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Archive for the ‘Socks’ Category

Chained Down

Posted by Ali G on Wednesday, 2 July, 2008

I have a new sock pattern that I’ve put up for sale in Ravelry. And I’ve already sold a few! :mrgreen:

Chained Down
Chained Down
Chained DownChained Down

Posted in Knitting, Pattern, Socks | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

My Short-Row Rainbows

Posted by Ali G on Tuesday, 18 March, 2008

I’ve been asked by a few people about my Rainbow Sock: how I’m using the yarn-over method without messing up the stitch count, and to share what I’m doing to get hole-free short rows. Describing the process solely in words is far more difficult than I expected, so I’ve added a few pics to help clarify. Clicking on the photos will open larger versions of them in Flickr.

I expect there are better-written and more comprehensive instructions of this technique out on the web; this is simply how I used it for this project.

I started out by following the instructions on the pattern, but they made absolutely no sense to me, and I ended up with a right mess, so I chose a method using yarnovers. I have no idea who to give credit to for this technique; I’ve seen it used in patterns all over the place.

Marker used for clarity to denote start of short-row section and placement of stitches.

1. Knit 2 stitches.

Hole-Free Short Rows 1

2. Turn work, take yarn back between the needles and forward over the top of the right-hand needle (reverse YO), purl 4.

Hole-Free Short Rows 2

The first stitch will feel a little weird; at least, it did to me.

This is a top view showing the YO and the 4 purled stitches. Note that after the yarnover there is an equal number of stitches on each side of the marker.

Hole-Free Short Rows 3

3. Turn work, bring the yarn forward between the needles and back over the top of the right-hand needle (YO), knit 4. The following stitch is the YO from the previous row, and is mounted the wrong way on the needle.

Hole-Free Short Rows 4

4. Reverse the mount of this YO so it looks like this:

Hole-Free Short Rows 5

5. Knit the YO together with the next stitch (like a k2tog) to close the gap, and knit the next 3* stitches.

Hole-Free Short Rows 6

6. Turn work, make a reverse YO (as in step 2), purl 8. The following stitch is the YO from the previous row.

Hole-Free Short Rows 7

7. Slip the YO knitwise, slip the next stitch knitwise, return them both to the left needle, and close the gap by purling them together through their back loops like this:

Hole-Free Short Rows 8

8. Purl 3 stitches, and turn the work. You have 6 stitches on each side of the marker like this:

Hole-Free Short Rows 9

9. Continue in this way, working 3* plain stitches after closing the gap on each row like this:

Row 1. (RS) K2, turn.
Row 2. (WS) Rev yo (step 2), p4, turn.
Row 3. Yo, k 4, close the gap (steps 4 & 5), k3, turn.
Row 4. Rev yo, p8, close the gap (step 7), p3, turn.
Row 5. Yo, k12, close the gap, k3, turn.
Row 6. Rev yo, p16, close the gap, p3, turn.
Row 7. Yo, k20, close the gap, k3, turn.
Row 8. Rev yo, p24, close the gap, p3, turn.
Row 9. Yo, k28, close the gap, k3, turn.
and so on….

*The pattern instructs you to knit or purl 4 stitches after working the turn stitch. I found that following the yarnover method of working short-rows, only 3 stitches should be knitted or purled to maintain the correct count.

Clear as mud? Feel free to contact me if I haven’t explained it well enough.

All that said, I’m leaning strongly towards frogging mine. 😛 The bias is quite noticeable after 4 short-row sections, and I can only foresee it worsening after the 6 repeats needed for the foot. At the very least, I’m ripping the heel back to redo, and maybe continuing down the foot in plain stocking stitch.

Posted in Knitting, Socks, WIP | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

New Pathways…

Posted by Ali G on Wednesday, 29 August, 2007

A few people have asked what my initial thoughts are on Cat Bordhi’s latest book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters, so here they are. Please bear in mind that this is not meant to be a comprehensive book review, and is purely my personal opinion; nothing more, nothing less.

A little info:

  • The book is soft-bound, and 9.5″H x 10″W (24cm x 25.5cm) with 136 pages.
  • There is a master template for each of eight sock architectures, together with different designs for each style.
  • Patterns for several little “learning socks” are included.
  • A selection of cuffs, heels, and toes is can be found at the back of the book.
  • Information covering stitch mount, increases & decreases, how to slip a stitch correctly, wraps, and so on is located at the front.
  • Each master pattern is written in such a way to allow the use of whatever yarn and needles you fancy.

Here’s what I think:

It’s a pity the book doesn’t have a spiral binding to prevent it from flopping closed.

The content, however, is nicely laid out with thoughtful use of italics and font colour for clarity. The photos are clear, as are the plentiful diagrams showing stitch and marker placements for both circular and double-pointed needles.

[One thing that bugs me about publishers of knitting books is how many of them fill a third, or more, of the pages with basic techniques. 👿 I really begrudge shelling out money for the same regurgitated instructions of how to form a knit stitch, when all I really want are the patterns. I suspect it’s a cynical way to pad out a book without having to present anything new.]

Anyway, New Pathways… isn’t like that. The information covering everything you’ll need to knit the socks is there, but it’s presented in a concise way. Even though experienced knitters will most likely be familiar with the techniques, I like that they weren’t omitted. Their inclusion removes any ambiguity when the instructions call for a particular procedure.

