Skew!

Mar. 23rd, 2010 07:21 pm
kniteracy: (socks)
[personal profile] kniteracy
(xposted from [personal profile] kniteracy)

Yeah, so I'm following the crowd of knitters who saw the Skew sock in the winter issue of Knitty and decided they must knit it, mostly to answer the burning question, "HTF did she do that?" And by following, I do mean 'following'; this was in the Winter Knitty, and Spring just came out. Hundreds of more dedicated sock knitters than I am have already completed these socks, and there are some great photographs on Ravelry (sorry, link only good if you're a Ravelry member). I was originally planning to do these with the Cortina Sock I bought from Lidl for practically no money last year, but when I looked at photographs of how this yarn knits up I realised it didn't actually stripe; it more like pools.

The designer suggested self-striping or hand-dyed yarn for the project, so I went back and looked at what other folks had knitted theirs out of. By far, the ones that looked most amazing to me were made not of self-striping yarn, but of self-patterning yarn (which sometimes employs stripes but also has jacquard-y bits). And do you know, I went through a heck of a self-patterning yarn phase when I was knitting mostly very simple socks; I love the stuff! But eventually plain socks got boring to knit and I couldn't bring myself to use a lot of it. I've since gone on a search for sock patterns that employ self-patterning wool in an interesting and new way. When I didn't find exactly what I wanted, I enjoyed designing it myself after a while.

Now, lots of y'all know that I ought to be embarrassed to say how many books I have that contain nothing but sock patterns and sock design techniques. I ought to be, yes. But the truth is, I'm fascinated enough by sock construction that I have been known to buy a book or pattern just to spend some time with it, reverse-engineer the patterns I like, and figure out how the designer did that.

So of course when I first saw this pattern, like lots of folks, I was intrigued. Now that I'm an inch or so away from heel point, I understand completely how she did it, at least to this point.

I am sure, having barely skimmed her blog, that like me, Lana Holden is a huge Cat Bordhi fan. Well, few people who like to design socks aren't; that's a fair bet. In fact, I can imagine the 'a-ha' moment for this design. See, you're knitting along, making your first pair of Coriolis Socks, and it comes to you that you could, in fact, do that crazy pattern band anywhere, for any reason, with anything inside it. And you get some ideas. Lana Holden got a really good idea. I can't decide if the shape came first or the "what if I just increase on one side; what would that do?". And it doesn't really matter. The shape itself is ingenious, fits well, and is interesting to knit without being impossible (though I do admit to losing my place in the increase/decrease chain a couple of times). Above that, certainly on the foot, which is all I've got to so far, it's simple. I'm envisioning skewed lace, little skewed cables, you name it, it can be skewed.

So anyway, thanks for reading, and thanks Lana! And here's a picture of my first Skew sock in progress. It's made from Opal sock wool, in the Dumbledore colourway from that Harry Potter theme limited edition they put out a bit ago. Yes, really. Because I couldn't resist, the Ravelry name for this project is "Skew Me Dumbledore" (Sorry, leads to link only accessible if you're on Ravelry). It's OK. You don't have to admit you know me. ;)


First Skew Sock
First Skew Sock
Just a few inches below heel point now, hoping to turn the first heel tonight.

kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
[personal profile] kniteracy
(crossposted from [personal profile] kniteracy).

Somebody in one of my knitting classes asked, "How is it you don't get bored, knitting so many socks?" She was referring to the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome, that malady that affects many sock knitters, where when you've finished the first sock, you can't bear to go on to the next one. It's, er, like knitting the same thing twice! I explained that my answer to this age-old problem is that I have about forty gazillion socks on needles at one time. I don't ever have to knit the same sock twice. And sometimes, when I'm done with a sock, I start another sock from a completely different pattern, just to get the previous sock out of my head. I take enough notes and am geeky enough about my Ravelry project pages that I can usually remember changes I've made in this or that bit of the sock.

In fact, these socks were only 1/4 of the way done when I picked them up this week or maybe last week sometime, probably right after I finished the Laminaria. But they proved to be so easy and quick to knit that I just went right on to the second one. I do that sometimes, too.

