socks

Sock Heel Replacement Experiment

I promised a report on replacing Paul’s heels. I used a combination of a Peasant Heel, an Afterthought Heel, and Lucy Neatby’s garter stitch heel.

I stabilized the stitches around the original heel by sewing length of sock yarn through the stitches. Then I cut out and picked out the original stitches. This merely requires good eyesight and great lighting. I attached the new heel yarn, a gray sock yarn from heaven knows where from the stash, and simply knit one row around the hole that was the heel. I did this mainly to make certain I had caught all of the original stitches. Then I counted. I had 32 on the instep needle and 44 on the sole needle.

At first the difference confused me. Then I remembered the gusset. Peasant Heel’s do not have gussets. Neither do any of the ones I based this on. I was not willing to turn this into a major operation, so I just K1, K2 together for half of the extra stitches, then counted backwards to figure out where to do this on the other side of the sole. Now I had 32 and 32, but the sole looked a bit “gathered.” Tuff!! I forged ahead.

I don’t like short row heels in stockinette stitch. They eventually mash down and do not coddle my dainty heel as I would like. They seem insubstantial and easy to wear out. That is merely a prejudice based on no evidence at all. I decided to use the garter stitch version. Neatby recommends using 60% of the sock stitches, but I had little choice here, or so I thought. I put on a pair of my own socks with this Garter St heel and began the process from the cuff area.

When I finished the heel, I needed to join it to the sole of the sock. I knew that Kitchner stitch was the best way, but I had no idea if the fit was right and I didn’t want to take the time. I just did a Three Needle Bindoff and went in search of a male foot. I finally got Steve off a bike and he tried it on, pronounced it a good fit, and said the Three Needle Seam was not obvious as he walked on it. Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Three needle bindoff

The second sock was better planned. I began the sock on the sole and knit toward the cuff. That placed the join on top of the sock. I knit the final Wrong Side row which looks like a Purl row on the Right Side, and then grafted the heel to the cuff on the Right Side. Looks great.

Joined with Kitchner st

My only criticism is that the heel length might be a bit shallow, but that would be settled by using 60% of the stitches when the sock is originally knit. You don’t have to do the heel as an Afterthought, where you would knit in some waste yarn and complete the heel after the rest of the sock if finished. However, you must use a different piece of yarn to knit the heel, even if it is the same yarn as the rest of the sock. This makes if easy and safe to remove the original yarn and replace it. Just knit to the heel, tie on a new piece or even the other tail of your skein, work the heel, cut the yarn, continue with the original piece.

This must make little sense all bunched together here, but if you had the sock in your hand, I think it would suffice.

If you don’t knit socks, do recognize that there are many ways to fix any knitting problem. Don’t hurry to pull out your stitches or toss away a project if it doesn’t go well. Seek out some other knitters and brainstorm a solution. Once a group of us salvaged a hat by turning it into a purse. We were quite proud.

More later–

Categories: socks | 1 Comment

Knitting again!

I have tried to blog once since Nov. but the web ate the post and I threw up my hands and walked away. 

I am knitting again.  I’m making socks for me.  The yarn is special; from Miss Babs.  It is the colorway that she developed for the FIRST Sock Summit and I don’t know the name of it.  I’ve obviously had it for a while.  I’m so glad yarn doesn’t spoil.  Or clabber as my grandmother might say.

The pattern is also special.  It’s the Breaking Hearts pattern by Cristi Brockaway aka Turtlegirl76.  I’ve also had it for a while.  Great lesson from knitting this project is that if you knit other designers, you learn stuff.  The pattern is beautifully written and I am determined not to alter it.  (For me, that’s a struggle)  The yarn has about 3-4 inch color patterns.  It is so easy to make yarn like this just knit up dull.  Cristi has mixed some garter st and a slip st pattern that mixes these colors well, doesn’t let them pool or muddy up.  If you have some yarn with a short color pattern like this, this is your pattern.

The cuff is a lovely pattern, a 6 row repeat, that is simple enough to learn quickly, but is interesting enough to keep your interest.  She does a couple of new things—at least new to me.  When I started the heel flap, she had me increase one st on each side of the flap to be the slip stitch selvage.  This prevented the pattern being interrupted and yet set up the easy to pick up edge.  She just gets rid of these extra stitches as the gusset is reduced. 

The gusset reduction takes place on the bottom of the heel which results in a very nice fit.  Next socks I do, I will try this heel in conjunction with my arch wrap that we love so much here.

So I’m knitting, but that’s not all—-

I’m sewing stuff.  I have seen folks wearing cuffs as bracelets for a long time now and have wondered why.  Okay, I really thought it was dumb.  (I need help.)  I made a cuff.  I put it on and wore it.  I loved it.  It is lightweight, doesn’t clang against things, and actually has a warming effect.  Obviously, I made more.  Some are quilted, or beaded, or just stitched, or embellished with beads and buttons.  Some wrap around once, some twice, one three times.  Some are snapped, some buttoned.  Even better————–they have all been made from my stash.  My yarn stash, my fabric stash and my bead stash.  (See, I really need help.)

