The Knitting Goes On

Latest Socks

I haven’t done a lot of sewing in the last weeks but I’m still knitting in the evening. Finished these socks two nights ago. I chose the yarn because I thought the contrasts were interesting. The pattern change kept me knitting – with some yarns it’s boring – but in this case it was “I’ll just knit another few rows…”.

These socks will go into the stash – I do have plenty of blue and green socks in my drawer that I don’t need to add these to my collection.

The new pair I started is going to be predominantly yellow – I haven’t knit any yellow socks in a while.

I Forgot To Post This

I finished these socks last week.

Yarn From KnitPicks

I’m always on the lookout for interesting sock yarn. From time to time the KnitPicks catalogue has shown up at my door. I bought four skeins of the “Static” sock yarn. This one – “Allsorts” has produced an interesting sock. the pattern repeat is very long – it’s deceptive with the second colour block being navy/pink whereas the first one was navy/white.

I have a couple of wound skeins of this yarn still to be made up. I like the feel of it, smooth, slightly finer than some sock weight yarns. Nice colours.

(Oh, and I knit the foot 46 rows instead of 50!)

Shortening Sock Feet

I have no idea why but lately the socks I’ve been knitting have turned out to be a bit too long to fit comfortably into my shoes – the foot is just a bit too long so it bunches at the instep or the heel pulls up instead of sitting comfortably in place. As a result I’ve stopped wearing those socks!

I haven’t changed the needles I’m using, the yarn is sock weight, my tension hasn’t changed noticeably, I’m knitting the same number of rows for the gusset, the foot and the toe. For some reason, however, the sock feet are coming out that bit longer.

The other day I decided either to give those socks away (I put three pairs in the give-away basket – they’re practically unworn) or to shorten the foot. I decided to give shortening the foot a try.

There are two possible ways of doing that – open the toe seam and unravel the toe shaping, then remove 4 rows and reknit the toe; or cut the foot, unravel a couple of rows each side then graft the two parts together using a 3-needle cast-off (also known as the Kitchener Stitch).

I decided to try cutting and grafting.

Let me describe how I do this:

  1. I start by picking up 32 stitches on one side of the foot and the remaining 32 stitches on the second side (being very careful to stay in the same row). I do this across the sides of the foot so I can begin and end the grafting process on the underside of the sock.
  2. Once I have all 64 stitches on two needles I cut a stitch on the instep, and start unravelling that one row one stitch at a time.
  3. I continue unravelling the selected row until I am able to separate the toe and the rest of the sock.
  4. I pick up stitches 2-3 rows from the raw knit edge on both sides of the toe. I unravel back to the needles. Before going further, I shorten the loose end, and weave it in so the first stitch remains taut and the yarn tail is out of my way.
  5. I carefully start grafting the toe to the sock using the Kitchener stitch, making sure I keep the grafting yarn loose. I work about half way across one side, adjust the tension of the grafting stitches; then carry on to the end of that pair of needles (and adjust the grafted stitch tension again).
  6. I continue on the second side to finish the graft, adjusting the stitch tension as I go along. I anchor the grafting yarn to the first stitches of the toe and the foot, trim the yarn and weave the loose end in.
  7. I have a finished, shorter, sock!

It takes me just under an hour to shorten one sock. Shortening the sock by unravelling the toe, taking out the 4 rows, and reknitting the toe would take at least 2 hours/sock. I’m ahead of the game by using the grafting method.

I’m now on my 4th pair.

To avoid having to do this in future, I’ve been knitting 4 fewer rows in the foot from the end of the gusset to the beginning of the toe-ing off. Although nobody has complained the gifted socks are too long, I know they must be because they’re too long for my size 8 foot! The socks I’m now knitting are 4 rows shorter and should better fit people who wear a size 7 1/2 to 8 shoe. The longer footed socks in my give away stash will be reserved for people who wear size 8 1/2-9.

Socks

Grey/Bronze Socks

I like how this pair of socks turned out. The dark grey goes well with the bronze and tan colours. This was an Opal yarn I picked up here in town several months ago. The bits of white in the variegation make the other colours sing. I enjoyed working on them.

The new pair I started next uses yarn from KnitPix – it came wound as a skein (rather than as a ball) but it may have an actual repeating pattern, I haven’t got far enough along to be able to tell.

Variegated Socks

Magenta Wool Socks

Finished these socks a couple of days ago. I bought the yarn at WoolWorks in Mahone Bay – Heidi Wulfraat dyes her own sock wool. It’s a superwash, and like all variegated yarns like this it produces a kind of repetitive generalized pattern that I find rather boring to knit but I liked the colours in the skein so I bought one.

Now these socks are finished. Someone will enjoy receiving them.

Another Pair Of Socks

Finally finished this pair of socks – not sure why it was slow going but it was. I knew before I started I wasn’t going to have enough turquoise to finish the toes – dug out the purple variegated to finish the toes. So on to another pair.

New Maroon Ombre Socks

Maroon Ombre Socks

I finished this pair of socks last evening, finally. I knit on them most evenings (since the last pair was finished) but I didn’t knit as much as usual so these socks have taken the better part of three weeks (I normally can manage a pair in two weeks.

I was drawn to the colours in the ball of yarn although I couldn’t tell that the pattern would evolve as it did with maroon strips and a repeating pattern embedded in in ombre with greys and golds.

A nice pair of socks, if I say so myself.

Latest Socks

Socks With Mylar Thread

This was a ball of yarn I bought from Hobbii in Denmark during the early summer. I couldn’t tell from the image of the ball of yarn what it would turn out like – what caught my eye was the glint of a “metallic” fibre – which I know from experience is some kind of “mylar” strip. You can’t see it in this photo, but if you click on the image, you can see in the enlargement a slight bronze glint which adds an interesting element to the sock.

The only problem is that there were constant breaks in the mylar which meant there were metallic thread ends sticking out both inside and out. I kept trimming them as I went along.

And then on the first sock I encountered a knot – always a sign to watch out for a pattern disruption! Turns out the second yellow stripe beyond the heel was missing – that’s on the first sock on the bottom. I made a mental note to remove the second yellow stripe when I knit the second sock but forgot about it until I was knitting the turquoise stripes and at that point I wasn’t going to unravel what I’d done, I was too far along, so I just kept knitting.

At a cursory glance the socks look like a pair – but just not quite. Fortunately, the mismatch is in the foot and therefore not visible when wearing the socks.

So into the give-away pile, they’ve gone.

Socks, As Usual

I just keep knitting. I CANNOT sit in front of a TV without something in my hands that doesn’t require my full attention but lets me feel productive. Finished this pair of socks a week ago. They’re not as drab as they look, there are hints of magenta and navy blue in the variegated yarn. They weren’t too boring to knit as some socks are from time to time.

This pair finished, I started on the next. I’m ready to turn the heel on the first sock, this evening.