Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Back to Grey Again

Which, in practical terms means, 3.75 inches done since the row of waste yarn was added.  The image is the sole side, with the waste yarn very evident. 

The afterthought heel, will, I know from experience, add another 1.75 inches. This will make the total 5.5 inches, (even though the heel isn't there!) and I also know, (from experience) I like mid calf length socks (circa 9 inches measure from the floor/base of the heel.

So it won't be long now. Four inches or so, and the leg of the sock will be done. The last few rounds, well almost 1.5 inches, will be ribbing, leaving just 3 more inches of plain stocking knit.. Oh wait—I am not working in plain stocking knit! It's a wide rib (4 X 1) and the cuff will be combination of 2 x 1 and 1 x 1 ribbing—because I really like it when the cuff pattern and leg pattern play well together.

Yesterday, I packed up 2 more sock kits—one in a pastel multi color/stripe, Shades of blue, and taupe with some pale green and creams) another color way of Lana Grossa.  The other a self striping yarn—with a contrasting cuff planned. (Reynolds yarn as recall) . I started these sometime in the past, and broke a circ as I recall... So they are back into the rotation—I haven't decided if I want a lacy cuff, or a ruffled one (a double ruffled one!) or something else... I have some time to think about it..But when the time comes, the bag is packed, yarn and needles and a collection of notions. 

After these, I plan to make a pair of mens socks—another pair for my Son-in-Law—likely a self striping pair—the first two pairs I made were plain and bland, (one pair of dark taupe, one pair of medium grey) This next pair will be greys and navy—since I found I four  skeins in this color way--(and another 4 skeins in the same colors, but in a different brand, and self stripe with a jacquard. I remember these –clearance sale specials, at a $1 a skein—from my early days of serious sock knitting.. (I also found I still have 1 (100g) skein of Lion Brand Magic stripes—in the “denim” color way of mixed blues with some red and white added for interest. 

 That yarn was discontinued about 8 years ago--(I bought out the clearance bin—over a dozen skeins at $0.50 each)--I made (and I am still wearing!) a dozen or so pairs with this yarn, and traded a few skeins, too. I had every color way--the light blue "regatta", the red and black "lumberjacks", the "denim", plus jacquard stripes in purple (2 pairs) blue (another 2 pairs) and brown, There was a bright color way (hot pink, neon green, red and navy) that I really hated--I overdyed it--and made a plum, teal, purple and blue color way that worked much better! 

At $0.50 for 100 g of yarn, I wasn't going to let it pass no matter that i really didn't much like the colors--I bought several skeins of this color way--one skein became socks for a granddaughter, and 2 others got swapped--One person loved the colors, the other, liked my overdyed results, and did the same (overdyed that is) with a different color. 

Going through my stash of sock yarns excited me.. I have some wonderful yarns in there, even a skein of home dyed--(in shades of purple/plum/green) I want to knit them all!  

Monday, March 28, 2016

2 Repeats Done

And already 8 inches knit. The time to start the gusset came and went--

These toe up socks have mini gussets, just a few stitches (10 in total) and few rows (10 again) – will, for me, make all the difference in the world. Humans come in all shapes and sizes, and making custom fitting clothing, even something as simple as a sock, means working out the details, to make a comfortable fit.

It easy to see, the ankle of the foot is the largest part—though, you can test for your self using a measuring tape. For some of us, there is a significant difference, for others,not so much. This is one reason there are so many different style for creating heels—I find simple miters just don't offer enough ease for me.

So a simple short row heel just doesn't work for me. Secondly, when working with self patterning yarn, like this, I like to do an afterthought heel, (and then, slightly obsessively) work the heel so that the pattern remains intact. Of course, I can't match it everywhere, but I can make the back of heel match, (even if the bottom of the heel doesn't.

So, first the gussets. About ½ inch before the heel placement, I start to add some extra stitches, on the “side edge” --working as do, on 2 circs, I clearly have the front of the sock on one circ, and the back of the sock on the other circ, So the increases are place 1 stitch (stitch 2 and stitch nth-1) from each edge, on the front of the socks.

I have experimented, and added them to the sole(under) side, but I didn't like the results as much—neither the appearance or the fit was improved..

One increase ever other row, on each side. Round 1 has 2 extra stitches, R3 makes it 4, R5 bring the count to 6, R7 ups it to 8, R9 and there are 10. Now, generally my gauge for socks is 8 to 10 stitches per inch (These socks are being knit at 9 stitches per inch) so 10 extra stitches creates a full inch of fabric.

R10, I place my row of waste yarn, (the tail of which can be seen. This will be undone later to create the stitches for the heel. Then I reverse and decrease 10 stitches, 2 per round, over 10 rounds, till I once again have the starting count.

