Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I Can't Believe I Ate the Whole Thing

It's been a month since I posted. What can I say? I've been busy at work, knitting, and spending way too much time on Ravelry. I also went to a quilt festival and our big local whoop te do, the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. I'm lucky I can walk there, otherwise I wouldn't be attending. 300,000 people descend on our small town over two days, and traffic is a nightmare. All the locals do their grocery shopping on Friday night and stay home, or leave town early in the morning and come back late (like I did to go to the quilt show on Sunday). I also went to see Across the Universe on Saturday night after a sushi dinner for my husband's birthday. It was really a trip (back in time, too), and great singing too. I highly recommend it. Bono is great. I didn't recognize him at all, although I knew I had seen him before somewhere. I had to wait for the credits to see who it was playing his character. (I won't give it away.) I also went to two yarn stores last Thursday night during a local shop hop and had Chinese food afterwards. Great fun shopping with other like minded folk from my knitting group.

I've been knitting on my cotton sideways striped sweater in cotton. I saw this pattern in the Spring 2000 issue of Knitter's and have wanted to make it ever since. I had the solid colored cotton yarn, but I needed the variegated yarn, which is very thin, boucle loop cotton, and discontinued. I found someone who was destashing the exact amount I needed, in the right color. A trip to the Paypal site and it was mine! I've knit one front and most of the back already. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the sleeves. Horizontal stripes don't look that good on my arms.

I also finished a stranded beret and am working on a few more. At least one is going to be felted. I found the free pattern through Ravelry and cast on immediately. I'd recommend you cast on fewer stitches for the brim, though, as the designer recommends. I'm plugging away at my lace socks, too, but they are usually relegated to waiting room knitting, or waiting for the movie to start.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Corrections to Fish Scales Pattern

I ran into a little trouble making my second sock.

Here is the corrected Fishtail Lace stitch pattern in its entirety:

Multiple of 8 stitches

Round 1: K1, *YO, K2, SL1, K2tog, PSSO, K2, YO, K1* repeat between *’s to end

Rounds 2, 4 & 6: Knit

Round 3: K2, *YO, K1, SL1, K2tog, PSSO, K1, YO, K3* repeat between *’s to last 6 stitches, end YO, K1, SL1, K2tog, PSSO, K1, YO, K1

Round 5: K3, *YO, SL1, K2tog, PSSO, YO, K5* repeat between *’s to last 5 stitches, end YO, SL1, K2tog, PSSO, YO, K2

Repeat these 6 rounds for pattern.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sock Number One is Finished

Corrected 9/22/07
I finally finished the first sock of my most recent self designed pattern. Basically, I take a stitch pattern and plug it into my favorite basic sock pattern that fits me, but here it is if you are interested. I think that if I make this pattern again I'll leave an open area, or maybe a cable, between the lace repeats. The stitch pattern is Fishtail Lace, from the 365 stitch patterns calendar, and the yarn has a strand of glittery thread woven through it, so it's fish scales. I made my socks with 72 stitches, but my ankles are thick. The pattern is written for normal sized ankles. I wear a size 8.5" shoe, and I had about 10" of yarn left over, so you should be able to make a pair of 64 stitch socks up to about
a women's size 11 shoe with 460 yds. of sock weight yarn.

Fish Scales Socks

Knitted on one 12" Circular Needle

Sized to fit Women's Medium (size 8 feet)
Gauge: 8 sts and 9 rows to the inch in stockinette.

Supplies Needed:

Size 2.5 MM Addi Turbo(r) Circular needle (U.S. size 1 (1.5) (or the size needed to achieve gauge)

Size 2.5 mm or 2.25 mm (1 U.S.) double point needles, which you will need for the heel and the toes, set of 5.

I prefer using a 12" ADDI turbo circular to knit my sock, so that's how this pattern is written. It can certainly be knit using any method you prefer. See my post about using markers instead of needles to avoid ladders and convert any pattern to your preferred method of knitting.

100 grams of Sisu Glitter sock yarn. This pattern will also look nice in solid, semi solid or self striping yarns.

2 small circular markers

Abbreviations:

CO = Cast on
K = Knit
KW = knit wise, or inserting your needle into the next stitch as if you were going to knit it
P = Purl
PSSO = Pass the slipped stitch over the stitch you just knitted (just like binding off)
PW = purl wise, or inserting your needle into the next stitch as if you were going to purl it
SL = Slip
SSK = slip a st PW to right needle, slip a second st KW to right needle, then move them back to the left needle knit those two together
TOG = together (as in K2TOG: knit two stitches together to decrease one stitch)
YO = Bring the yarn to the front of the work as if you were going to purl. Instead, bring the yarn back over the needle and knit the next stitch. This creates a hole, and a new stitch, which must be accounted for with an accompanying decrease

DD = Double Decrease (K1, SL1, K2 TOG, PSSO)

Sock Pattern
CO 64 sts. Join, being careful not to twist, and knit in 2 X 2 rib for 1 1/2 to 2 inches. *Knit 2, Purl 2*, repeat between *'s around.

Fishtail Lace Pattern Stitch (8 stitch repeat) Corrected/Edited 9/22/07

Round 1: k1, *YO, k2, sl1, k2tog, psso (DD), k2, yo, k1*; rep between *’s
Round 3: k2,
*YO, k1, sl1, k2tog, psso (DD), k1, yo, k3*; repeat between *’s until last stitch, end k1
Round 5: k3, *YO, sl1, k2tog, psso (DD), yo, k5*; repeat between *’s until last 2 stitches, end k2

Rounds 2, 4 & 6: Knit around
Repeats rounds 1-6 for pattern

Place a marker at the join. The striping pattern of most yarns should look nice at this gauge. Knit around in the fishtail lace pattern stitch until the sock tube measures 6-7 inches long (slightly stretched), ending with round 5 of the lace pattern.

Remove marker until the heel is finished. Change to double pointed needles (or keep using two circulars or one long magic loop circular), keeping the instep stitches on the circular needle (or another holder). I knit the heel on double point needles. Knit across the first 32 stitches. This is the first row of the heel.

Heel: Eye of Partridge with slipped stitch edge (EOP)

Row 1: *slip 1, K1,* repeat between *'s to end

Row 2: slip 1, P to end

Row 3: slip 1, K1, *k1, slip 1,* repeat between *'s to last 2 sts, end K2 (Don’t end with a slipped stitch.) This alternates the slipped stitches, creating the EOP pattern. I originally discovered (unvented) this variation when I made a mistake doing the heel stitch and liked what I created. Later on I learned that it had a name. Many patterns will have you slip two stitches at the start of row 3, then K1, SL1, but for stability I prefer to have two knit stitches in a row instead of two slipped stitches.

