Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mums for Diametrag

At least a year ago, your dad moved a shovel full of your red mums to the back fence. They are just beautiful right now, we can see them from the kitchen window. Today is so bright and sunny, I thought I would post a picture so you can see how they've thrived. Diametrag, you better find a sunny spot in your garden, because we're planning to bring a piece of the mums to your house! (this fall? next spring? when do you move mums, anyway?)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Gussets are done, Ma'am

I never meant to knit toe-up socks. I started knitting cuff-down and thought I would always knit socks that way. It started when I bought some Lyon Brand Magic Stripes yarn. Several people on the sock list said they were running out of yarn, so I split my skein in half at the beginning of a color repeat, and struggled through a toe-up sock. I didn’t need to worry, I had plenty left over, but I enjoyed the change of pace.

I taught myself toe-up socks by working through Denise's Toe-up sock lesson on the Sockknitter’s site. I ran into a problem right away, I didn’t like her toe, so I poked around, and tried this Simple Rectangle Toe. It worked the first time, and I planned to learn the ‘right’ way later on. Well, I never tried another toe, the rectangle one looks and fits just right for me.

I did read about increases from the sock knitter’s lesson, and chose to do the yarn-over increases. They look good to me and I can always ‘read’ my sock and know if I should yo or knit in the front/back of the yo.

It is still difficult for me to know just how far to knit before I begin my gussets. If they are my socks, I just try them on and knit till I get to the spot where the top of my foot begins to bend and become my ankle/leg.

If the socks are for my kids, I have to do a few calculations. I need to calculate my gusset sts first. I have found I like the fit of socks when I take the total # of stitches for the sock and divide it by 6, the same proportion in a cuff-down sock. This gives me the number of gusset stitches for each side. (Since my kids have high arches, I round up and then add another stitch or two.) The current socks for my DS have 80 stitches for the foot. 80/6 = 13+2 = 15. I knit my socks on 5 dpns, so when I’m done increasing for my gussets, I will have 35 on each sole needle and 20 sts on each instep needle.

Now I calculate the length of the gussets, which will be 30 rounds long. (Increase EOR, 15*2=30) I’m getting about 12 rpi, so 30/12 = 2.5” for the length of the gusset.

Finally! I’m ready to calculate how many rows to knit before I start my gussets. I take the total length of the foot, subtract the heel flap, toe, and length of the gusset. (11- 1.5-2-2.5 = 5”) 5*12=60, so I should knit about 60 rounds before I begin my gussets. I subtracted a few rounds for a snug fit, and actually knitted 55 rounds.

I know it sounds cumbersome, but I only need to do it once and save it on an index card or my sock spreadsheet. I always ask the kids how the socks fit, and make notes on my card. I have to double check my calculations when I change brands of sock yarn, but once I have my gauge, I’m ready to go.

My son’s socks are ready for the heel to be turned, and then I'll knit the heel flap. I've moved 20 stitches to each instep needle, separated from the instep stitches by a marker. My two sole needles have 15 stitches each, 30 total stitches for turning my heel. That’s another long story, if any one is interested.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tip Toe in the Grass

At last! The 'birthday socks that must not be seen' are done and I've moved on to another pair of socks. The yarn looks a bit familiar, doesn't it. It's the same Opal Dreamcatcher (#1234) that I used for the guys' wristers. I am sure I will be sick of gray by the time I'm finished, but I think the finished socks will be worn and appreciated.

I'm knitting with #0 dpns, 80 stitches. I started with a rectangle toe, and when my increases were done I put k2p2 rib on the instep. My son has long and narrow feet. He measures 10" around and 11" long. I plan to switch to 00 dpns for about 2" when I finish the heel flaps. He said his first pair of socks was too loose through the ankles. I have knitted at least 6 pairs of socks using 2 socks/2 circs during the past year, and picked up my dpns for my Christmas knitting. What a difference! I may never try the 2 circs again. I never got used to that method, and I think I was avoiding knitting socks because I felt I had to make the 2 circs work.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wristers in the Snow

Ohmygosh! First snow of the season, my sons are braving the elements with bare hands, and I'm one wrister short of two pairs! I hate to see anyone with cold hands, head or feet, and I want to give the finished pair to my son. He may stop in today, and I know he lost his wristers from last year. How can I make him suffer until Christmas? But should I reward him for losing the wristers by giving him new ones? I'll make him wait for now, the snow is only sticking on the grass and tree leaves. It will be warm again next week.

I will easily get two pairs of wristers out of one 100 gr. skein of Opal yarn. I will certainly get a 5th wrister from my leftovers, and maybe another. If I made the wristers the original size of the pattern, I think I could get 3 pairs from one skein. If I end with an odd wrister, it will go to the son who loses everything.

I found another wrister pattern here: Dawn Adcock's Fingerless Mittens. I've made these before, and I like the Twin Rib and the different options for thumbs.

I turned the heels on the mystery pair of birthday socks for my daughter. Now I'm in the clear, 60 or 70 rounds on each cuff and I'll be ready to bind off. The socks are in a k2p2 rib, and I think they will fit nicely.

Friday, October 06, 2006

SamplerM patterns 13 & 14

I just caught up with Patterns 13 and 14, just in time for the new SamplerM pattern tomorrow. I've been knitting on some birthday socks for my daughter, both socks are ready for heels and heel flaps. I can't post any pictures, because I know she peeks in occasionally. They are very good looking socks, and I think you'll like them.

I also have a pair of wristers done for one of my sons, I'll make time to start another pair after the socks are done. I have slacked off on the baby hats for the hospital, and I feel so bad about that. I think it's because all my yarn for the hats is 4ply, and they take much longer to knit. If I get to the Knitting Social at my LYS, I will pick up some dk weight and be back at the hats. With dk, I can finish a hat in 2 evenings, a nice little break from the finer needles and sock yarn.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Horizontal Leaf Stitch Pattern

The gals at Made By Hand posted pictures of the chemo hats I sent last month. Those are great pictures! You make my knitting look good! Kisknit mentioned she tried to figure out the knit-purl pattern on the roll brim hat, and I thought I would oblige and post a chart of the pattern.
There may be other variations on this stitch, I found this one in a Woman's Day Magazine (Oct 1971), an article titled "The Quick-Knit Cap: One Theme, Thirty Variations." (Yes, I am that old. I was out of high school, but not married yet. Whew, time flies.)
I found another variation in Barbara Abbey's book, "The Complete Book of Knitting", p. 152. This one is a multiple of 10 and the one in the magazine is a multiple of 8. I used a multiple of 8, since hats are usually decreased 8 stitches at a time to shape the top.
My little chart is pretty simple. Start at the bottom, read from right to left, the line down the middle marks the repeat of 8. The dashes are purl stitches, the plain boxes are knit stitches. If you are knitting in the round, knit the chart as you see it. If you are knitting on two needles, you will have to read the even rounds from left to right, and remember a purl stitch on the right side is a knit stitch on the wrong side.
The knitters at Made by Hand are collecting chemo hats to donate to their local hospital, and they are excited about the number and quality of hats they have received so far. If you have time, why not grab some soft yarn in a color that you love and knit a hat for them. They are accepting hats until the end of October. If that's a time crunch for you, keep an eye on their blog, because I think they are planning another project for next year. You gals are special, thanks for letting me participate!

Free web counters
Free web counters