Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Still On My Toes

This is the toe I referred to a couple of posts ago. The decreases are simple. K2tog on one round, then ssk on the next. On the first round, you join stitches A and B, while on the next round you join stitches B and C. Or, to put it another way, imagine you have four stitches. On the first pass, k1, k2tog, k1. On the second pass, ssk, k1. On the third pass, k2tog.

If you prefer to use stitch markers, rather than relying on your ability to eyeball the correct location in the row, try this: Place a locking stitch marker at the beginning of the round, and half way through it, so you have one locking stitch marker on each side of the toe. Knit to two stitches before the marker, k2tog, and repeat. On the next round, knit to two stitches before the marker, ssk, and repeat. Now move each stitch marker one stitch to the left, and repeat the last two rounds.

If you're having trouble visualizing how this works, just cast on a few stitches and give it a try. It makes a nice, smooth toe or heel, with no gaps or lines.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Must. Kill. Cats.

Woke up this morning to loud, obnoxious music from the street. Entered living room to find that, some time during the night, little cat A and little cat B (but probably mostly B) found my half-knitted Lorna's Laces sport weight sock in a beautiful and DISCONTINUED color, dragged it into the kitchen, looped it around a couple of chairs, and dropped the remaining wad of yarn in the water bowl.

After some yelling, I put the yarn wad aside until I was emotionally capable of dealing with it.

Have been picking at the yarn wad bit by bit. Kitties chewed my nice, pretty wool into at least four pieces, and I still have a giant, tangled wad to pick through.

Good thing these were meant to be ankle socks. But still. This is twice this happened on this same sock.

Must. Kill. Cats.

Also, I picked the wrong day to de-caffeinate myself. Slept half the day, have a headache, and the cravings continue.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Socks, Decreases, and Twists

I've been working on a pair of top-down socks with an afterthought heel, and I found what I thought (and still think) is a pretty good way to decrease for the toe and heel. In the past, I've typically decreased two stitches on each side every other row, but doing that always results in those square lines on either side of the toe. This time, I k2tog on one row, then ssk on the next, always using the resulting deacreased stitch from the previous row as one of the two working stitches in the next row. That is, if I have, for instance, four stitches (somehow working circularly!), I would k1, k2tog, k1, then on the next row I would ssk, k1, then on the next row I would k2tog. This has the same general shaping effect as ssk followed by k2tog, followed by a non-increase row, but without the slight, pointy gap that occurs when you do that row after row and then fold the fabric at exactly that point. It looks great, but when you graft across the tip of the toe, you end up with a slight twist in the fabric, since that one important stitch that results from each decrease is kind of like the short side of a rectangle. That is, you've got the front stitches, and the back stitches, and then each decrease stitch is a short side. Then you have to make one short side part of the front of the rectangle, and the other short side part of the back of the rectangle.

This isn't making any sense, is it? I swear, it works out in the end.

I know the explanation is a bit dense. Pics will follow in the next post, when I show the finished socks.