Row 4: repeat Row 2.

Knit in this pattern until heel flap is 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 inches long. This is a matter of personal preference. Measure the bare foot of the intended recipient from floor to middle of ankle bone to determine the correct measurement. You can also knit until the heel flap is square, as many patterns state, but with the eye of partridge stitch drawing in the heel I prefer to use an actual measurement.

Heel turn: (round heel) Thanks to Dave Mackay's "heels by number" which was the inspiration for these.

(Note: SSK = slip a st PW* to right needle, slip a second st KW* to right needle, then knit those two together)

Row 1: slip 1, knit 18, ssk, k 1, turn

Row 2: slip 1, purl 5, p2tog, p1, turn

Row 3: slip 1, knit 6, ssk, k1, turn

Row 4: slip 1, purl 7, p2tog, p 1, turn.

Continue on, adding one st knitted or purled at the center of the row until all sts have been worked. I try to keep knitting the heel turn in the EOP stitch, but it's not essential. You should be ending with a knit row. If not, knit across the heel until you reach the first pick up edge.

Using a new double point needle, pick up & knit one st from each slipped st along the edge of the heel flap (about 20). If there is a little gap where the heel meets the instep stitches, pick up a strand and twist it, then knit it to close the hole. If you have to, pick up another loose area and repeat the process. Place the first marker here. Knit across the 32 instep stitches (still waiting patiently on the circular needle holder) , place the second marker. This will be round 6 of the fishtail lace stitch (plain knit), which you didn't knit earlier. Pick up & knit stitches on the opposite side of heel flap, knit across heel flap to three stitches from first marker. You should have about 88-96 stitches on the needle at this point. It is not critical to have an exact number of stitches, as you will continue to decrease the extra stitches away until you return to the same number that you started with.

NOTE: I've recently rediscovered a great band heel which mitigates the wider heel stripes and all decrease rounds at this great site. I knit my last two pairs using this heel and it is very nice. I still use the EOP slip stitch, which means I have to add a few rows to the heel flap before decreasing. Then I have a few decrease rounds after picking up the gusset stitches. Thanks to Nan for this great pattern and tutorial, and to Nancy Bush for popularizing the band heel.

Decrease Rounds:

Three stitches from the first marker, K2 TOG, K 1. Slip marker, and knit across the 32 stitch instep in the fishtail lace pattern to the second marker, slip it, K 1, SSK, knit around to the first marker. Around this point you will want to change back to using the circular needle. Knit one round without decreasing (or two, if you like a slower rate of decrease for a higher instep), and repeat decrease round. Repeat decrease and plain knit rounds until 64 sts remain on the needle, 32 on the instep and 32 on the foot. Knit plain, without decreasing, and keeping the instep stitches in the lace pattern and the foot stitches in stockinette, until the foot is about 7.25" long (2 to 2 1/2 inches less than desired length). .

Wedge toe:

Round 1: Knit to last 3 sts before first marker, k2 tog, k1, slip marker, K1, SSK, knit to last 3 sts before second marker, K2 TOG, K1, slip marker, K1, SSK.

Round 2: Knit around in stockinette stitch.

Change to double pointed needles again when you have too few stitches to go around the circular needle easily. Repeat these two rounds until 16 sts remain. Divide the 16 sts between 2 needles at the markers and Kitchener stitch (graft) them together (or do a 3-needle bind off like I do).

Now knit the second sock!

Copyright 2007 Margie Dougherty

All rights reserved. You may print this pattern and share it with others, providing this notice remains attached.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sockapalooza

It's been a busy few weeks here. School started, which is always the busiest time of year for me, since I work at a district office. I received my package from my Sockapalooza 4 pal, Alice Yu, all the way from Onslow Gardens, London. When the package arrived I thought it was a Fairisle vest like Onslow wears so badly in Keeping up Appearances. What incredible socks Alice made! The yarn is my absolute favorite, Shelridge Farms handpaint from Canada, and the lace pattern is beautiful and Alice's own creation. How did she know my favorite early childhood book was Winnie the Pooh? The lace pattern, which somehow reminds me of oriel windows (don't ask me why), is called "Hundred Acre Wood". The socks fit me perfectly, too. Thanks so much, Alice!!!

Alice also sent along some incredible hand dyed Blue Faced Leicester wool from The Natural Dye Studio, a yarn I've never seen before. I am sharing the generosity with my own sockapalooza pal, whose package was sent off today.

Picture of her socks
I also finished up a UFO sweater project that had been languishing in the project box, lacking only half a sleeve and the button bands. I used vintage yarn purchased on ebay quite a while ago, a mercerized white cotton and a blue & white fingering weight yarn combined. I used the feather and fan pattern on the hem and cuffs, and crocheted a shell edging as well. I don't have a picture of the whole sweater, but here are some detail shots.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Six Degrees of Draco Malfoy

I'm supposed to post my assignment for the Hogwarts sock swap here for grading. I have to connect the Dursley family to Draco Malfoy in six steps, or degrees of separation, ala Kevin Bacon.

Petunia Dursley is the sister of Lily Potter, who is the mother of Harry Potter, who is in Gryffindor House with Neville Longbottom, whose parents Frank & Alice Longbottom are tortured into madness by Bellatrix Le Strange, whose sister Narcissa is Draco Malfoy's mother.

Hogwarts Swap Socks Arrive in HMB

I received an incredible package in the mail yesterday. It came all the way from Cambridge, England, courtesy of my Hogwarts sock swap pal Lyndsey-Jane. She sent me custom hand knit VOG ON lace anklet socks made from hand dyed Ravenclaw striped yarn, the leftover yarn in case I want to make the socks longer or to use in another project, a matching fringed bookmark, a chocolate truffle candy bar, and beaded stitch markers (which were just the right size for my big needle felting projects, where I've been using yarn markers) in the Ravenclaw colors.

L-J also sent me a skein of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in the "Only in the UK" colorway Cherry Blossom, instead of the sock needles she was supposed to send. (I am NOT complaining.) Because she was a month late sending my package, she also tucked in a skein of Wollmeise Sockenwolle yarn in a gorgeous purple and blue color way. Being patient pays off big time! Lyndsey-Jane went far beyond the scope of the swap, and I am very happy.

