Friday, March 06, 2015

Well, Darn

I finally had to drag out my nifty not-black sock darning egg to darn a BUNCH of black socks. 

I don't love darning, but I did manage to fix up 6 pairs of socks to live another day in about 2 hours - which is way faster than I can knit!

There are at least two or three methods of darning socks that I know. I tried them all. When I see how well each one wears, I'll probably get around to telling you about it. 

Now, off to wash them all...

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Count, Think, or Use Stitch Markers

I like to think. I like to knit. I like to think about knitting. I just don't always like to think about my knitting (or count too much) AS I'm knitting.

The Round (or French) heel has always kind of bothered me. Just like with any heel turn, if you get off by one tiny stitch when you start the turn...well, you're going to have to pull it all out and start over. WAAAAY too much pressure for me, on some days.

I just found a cheat to make my heel turns (almost) foolproof.

Before you start the first heel turn row, place a marker dead-center in the middle of your heel stitches (that's the gold marker). Then, place another marker 2 stitches away from it, one on either side.

Knit over to the last marker, ssk, k1...

Turn. Purl over to the (was the first, but now is the) last marker, p2tog, p1...

Turn. Then just take out the markers and continue as you normally do for this sort of heel, secure in the knowledge that your first two rows, at least, are correct!

Voila. Heel turn courtesy of me. Amazing stitch definition courtesy of Simply Socks Yarn Company and some amazing Minnesota sunlight.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

More Paris Wallpaper Socks

This is the front of the sock.

The bulges in the socks are from me cramming my fist in to them, not a feature of the socks!

I don't knit the same pattern, over and over, very often. My Paris Wallpaper Socks are the exception. 

I worked them, first, in gorgeous Poste Yarn, Patina. The publications I offered it to turned it down, so I submitted it to Dream in Color

The combination of Cashmere and sparkles in Starry was amazing! 

My mom saw that pair, in the works, and begged me for some of her own. How could I refuse? I made them for her last year. (I think I still owe my sister Lisa a pair. Sorry, sis.)

Then, I made a pair in black and red for Dee. I chose the  yarn poorly - they wore out in just a few months. 

So, once again, into the breach. This time, I'm using Dream in Color's Smooshy with Cashmere for the red and Simply Socks Yarn Company solid for the black. I love them! (That weird little bunchy bit on the right side of the second photo will block out, don't worry.)

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

On the Road Again!

Last weekend, I got to teach a wonderful group of knitters at Darn. Knit. {Anyway} in Stillwater, MN!

It's one of many near-LYS places in Minnesota that have stolen my heart. It's great to find so many homes away from home!

My teaching gear:

- notes
- coffee
- regular knitting bag
- "class" knitting bag
- box-o-socks
- model foot (to keep me from taking my shoe off while talking about the structure of the foot)
- (under my notes) a few skeins of yarn from the shop, so that I can wave them around and talk about what makes a great sock yarn vs. what makes a good one. Some of these end up jumping into my knitting bag...

Monday, March 02, 2015


The air is so dry in our house the cats have become walking static electricity experiments. So, I thought I'd try hanging my air-dry clothes in this little nook in our bedroom. I figure, it can't hurt!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Knit On, Indeed

I have two of these bags and they are still my favorite knitting bags (for anything bigger than a sock), ever. They're from Schoolhouse Press

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Some Clarifications - X, S and what the heck is A1?

I recently received an email from a knitter who seemed pretty frustrated by some aspects of Sock Architecture, so I want to try to answer her questions here, in case there are others out there who agree with her. (I also answered her email, so don't worry!)

The beginning of the book has a lot of calculations for the heels and toes. This is so that you can "plug in" your own numbers and make those heel or toe shapes with any number of stitches you like. If you want, you can use these instructions to make up your own socks from scratch or just alter an existing pattern to suit you.

The patterns in the back of the book are a little more spelled-out in a stitch-by-stitch way. If you are using one of the sizes in the pattern, you can just follow the pattern, so your knitting experience will be a lot like using any other knitting book. In other words, you can pretty much not do any calculations at all, if you have the same row and stitch gauge the pattern calls for and you want to end up with the exact size that I have written.

Some patterns combine the  best of both worlds (in my mind). They include an adjustable size, where you plug in your own S (total number of stitches), X (half of S) and sometimes a few more calculations, so that you can customize that pattern just for you. Those patterns have the term "adjustable size" in their sizing notes.

Ok, this next bit is only for people who are looking at page 12:

A1, A2 and A3 aren't always computed, but they are related to each other.

When you are working from the toe up, you should work A1 and use the information from the toe-up section of the book to calculate A3. Then, subract A3 from  the desired length of your sock's foot to see how long you should make A2 before you start the heel (and gusset, if any) shaping (which is A3).

When you are working from the top down, you should work A3 and use the information from the top-down section of the book to calculate A1. Then, subtract A1 from the desired length of your sock's foot to see how long you should make A2 before you start the toe shaping (which is A1).

I hope this helps and I'm sorry if I just gave everyone who didn't like high school algebra hives!