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!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Don't tread[mill] on me

I am a fan of knitting on the treadmill. And over the last year or so I have become a bit obsessed with knitting socks. You see where this is going don't you???

So I started knitting these socks on the treadmill. I cast on and got the ribbing started, then I hopped on the treadmill and ribbed until I thought it looked like enough ribbing, and then switched to stockinette.

Session 2 was just knit knit knit - walk walk walk. I think I can get one more treadmill session in the ankle before I will start the heel.

I can't see myself making the heel flap and picking up stitches while walking on the tread mill, so I think after the next session I will have to knit the heel when I am couch surfing, and then when I get the heel done I can get a couple more sessions out of these on the treadmill before I make the toe.

Since I have to have the socks out of treadmill rotation while making heels and toes (at least until I become a sock knitting ninja), I think I will try and have a couple pairs of socks going so I will always have something I can work on while walking.

And yes - I have sweat dripping off my elbows while I am knitting. Because my arms are bent, the sweat never hits the socks or yarn. Satisfying to be knitting away and dripping sweat! And I walk longer because I am enjoying the knitting and not as focused on the time or the miles. I am not seeing a downside to this!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Progress report - Socksocksocksocksock

I am trucking along on my "Socksocksocksocksock" socks. I am trying to knit a stripe a night while unwinding before bed. I think I have another stripe or two and then I can make with the toe decreases. Happy to be making progress!

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Project name: Ghoul School
Pattern: Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock
Yarn: GnomeAcres Sparkle Gnome Fingering/Sock in “Smell My Feet”
(You can find Gnome Acres shop HERE)
Needles: Size 2 (2.75 mm) Double Points
Start Date: August 25 2013
Finished: July 6 2014

So much went wrong with these socks - honestly I am just happy to have them done.

♦ Lost notes for Sock one - so had to largely eye ball sock two. YIKES.
♦ I kneeled on one of my needles - so I had to knit a large portion of sock two with one bent needle.
(see the bent needle there? It felt WEIRD to knit every round with one needle bent!)

♦ The yarn on sock two started to feel brittle about two inches past the heel. My feeling is that it was over-dyed and I am a little concerned it will wear poorly.
♦ I forgot I did eye of partridge heel on sock 1 - and did a standard heel on sock 2. Yup - these socks have two different heels. Nice.

♦ The pooling on sock one is vastly different from the pooling on sock two. Is it because I knit these over a year? Is it the yarn? Is it my heel snafu? No idea.

And the fit is just a tiny bit looser than I like.Which is a bummer as I actually did a swatch and did math to get the right fit - debated the needle size and then let the math decide to go with a 2 rather than a 1. If I knit these again in this yarn I would probably use a size 1 needle just to get a bit snugger fit.

I am not in love with these - but have a sense of relief that they are off the needles and finally completed. I wanted a pair of fun socks for fall and Halloween - and I think these fit the bill.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


I have been knitting! YAY! So right now I have three pairs of socks on the needles. I thought I would talk about this pair today. I named the socks "Socksocksocksocksock" because when you cast on a third pair of socks, you know this is the chant running through your head. Obsessed much? Naaaaw.

So the pattern I have been using is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock. 
I love this recipe - it's well written and it's my go to sock pattern for a good, basic sock. 

The yarn: Knit Picks Felici in Building Blocks. Sadly this is discontinued - but it's a great yarn! I stocked up on it when it was clearanced out.  

Needles: US 2 - 2.75 mm double points.

I cast on 64 stitches over two double points held together to give it some room. You don't want a tight cuff! Then I knit 2x2 rib back and forth for two rows before joining in the round. This allows for the join to not get twisted. For some reason I struggle with joining socks in the round. Not sure if it is the ribbing or what? When I am done I just use the tail to join up that little gap.

I knit the 2x2 ribbing for 1½ inches and then knit 3 inches in stockinette before I hit the heel. 

For the heel I am favoring Eye of Partridge, I think it looks nice and I find the stitches are a bit neater to pick up when I use that heel. On this pair I knit 32 stitches before I start the heel stitches on the last 32 stitches remaining. I did this partly because the blue stripe I was knitting when I got to the heel was only two rounds in, and I wanted one more row of that stripe on the sock to make that stripe a little more substantial.

 So this is where I am at. I dropped a stitch when I was working the heel - so the pattern is a little funky, but I am OK with such things. I really love this yarn and I think I am going to love these socks when they are finished.

I was able to knit a little bit of them on the tread mill which I find really exciting as well! I don't think I would try the complicated bits, like picking up stitches or decrease rows on the tread mill, but I had no problem with the ribbing and the stockinette portion while I was walking, so that is happy news. Knowing I can work on portions of my socks while walking may mean an increase in sock production!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...