I now have the pleasant task of deciding what pattern to use with the sock yarns. The Woolmeise might be turned into a lace shawl, because it has great yardage and is a wonderful deep periwinkle blue color. Cameras can't seem to capture the real tones of blue colors. I also have to get busy making the socks for my new Hogwarts sock swap partner, who is a Gryffindor this time.

I'm also pleased to report that I finished a UFO that had been sitting in my project box far too long. I only had about 10 more rows to knit on this scarf, too. It's mohair and a variegated nylon ribbon held together, knit in garter stitch on big needles with a dropped stitch very so often. I've made three scarves using this pattern, the other two used a variegated fuzzy nylon yarn and a wider ribbon.

Thanks again, Lyndsey-Jane! The socks are wonderful! There won't be a picture of the chocolate bar (although I saved the wrapper.)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Still No Sock Knitting

I started knitting the Via Diagonale bag by Wendy Wonnacott from Knitty's Spring 2005 issue last week and I'm at the binding off point. I could not stop knitting on this project! Everything else got put on hold. I'm using two stash yarns: a Chinese red Pingouin mercerized cotton from Elann left over from a sweater I made my Dad 5 years ago and some cabled cotton, also from Elann, that I helped a friend dye a nice soft teal blue and she gave me the leftovers after finishing her sweater. I saw the bag in someone's project pages when I was browsing for ways to use a certain yarn on Ravelry and was reminded of how much I liked it originally.

I love using slip stitch/mosaic patterns and this one was no exception. Once I got the rhythm going I didn't even need to look at the directions. It helped that I'd made some socks using the same pattern a few years back. The double stranding helps give the bag structure even in cotton yarn, although I will have to line it and put something in the bottom to help the bag keep its shape. Since I had more yardage than the pattern called for, and I like bigger bags, I'm making it taller. I plan to insert plastic aquarium tubing into the handles, or maybe use purchased handles. The colors are a bit brighter in real life, as you can see from the frogged red bag's picture, and there are very subtle variations in the hand dyed blue yarn.

Using Ravelry's interactive features, I was able to click on the yarn info page for the pattern and see what weight yarn the designer used, something that's not always obvious with patterns. Then I could just go to my stash page and figure out if I had enough yardage to make the bag. This is only one of the reasons why I love Ravelry! If you haven't put your name on the waiting list I'd encourage you to do so. It took six weeks for me to get an invite but it was worth the wait. Once they are out of the Beta stage the site will be free and open to all.

I plan to make the bag again in Kureyon and a solid colored wool, using larger needles, and felt it. Slip stitch designs really work well in felted bags. I've also been working on my mitered garter stitch vest and a modular sweater using a big bag of miscellaneous purple and blue green yarns. Pictures pending

In order to make the Via Diagonale bag I had to frog this bag project, which had been on hold since I didn't think I had enough yarn to finish. I'm much happier with this new project. I have a golf ball sized amount left of the red yarn and one skein left from the teal, enough to bind off and make the handles.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

No Sock Knitting

The weather is normal for this time of year: misty and overcast in the morning, then the fog burns off and the sun comes out. I've been getting the itch to knit more than socks. Being able to see all of the great projects others have made in Ravelry has been an inspiration. It's also been a distraction, leading to less knitting time than usual.

I also got some great books at the Knitpicks 40% off sale that I might not have purchased if they hadn't been such a good deal. The best one so far has been Top Down Sweaters by Doreen Marquardt. I learned to knit by making a top down circular sweater in Berella 4 acrylic, so this one was right up my alley. The construction techniques are quite different, involving lots of provisional cast ons and three needle bind offs.


I started the cover sweater, using some Silk Garden yarn I had in my stash, but decided to make it a vest instead of a jacket. This is the back of the vest, where the 3 needle bind off joined the two side pieces. The fronts are also mitered rectangles, with a raglan yoke holding everything together.

My top down cotton lace top is on hold because I ran out of yarn once again. I was using some vintage stash yarn from an eBay find, so there was no way to get any more. I decided to add an edging in a different lace pattern, using some pale pink fluffy yarn held together with a fingering weight ecru cotton to achieve the same gauge. It's just enough different in color and texture to look like a design feature instead of an afterthought, and not too high contrast so it doesn't cut me off right at the worst place. However, I ran out of the fingering weight cotton yarn before I ran out of the fluffy pink stuff, so I need one more skein of that. It was one skein of Rowan Cotton Glace which a friend donated. I'm going to buy some Paton's Grace at Michael's to sub for that. The color is slightly different, but since I'm using it along with the fluffy pink stuff I think it will be okay. The only picture I have just shows the yoke, but it's almost done.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter Has Arrived

No spoilers here.

Doesn't this Horcrux sock look perfect to accompany the new book? My Hogwarts sock swap package has not yet been delivered by owl post yet, but I woke up early this morning to greet impatient garage sale buyers. I was informed yesterday afternoon by DD that she and a friend were holding a garage sale at my house this morning. Of course they both overslept (!!) They eventually arrived and had a somewhat successful day of sales while I did the laundry and read DH.

My book package did arrive at about 10:45 am, stuffed in the mailbox. I think the muggles started their shift early today to avoid being rushed by anxious readers. My friend who lives around the corner was leaving for a party and her daughter was stalking the mailbox because it hadn't arrived before they had to leave. I lent her my copy of the book so she could read it on the way to the party (and probably at the party too). I was already on page 83 when they showed up to snatch my copy. I had to wait another hour and a half before I could walk over to her house and look in the mailbox for a now familiar package. I was a little paranoid that I might be arrested for stealing mail, so I walked up to the front door, rang the doorbell, opened the package, left the empty cardboard by the door, and walked away carrying my book.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday the 13th Again? Let's Feast

It's time for another Friday Feast!

Appetizer
What is your favorite fruit? Watermelon

Soup
Who is someone you consider as a great role model? Audrey Hepburn

Salad
If you were to spend one night anywhere within an hour of your home, where would you choose?
The Sheraton Palace Hotel in San Francisco

Main Course
Name something you do too often. Eat

Dessert
Fill in the blank: I really like dyeing fabric & yarn because I love to create something incredible out of nothing special. I made the quilt at the top from pima cotton that I dyed in a rainbow progression. The borders are commercial prints because I lost the leftover dyed fabric (found it again long after the quilt was finished!) but I think they worked out well.

Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire 2nd Years

I've joined the second year Hogwarts sock swap (signups open tomorrow 7/14 for first years) and need to post my questionnaire here for my pal to read and to earn my first house points.

