According to the latest information from 1932, it would be better to dissolve the Metol first in a small amount of plain water. Metol is acid enough in this solution to prevent its own oxidation. If you add sulfite before adding the hydroquinone, any oxidized Metol will be converted to a less active sulfonate form. If the hydroquinone along with a small amount of the sulfite is added before the bulk of the sulfite, the oxidized Metol is regenerated. This advice comes from 2 redoubtable Kodak warriors, Hardy and Perrin, in their text book "Principles of Optics." It was applied there to D-76, but should apply to any MQ developer. If for some reason you would like to substitute sodium ascorbate for hydroquinone, it may be added directly to the Metol solution, as the ascorbate regenerates oxidized Metol without sulfite.