Days 10 & 11: A Mixed Bag

Well, Day 10 was a bit of a bust. I reviewed Decreasing and Increasing, but from a new source. There wasn’t anything there that I haven’t read and/or seen before. In fact, all of the information covered things I have used in my own projects already. That was bound to happen at some point, I suppose!

Day 11 was a little better. I read about different types of cast-on techniques that work well for socks. I read about them here, and this will likely become a reference for me in the future. They even included one of my favorite cast ons for hat projects – the long-tail cast on. I’ll have to look for some toe-up patterns for a near-future project so I can try the Turkish cast on, it seems interesting! Interesting fact of the day: Sock patterns that are knit top-down are much more common that patterns that are knit toe-up.


Days Eight & Nine: Tips

I was out of town at a funeral yesterday without access to a computer, but I did get my learning assignment in at the hotel last night. I read about different ways to divide stitches onto DPNs, which I haven’t had to worry about for most of the sock project, since I’m using the cute little 9″ circular. For the short section I did use them, I had to un-knit and then re-knit a few sections due to laddering.

I found this perfect example of laddering over at Stitch Piece n Purl – lots of useful info over there!

So, the info I covered yesterday discussed knitting a couple extra stitches off of the next needle each time around to avoid the laddering. How easy! And I never knew before…

Today I read more about picking up stitches for sock gussets. Now, if you’ve ever done this before, you know it can sometimes be a pain, depending on the size of your needles and how slippery the yarn is. If you’ve never done it before, trust me, it’s a pain in the butt! So what was the most valuable thing I learned today? Use a crochet hook to pick them up!
It’s so simple! I learned how to crochet as a kid, and that was my primary yarn-craft up until a little over two years ago, so I can’t believe I didn’t think of this myself! Needless to say, one of my crochet hooks is now in my knitting bag, and will likely just live there from now on.

Day Seven: Searching For More Knowledge

I read the sock knitting section from The Needleworker’s Constant Companion tonight. I didn’t really learn much. It echoed all of the things I’ve learned so far, and was mostly just a basic description of the process.

This was disappointing, so I took things into my own hands. I guess that’s not a good way of putting it, since I’m the one who came up with the curriculum in the first place…but it gets the point across.

To make up for it, I decided to do some more research on avoiding holes in heels. I found this, and will likely use this for future reference, over the resources I checked out a few days ago.

Day Six: Holey Heels, Batman!

Today I learned about trying to prevent the holes in the heels of socks, which occur between turning the heel and the instep. I read 3 different articles and watched two youtube videos. I learned that everybody has a different idea of what works best, and it seems to come down to what the knitter is best at. I’ll have to try one of these techniques with my next pair of socks.

The video quality is crappy, but this was the most helpful thing I found, and this may be the one I choose to try:

Day Five: I’ve Made it to the Instep!

I learned how to decrease stitches for the instep of my sock today! It actually takes two different types of decreases to get the sock to be even – a slip-slip-knit decrease on one side, and a knit-2-together decrease on the other. Using these decreases every other row, with the alternating rows being just straight knitting, allows for a longer instep with a bit more room.

I picked up my stitches and set up for the decrease section using all double-pointed needles (DPNs) because there were too many stitches for my cute little 9″ circular needle to handle initially. I’ve decreased to 56 stitches in the round at this point, and have already worked them back onto the circular, though. With all of the DPNs, I felt like I was knitting with a porcupine.

My sock is starting to look like a sock! WOOHOO!

Day Four: The Heel!

Sick day today. Finally broke my fever sometime between 3 and 4am. Spent my day napping, relaxing, and knitting. Knitted my heel while watching Howl’s Moving Castle. Pretty good!

Anyhow, today, I learned how to knit AND turn the heel. In the lesson, Lucy Neatby also shared tips on reinforcing the heel. This involves taking a second strand of yarn on the heel turn, and knitting every other stitch with it, alternating with the working yarn. I chose not to do this, because we were already a few rows into the turn when she covered this.

I finished setting up my curriculum for the month, and I will be learning about other, possibly better ways to reinforce heels at some point. For now, I will focus on finishing both socks, and reinforcing them when I get to that point in the curriculum. Knowing B, reinforced heels won’t hurt!

Day Three: Cuff Options, Body of the Sock

I made some fair progress on the body of the sock while watching this – 440 stitches worth, to be exact! Nothing unexpected so far.

Biggest take-aways today:
Even numbers of knit and purl stitches in cuff ribbing (2×2, 1×1) provide the most stability in a sock’s cuff. Seed stitch and linen stitch will do the job, but this will change the stretch.

She also talked about doing a garter stitch cuff, but I’m not a fan of the style. In the video, she has a brioche sock in the background, and this cuff folded over looks cool. I should work on improving my brioche knitting next month…

Anyhow, that’s all for today!