You can see the results of the first swap in my last post. I haven't received my swap socks, but I've been told they are coming soon, all the way from Harry's homeland (I guessed). I might have to wait to see the new movie until I can wear the socks to the theater! Maybe I'll just bring my newest Hogwarts project.
I ran several of my name combinations (nickname, real name, maiden name) and came up with my 2nd year Hogwarts name (it's supposed to be a secret until the swap is over). My first year name (Penelope Clearwater) was not available as a Gmail account, so I chose another name.

I've been taking a break from sock knitting this week and working on a lacy cotton top, a free pattern from Elann. This is what it looked like on Monday, before I divided for the sleeves. I am knitting the lace pattern all the way through instead of making most of the top in stockinette.

Sock Swap Questionnaire

Second Years

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into?

Ravenclaw

2. Shoe size? Foot length? Foot circumference?

Shoe Size 8.5 US Wide (D width) Foot length 9 3/4 inches Foot circumference 10" (ankle is 11", as is calf)

3. List your three favorite sock yarns.

a. Wool/cotton blends from several companies (Opal, Regia, Meilenweit, Lang Jawoll), or Tofutsies

b. Socks that Rock Lightweight

c. Shelridge Farms Handpaint Ultra and Heathers (limited colors)

4. Would you like to try a new brand of sock yarn? If so, which brand? I really want to try the great Fleece Artist Sea Silk sock yarn, Adirondack Yarns Silky Sock yarn, or the new Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome. I'm always willing to try a new cotton blend yarn. Aside from being soft, the yarn must be machine washable, that's my sole criteria.

I've tried many sock yarns that I like, but they didn't make the top 3 (which I had to augment). In no particular order, I present more choices:
d. Cherry Tree Hill Supersock
e. Hand Jive Nature's Palette
f.
Claudia Handpaint
g. Louet Gems Merino
h. Koigu KPPM
i. Lorna's Laces shepherd sock
j.
Colinette Jitterbug
k. Regia Bamboo
l. Fleece Artist Merino sock
m. Lisa Souza Sock Merino

5. Do you prefer variegated or solid sock yarn?

Variegated, if you look at my stash, or semi solids (like Lorna's Laces). Heathered yarns are my absolute favorite, but they are hard to find in superwash, which I have learned (the hard way) that I must use for socks. I like to combine a variegated and a solid yarn in stranded or slip stitch designs, so both are good to have on hand.

6. What colors would you like to add to your sock yarn stash?

I LOVE color, but it seems I gravitate towards blues, greens, teals, purples, rosy reds, cocoa brown. Orange is my absolute least favorite color. Black is good as an accent, dark navy is better. I've even used plum.

7. What kind of sock patterns do you gravitate toward? Lace? Ribbed? Fair Isle?

I love to do lace and fair isle, also mosaic or slip stitch. Textured socks are fun too. Plain rib drives me crazy but it does fit well. Cables are not a favorite, since they combine ribbing and a cable needle, plus they pull in the sock and also add bulk.

8. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, animals, etc.)

Smoke, cats, dogs, birds, dust, perfume, MOHAIR, shetland wool bothers me too

9. Will your socks be exposed to cigarette smoke or animals as you knit them?

NO

10. Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts Sock Pal?

Yes

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hogwarts Sock Swap

I finally sent off my Hogwarts sock swap package to Shannon in Maryland on Friday. She received it by special delivery Owl post on Tuesday! That owl must have been caffeinated or something. I've never had a package fly so fast all the way from California to the East Coast. It must be the higher rates the owls are charging now. I couldn't post any pictures earlier because Shannon had figured out who I was and I didn't want to spoil the surprise. She also took wonderful pictures and said I could use them.

I modified the Horcrux sock pattern quite a lot to make this pair for Shannon. I used the fingering weight version of the pattern that Susan shared with the Six Socks KAL Yahoo group. I also striped the top ribbing, left out the ribbing after the lace, added a reversed repeat of the Horcrux lace and a slip stitch stripe, used my usual eye of partridge flap heel, made the foot solid stockinette and crenelated the toe to look like the Hogwarts School ramparts (and reintroduce the grey yarn to make the socks look complete.)

My DD Elanor (age 26) was my creative consultant on this project. If she had been a Slytherin Shannon might never have received this pair! I'm proud and happy to say that I used my stash yarn to make these socks. If I had received a Gryffindor or Hufflepuff pal I would have had to shop for those colors, because, amazingly, they are not in my stash of almost 300 skeins of sock yarn. These socks took me just a week to make, although it took 2 months for me to get around to weaving in all of the yarn tails.


Thank you to Shannon for being patient and sharing her pictures with me (and the world) and to Rebecca for having the idea and hosting the swap. If you want to sign up for round two the signups open on the 14th. Click on Rebecca's name for the information.

This is what was in the package I sent to Shannon. I even ordered special bamboo sock needles from Astrid's Dutch Obsessions. Of course, along with the needles came quite a few skeins of sock yarn. Maybe I should have shared one of those with Shannon too. Oh well, hindsight. I am going to send her the leftover green and grey sock yarn to make a mini Horcrux sock for her keychain.

Friday, July 06, 2007

It's Finally Friday's Feast

This flower doesn't even look real, but it was blooming outside my room in Costa Rica.

The chef was away this week, so there weren't any new questions posted, but I've missed a few Fridays, so here's a new one for me.

Appetizer
What do you consider to be the ultimate snack food?
Chocolate

Soup
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 as highest), about how popular is your last name?
6? (I have no idea, but there are roads and a semi famous actress with the same last name, albeit spelled slightly differently), so I'm guessing it's pretty high. Now, my maiden name would be a 2, although if you went to Lancaster County PA, where there is actually a town named after my ancestors, the number would rise significantly.

Salad
Who is your all-time favorite sitcom character, and why?
It's hard to choose. I thought of Marlo Thomas in That Girl, and Lorelei Gilmore, but I'm going to pick Rhoda, because she made me laugh & gave me confidence in myself. It's definitely a woman.

Main Course
Do you shop online? If so, name some sites you like to browse for goodies.
Amazon, Knit Picks, Astrid's Dutch Obsessions (yarn),

Dessert
Fill in the blank: I think knitting should be mandatory. Think how busy, warm & calm everyone would be.


