly is meant by "pick up two stitches at the top of the gusset" before knitting the first instep round for the foot. In retrospect, I realized that I used to do this completely wrong, causing a hole at the top of the gusset even though I was so careful to "pick up an extra stitch." So thanks, Charlene, for straightening this out. I don't want to divulge any of her secrets, so let me simply say the book is highly recommended, as many sock knitters will inform you.
Since I knit with either 2 circs or Magic Loop, stitch markers are commonly used in two places to mark where the instep stitches end and the heel stitches begin. I believe that most people use two markers. I, however, being "nice and weird," only use one. If the round starts in the middle of the back of the heel, I use a stitch marker to mark where the heel stitches end and the instep stitches begin, but I simply don't find it necessary to mark the other side. This may be due to the fact that I usually continue some sort of pattern across the instep rather than reverting to POSS (plain old stockinette stitch)1. Or it may also be that, since the number of instep stitches remains constant for the duration of the foot, needle 2 will always start out by me working the same number of stitches immediately followed by a gusset decrease (if applicable on the current round). Therefore, a stitch marker really isn't telling me anything here that I don't already know. Of course, that makes me the dork on the train with only one stitch marker on his sock. Is that like walking down the street with one shoe on?
1POSS is my rather poor joke on something in Java called a POJO (plain old Java object). I'm sure that I'm the only one laughing.