Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Knitting Exchanges

I just signed up for a scarf exchange on Ravelry. It looks like it's going to be a lot of fun, and you have until the end of summer to finish, so there's not even much pressure. I'm jkay on Ravelry if you want to look me up.

I've decided to frog the Birds Nest Shawl and try something else. It's knit with two strands of yarn, and I was looking for something a bit more light and airy. I'm going to try the North Sea Shawl on page 93 and see if that speaks to me.

If you haven't taken a look at the Folk Shawls book, you really should. Some of them are just breathtaking.

I'm still working on my husband's socks, and the fit is really good. I'm glad I ripped them out and made them a little smaller in diameter. It made a huge difference in the fit.

I was disappointed that I didn't get to dye yarn this weekend after all. My hubby even picked up some mason jars for me, and the koolaid packs are laid out on the microwave. I may start to wind the yarn tonight at least. I can't wait to try my hand at it.

Well, I'm off to cast on for that shawl. If I like it, I'll take some pics.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sock Tutorial, Part 2

Well, here it is, the second half of the sock tutorial.

I ended up ripping it back out after all. After a few inches, it was apparent that it was a bit too big. So, I ripped back to the toe increases and left it at 12 stitches per needle, for 48 total. That's down from 56 from the first try.

I worked the top of the foot in knit 2/purl 1 rib, with a purl stitch beginning the top of the foot to separate it from the stockinette on the bottom. That means the top of the foot is worked on a 3+1 pattern, or 25 stitches.

I knit the sock until the top of the foot reaches the point where the foot and leg meet. (Sorry about the mess; lazy Saturday!) See what I mean? My hubbie has BIG feet.

Now, forget about the top of the foot for a while and knit the bottom. This is the same as knitting a heel flap, only upside down. Remember to slip the first stitch of each row and then just knit (or purl) across.
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Knit the flap until you get almost, but not quite, to the end of the foot. I'm about half an inch from the tip of his heel, with the sock unstretched. Now, you're ready to turn the heel.

I use the directions from Yarn Harlot's book, Knitting Rules, but you can find similar instructions online of you don't have the book.

You knit to a little past the center, knit (or purl) 2 together, knit (or purl) one, turn. After the first time on this sock, I had 8 stitches left unworked. Then I turned and did the same, being sure to leave 8 stitches unworked.

Then, you'll see the "hole" your turns make, and you'll knit (or purl) the 2 stitches together on either side of that hole. Then knit (or purl) one and turn. You'll gradually use up stitches. You should progress by 2's. Here's how mine went.

Purl across, purl 2 together, purl 1, leaving 8 stitches unworked.
Turn, knit across, knit 2 together, knit 1, leaving 8 stitches unworked.
Turn, purl across, purl the 2 stitches on either side of the hole, purl 1, leaving 6 stitches unworked.
Turn, knit across, knit 2 stitches on either side of the hole, knit one, leaving 6 stitches unworked.
Turn, purl across, purl the 2 stitches on either side of the hole, purl 1, leaving 4 stitches unworked.
Turn, knit across, knit 2 stitches on either side of the hole, knit 1, leaving 4 stitches unworked.
Continue until you've worked all the stitches.... Notice that it doesn't matter how many stitches you're working. It's easier just to count the stitches you're leaving unworked.
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This is what the hole looks like on the knit side.
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And this is what it looks like on the purl side.

If you need some more help with this part, here are some links.


This one is a bit complicated, and she does wrap her stitches.


This one is similar to the way I do it, but she workes it over only a couple stitches.

Knitting Fiend

This is pretty much exactly how I do it, with some more pictures.

This is what the heel cup looks like when you're finished. Note that I don't bother wrapping my short rows, but I know plenty of people do. I just try to be careful and pull them tight so there are no holes. This picture is the back of the foot, bottom up.
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Now, all you need to do is pick up your gusset stitches. Those are the loops you made by slipping the first stitch of each row. On this sock, I ended up picking up 10 on each side, between the heel stitches that remain and the stitches on top of the foot. The heel is at the top of this picture, the foot at the bottom.

Now, you're back to knitting in the round. I keep the top of the foot in ribbing and everything else in stockinette until I get the number of stitches back down to where I started (48). If your calves are a bit thin, you might want to go a touch smaller, if they're big, then a touch bigger. I decreased this sock to 51 stitches for my husband. Just be sure to keep your ribbing pattern in mind when deciding on the final number of stitches.

Decreases are worked every other row, in the corner where the gusset stitches meet the front of the foot.
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On this side of the sock, knit until you're within three stitches of the end of the gusset stitches. Knit 2 together, knit 1, and then continue knitting across the foot.
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On this side, knit 1, work a slip/slip/knit decrease, and then continue knitting.

When you've decreased back to the number of stitches you want for the leg, start working the ribbing all the way around. If you need to alter the size of the leg after starting the ribbing, change needle sizes instead of number of stitches so you can preserve the ribbing pattern.

That's it! Just knit the leg as long as you want it and bind off loosely.
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Monday, March 17, 2008

Knit, knit, knit

I have one more sleeve to sew in to the perfect sweater. I did it with a rolled hem, but I'm re-thinking that. I think I may add an inch or so of ribbing to give the bottom a bit more shape.

Sorry there are no pics. I've been struggling to get back to feeling like myself. I've been working mostly on the sweater, and I cast on for a cute beanie that's in the winter Interweave Crochet magazine. If you're a Dr. Who fan, it's a lot like the rose colored one Martha Jones wore in this week's episode.

I've been so looking forward to Kool-Aid dyeing, and I just haven't felt up to it. That should give you an idea how rotten I've felt. I've still got my Kool-Aid packs and sock yarn waiting. Hopefully this weekend...

Not much progress on the bird's nest shawl. I haven't felt particularly inspired. Maybe that's a sign or something?

I promise pics soon and a better update.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Back at it

I'm back and finally feeling better. I got my yarn and started the bird's nest shawl, but I haven't made it more than a few rows. I've got the socks still going, and the perfect sweater ready to assemble. I'm thinking that's a job for this weekend.

I've had this itch to start organize my stash. I've got yarn stuffed everywhere, needles, etc., and it's tough to keep track of what I have. I'm thinking I need to make better use of Ravelry.

By the way, if you're a Ravelry member, I'm jkay. Look me up.

I'll post some pics of my work this weekend.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

On the Mend

Wow, I've been really sick. I've had the worst case of the flu since I was a little kid. To give you an idea... I didn't even feel like knitting. Now, that's sick.

I'm still not feeling well, but I'm better than I was. I'll get some posts up soon.