Anyway, here are some pictures.


Catnip Lace Socks, Finished!
Catnip Lace Socks, Finished!
In all their glory, or camo, whichever you prefer. ;-) This is a design by Wendy Johnson, who wrote the great socks from the toe up book. Her heel construction is actually quite innovative.
Catnip Lace Socks -- Detail of lace on foot
Catnip Lace Socks -- Detail of lace on foot
Although this pattern was quite repetitive, I never did memorise it.
Catnip Lace Sock, Another Look
Catnip Lace Sock, Another Look
It's so nice to have socks that fit and look great, all the time. ;)

crafty_packrat: Heart design on whorl of a polymer clay spindle (Default)
[personal profile] crafty_packrat
I've just been asked to teach a class on knitting socks on 2 circs in January. I'm kind of ecstatic.

How many of you know the technique? Did you find any particular book helpful in learning how to do it?

I've already eliminated Cat Bordhi's Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles -- I have it, and I find the patterns impossible for a beginner to modify for size, for all that they're rather pretty.
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
[personal profile] kniteracy
I will try to make this understandable.

Let's say you're designing, oh, I don't know -- a sock! This sock does not have standard patterning and gussets: it puts the increases to allow for the gussets on the front of the sock.

So, imagine you're knitting a pattern, from the toe. You have some complex stuff to do on the toe and just afterwards, for about three inches (8cm) or so. After that, the middle of the foot changes and begins to increase into a lace pattern. The chart will expand from 36 sts wide to 110 or so. All this expansion happens in the middle.

I can see three ways to chart this, one of which I do not think I can actually do because the possibility for error is too great.

First way: I write the entire sock chart, from the toe, moving the complex patterning around both sides of the lace chart as the chart expands. Possibly easier to read, but the likelihood that I will make major errors is very high.

Second way: I split the toe in half, thus making the middle motif of the toe very difficult to read, with a bunch of null stitches (71 to be precise) in the middle of the chart, for something like 45 rounds, until the lace pattern begins to come in, then reduce the number of null stitches to widen the lace chart. This way is less hard for me but may be difficult for knitters to read at the beginning. It will also result in a chart that is very wide but appears to have little useful information at the bottom.

Third way: I rely on the intelligence of knitters and make two charts. One chart is for the toe up to where the lace increases begin. I then write instructions into the pattern explaining that the lace chart now begins to build in the middle of the sock; knitters should continue knitting the left and right bits of Chart A while incorporating Chart B into the middle lace panel. Much simpler for me (inasmuch as this is simple at all; that is to say, NOT), but relies upon knitters to understand that they are continuing the pretty cables on the side of the lace chart as it grows.

What would be easiest for you to do? Bear in mind that for most knitters at this level, or at least this is how it was when I was knitting the test sock, there will be clear markers as to where the lace increases happen, and the outside patterns are very repetitive: a single cable on each side. By 'reading' the cables, knitters wouldn't have to refer to two charts at once (aka hell)

Input gratefully received.
Xposted to sock knitting groups.
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
[personal profile] kniteracy
I'm hoping this community will turn into a great place not only to get advice about sock knitting and show off our cool FOs, but also for general sock knitting (and designing!) discussion. So with that in mind, here are a few things to get us started.

  • Who's the greatest sick designer out there, and why?
  • What's your favourite sock construction method?
  • How do you feel about dpns? Magic loop? Two circulars?
  • Best sock wool you've ever knitted with?
  • and of course, keep those Internet sock knitting resources coming so we can have a helpful sidebar/profile!


I'm pleased we have twelve members already! :-)
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
[personal profile] kniteracy
Welcome to the Socknitters community! This post will grow into an introductory post and FAQ for subscribers in the weeks and months to come. We'd also like to offer a list of sock knitting resources, including links to Ravelry groups, places to buy sock knitting supplies, good book reviews, and other resources.

You can help by leaving a comment to this post listing your five favourite Internet sock knitting resources.

Your moderator is [personal profile] kniteracy, an avid sock knitter and knitting teacher from somewhere in the UK.

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