Monday, October 13, 2008

I love you, Mom


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Windowpane socks tutorial, part 4

And here is the final part of the tutorial! The rest of the foot is a pretty standard sock foot if you want to substitute your favourite measurements.

I basically decrease along on the gusset until I've got 60 stitches on the needle, because that's my number for a comfortable sock. Your number might be 64 or even higher, depending on the width of foot that you're trying to fit.

The photos part of this tutorial is for the random mitered squares. Here's one done as an example.

And here's how to do it.
On the front of your sock, knit 6 stitches.
Turn and purl back. Cast on 5 more stitches with an "e" caston.
Knit 11 stitches.
Purl back.
Knit 4, slip 2 stitches together, knit 1, pass two slipped stitches over.
Purl back.
Keep on knitting the mitered square until you have one stitch left on the needle.

Pick up 5 stitches along the side of your square. Slip-Slip-Knit the last stitch you pick up with the first "live" stitch at the bottom row.

Slip the first stitch and then knit all the way around your sock until you get to the other side of the square. Slip the last stitch to your needle, then pick up one stitch on the side of the square. Knit those two stitches together.

Turn your work, slip the first stitch and purl all the way back around until you get to the other side of your mitered square. Purl-two-together the last stitch of your row with the bottom-most stitch on the side of the square.

Keep on working your way by alternately knitting and purling your way until you've knit all around the sock.

Finish on a knit row. Pick up and knit 6 stitches across the top of your mitered square. Continue knitting your sock until you want to do another random mitered square.

To do a mitered square that points the other way, knit until you want to start your square. Then cast on 5 stitches.
Turn your work and purl back 11 stitches. Knit another mitered square.

When you have one stitch on your needle, turn your work and pick up and purl 5 stitches down the side of the square.

As before, knit and purl back and forth around your sock foot, picking up one stitch at the side of the mitered square each round.

Finishing on a knit row, pick up 6 stitches along the top of the square.

Begin your toe shaping about 1.5" from the end of your preferred sock length. (As you'll see above, I've already started my toe shaping, about 3 rows from the end of my square.)

For toe shaping:
Round 1. K1, SSK, knit to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1 Repeat on other side of foot
Round 2. Knit one round

Repeat until you have 8-12 stitches on your needle, depending on how wide you prefer your toes. Kitchener stitch the stitches together to close the toe of your sock.

And then knit another one!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

pansy fiasco

Last week (during a break in the weather), I planted 60 tulip bulbs in the border of my flower bed. To keep the squirrels from eating my bulbs, I like to plant pansies on top to hide them. I bought 24 pansies on Thurs and I planted them on Sun.

But I ran out so I went back to the garden center to buy more and ... They sold out of the colour that I bought on Thurs. I looked high and low and they even let me look at the pansies in the storage area. Nope, they were all gone. So 3/5ths of the border are one pansy and the other 2/5ths are this pansy:

They're not even close. I am not happy about it. Hubby (trying to be helpful) suggested that I rip out the newly planted pansies and buy all new matching ones. I told him that if he wanted to buy and plant 40 pansies, he was quite welcome to do it.

I've been a good girl. All last week, I've been knitting Christmas presents.

Apologies for the crappy picture. Ricky was hogging the bed where I usually take pictures. The shadow just above the instep is his butt. Anyways, I've started the toe decreases. I actually had to frog a bit of it yesterday night because I made the foot too long. Oops!

Ricky's giving me the evil eye because I woke him to take pictures.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Windowpane socks tutorial, part 3

Once you've finished the cuff, pick up stitches to do a heel flap. For this sock, I picked up 30 stitches along 5 of my 11 squares. (If you did 10 squares, pick up stitches along 5 squares. If you did 12 squares, pick up stitches along 6 squares.) You can also pick up along half squares if you like, but I don't mind a narrower heel flap.

Knit your preferred heel flap pattern. I did an eye of partridge heel because I like how it looks with handpainted yarn.

1. *Slip 1, K1*, repeat across the row.
2. Purl back
3. Slip 1, *K1, Slip 1*, repeat across the row
4. Purl back

Repeat steps 1-4 until you have about 2.5-3 inches of heel flap. This works out to 20-25 rows. Knit more if you have a higher instep, and fewer if you want a tighter heel.

