Second go, I don't know where my mind was, but it surely wasn't anywhere near my knitting needles. I have no idea *how* I did it - I really should figure it out because it would make a world-famous invisible decrease - but three sets of turns away from the finish of the toe, I discovered that I had 'lost' 6 stitches. I searched frantically for dropped stitches, but there weren't any. The Disappeared Ones did so symmetrically, 3 on each side, but totally invisibly - they just vanished into thin air! This did create a really oddly shaped toe, however. Frog.
Then the Tsarina got into a discussion of "lifelines" on her blog, which I had never heard of and had to look up - and it has changed my life forever. What a brilliant concept! I put it into practice on try #3 on the toe, placing the lifeline in the row where I started to go back up the toe from the tip (incrementing the number of live stitches each row). Placing the lifeline must have appeased the frog, because this time it went without a hitch.Not wanting to leave the Grape in such a precarious situation, I decided to go ahead and knit the first couple of rounds on the whole sock. That went so well, I thought it couldn't hurt anything to just *set* the pattern row, could it?
I didn't want to leave *that* on the needles, either, because it might stretch the yarn permanently, just sitting there with all that tension on those stitches, so I knit out the first repeat of the pattern. Then it looked so lonesome that I had to knit a companion for it, didn't I?
Here's the sock, with the first two repeats of the pattern, and ready to start the nifty "hidden" increases my oddly-shaped foot requires.
The left side:
The right side:
And the top of the sock:
I am pleased. It's not a masterpiece, by any means, but I think it's acceptably journeyman quality, which is definitely progress! I have no idea why the picture of the right side looks so strange. I assure you that the short-row stuff looks even better than the left side in reality.