Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Don't tread[mill] on me - UPDATE

 I thought I would talk about the progress I have made on my "Don't tread[mill] on me" socks. And by progress I really mean I want to talk about how to rip out a heel! Yes. I decided to rip out my heel on these socks and go with an afterthought heel. 

Part of the reason for this is that I am knitting these socks in Sport weight yarn rather than Fingering weight yarn, so I cast on 56 stitches rather than 64 stitches. All fine and dandy, but when I got to the heel area I got a little confused about counts, took poor notes as I went, and realized after I finished the heel that duplicating a "lets just wing it!" heel on a second sock a week or two later would be a bit of a challenge. Especially if I want the fit and look to be similar. So here is my journey to Frog Town. 

Above is the heel completed. I went with eye of partridge for the heel - which I think is very pretty and I like the weight of it. I also think the eye of partridge heel is a bit easier to pick of stitches with. 

I grabbed a circular needle one size smaller than my working needle (a size 1 in this case) and a couple of rows below the heel I went around the entire sock picking up the right leg of each stitch.

And here you see all stitches picked up on the circular needle. It looks a bit messy with the double points still in, the circular needle, and the line of yarn, but it will look a lot neater in a minute! 

Here is a close up of the picked up stitches before the frogging. The legs on the needle are right slanting and there were no gaps. If you see a gap in the stitches as you pick up you want to make sure you didn't miss a stitch. I also count all the stitches when I am done to make sure I have the correct amount. It should match your cast on count unless you increase or decrease for fit or a pattern.

Here we see the Double Point needles have been pulled out and the frogging has begun!

 And here is my frog pond (pile of ripped out yarn) and my frogging stopped at the stitches I picked up on my circular needle, which acted as a life-line. You will see I use the plastic clip from a bread bag as a bobbin for my yarn left over from my cast on. This keeps the yarn from tangling and fuzzing up while I am knitting my sock, and when I am finished I have a nice length to weave in.

At this point I measured the length of my stockinette section to see if I was at a distance that would be easy to duplicate on the second sock. I was at a nice even four inches, so I was good to insert waste yarn for the afterthought heel.

I found a contrasting color of yarn in the same weight (there is no yellow in this sock) and knit on half the length of the stitches (cast on 56 / 2 = 28 stitches) and then I started knitting at the same spot I picked up the first yellow stitch from with the sock yarn as though I never knit that yellow line. 

This picture is a little blurry, but you can see the blue line of stitches I knit right over the top of the yellow stitches. You just keep knitting like normal from this point until you reach your toe decreases. Which means I have several inches of stockinette to knit on the treadmill! Yay!

I think afterthought heels are the way to go for treadmill knitting - as you just have to insert a piece of waste yarn at the spot you want the heel, and the bulk of the knitting is stockinette - no messy picking up stitches. I can knit like a crazed beast, and then do the toe decreases and the afterthought heel at night before bed for my "down time". I also really like how afterthought heels look with striped yarn. 

I did place the yarn back on the double point needles I was using since I wanted my sock to be the same tension throughout the sock, and since I used a circular needle one size down from my double points to pick of the stitches. 

Now I am ready for the tread mill!



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