Saturday, July 28, 2007

One down, one to go

I finished the first Irish Forest sock. :-) Two weeks on a single ankle sock isn't very speedy, but I am happy with the results. Must cast on the second one right away!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Irish Forest Socks

Do they have forests in Ireland? Perhaps not. But the color of the socks I am knitting is a lovely forest green, and the cable pattern feels Irish to me. I want to try to write the whole thing out here, for posterity.
Size 3 US circular needle (30" or so)

Cast on 65 stitches, join. Divide 30 stitches on one needle, 35 on the other. (Stitches can be added or subtracted in sets of 5, if needed to change size.)

Knit 4 rounds of K4 P1 ribbing.
Row 5 =Cable Round: Slip 2 stitches onto cable needle and hold to back. K2, K2 from cable needle, P1. Repeat across entire round.

Repeat rounds 1-5 until you have 55 rounds, or until leg is the desired length.

Make heel flap on 30 stitches. Leave other 35 stitches on the resting needle. Working back and forth, begin with right side facing:

Slip 1 knitwise, K1. Repeat slip 1 K1 across row. Turn
Slip 1 purlwise only once, purl all remaining stitches across row. Turn.

Continue these 2 rows until you have 14 rows of each.

Turn heel, working only on heel flap. (The following instructions are from Knitting Rules by Stephenie Pearl-McPhee more or less verbatim. They work. I have no idea why or how.)

With RS (right side) facing, Slip 1 K17 ssk K1 Turn.(ssk =slip a stitch to the right side, slip another, now knit into them on the front.) It's ok that there are stitches leftover. Just turn.

Slip 1 P5 P2tog P1 turn
Slip 1 K6 ssk K1 turn
Slip 1 P7 P2tog P1 turn.
(See what's happening? Each row has a gap. You work 2 stitches together over the gap and then knit or purl one more stitch. Keep doing this until you have no more stitches left.

Knit across the heel one more time. Then pick up 16 stitches down the side of the heel. (I don't know if this is the right way or not, but I use a small crochet hook, stick it through the largish loops along the side one by one and pull a loop of yarn through, then deposit that loop onto the needle.)

Knit across the 35 stitches on the needle. Pick up 16 more stitches on the other side of heel flap. Now you have your sock back into a circle, but you have too many stitches, so you will work decreases each round, as follows.

Place marker at point where top of foot and picked up stitches meet on each side. Slide all stitches onto the cord and re-divide so that each needle has one half of top of foot, 1 side and one half of the heel.

Knit around, and as you approach each marker, look to see whether the leg of the sock is hanging down on the left side or right side.

When leg is on the right, pass marker, K2tog
When the leg is on the left, ssk the last 2 stitches before the marker.

(If this is working correctly, all the decreases should be done on the picked-up-stitch portion.)

Continue knitting around and decreasing until you are have 68 (or 64 or 66, your call) stitches left. Knit a half round so that the working yarn is at the division between top and bottom of sock. Slide all stitches back onto the cord again and re-divide so that the top half of the sock is on one needle and the bottom half is on the other needle.

Knit plain stockinette (k every round every stitch) until foot is 5 " long or comes to the base of your big toe. Begin decreases for toes:
Odd rows:
First needle: K1 ssk knit across K2tog K1

Second needle:same as above. (K1 ssk knit across K2tog K1)
Even rows= st st around
Continue decreasing in this manner on every other round until you have 16 stitches remaining (8 per needle.) Graft ends, per kitchener instructions.) I'll post kitchener instructions later.

That's it. Now do it again! A pair of socks!

The basic template for socks is derived from Knitting Rules. The concept for the cable pattern is from's Fetching, but I just kept going every 5th round all the way down the leg. Smart people could continue the pattern on the top of the foot, but I wasn't sure how or if I'd like the feel.

Some day there may be a photo or two added to this post. Don't hold your breath though.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The socks are dead, long live the socks.

Ok, I am taking a little break, actually, on the Paprkia socks. They are coming along nicely, but due to the size 0 needles, they are awfully small, even though I added stitches. I can put it on my ankle, but it takes a tug to get it over my heel. So when the new size 2 and 3 needles I ordered from knitpicks come, I will try the other skein of yarn on size 2 and see what I get.

So in the meantime, I have cast on with the forest colorway from fearless fibers. The color is very subtle and evocative, and the yarn is finer than nymph was but not as fine as the Paprika. I'm back to size 3 bamboo and it's working well. And I'm making cables all around the leg! This is my first venture into socks with a pattern other than what's built into the yarn, and until a few minutes ago, my first 25 rounds worked out beautifully. I just forgot to cable on the second half of my last round, so I have to tink back a row at the moment, but overall, I am very happy.

Kristen just set us up with a new wireless router, so I can use my laptop more freely (ie without stealing access from an unknown neighbor.) This will make multitasking easier and should lead to more frequesnt posts. Now if I could only get organized to have her to help me take and upload some pictures of all this knitting....

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Casting on and on

Yesterday I decided to cast on my next pair of socks, using the paprika colored yarn I bought some time ago. That yarn is considerably thinner than the two forms of sock yarn I've used so far, so I decided to give addi turbos a try. The only size available at Let's Knit was size 0 (2 mm) 32" long, so I bought that. It's not so drastic as I thought. And darling daughter has been knitting socks on a size 1 addi turbo, so I figured it can't actually be impossible.

And it's not. But it took me a few tries to get this thing right. The socks I've done before were 64 stitches, and I figured I needed more. I tried 68 and that resulted in me having to start the second side with purl stitches, which was awkward, so after a few rounds, I ripped it out. Then I thought that maybe 64 would work after all. But after a few rounds, that was obviously too small. So I ripped that out. Then I started my third cast-on, this time 72 stitches, using the long-end cast on. Only got to 60 stitches and was running out of long end. Sigh. FOURTH time's the charm! I now have about an inch of 2 x2 ribbing done, in several hours work.

This yarn doesn't seem as soft and springy as the last one at all. The color is pretty but it almost feels like cotton as I knit with it--somewhat dry and stiff feeling. But I will go one for a while and see if my taste for it increases. I hope so because this yarn was quite expensive. ($14 a skein, if I remember, and needing 2 skeins for a pair of socks.)

I have also decided that in the fall I will definitely make Sam a pair of socks, in the colorway Smoke from Fearless Fibers.

And while I'm ordering from her, why not another pair for me this fall in Forest:

Did I mention that I love etsy?

And Kristen is in love with the spring green socks. She wore them today inside her tennis shoes. :-)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July Socks!

I have finished the socks for Kristen! And they turned out so lovely--soft variegated green in just her favorite spring-time shades. I was able to re-do the backwards bit, with a bit of effort--I ended up ripping back to where the heel flap ended and re-doing the turning of the heel and picking up of stitches. I still don't actually know how I have managed on several occasions to knit in the round such that the stockinette side is on the inside of the circle. But I undid the damage. And even kitchener is starting to make sense to me and go smoothly. The secret is to keep all the stitches and yarn below the points of the needles from which you are casting off. I did these at Borders this noontime, and it just worked.

So, um, photographic evidence? Maybe this weekend??