Apparently, the answer is five:
- Cast on for a short-row toe. Realise the stripe isn’t wide enough and will make a wonky toe which is striped differently on top and bottom. Rip.
- Attempt a figure 8 toe. Realise it looks like crap, even though you’ve pulled it off before, as a much less experienced knitter. Rip.
- Give up the idea of toe-up socks and cast on for a cuff-down one. Realise you didn’t check how much yarn you used for the cast on and therefore won’t be able to reproduce it with sock #2, which is a problem since you want identical, not fraternal, socks. Rip.
- Measure the yarn used for the cast on. Knit all of the ribbing and a stripe of stockinette. Realise that your go-to-sock recipe of 72 stitches makes a sock that is way bigger than your ankle. Swear about new yarns and the virtue of swatching. Rip.
- Cast on 64 stitches instead. Knit 15 rows of ribbing. Halfway through the second stripe of stockinette, realise that the colour change halfway through the 15th rib row looks super wonky. Rip back to the 14th rib row and start over with the stockinette. Be glad you didn’t have to start from scratch this time.
Hopefully it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out. This is not good for my knitting confidence.2