Then turn the heel. On the right side:
1. Slip 1, knit to the middle of the row. Knit 2, SSK, Knit 1, turn.
2. Purl 6, Purl 2 together, Purl 1, turn
Continue turning the heel until you've used up all of your stitches.

On a knit row, pick up and knit 20-25 stitches up the side of the heel flap.

Then pick up and knit 30-36 stitches along the front of your cuff.

And then pick up and knit another 20-25 stitches down the other side of your heel flap(this number should match the number you picked up on the other side of your heel flap). The number you pick up will be determined by how many rows of heel flap you knit -- mine is usually the number of rows plus one or two extra stitches so that there's no gap at the turn. (On my sock, I picked up 23 stitches up each side, and 32 stitches across the front.)

Each round now starts at the beginning of the "back" needle. Knit one full round from back to front.

In the next round:
1. K1, SSK, knit until there are only 3 stitches left on the "back" needle, then K2tog and K1.
2. Knit across the front of the sock.
3. Knit across the back of the sock
4. Knit across the front of the sock.

Repeat from #1 until you're down to the number of stitches you prefer for the foot of your socks. For me, that's about 60-64 stitches, depending on the yarn and needle size.

To knit the random squares on the foot
The random squares are done by first making a mitered square anywhere on the top of the foot, then knitting and purling your way back and forth around the sock, picking up one stitch from the edge of the square and knitting or purling it together with the last stitch that's on your needle. I generally start the mitered square where the beginning of my darker "windowframe" colour begins. which is partly why they're so randomly placed.

I'll cover this step in the next tutorial, which I'll post in a couple of days.

Note: This is not recommended for beginner sock knitters as you do need to know basic sock foot construction.

Friday, October 3, 2008

something for everyone

It's good to be knitting again after that frenzy of hand quilting. My back/shoulder/arm is feeling less crampy because I'm no longer hunched over a quilting hoop.

I've been knitting Christmas presents. I present exhibit A:

I'm using the great yarn that I bought in Whistler. The stuff is smooth and soft and the colours are great. The pattern is written for 2 circs but I'm not fond of that technique. The wandering cables prevent me from using dpns so I've had to magic loop it. I think I've permanently kinked my Addi cable in a coupla places.

Here is exhibit B:

I originally thought that I would get these done in time for hubby's birthday (3 weeks from today). Not a chance so these'll become Christmas socks. My brain got all screwed up on knit nite trying to turn the heel. The heel flap has 40 sts rather than my usual 32 and I just couldn't do the math for some reason. When I woke up the next day, the correct equation hit me. Doh! I blame it on the frenzied yarn buying that was happening around me. Some Blackberry Ridge silk/wool lace made it into the sale bins and there was a mass exodus to the back of the store once that piece of news leaked out. I stayed strong and didn't buy any.

I've knit a few rows on Starsky:

I was hoping to be further along on this project as it's the perfect weather to be wearing something like this. I was knitting this at my parents' house and Mom complained that the yarn was shedding all over her couch.

I finished knitting the roses for Bea. But I forgot to take a picture before I mailed them to her this morning. I managed to get 5 roses from the ball of pink yarn I found in my stash. I hope she likes the colour.

A little yarn arrived on my doorstep this week...

Gladys and I did an order together. She bought yarn to make more Pokeball hats plus a few skeins of the new Imagination sock yarn. I got some Imagination sock yarn, too but I'm disappointed with the colours. In other pics, the blue is more blue and the brown is more brown. My skeins are more muted and there's quite a bit of green that I didn't expect. The 4 skeins of Swish will become a R2D2 hat for a friend. I was going to make hubby one, too but he changed his mind (probably because he laid claim to that skein of Malabrigo sock that I brought home the other week).

Speaking of R2D2, I've noticed a number of new geek-oriented patterns on Ravelry. For example: Captain Capacitor, Resisty the Resistor, and Tux mittens. Hubby is definitely getting a pair of Tux mittens but not until he wears out the current pair. I was an electrical engineering student way back when, so I want to make the capacitor and the resistor for myself. Maybe that's too geeky. Hmmmm...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Windowpane socks tutorial, Part 2

Thank you all for waiting so patiently for part 2 of this tutorial. I took the additional photos yesterday, but ran out of time to get them uploaded and annotated until tonight.

