Friday, September 29, 2006

SOCK HOP: More Links

Rick Yune needs a pair of socks. (And maybe a sweater too.)

I cheated. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have. It was wrong. I know it was wrong. But I cheated just the same.

I couldn't resist casting on THE Wendy's generic toe-up socks and playing with the double-wrap toes and heels. While playing I discovered that there are many ways in which a knitter can express herself with double-wraps . . . and get herself in trouble. So I did a little poking around and found some links you might like to add to your list:

1. Misocrafty - Short Row Heels and Toe Tutorial (based on THE Wendy's famous pattern)

2. Misocrafty - Turkish Cast-On (Magic Loop, two socks on one needle)

3. Knitty's Universal Sock Pattern (scroll down for some great hints on handling wraps)

4. Judy Gibson's "You're Putting Me On" Toe-Up Sock Pattern

This is a photo of the first pair of socks I knitted without a pattern. It was early last winter, late on a Sunday night. I was poking around the guest room (trying to ignore the yarn stash growing in the corner) when I saw two big fat squishy balls of Sirdar Highlander waving to me. They were a dark dark navy blue which, as we all know, is almost as good as black in Goldisox's mind. So I grabbed the yarn, swatched with some layabout Addis, and just launched myself into the unknown waters of patternless sockknitting. I think it was 40 stitches on #4US. My usual cuff down, k1p1 ribbing, stockinette leg and foot, heel flap and gusset construction. As plain and simple as you can get. I made them in two days (and I paid for it with hand and arm pain like you wouldn't believe) and they quickly became Goldisox's boot socks of choice and house socks of choice. Unbelievably cushy and warm and hard-wearing. One experiment that had a happy ending.

navyrib The ribbing

navytoe The grafted (Kitchenered) toes

navyheel The heel

What I'm saying is don't be afraid of socks! It's just yarn. It might snicker at you when you make a mistake (I've heard mine downright guffaw) but it won't slap your hand with a ruler or run off with Meg Swansen. If you don't like what you've created, rip it out and start all over again. Yarn is the ultimate renewable resource.


Blogger Wendy said...

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a cheater, too. I cast on for my Sock Hop socks two days ago.

No wonder my teacher always wrote "Does not play well with others" on my report card.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous theresa s. said...

Your kitchener graft is gorgeous. What's your secret? Mine always look sort of purly.

I haven't picked out my sock hop yarn yet -- will "shop" the stash this weekend and make a decision in time to cast on Sunday. I'm leaning toward some Lorna's Laces in the black purl colorway because this yarn makes me want to talk like a pirate. *g*

I have decided on a pattern, though. Instead of top-down or toe-up, I'm doing middle-out. I'll use a provisional cast on, knit a few rounds, then do a heel flap and gusset down to a short-row toe. Then I'll drop the provisional cast on, and knit up from there to the cuff. (Make sense? I don't know if I'm explaining it well.) Yeah, I'll have to weave in some ends near the ankle, but this is the only way I can think of that will let me do a gusset/flap heel plus knit the leg until I run out of yarn.

Unless someone else has a better idea? Anyone know of a method to do a gusset and flap heel on a toe up sock?

12:02 PM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

Ack, Theresa, quit talking Greek!!!

Nice try, Barbara, but I am not comforted by the thought of my yarn laughing at me when I goof up. As I surely will. I'm making a simple sock from THE Wendy's collection but ...

12:12 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Fran, listen to me: YOU'RE A WRITER! YOU'VE SURVIVED PW! YOU CAN KNIT A SOCK! Trust me. Laughing socks are a whole lot less painful than a snarky review. (And I speak from experience.)

Theresa, thanks for the kind words on my kitchener. The secret? Kahlua and headphones. Seriously the only secret is a cheat sheet with the sequence on it (important until it becomes second nature) and excellent lighting. It's really nothing more than a fancy-schmancy duplicate stitch.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

THE Wendy, I =knew= I liked you for more than your knitting skills! What's that old saying: guilt shared is guilt halved??