The information is sound, with easy-to-understand diagrams, but the style of writing grates on me a bit. I don’t see what’s wrong with calling a stitch a stitch. It is, after all, a book on knitting! If it were to teach knitting to children, I daresay calling stitches corgis, and wraps diamond necklaces, would be appropriate, but really, youngsters aren’t the targeted readership, and the cutesy talk and imagery is just distracting. YMMV.

The book has a definite slant towards toe-up socks with 6 toe-up constructions, and 2 cuff-down. Now, I’m not a fan of toe-ups, but the first pattern I picked to try is just that. There isn’t a gusset or standard short-row heel in sight, and that’s what intrigued me in the first place.

The method of shaping is not dissimilar to the one used for my Freaky Socks, although the rest of the sock is obviously quite different. Bordhi primarily uses left and right lifted increases for shaping, which she has chosen to rename leaning-left and leaning-right increases.

The eight Master Socks each have their increases in different places, which is what creates the variety of styles. For people who like to follow directions, it’s all there for them. For those who prefer to experiment, it’ll be really simple to use the single underlying concept to come up with many more “master architectures” of their own. The patterns that accompany each Master, over twenty of them, are appealing and different from the usual, and the baby socks are just gorgeous!

Before starting, we’re instructed to gather a list of Master Sock Numbers consisting of tension (gauge) obtained with whatever needles and yarn will be used, along with various foot measurements. A little simple arithmetic, and use of the tables provided, produces the other key numbers that are needed. These are then slotted into the Master Pattern to create a custom sock.

When I put my figures together, I was disconcerted (and extremely sceptical) when I saw the huge number of stitches I’d be knitting on at some point. I hadn’t intended to start a new pair of socks until next month, but curiosity (and an overwhelming need for an excuse to get out of a tedious task) got the better of me! 😛

The sock I’ve chosen is primarily stocking stitch. I wanted the fact that there’s no gusset line to be clear, and stocking stitch shows that nicely. It also has the added bonus of knitting up really quickly. 😉 The pattern is the Home & Hearth Anklet, and uses the Ridgeline Master template. It fits beautifully. What I had believed to be a ridiculous number of stitches (102 at one point!) turns out to have been spot on. I’m glad I trusted the numbers. (Well, kind of: I found a couple of errors in the instructions, one of which wasn’t listed with the errata I subsequently found.)

Despite not being a fan of the style of writing, I am a fan the book and the patterns. I love the fit of the sock I made, and I’m looking forward to making some of the others. That I’ve actually enjoyed knitting a toe-up sock tells me the book was worth the price! Still looking for a way to cast off that looks pretty….

Here’s how it came out.

Home & Hearth
Home & Hearth

The colour has rendered really poorly in this second photo, and is better represented in the other shots.

Home & Hearth
Look, Ma, no gusset line!
Home & Hearth
Close-up of Side

Its mate won’t be cast on until I’ve made reasonable progress on aforementioned Tedious Task, so the pair probably won’t make an appearance until sometime in September.

Posted in Knitting, Socks, WIP | 12 Comments »

FO: Freaky Socks

Posted by Ali G on Friday, 17 August, 2007

This is my favourite shot because it makes my feet look slimmer than they really are! 🙂

Freaky Socks
  • Construction: Cuff-down; part knitted in the round, part knitted flat; 2.25mm circular and DPNs
  • Yarns: Regia 4-Ply in burgundy #534, Regia Tweed in blue #52, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Watercolor
  • Pattern: Lace Socks by Gerdine Strong available from Knitting Universe
  • Mods: I changed the positioning of the increases to make the sides symmetrical

I’m certain there’ll be more of these in future, but I’ll take greater care to ensure I have sufficient yarn next time. I’d have much preferred them had I not needed to make on-the-fly yarn substitutions. Either the requirements given with the pattern were somewhat short, or my calculations were wildly out when I was deciding what colours to use. Whatever the reason, I’ve ended up with a unique pair of socks!

The other thing I’ll do with the next ones is reduce the number of stitches slightly. This pair has the cuff worked over 60 sts which is then increased to 64 overall. I don’t think it needed the increases.

Posted in Knitting, Socks, Yarn | 12 Comments »

Seafoam Scarf Pattern

Posted by Ali G on Thursday, 11 January, 2007

Ragazza asked for the pattern for the Seafoam Scarf, so here it is.

This is where I found the original pattern. I modified it slightly for the scarf as follows:

I CO 30 stitches on 4.5 mm pins for a width of around 6.5″.

Rows 1 & 2: K
Row 3: K8, (YO, K1, YO twice, K1, YO three times, K1, YO twice, K1, YO, K6) twice, K2
Row 4: K the stitches, dropping the YOs
Rows 5 & 6: K
Row 7: K3, (YO, K1, YO twice, K1, YO three times, K1, YO twice, K1, YO, K6) three times, ending last repetition with K3 instead of K6
Row 8: Repeat row 4

Repeat rows 1-8 until desired length is achieved, ending with a row 6.

ETA: Full pattern can be found here.

I’ve done little but shift snow over the past couple of days. I didn’t get any good pictures following the blizzard, so I’m cheating with one from last year. 🙂

I’ve also cast on and ripped out new socks 3 times! I was going for a chevron-type pattern in that lovely Opal yarn below, but none of the attempts looked quite right somehow. Back to the drawing board….

Posted in Knitting, Socks, WIP | 2 Comments »