Friday, June 29, 2007

Why I Haven't Posted Recently

I haven't been knitting much lately. My DD rented an apartment nearby and is moving out this weekend, plus I have been packing up books so I can move the bookcases and paint the living room next weekend. I also got my invitation to Ravelry almost 2 weeks ago and I've been busy scanning projects, listing yarn stash and chronicling my knitting odyssey over the last few years. It's been good for me to have everything in one place, and the way you can see what other knitters are making with yarn you might have in your stash is really great. If you aren't on the waiting list I'd advise you to sign up and be patient: it was worth the wait for me. The program has crashed my computer a few times, emphasizing the need to purchase a new one. Mine is almost 6 years old, and was already telling me it needed to be replaced before I got into Ravelry, so it's not Ravelry's fault. It's good to have a system that tells you what pattern you are using to knit a particular yarn with, in case you forget and misplace the pattern but still have the half finished project in a bag. I also like the feature that lets you queue up your dream projects, along with yarn you might already have. I like having things organized, so this is right up my alley.

I did get inspired to knit a feather and fan alpaca neckwarmer from seeing someone else's project on Ravelry. I got 2 skeins of incredibly beautiful turquoise heather Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky yarn in December and was going to make a long scarf, but I saw this cute collar and cast on immediately. I finished it the next night, luxuriating in the softness of the alpaca yarn as I knit. However, as soon as I put the thing on my neck it started to itch me ever so slightly. Alpaca has guard hairs which bother me, even though the yarn feels so soft, but I thought the baby alpaca would be free of them. This may wind up being a gift. The neckwarmer took one skein, so I have enough yarn for a hat or some mitts. The pattern is in Knit Two Together by Tracey Ullman, a book I passed on buying originally but couldn't pass up when it was only $5.50 on Amazon. There are several other projects in the book that are really nice too.

I had to frog my solstice socks. I made the toe too big and then tried to decrease it away. Alas, this resulted in a rather large bump on each side of the toe, which would have rubbed in my shoes and caused blisters. The foot of the sock was still slightly too big as well. I had knit about 4 inches, but I wasn't happy with the look of the toe. Last night, after trying it on one more time at my knitting group and getting the same opinion from my co conspirator in the Rockin Socks Club (her sock is past the toe and halfway up the foot!) I frogged the sock. I did not take a picture--it was too sad.


This is what the sock looked like right after I made the fateful decreases and began knitting in the slipped cable rib pattern. I cast on again but this time I am knitting top down. The pattern allows you to do it either way. I've got about an inch knitted again, but no picture yet.

Edited to add: I've almost knitted as much yarn as I frogged, and here's the proof. The top of the slipped cable ribbing curls out a little, making the sock flare, but it's okay.

TGIFriday Feast

It's a payday Friday, so let's have a feast.

Appetizer
How many pieces of jewelry do you wear most days?

Wedding ring, sometimes a necklace if I remember

Soup
What is your favorite instrumental song? This one is hard, I can never remember the names of the instrumental songs. Green Onions, I think, or

Sukiyaki

Salad
Who has a last name that you like?

Candace Eisner Strick (she's a knitting author & designer, and strick means knitting in German). I really miss Herb Caen's name phreak items.

Main Course
Name a popular movie you’ve never seen.

ET (just clips)

Dessert
Fill in the blank: Nothing makes me calm down like creating something with color (and usually fiber).

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fiber Feast Friday

It's Friday, so let's have a Feast.

Appetizer
Name a funny habit you have.

My hands must be kept busy at all times. I used to shred my napkin under the table when I wasn't allowed to leave until everyone had finished. Twirling my hair was the first thing that came to mind. I do that when I can't knit, instead of twiddling my thumbs.

Soup
If you could instantly know how to play a musical instrument, which one would you pick?

Piano, definitely, although Benny Goodman's clarinet playing is incredible, and I did know how to play the clarinet once upon a time.

Salad
How long is your hair?


My hair never gets much below my shoulders, it's always breaking off. I usually have it about shoulder length or a little shorter. It's curly, so it looks shorter when it dries. I cut some bangs last week, which I haven't had for about 20 years.

Main Course
When was the last time you forgave someone, and who was it?

My DD, on a daily basis. Temper, temper

Dessert
What is your favorite kitchen appliance?

Dishwasher!

Phoenix Rising Here

Warning: SPOILER ALERT: Don't scroll down further if you still haven't received your Rockin' Sock Club package, although since I am on the West Coast my package was in the last shipment, so hopefully everyone else has received theirs already.

I came home after a frustrating day to find a nice flat package on my doorstep (not crammed into the mailbox.) I knew it was coming, but it was still a nice surprise to open the latest shipment from the Socks that Rock Rockin'Sock club. I hadn't looked at any other sites to see what was in the kit. Of course, even though I have quite a few other sock projects in the works, I had to cast on right away (after I wound the yarn into a ball.) I've finished the toe and started the stitch pattern, and it isn't bad at all. The socks are knitting up quite nicely, and the bright colors are merging into an unexpectedly nice fabric. There aren't any double decreases, either, which is a nice change from the last few patterns I've worked on. The cables are very simple and don't pull the fabric in much at all.

Shameless Plug: I've discovered a new favorite fast cooking grain to serve with meals. It's Trader Joe's Harvest Grains blend (not available at all of their stores yet, unfortunately.) It's orzo pasta (rice shaped), baby garbanzo beans & quinoa, with grated carrots and spices. It cooks in 20 minutes even though there are beans and whole grains, which is really quick, and tastes wonderful. I'm posting about it here to encourage everyone to ask for it if they like this sort of thing and have a Trader Joe's near them. If the demand is there they'll keep it in stock. I bought 5 bags on my last visit. I have to drive 20-30 minutes each way (depending on traffic) to go to Trader Joe's, otherwise it would be my choice for the weekly grocery run. I have no affiliation with the chain, I just like their prices, stock and attitude. I'm not wild about the way they package the produce, but I understand the reasoning behind it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Jaywalkers Cross the Finish Line

I got the second skein of Jitterbug yarn in the mail today, (along with two more in semi-solid colors) only two days after ordering it from Jimmy Bean's Wool. Now that's what I call customer service. I wound it into a ball and found a knot quite near the end. The little golf ball of yarn that resulted was just enough to finish the second Jaywalker sock. The socks fit me, although they are a little tight going over the ankle. I'll have to wear them on less humid days when my ankles aren't so swollen, or save them for my mom as a gift.

I don't know why I waited so long to make this pattern. (Well, I do know: all the scare stories about the socks not fitting made me a little bit skittish.) The pattern is really easy and shows off the stripes in the yarn really nicely.

The next pair I make will be a little larger. This pair makes 10 finished pairs for the 52 pair plunge. I think I'm only one week behind at this point. I now have 5 first socks on the needles, so I'll have to concentrate on working on only one pair at a time if I want to keep up.

