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New Sock Design Published

VOGUE Knitting Crochet 2014, photo by Rose Callahan

VOGUE Knitting Crochet 2014, photo by Rose Callahan

Big news.  My favorite sock design was bought by Soho Publishing and will be in the next issue of Noro magazine.  Woo-hoooooooo!

VOGUE Knitting Crochet 2014, photo by Rose Callahan

VOGUE Knitting Crochet 2014, photo by Rose Callahan

Item name: Faux Cable Socks

Designer: Jane Prater

Yarn Information: Noro Silk Garden in #304

For sizes: Adult Woman

Amounts: 2 skeins (for matching stripe pattern, otherwise one is enough)

The coolest part of these sock is the effect the long repeat color found in Noro yarn.  I think they invented it, but other yarns exist, especially in this world of independent hand dyers.  The faux cable cuff pattern is easy to learn, so you can go Zen while knitting these.  The wrap around arch (so comfy) is more complex, but if you place the markers, it is almost Zen.

Special tip:  I try mine on when I finish the arch to see exactly how much more to knit before I start my toe.

Here are my photos of the finished pair.

Heel and Arch (2)

Faux Cable Cuff

Arch Structure

I’m told the issue will be out June 3.

More later–














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–

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–

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.

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.

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.

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–

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