I find, 10 extra stitches are not enough to seriously impact on the self striping color pattern. There is a slight change—but not one you can see from 5 feet away. I don't have anyone lying prostrate at my feet, (adoring me)--People who see my socks are doing so, looking down from eye level (or about 5 feet away) and from that distance, no one notices that the self patterning stripes are a few stitches short of a complete round.

There are other solutions I use to add some extra ease--(all of them work!) My choice is often dictated by the yarn as much as anything else!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Well, I Have Been Knitting

If not writing about it!

First off, I finally finished the red socks—and as I worked them, I documented the heel.
There are so many ways to shape a heel—I want to document a few different types for the sock tutorial—The red socks had a basic Flap/Turn/Gusset heel.

I did the heels 2 ways, one my standard 2 on 2 method using circs, but it was really 1 on 2—the second sock was worked on a set of dpn's. While the method to work a F/T/G heel really doesn't change when the needles change, It does look different!

The socks were finished with a flat (aka French) toe, with a subtle difference... Most often the decreases are left leaning decreases on the right side of the sock, and right leaning decreases on left side.
|||/........\|||--these make the toe a sort of trapezoid shape.
Most often, the decreases are 1 to 3 stitches away from the edge--(that is the imaginary side seam)

But there are options such as a reversed set of decreases—

With a left leaning decrease on the left, and right leaning decrease on the right...This reversed set of decreases creates a feathered line, not the strong line in the more common method of working the toe.
The final shape of the toe is the same, so the change is purely decorative.

My newest pair of socks, are toe up... and these have a flat toe too, but a banded one. My past few socks have been solids, (well the almost Hugo socks were random stripes) but now its time for a self striping yarn—I have completed 1 repeat of the color way--(about 3.5 inches.) and I have been working on some other projects—a hat, a sweater, and more work on the baby blanket—plus a lot of spring cleaning...Cooking too! My freezer is packed with ready to eat goodies.. stews, and roasts, and curries.

So that's it...

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Knit and Blocked

Not bad, not bad—two weeks and a day, and my Waterfall lace scarf is finished. . It will be dry and ready to wear, in a few hours.  It didn't even seem like a long time!  

I actually finished it last night—I was able to end at the end of pattern repeat, work a few rows as edging, and then bind off—with half a yard to spare!  Just the perfect amount--it doesn't feel wasteful, but it also wasn't so little that it was worrisome.

I've soft blocked it—I could have stretch it longer (and less wide, but I tend to like wider and shorter.) the finished dimensions now, while blocking are 14 inches by 62—a generous size and it is looking so very pretty! (or about 1.55 m by 0.35m, for those of you who think in metric.) 

Amazingly enough, after bind off last night, I didn't start anything new. I will think about what I will tackle next—a new baby blanket, for a new baby on the way is next I think...A triangle shaped one, in stripes. Then there will be a set—a square, a round and triangle.

And even though it will be a start with 3 stitches,and increase 1 ever row, changing colors every second row, till it is so big it is horrid--(and this will go on till I run out of yarn) it will be knit on a big needle (size 10's as I recall) so the first dozen rows will be a lot of progress, and it will 3 dozen rows before it becomes tedious.

This new granddaughter will be a summer baby, so some pretty little cotton hats will be in order.

Notice how my queue of things to knit just grows by leaps and bounds? There are the things I want, for me—sweaters and shells, and always socks; and things for the twins, ponchos and stuff, and things for the new baby, and socks for their dad, and project I want to knit, just because I want to knit them, designs that are swirling round my head, demanding to be brought to life...

But the scarf is done! One project at time, I will get there.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

95% Done

The last bit of olive and nile green remain..and by weight, only 5g of yarn remain. Already the scarf is more than 60 inches long. Finished, unblocked it will be close to 65 inches long, blocked another 10 or so inches will be added. That will be a nice long scarf.

I already love the colors, and when the pattern is opened up and made visible it will be lovely.

Mean while, I have been detailing the heels on the red socks—the gussets have been started, but not finished—and it's been slow going—Partly because of stopping to chronicle the process, and partly because I have separated them—One sock remains on the circ's, and the other has been moved (temporally) to a set of DPN's--

I have to be careful working on DPN's—I tend to knit tighter, (and I don't want to change my gauge.)
A second issue is my granddaughter, Miss J, found the DPN's to be very interesting-- and pulled them out! She thought it was very funny as I scrambled to remount the stitches.

My queue of things to knit is growing by leaps and bounds.. I want to make some swatches, and some hats, and another baby blanket, and some poncho's (well at least one—The girls received one (recycled) poncho but a second one is needed.  Plus, now that I am feeling better, I need to do a good spring cleaning and purge—I have been doing bits and pieces.. but now I have to get moving...

I really want things nicer looking....and I need to make the effort to get them that way. Today's goal--cleaning out the utility/pantry closet.