I almost forgot! I finally got the invite from Ravelry and it's everything I'd hoped for. I've been entering books, stash and projects all day today, at least until the mail came and the additional Jitterbug yarn arrived!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Jaywalkers hit a Roadblock


They would be finished if I hadn't run out of yarn!

I'm really getting good at those double decreases. I've been working on my first pair of Jaywalkers, using Colinette Jitterbug yarn in Jay. I've hit a roadblock, though. I ran out of yarn halfway down the foot of sock two. Not to worry, I ordered another skein, plus some in a coordinating color to make another pair. In fact, I followed the recommendations of kindred spirits on the socknitter's list and ordered the yarn from Jimmy Bean's Wool, which is up in the Sierras near Lake Tahoe, about 225 miles away from me. I knew about this store and website, but I hadn't visited before. I ordered the yarn before noon today, and they have already shipped it to me! I have high hopes that the yarn will arrive, if not tomorrow, then on Wednesday. They have great yarn, free shipping over $75, and some really nice free patterns too.

I knew there was a likelihood that I would run out of yarn, and probably should have knit these socks toe up or with shorter cuffs, but what the hey, I will have a wonderful pair of socks, and the second pair might be spectacular (I plan a slip stitch design.) I'm using the 76 stitch pattern, size 2.5 mm needles, and the sock just barely fits over my ankle. It's about 10" around, but these Jaywalkers really do have no sideways stretch. When I make the pattern again using this gauge I will follow Grumperina's advice for enlarging the sock. If I make the pattern with a finer gauge yarn I'll have to enlarge it even more.

While I'm waiting for my yarn, did I work on one of the other sock projects that I have going? Of course not. I started a new pair. I've wanted to make the Fancy Silk socks from Vintage Socks since I got the book in March. I'm using Regia cotton/wool in a nice denim blue solid. The top edge is quite nice and uses those double decreases again. The rest of the pattern looks pretty easy too.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday the 15th Feast

It's Friday, so let's have a Feast.

Appetizer
Fill in the blank: The best thing about where I live is _________________…

Beach sunsets. The beach is right down the block (well okay 3 blocks) from my house.

Soup
Create a new name for a deodorant (like “Flower Fresh” or “Shower Scent”).

Necessary Evil. I'm allergic to perfume so I use unscented deodorant.

Salad
What was the last piece of software you installed onto your computer?

Image in Depth scanning software (poor man's Photoshop)

Main Course
If you were to receive a superlative award today beginning with the words ”Most likely to…”, what would the rest of the phrase say?

Give hand knitted presents

Dessert
What two colors do you like to wear together?
Navy and pale blue

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Number Nine Socks


I finished the RPM socks from Knitty last night, pair number nine for the 52 pair plunge. Sorry the picture is so bad. The dark colors in this Fleece Artist yarn don't show up well on screen. It's the colorway Parrot: blues, greens, fuschias and purples, all very luscious. These are definitely winter socks, though. The yarn is really thick and squishy, especially in the spiral rib pattern.

A finished pair is a good thing, since the new summer Knitty came out and there are several good sock patterns included. The Spring Knitty also had some great sock patterns (not to mention some great cardigans.) Of course, I didn't start a new sock project from either of those sources. I started knitting a lace sock from the 365 Stitch patterns calender. (January 17th, Feather Lace.) I'm using some aqua Sisu yarn that has silver thread wrapped around it that I just got a few weeks ago. It's looking good so far, although not quite like the pattern image. I may need to block the lace.

I'm also working on my Jaywalkers in Jitterbug in Jay (Colinette). I thought the color name was appropriate. It's an incredible mix of turquoise, teal, purple, jade, olive and kelly green, and the Jaywalker pattern shows off the stripes very well. The color doesn't really look like any blue jay I've ever seen, though. I still remember the somewhat domesticated bird that would hop into my mom's kitchen through the open window and eat all the butter off the dish.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Virtual Vacation Swap

I joined yet another swap. The Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap sounded like fun when I read about it on Dave's blog this morning. I was one of the last to sign up (it's always last minute when I travel), and here's my questionnaire.

1. If you could visit any state in the US, which would it be and why? I really want to go back to Hawaii. I was there a few years ago for the first time and didn't see enough.

2. If you could visit any country in the world, other than your own, which would it be and why? Gosh, that's a hard one. There are so many great places I want to visit. New Zealand. The scenery, and the people, and the wool. OR Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa, Pitcairn and Christmas Islands. Obviously the South Pacific ranks high on my list.

3. Have you ever driven across several states/provinces/countries? I was born in San Francisco and still live nearby, but for 3 years in High School I lived in Connecticut and traveled up and down the Eastern Seaboard on vacations. We also went up to the Maritime provinces of Canada (I'd like to go back there.) When we moved back to California we drove across most of the country. I've been to every state except Alaska and those pesky Midwest states (Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota.). It would have been more but my brother lived in Minnesota for 7 years and I visited him once, and we went to Wisconsin on a day trip. I've made three camping trips up to Vancouver Island and across to Banff, then down through Yellowstone into Colorado and finally Las Vegas.

When I was young and crazy I also drove from LA to Los Alamos, New Mexico in one long drive, then down into Mexico and back to LA in the middle of February. The car was never the same after that trip. Oh, and then there's the time I drove frrm San Francisco to Denver overnight. We had a flat tire in the Nevada desert in the middle of the night (and also ran out of gas) and spent the time until a gas station opened sleeping in the car (a Fiat 128 is not suitable as a bedroom for 3 grown people, nor for driving more than 350 miles between gas stations.)


4. Have you ever visited someplace you consider exotic? Where was it? Costa Rica

5. What was your favorite "travel" vacation? Why? England, when I went to London, Oxford and Bath, along with Stonehenge and Amesbury. I'd love to go back to visit more.

6. Have you ever played tourist in your own home city/state (if international, country)? Explain. I live near San Francisco, so I play tourist a lot. Southern California is another country.

7. Are you a museum visitor, beachcomber or an amusement seeker? I love museums and beaches, but museums get my vote. In Hawaii I spent three days at museums and only one day at the beach. How about the surf museum just down the road from me in Santa Cruz, near the Boardwalk? Three birds with one stone.

8. What's your favorite type of yarn? SOFT cashmere, angora, baby alpaca, sea silk, silk and cotton blends

9. What's your least favorite type of yarn? SCRATCHY mohair, shetland wool, yak

10. What items do you like to knit/crochet? Socks, felted bags, slippers, scarves, cardigans, afghans

11. What do you pack, knit/crochet wise when you go on vacation? Usually just socks, because they are portable and I can knit cotton in hot places and wool when it's not so hot.

