Monday, July 18, 2011

Socks, socks, and more socks!

I've seriously been a sock knitting fool lately! I've always enjoyed socks. And did have a January back around 2007 where I made 2 pairs in a month. But now I've made three pairs in three weeks. And I need to cast on my Camp Loopy #2 project - which may well be socks (need to hurry and decide since I need to get knitting!).

So why is it I've been knitting so many socks so quickly? That crazy afterthought heel makes it super easy. And the striped yarn makes it fun looking without the added work of the cable or lace patterns I've been doing. Not much to remember on the afterthought heel. Just knit!

Here's pair number 1. These were knit up in knit picks felici in the "Goth" colorway. Less than $10 for a pair of socks! I made these a touch longer than I probably should have for my legs - at least without doing increases to accomodate my calves. But they are gorgeous. These babies are what I worked on from June 25 to July 2.

Pair number 2. Also knit up in Knit Picks Felici - this time in the "Rainbow" Colorway. Went for shorter with this pair, and ended up a little shorter than I'd like. These are just over ankle sock length. Thats the one bad thing about the afterthought heel. Since you can't try it on once you pass the heel portion, hard to really know how they are fitting. But they are gorgeous. And I have some leftover yarn to do something fun with! Worked on these babies from July 2 to July 9.

Finally, pair number 3. These are knit up in Twisted Limone Zingy in the "Summer Breeze" Colorway. This limited yarn is a little tricky to get a hold of. But the colorways are GORGEOUS and I really really loved knitting with the Zingy base yarn. I've got some of her Tangy base at home too so some socks in that will be coming up soon! Worked on these July 9 thru July 17. A day longer than some of the others since I went to Block Island, RI yesterday!

And there you have it! My sock knitting craziness. Now...what to work on for that camp loopy project. Here's the yarn....I need to do something cabled that is socks, gloves, or mittens. And needs to be done by Aug 15 so don't want it to be too hard!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Striped Socks with an Afterthought Heel

Though not on my original list for this year's knitting goals, I taught myself something new! You see, one of my friends has been obsessed with knitting striped socks. And the more pictures and things I see the more intrigued I get. I'm waiting on a couple of gorgeous orders from Twisted Limone. But I was getting impatient. I was on the Knit Picks site looking for new cables to replace a few coming apart in my interchangeable set and while browsing came across the Felici. At that super affordable price I ordered enough for 4 pairs of socks. :) I cast on for my first pair about, um, 10 minutes after the mailman delivering my package on Saturday June 25. I finished Saturday July 2. That MAY be a new record for me. Though the real record is I finished 1 sock in just over 24 hours!

Anyway, here are the finished product.
Vanilla Goth Socks

I did lots of reading online to get some inspiration on how to actually go about doing this. Yarn Harlot has a blog post on this, but I wasn't sure I wanted to do it her way since I'd also seen a way using waste yarn. I was hoping to post here, but my google skills are not finding that post again.

Anyway, for my sock I used Judy Magic Cast On to cast on 32 stitches, 16 per needle. This is my go two cast on for toe up socks, and I can do it without having to look it up for reference these days.

I increased every other row until I was up to 64 stitches, 32 on the top and 32 on the bottom. Then I simply knitted a long tube. Since all my socks have been patterned lately it was refreshing to just knit a plain stockinette sock. I don't know that this would have been true if it had been a solid yarn. But watching the stripes form had me racing through to see the next stripe!

When the sock measured about 1 1/2 inches less than the length of my foot (as measured by trying on, this is why I love toe up socks) I picked up a strand of waste yarn and knitted across one half of the stitches with the waste yarn. I think picked up the main yarn again and knitted over the same stitches with it. For my socks I did this in between two stripes. I've seen many people do this in the middle of a stripe and I may do that next time, not sure. Anyway, here's the row of waste yarn. This will be pulled back out later and the heel will go here.

Vanilla Goth Socks

I continued along until sock was the length I wanted. I did the last full stripe in 2 by 2 ribbing and I bound off in the beginning of the next color.

Vanilla Goth Socks

Once finished it was time to work on the heel. I used my circular (size 1 for me) and picked up one side of each stitch along the bottom side of the waste yarn.

Vanilla Goth Socks

Then going in the same direction (because I'm going to knit in the round eventually, pick up one side of each stitch on the top side of the waste yarn.

Vanilla Goth Socks

Now its time to start working in the round. I had read that you should pick up a stitch or two on the sides to help avoid a small hole. It seemed like I had LOTS of space so I picked up three stitches on each side. I still ended up with a hole on each side so I'll need to work more on my technique here on the next pair. Oh, I also studied the yarn carefully to pick up for a new stripe that was different than the stripes I had ended on.

At this point I knit in the round, decreasing on each side every other row (4 decreases total per round). I decreased down to 12 stitches on each side. Then I did the kitchener stitch to close up the heel.

And voila, my first pair of afterthought heel stripey socks. Would you believe I cast on for my next pair already? :)

Vanilla Goth Socks