While I was knitting on the second tier, I had a few problems getting the yarn colour to start in the right place (sometimes the green would finish nicely at the point, and other times, the green would continue on the the pickup row and even onto the next row.

To counteract that, I would sometimes knit an extra row to eat up the extra colour. (Let the yarn colours dictate when you do this.) Because the squares are puffy, and the stitches are on the diagonal, there's only about 1/8 inch difference between the squares which have an extra row and those which don't. The only problem when you knit the extra row is that you might have to figure out how to do the slipped stitch maneuver on the purl side of the row. (Learning how to knit and purl backwards really helps with this, so that you can do the maneuver on the knit side.)

And one final note. As you'll see in the photo of the completed row 2 above, on my second tiers, the mitered squares point in the opposite direction. Follow this part 2 tutorial to get the second tier squares to point in the opposite direction. If you want all of your squares to point in the same direction, just keep following the instructions in tutorial 1.

And here's where the Part 2 tutorial begins!

I left you here, with one stitch hanging off the first tier.

Pick up and knit 5 stitches to the left of your existing stitch. Your 5th stitch should be a centre stitch.
Cast on 5 stitches to the left of those 6 stitches -- I use an "e" caston.

Slip 1, then purl back.
Slip 1, knit 3 stitches, slip 2 stitches together, knit 1, pass 2 slipped stitches over the first stitch.
Knit 4.
Slip 1, then purl back.
Continue until you've got 1 mitered square on your second tier.

(Throwing in this photo so you can see two squares together. How-to-do this is next, but I liked this photo. This is also the last photo of my first set -- coming up are the shots I took yesterday.)

Here's what your first square looks like from the back.
Once you have your first square knit on the second tier, turn it around so that the purl side is facing you.

Pick up and purl 6 stitches down the side of that square. (The 6th stitch should be from the corner.)

And then pick up 5 more stitches along the top of the next square.

This is what it will look like from the front.

Knit as with the first tier squares:
1. Slip 1, then knit one row.
2. Slip 1, then purl back. (This can be considered an extra row if you end up using up too much yarn in your miters, but then you'll need to do the following Sk2P maneuver on a purl row)
3. Slip 1, knit 3, slip 2 stitches together, knit 1, pass 2 slipped stitches over knit stitch.
4. Knit 3.
5. Slip 1, then purl back.
Continue making your mitered square until you're down to 1 final stitch, then

Here's a half of the mitered square. You'll see that the raised middle line is now going in the opposite direction of the first tier of squares.

And here's the completed square.
For the final square on the second tier, you'll pick up and purl 6 stitches along the side as before.

Then pick up and purl 4 stitches along the top of the first tier. Pick up the 5th stitch from the bottom tier, and one from the bottom corner. Purl those final two stitches together.

Knit one row. Purl back. When you purl back, pick up an extra stitch from the side of the left square and purl it together with the final stitch.

Continue making this final mitered square.

And you'll end up with this. Here's the finished second tier. (Man, I feel like Martha Stewart or something.)

Use the "e" cast-on to cast on 5 additional stitches.

Knit those stitches.

Pick up and knit another 5 stitches along the top of the square you've just finished.

Keep on making another mitered square.

And then you can go back to the first tutorial and do the first row again.

Pick up and knit 5 stitches down the side of the square. Make the 5th stitch from the corner.

Pick up and knit 5 more stitches along the next square. And keep on going.

My socks have the squares going in alternate directions. Someone at my knit night last night had made hers with the squares going in random directions, and it also looked great.

You'll want to do as many tiers of squares as you'd like length of sock cuff. I did 6 tiers on my first pair (11-stitch mitered squares), and 4 tiers on my second pair (13-stitch mitered squares), and I'll probably do 5 tiers on these socks.

The next part of the tutorial will be a heel flap. I like the eye of partridge heel, but it's your choice of favourite heel flap. I pick up about 32 stitches along the bottom of the squares, and do the flap from there. See you in a few days for that part!

Feedback on this photo tutorial would be totally welcome!