12. What other crafts do you do/would like to do other than Knit/Crochet? I love to dye fabric (and yarn) and make quilts. Beaded jewellry would be really fun to do. I used to cross stitch, macrame, needlepoint, weave, & sew clothes. Knitting has cut into my crafting time.

13. Are you allergic to anything? (Yarn wise or treat wise) Perfume, scented items, mohair, feathers, cigarettes, chamomile

14. What is your favorite color? Least Favorite? My favorite color: anything in the cool spectrum: blues, purples, teal green, turquoise, rose pinks and reds, probably blue tops the list. My least favorite color is definitely ORANGE.

15. Sweet or Savory (Treat not personality)? SWEET, but not too sweet. Savory is also great

16. Anything else we are forgetting to ask that you think your partner desperately needs to know? I love color.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Artistic Inspiration

I took the day off from work today and went to see two museum shows which are closing on Sunday.

Show One: French jewelry of the 20th century, at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. I have just one thing to say: the designers and artisans who made jewelry in the early 1900's were incredible. The later jewelry was less awe inspiring, although still beautiful. There's also a great companion exhibit of French grahic arts from the Museum's collection.

Show Two: Vivienne Westwood: 36 Years in Fashion, at the De Young museum, also in SF. Aside from the fact that several hand crocheted garments were labelled "Knitted" this show was, to me, not exciting. I liked her tailoring, chutzpah, shoes and use of historical imagery but not really her design aesthetic. There were a few examples of knitted, felted mohair jewelry that were interesting to me as a knitter. One dress was knitted sideways in a feather and fan patterm with felted leaves and flowers appliqued around the neck.

Last night I started a new sock with some Colinette Jitterbug yarn in Jay, a great turquoise mix. The Jitterbug yarn is very stretchy, somewhat like Socks that Rock. Haven't decided what pettern to use, hopefully the Jaywalkers. More tomorrow at WW Knit in Public Day.

Edited to add: The Jaywalker pattern is working out well. I'm using a 2.5 mm needle and 76 stitches. I started off with 68 stitches and knit 1.5" of 2 X 2 ribbing. The socks measure 10" around slightly stretched. Since I have thick ankles that's okay with me. I'm going to make the leg shorter than normal so I don't run out of the Jitterbug yarn.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Finished Socks!

of the 52 pair plunge challenge!

I finished the toe on sock two of my vine lace stripe socks last night while watching the season finale of The Riches. (Interesting show, very different.)

I also finished sock number 1 of the RPM socks I started a few weeks ago (my mindless knitting project). They are made from Fleece Artist Merino in the parrot colorway, blues, greens, purples, magentas. Just lovely. I have cast on for sock two, so hopefully that pair will be finished next week. Because of the broken spiral rib pattern, the socks look really funny off the leg, very poofy. They look great all stretched out, though. This yarn was so dark it was hard to see any patterning at all, so I think the simple spiral works well.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Goal Setting

These are my Regia cotton slip stitch socks, from an old KnitNet pattern. One skein each of black and a grey/white mix (leftover from a pair of lace socks)

I saw this idea on Krys' blog, and thought it was great. I've decided to try and set goals (and meet them) every month in 2007.

Despite my unusual productivity in March-May, I still did a fairly shabby job when it came to meeting my goals--maybe they were unrealistic?:

  1. Finish 4 pairs of socks a month - one a week
    1. March: Four: Swirly Girl, Basketweave, Mad Cow & Madtini
    2. April: Five: Seed & Rib, Marble Arches, Double Spiral Mosaic, Horcrux Slytherin Socks, Broad Spiral Rib
    3. May: Two, but I've made progress on other socks: Monkeys, Grapevine Cream Cotton, plus I've been sick for over a week, no energy.
  2. Finish at least one other WIP NOPE!
  3. Work on all remaining WIPs - FAT CHANCE

The progress on my 2007 goals was slightly worse:

  1. Have only one project of each type (socks, lace, fitted garment, etc.) in progress at any one time. I have a lot of work to do before this happens.
  2. Have a maximum of five projects on the needles at any given time, not counting socks. I have a lot of work to do before I get here.
  3. Finish at least one of the two WIPs started in 2006, and rip out the remaining one if no progress has been made by the end of the year.
  4. Decrease the amount of yarn in my stash. - OOPS
  5. Work on my own projects at weekly knitting group--WEEEEELL

And now, June’s goals!

1. Finish 4-6 pairs of socks (to catch up for May and keep up with the 52 pair plunge challenge
2. That's it! (Do you think I'm crazy?)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Vine Lace Summer Socks Pattern

In honor of Memorial Day, the traditional start of summer weather and activities, but also so much more. Take a minute tomorrow at 3:00 pm local time to remember those who have died serving our country in war and peace. Memorial Day started after the Civil War as Decoration Day, when people would go to the cemetary to clean up graves and place flags and flowers.

The actual stitch pattern for these socks has been around for awhile. I'm not sure where I found it the first time. I was looking for a stitch pattern for some new yarn and found it in my stitch library (culled from many sources, web and print based). It may be in one of the Walker Treasuries. A sock designed by Kathy Garguild is one of my favorites from the book Socks Socks Socks by XRX Books. (1999) When I do a search on the term vine lace sock (and variations) I don't come up with the reference where I got the pattern. I swatched with ribbing at the top and then started the pattern. After a few inches I decided that I didn't like how the sock looked. I did like how the yarn's soft stripes looked in the vine lace pattern. I ripped it out and started over with a simple garter edge, which ripples a little bit because of the chevron of the lace stitch. A better picture is coming soon.

Vine Lace Stripe Sock Pattern
Knitted on one 12" Circular Needle

Sized to fit Women's Medium (size 8 feet)
Gauge: 8.5 sts and 9 rows to the inch in stockinette.

Supplies Needed:

Size 2.0 MM Addi Turbo(r) Circular needle (U.S. size 0) (or the size needed to achieve gauge)

Size 2.0 mm or 2.25 mm (1 U.S.) double point needles, which you will need for the heel and the toes, set of 5.

I prefer using a 12" ADDI turbo circular to knit my sock, so that's how this pattern is written. It can certainly be knit using any method you prefer. See my post about using markers instead of needles to avoid ladders and convert any pattern to your preferred method of knitting.

100 grams of Opal Cotton/Wool Blend in the Hundertwasser Positive/Negative colorway. You may also use another cotton and wool blend fingering weight (sock) yarn such as Regia, Meilenweit, Lang Jawoll or Sockotta, or try Tofutsies or the new Bamboo blends. This pattern will look nice in solids or self striping yarns, or a yarn like the one I chose, which is a little bit of both. I'm not big on wearing the red, white and blue, but this pattern might work well in that yarn too.

