Saturday, February 5, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Finished Toby's b-day socks yesterday. Here they are:

As you can see the socks aren't identical, not by a long shot, but they still seem to belong together, thanks to the fact that I used the same wool ends for both.

I'm quite happy with them, I learned a number of new skills, all thanks to TECHKnitting! Thank you thank you thank you, a fantastic resource for anyone wanting to take their knitting to the next level! Here's a list of my New Skillz:
2. getting rid of the "icky dots" when knitting ribbing
3. jogless rounds (getting rid of the "kinks" when knitting stripes) - although I must say the technique doesn't work well for self-striping wool, the slipped sts required interfere with the striping and create other problems. But, as you can see from the photo the joins using the plain colours are almost invisible!

Making these put a good dent in the wool-ends bag...but there are still a good 2-3 pairs lurking in there!

On a less positive note, I ended up ripping out the purple-raspberry socks I started recently. The short-row heel really didn't fit (I find the socks too tight over my instep; the pattern stretches out too much) and the pattern actually had too many holes in it (all those YOs). It was just too lacey, not what I had intended. Yech. I'm going to try again, substituting twisted sts for the SSK/YO combos. That'll remove the holes. I wanted a honeycomb look...

After all this "toe-up" sock knitting I have distilled the patterns I've been using (from Wendy Knits) into these generic instructions for turning the heel. Start turning the heel after having increased [8-10]/[12-14]/[16-18] gusset sts (for S/M/L size).

Mark the midpoint of the back of the sock.
K8 past the midpoint, KFB, K1, turn
YO, P8 past the midpoint, PFB, P1, turn
YO, K6 past midpoint, KFB, K1, turn
YO, P6 past midpoint, PFB, P1, turn
YO, P2 past midpoint, PFB, P1, turn
K across, knitting the YOs together with the st after them

repeat for 2nd sock (I'm doing 2 at once on magic loop)

knit across both insteps
Now place 2 markers, one at each side, to mark the width of the heel: count instep sts and divide by 2, count this number of sts on either side of the central marker and place another marker. You will have approximately [12-14]/[16-18]/[20-22] gusset sts on either side of these markers. Remove the center marker.

Heel flaps:
K, knitting each YO with the st BEFORE it, until you reach 1 st before the far marker.
Remove marker as you SSK and turn.
Sl 1, [P1, Sl1] to 1 before marker. Remove marker as you P2tog and turn.

K to 1 before the "gap", SSK, turn.
Sl 1, [P1, Sl1] to 1 before the "gap", P2Tog, turn.

Repeat until all gusset sts have been "eaten", ending with a K row.
Repeat for other sock.

Knit across both insteps.