I’ve also been doing art study.  I like doodling with pen and ink, sort of Zentangle thing.  Now I’m doing it on fabric to make my own print fabric.  Just takes permanent markers and solid color cloth.  It is a great way to make your own appliques.  Fusing cloth together is really empowering. 

I’m also just making all kinds of crafts I’ve seen on the web.  Stationery supplies, tea towels, napkins, travel bags.  It is great fun, even the mistakes.  It’s fast and useful.  It can be done while listening to Books on CD.  With dogs in your lap. 

Don’t get no better than this.

I will start back teaching in January.  Anyone have any ideas about what classes I should offer?  I’m open to new ideas.

Keep the holiday sane; hide in the bathroom and knit.  Just a suggestion.

More later–

Categories: designing, otn, sewing, socks | 3 Comments

Dropped Stitch After-Fix

1.  Secure the stitch until you can calm down and make a plan.

2.  Recover as many dropped rows as you can and thread a piece of yarn through the last unattached stitch.

3.  Rethread the needle with both sides of the thread. 

4.   Poke the needle to the inside through the nearest attached stitch and then tie a simple, overhand knot.  (No, you won’t feel it.)

5.  Weave one of the thread toward the toe for about one inch.

6.  Weave the same thread back toward the heel for about one inch.  Cut.

7.  Weave the other end of the thread toward the heel and then toward the toe.  This prevents bulk.  It looks like this.

That’s it.

It will stay.

It doesn’t show.

Categories: socks, techniques | Tags: | 2 Comments

A Sock Story Repaired

Once upon a time there was a pair of socks that I hated knitting and put off so many times it took more than a year to finish them. But I finally did. Finish.

They have the instep shaping of the arch that Steve likes . . .

I did some math and created an offset star toe.

We photographed them and discovered that somehow--they are just off.

Then we discovered this! Have I mentioned how much I hate these socks.

Tomorrow—How I fixed it.

Categories: socks | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Knitcircus #12 Winter 2010-2011

 

Knitcircus has been released and it’s wonderful.  Online are some great articles and 19 lovely patterns for only $7.99.  The cover sweater alone is worth more than that.

 

 

This is my Paulies Socks pattern which is in this issue.  It has shaped arches and they are so-o-o comfortable.  If you knit socks, you really must try this technique.

As usual, I am giving away some free copies.  To enter the drawing, you must go to the Knitcircus website, read through the issue, and tell me which pattern you would make first.  That’s it.  Just look and plan.  Use the button on the right column to get there.

I’ll leave the drawing open for one week Australian time, and then I’ll pick some winners.  Don’t miss out.

Categories: designing, socks | 14 Comments

Buy this book!

I knew that I didn’t know it all about socks.  These girls do.

I’ve followed Stephanie for years as a member of  her sock knitalong group.  Her work is beautiful and modern and new, within traditional sock knitting.  She doesn’t do fancy architecture, but every pattern just seems new.

That isn’t why you need this book.  Yes, it has some patterns, but they are really only there because some publisher thought they needed to be or in case a newbie sock person bought the book.  This book is for those of us who have knit many socks.  It researches socks from all over the world and shares the techniques.  We get the Chinese Restaurant Menu of sock techniques.  Great heels and toes to use when you wish.  Three ways to do a tubular cast on!

This is my first sample sock using some of the techniques here. 

I tried the crochet tubular cast on and liked it very much.  Much easier for me than the revolving wrist provisional method.

I also did the beaded heel flap–no slipping the first sts and I got the best heel flap ever.

This round toe looks perfect for my wide feel.  I will try it in my next regular sized sock. 

The square heel is identified by these German girls as the standard heel.  My friend Pat Moore has always used it, but I don’t think I’ve really seen it used much in my circles.  I like it and will teach it.  The book has a great chart to help with the number of sts on each needle.

I’ll be swatching these techniques for the next year.  What fun.

More later–

Categories: book review, socks, techniques | Leave a comment

Published–Me–Really

August 4th.  Next Wednesday.  Knitcircus magazine, Issue 11,  goes live with one of my patterns in it.  Yeah, I’m excited.

Some time ago I wrote about this magazine.  Some very talented women from Madison, Wisconsin created this magazine, and it has such a great spirit.  I wrote a fan letter.  I had to.    Like Charlotte Yarn, this was first about community and then about business.

Knitcircus was successful as a slick paper, booklet size magazine.  You can still get some of the back issues in that format.  By becoming an ezine, publishing costs can be spent more creatively and the audience is growing and growing.  It is exciting to be a small part of that.

So what’s my pattern?  Socks.  They have a pretty eyelet rib for the cuff, and an amazing heel.  Wait until you see the photos they took.  These are my distortion of their photos because I’m not allowed to show anything until after the big unveiling.

But there is so much more—

This issue is the “biggest and best ever–24 patterns, interviews with

Soulemama, Adrienne Martini and Cat Bordhi and a new column by Wendy

Johnson of Wendy Knits.”