2 small circular markers

Abbreviations:

CO = Cast on
K = Knit
KW = knit wise, or inserting your needle into the next stitch as if you were going to knit it
P = Purl
PSSO = Pass the slipped stitch over the stitch you just knitted (just like binding off)
PW = purl wise, or inserting your needle into the next stitch as if you were going to purl it
SL = Slip
SSK = slip a st PW to right needle, slip a second st KW to right needle, then move them back to the left needle knit those two together
TOG = together (as in K2TOG: knit two stitches together to decrease one stitch)
YO = Bring the yarn to the front of the work as if you were going to purl. Instead, bring the yarn back over the needle and knit the next stitch. This creates a hole, and a new stitch, which must be accounted for with an accompanying decrease

Sock Pattern
CO 72 sts. Join, being careful not to twist, and knit in garter stitch for 6 rounds, ending with a knit round.

Garter Stitch in the Round:

Round 1: Purl
Round 2: Knit
Repeats rounds 1 and 2 for as many rounds as you want

Vine Lace Stripe Pattern Stitch (9 stitch repeat)

Round 1: *K1, yo, k2, sl1, k1, psso, k2tog, k2, yo*; rep between *’s
Round 3:
*yo, k2, sl1, k1, psso, k2tog, k2, yo, k1*; repeat between *’s
Rounds 2 & 4: Knit
Repeats rounds 1-4 for pattern

Place a marker at join. The striping pattern of most yarns should look nice for both sizes at this gauge. Knit around in the vine lace pattern stitch until sock tube measures 5-6 inches long (stretched out), ending with round 1 or 3 of the lace pattern.

NOTE: Don't worry when you first start knitting the lace pattern. The sock will flare out and look like a flower and you'll swear it will never fit anyone but Bigfoot. Not to worry, keep knitting a few repeats of the lace and the sock will calm down. The top does flop over a bit when not on the foot. I don't find this to be a problem. If it really bothers you, you can knit a few more rounds of garter stitch before beginning the lace pattern. The lace does not have a lot of widthwise stretch (think Jaywalker).

Remove marker until the heel is finished. Change to double pointed needles (or keep using two circulars or one long magic loop circular), keeping the instep stitches on the circular needle. I knit the heel on double points. Knit across the first 36 stitches. This is the first row of the heel.

Heel: Eye of Partridge with slipped stitch edge (EOP)

Row 1: *slip 1, K1,* repeat between *'s to end

Row 2: slip 1, P to end

Row 3: slip 1, K1, *k1, slip 1,* repeat between *'s to last 2 sts, end K2 (Don’t end with a slipped stitch.) This alternates the slipped stitches, creating the EOP pattern. I originally discovered (unvented) this variation when I made a mistake doing the heel sitch and liked what I created. Later on I learned that it had a name. Many patterns will have you slip two stitches at the start of round 3, then K1, SL1, but for stability I prefer to have two knit stitches in a row instead of two slipped stitches.

Row 4: repeat Row 2.

Knit in this pattern until heel flap is 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 inches long. This is a matter of personal preference. Measure the bare foot of the intended recipient from floor to middle of ankle bone to determine the correct measurement. You can also knit until the heel flap is square, as many patterns state, but with the eye of partridge stitch drawing in the heel I prefer to use an actual measurement.

Heel turn: (round heel) Thanks to Dave Mackay's "heels by number" which was the inspiration for these.

(Note: SSK = slip a st PW* to right needle, slip a second st KW* to right needle, then knit those two together)

Row 1: slip 1, knit 18, ssk, k 1, turn

Row 2: slip 1, purl 5, p2tog, p1, turn

Row 3: slip 1, knit 6, ssk, k1, turn

Row 4: slip 1, purl 7, p2tog, p 1, turn.

Continue on, adding one st knitted or purled at the center of the row until all sts have been worked. I try to keep knitting the heel turn in the EOP stitch, but it's not essential. You should be ending with a knit row. If not, knit across the heel until you reach the first pick up edge.

Using a new double point needle, pick up & knit one st from each slipped st along the edge of the heel flap (about 20). If there is a little gap where the heel meets the instep stitches, pick up a strand and twist it, then knit it to close the hole. If you have to, pick up another loose area and repeat the process. Place the first marker here. Knit across the 36 instep stitches (still waiting patiently on the circular needle holder), place second marker. This will be round 2 or 4 of the vine lace stitch (plain knit), which you didn't knit earlier. Pick up & knit stitches on the opposite side of heel flap, knit across heel flap to three stitches from first marker. You should have about 96-104 stitches on the needle at this point. It is not critical to have an exact number of stitches, as you will continue to decrease the extra stitches away until you return to the same number that you started with.

NOTE: I've recently rediscovered a great band heel which mitigates the wider heel stripes and all decrease rounds at this great site. I knit my last two pairs using this heel and it is very nice. I still use the EOP slip stitch, which means I have to add a few rows to the heel flap before decreasing. Then I have a few decrease rounds after picking up the gusset stitches. Thanks to Nan for this great pattern and tutorial, and to Nancy Bush for popularizing the band heel.

Decrease Rounds:

Three stitches from first marker, K2 TOG, K 1. Slip marker, and knit across the 36 stitch instep in the vine lace pattern to the second marker, slip it, K 1, SSK, knit around to the first marker. Around this point you will want to change back to using the circular needle. Knit one round without decreasing (or two, if you like a slower rate of decrease for a higher instep), and repeat decrease round. Repeat decrease and plain knit rounds until 72 sts remain on the needle, 36 on the instep and 36 on the foot. Knit plain, without decreasing, and keeping the instep stitches in the lace pattern and the foot stitches in stockinette, until the foot is about 7.25" long (2 to 2 1/2 inches less than desired length). .

Wedge toe:

Round 1: Knit to last 3 sts before first marker, k2 tog, k1, slip marker, K1, SSK, knit to last 3 sts before second marker, K2 TOG, K1, slip marker, K1, SSK.

Round 2: Knit around in stockinette stitch.

Change to double pointed needles again when you have too few stitches to go around the circular needle easily. Repeat these two rounds until 18 sts remain. Divide the 18 sts between 2 needles at markers and Kitchener stitch (graft) them together or do a 3-needle bind off like me.

Now knit the second sock!

Copyright 2007 Margie Dougherty

All rights reserved. You may print this pattern and share it with others, providing this notice remains attached.