23 February, 2008

Project Jurassic Runway

Socks went to the back burner for a few days while I designed, knit and did the photo shoot for my entry in the ridiculous prestigious Teeny Project Runway:

Project Jurassic Runway

Brought to you by the nutcases lovely ladies of Mason-Dixon Knitting.

08 February, 2008

Temptation heel flap + gusset

Greenlake Heel Flap & Gusset

The most architecturally interesting feature of Wendy's Temptation pattern (Ravelry link) is that she knits the heel flap and the gusset at one go, in the round, with no picking up of stitches. Sweet & simple.

Photo above shows the side view with the heel flap completed.

06 February, 2008

Four ways to turn short rows

References for four short row turning methods:

Wrap & Turn (W&T), Yarnover (YO, Over), Japanese, and Catch.

Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, "Simple Socks, Plain and Fancy" (YO method p. 39ff).

Montse Stanley, "Knitters Handbook" (W&T (here called Tie), YO (Over) and Catch).

Elizabeth Zimmerman, "Knitting Workshop" (W&T).

Veronik Avery, "Short Rows: A Few Stitches Short of a Row" Interweave Knits Winter 2004 (all four methods).

Ondori, "Basic Crochet & Knit" ("The Scary Doll Book" - Japanese method).

03 February, 2008

Reengineered Picot Edge

Greenlake picot

A folded picot edge makes a visually interesting but not too frilly cuff edge for a simple sock. I had seen two methods described for finishing this edge. One is to use a provisional cast-on. Here is Melinda's photo-rich post on the provisional method.

The other method is to cast on normally, then when the garment is complete, fold the fabric inwards at the picot edge and stitch the cast-on edge to the inside. The argument for stitching is that it is less bulky, since you can catch only some of the edge stitches (where the K2TOG method means every stitch is caught). Here is Wendy's post about this approach. She's doing hers toe-up (knitting the facing last) but it's the same difference.

I thought I'd try the lazy way best of both methods, and you can see the result above. I did a long tail cast-on, knitted the picot setup rows, then folded up the picot to the inside of my sock, and K2TOG with every other cast-on stitch. The end result is that every other stitch of the cast on edge is tacked to the inside of the sock, but without having to get out your darning needle. So efficient.

In the photo above, the foreground shows the right side of the completed picot, and the background shows the inside. I thought I might have unvented this third method, but today I saw a post on Claudia's blog that specs this approach out in detail (via Grumperina). Claudia says to pick up both sides of the cast-on stitch; I only picked up one, so I will try her method on the second sock to compare.

Swatching Temptation, with Math

Greenlake swatch

I knit a test run with Greenlake. I love the way the fabric turned out; flexible, with a good soft hand. My gauge is not the same as Wendy's, but since Temptation is simple stockinette and is written in her usual beautifully orderly way, I can reengineer the pattern to fit my gauge.

I'm not worrying about row gauge for these socks; they are for me, so I can try them on as I go. Wendy's pattern is for a stitch gauge of 8 per inch. My gauge with the Hazel Knits yarn and 2.75 mm needles (US 2)is 28 stitches per 10 cm (4 inches), or 7 stitches per inch.

To adjust Wendy's pattern to suit my gauge, I need to calculate the difference between her stitch gauge and mine, and use that ratio to recalculate the number of stitches to cast on. The formula is:

(my gauge / pattern gauge) * pattern cast-on

I chose the smaller pattern size, which calls for casting on 66 stitches. My 7 st/in divided by Wendy's 8 st/in yields 0.875. 66 stitches multiplied by 0.875 is 57.75, which I will round up to 58. So, I'll be casting on (66 - 58) = 8 fewer stitches, and I'll need to reduce the stitch count in the heel and toe parts of the pattern as well. I will document those as I come to them, but for now I can cast on for real, knit the leg, and find out how good my math is.

01 February, 2008