Jaala, the driving force and nurturing editor, has announced Giveaways!  She calls it a  “giveaway-palooza we’re organizing as part of our Fall kickoff. We’ve got lots of free patterns and subscriptions to give away to blog readers, plus knitting and sewing books and hand-dyed yarns.”

Stay tuned for more info on this, and check out turtlegirl76′s blog.  Cristi loves a giveaway.  Surely you already read her.  Tabby Tuesday is like a comic strip only better–and I’m a dog person.  And then there’s the knitting stuff.

You know, I have resisted submitting patterns to anyone because of the delay between creation and sharing.  Now that I’ve been blessed with friends who want to test knit for me, maybe . . . . .

Anyway, please join me next Wednesday to read the articles and check out all the patterns.  Wait.  Go on over and check out the summer issue.  Just click on the Knitcircus graphic in the sidebar.  You might see something interesting if you check out Jaala’s blog.

Categories: designing, original pattern, socks | 7 Comments

Conquering the fiddley start

Holding it steady

Starting a project with lace weight yarn and only a few stitches is annoying because the yarn flips and flops everywhere.  I just added a weight and was much happier.  If you are knitting the Daybreak Gold Shawl, try this.  Check out the classes tab above to get the scoop on the Charlotte Yarn Knitalong using Zephyr yarn.  You can make any shawl you wish.  I’ll be sharing some lace knitting tips.

Another failure—The socks I started for Steve this month turned out to be too little to go onto his foot.  This is the result of trying so hard to fit his dainty ankle.  New sock knitting rule:  Steve gets simple ribbing and arch shaped foot knit with a yarn that feels great in my hands.  That way—-we both win.  I get simple, mindless knitting and he gets a pair of socks.

Categories: socks, techniques | 2 Comments

Another one joins the cult!

I am so addicted to knitting socks!  I love it!  I finished the 3 pair I had started and they look great.  I did the star toe on first, will not do that again, I much prefer the wedge toe.  I am also attempting to do a toe up sock.
My only problem now is that I cannot stop buying sock yarn!  I guess there could be worse addictions.
Seriously, thank you for making socks a very enjoyable lesson and one that will go on and on!

******************************************************************************************************************

Fern sent me this email.  She was in my latest sock class.  (Next one starts in mid April.)  Those of you who have never tried socks should be forewarned.  Knitting is an obsession, but sock knitting is an addiction for all but a precious few who simply were meant to knit other things.  Even the most expensive sock yarn is not ruinous and you only need 100 grams, one tenth of a sweater amount.  Some of my favorites:Cherry Tree Hill Supersock–an old standby.  These are Moody Blues and Peacock and are destined for male feel.  The Moody Blues is much more subdued.  Superwash merino and great spin and stitch definition.  Wears like iron.

Louet’s Gem merino yarn.  This too is loved for its spin and its stitch definition.  Some of my favorite socks were knit from it.  I have some of the 50 gram solids earmarked for some fair isle socks.

What about indie dyers?  Two favorites.

Lotus Yarns.  Melanie is so busy dyeing for wholesalers and sock clubs that it is hard to get her stuff right now.  She should have some on Etsy soon.  The Chakra with cashmere is so fine.  Steve’s feet are aching for the pair I knit him, but won’t let him wear until after I release the pattern which can’t be done until I take some photos.

The Divine Miss Babs who dyes across the mountains in Tennessee created my favorite colorway Cleopatra.  I knit my Like Jazz socks from this.  She used a wonderful base yarn similar to Louet and CTH.  Her work wows me.  She’s also, like Melanie, so darn nice.

Do you knit socks?  Have a favorite yarn?  Let me know.  I’ll always buy sock yarn just to try it.

Categories: socks, yarn | Leave a comment

Leaving for Miklagaard at Sunset

Does this title intrigue you?  Wait til you see the socks.  No, wait til you find out how she designed them.  What a feat (feet)!  <groan>

I read Mariann’s blog because she is nice enough to translate it into English.  She is a knitter from Holland who lives in Oslo.  She loves picture knits and designs beautifully.  She is MariannAn on Ravelry.

Here is where she started

This is a free pattern from Sandnes Garn for a Dragonboat Sweater.  (I hope May is reading this.)  It has this marvelous Viking ship on it.  I’ve been to Norway and seen these in person and the ships are marvelous works of art. The carvings and brass fittings take your breath away.

On her blog Mariann tells about seeing the pattern and wondering if she would really get much wear from the jacket.  So she decides to use the chart and adapt it to a sock pattern.  This ain’t easy.  Socks don’t allow you nearly as many stitches as a jacket, and Mariann wasn’t going to be satisfied with merely copying the picture.

See her work of art–and these really are wearable art–here on her blog.  After you get your breath back, you may want to check out her work on ravelry and you can download the jacket pattern here.

I like to take a moment and reflect on the romance in the name she has given these which is the title of this blog entry.  Having coffee or tea enhances the moment.  Enjoy.

Categories: designing, free pattern, socks | Leave a comment

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