12:30 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

BTW: Wendy, you have no idea how great it was to read that you prefer the foot of your socks to be plain stockinette and not cables or lace or some such. Unless the sock is going to be treated as an objet d'art, I can't imagine what stuffing a socked foot into a shoe would do to the delicate knitting. The thought makes me hyperventilate.

And Theresa S: if you scroll down about four posts to the photo of a shoeless Stephen Colbert you'll find a link to Mini-Heel and Gussets under "TURN THE HEEL." I think that might help. I know I've seen other examples. I'll poke around for you and let you know what I find.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Oh good, Fran, I'm glad you couldn't understand Theresa S. either. ;-)

2:57 PM  
Blogger Tam said...

I beg to differ with you, Barbara. I think that Rick Yune looks JUST FINE without a sweater or socks. He doesn't need a thing. hehe

Dear Theresa S. I understand you, sweetheart. There is a lovely toe up version of the famous "Jaywalker" sock Here and it includes a wonderful description of how to do a heel flap and gusset "toe up".

11:47 AM  
Blogger Isabel Swift said...

Barbara, I am really impressed with the Socks, with Mr. Yune, but most excited about finding Romancing the Yarn blog! Thank you!

I don't how you knitters feel about felting, but there is a secret society of knitting/felting types in the NY office (one is guest posting on my blog right now, and I'm going to be sharing this URL with them.

I'm going to have to create a new category on my links!

12:38 PM  
Blogger Dallas Schulze said...

I don't know who Rick Yune is but I have to agree with Tam - he looks just fine sans socks and sweater.

Isabel - Knitters and felters as a secret society. Do we get a secret handshake?

I haven't made up my mind on my sock hop project. I'm waffling between choosing something new and interesting or maybe make this the month that I finish the eight pairs of socks I currently have in progress. Decisions, decisions.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Kim (a.k.a. kshotz) said...

I am really looking forward to my very first KAL! I've got some lovely new Austerman Step yarn and a big ball of Lana Grossa Mega Boots Stretch and some new Lorna's Laces and Nature's Palette.....ok, too much yarn to list! I've enjoyed getting to know fellow knitters via the internet and I'm sure this will be no exception!

2:46 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Isabel, shh! The Society of Felting Fanatics can't be spoken about aloud . . . at least not without a password and secret handshake. Oh yes, there be felters (fullers?) on board here. We all agree that felting is an almost magical, mystical experience (especially when performed on anything knitted with Kureyon #40.) So glad to see you here. We hope you make it a regular stop!

10:41 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Kim, we're delighted you'll be joining us at the Sock Hop. If you'd like to be given the keys to Flickr (so we can post your pictures on the RTY blog) drop me an email at romancingtheyarn AT earthlinkDOTnet and I'll send you the info.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous theresa s. said...

I didn't think I was explaining that very well. ::sigh:: Thank heaven some of you are wise enough to decipher my babbling. And thanks so much for the links -- I'm going to try one of these toe-up with heel flap methods.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

I love to felt, Isabel, and have recently made several lined and felted Booga Bags for gifts that have been very well received. My camera phone skills don't begin to equal my knitting/felting skills but on September 25 I posted a pic here of a finished purse.

Now on to socks! Or at least to slipper socks.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Theresa, are you thinking of an afterthought heel maybe?

12:30 PM  
Anonymous theresa s. said...

No, not an afterthought heel.

If you look at the foot part of a sock constructed with a short-row heel, the foot part (that is, the part between the toe and heel) is generally the same width all the way up to the heel. The short row heel widens the end part of this foot tube.

With a gusset heel, you get more width across the foot near the ankle than you get with the short row heel. (Because there are more stitches.) Plus, because of the way the gusset tapers (by decreasing stitches on each side as you knit toward the toe), the foot is a little more shaped -- not just a knitted tube.

With an afterthought heel, you still have the same-size foot tube that you get with a short row heel.

I like the wider fit of the gusset heel (and the reinforcement on the heel flap), and knew there had to be a way to do that toe-up. I can use that toe-up jaywalker pattern to use as a jumping off point for the math. (Yes, I used the M word. ::shudder::)

12:38 PM  

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