Thursday, June 12, 2014

Adventures in sock knitting!

At Stitches I bought a skein of self striping sock yarn from Canon Hand Dyes. It's one of the nicest skeins of sock yarn I have ever purchased and so I wanted to be sure I did it justice. I want the stripes to remain perfect on the front of the socks and I want them to fit really really well.

In order to make sure those two things could happen I tested out techniques. First I did toe up socks with some splicing to keep the stripes consistent.

I just did a simple toe up sock starting with 10 stitches, increasing to 60 stitches. They are super soft and fun (Knit Picks why oh why are you discontinuing Felici, please tell us all that you are simply going to reintroduce it in some fantastic new form!), BUT they are a little too long. I just can't seem to get the knack of when to start the heel on a toe up sock. 

So enter the Shamrock Felici:

I did my usual 64 stitch sock on 2.75 mm needles and knit about an inch of gray 1x1 ribbing, then I found the start of that blue green color so I could make sure to get a full strip and started knitting. I only knit about 5 inches before putting in the waste yarn for the heel and then I continued on. SOOOOO EASY and mindless! The first sock I knit across 32 stitches and then turned and knit back so I had two rows of stitches to pull out. On the second sock I realized I didn't have to knit back, all I had to do was transfer the stitches back to the left needle and then start knitting with the green yarn again. Much easier to pull out the single row of stitches to open up the heel!

I had a lot of concern about how to  know when to start the toe decreases, but doing a little surfing I found a formula:

Total length of foot - two sets of normal toe decreases =  length of foot from waste yarn to start of decreases. For me this was  9"- 2(1.75)= 5.5" 

I wish I could remember where I found this so I could give this lovely lady credit for her formula, but I can't seem to find it. 

I just picked up the right leg of 32 stitches above the waste yarn and 32 below and then…ZIP… pulled out the waste yarn and voila!!!

It looks like such a mistake doesn't it and I was a bit worried. But then I realized even if I had messed it up completely since I didn't cut the green yarn I could have just started over!

I started knitting with the grey yarn again and after 3 rows plain, I began to knit a second toe on the heel. It looked super strange on the sock but I kept going, sewed up the two little holes that appeared on the top of the opening and the put it on! I was amazed at how perfectly this sock fits my foot! 

The major bonus is that in barely 8 days I went  from two skeins of sock yarn to one pair of awesome, perfectly fitted stripey socks! I love them. Since I knit them with a short cuff (which will be much more fitting for our warm winters here in CA) I was able to only use one skein of Knit Picks Felici and a party of the skein of grey yarn. YAY! 

Now that I know this technique works I can cast on this lovely yarn!!!

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