Vanilla Socks

It seems that everyone has a vanilla sock pattern. Or less a pattern and more a recipe where you can do a dash of this and dash of that as you prefer. Here’s mine for toddler & mama sizes. I use DPNs for my needles, you can use your preference – magic loop, 2 circs, magic.

Using size 1 CO 10 (12) stitches on each of two DPNs using Judy’s Magic Cast on JMCO

Knit one round

Row 1: K1, increase by picking up bar and twisting before knitting, K to last two stitches, increase by picking up bar and twisting before knitting, K1

Row 2: Knit around

repeat rows 1 & 2 until you have 48 (60) stitches

Knit around until work measures 2.25-2.5″ less than your foot length. For my toddler’s size 8 that’s currently 4″, for my US women’s 11 that’s a smidge more than 7.5″

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Follow the Fish Lips Kiss Heel or your choice of forethought wrap and turn heel. I’m quite fond of basically making a top down toe. I do suggest you try the FLK heel, but if not here’s how I do a forethought heel.

Place half your stitches on holding yarn or needle. Using your preferred provisional cast on, cast on half your total number of stitches, ie 24 (30).

Row 1: Knit around

Row 2: K1, K2tog, K to last two stitches,K2tog, K1

Repeat rows until 20 (24) stitches total are left. Kitchener closed.

Then knit, knit, knit up until you have your desired leg length, do a minimum 2″ K2P2 or K3P1 ribbing & bind off using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

I usually then go back and duplicate stitch a few stitches around each side of my heel to strengthen that slightly weak point.

CO cast on

K2tog knit 2 stitches together

A quick tip for you: If you don’t want to carry your foot cut out, or heavans, don’t have one and you don’t have a measuring tape for every project bag, just cut out a small piece of paper the length you need to knit for the foot and use it to measure where you’re at on your sock while out and about.

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Finish in February

For some reason several of the podcasters I listen to consider February the month to finish projects. Ms. Kalendar of Brass Needles hosts Finishuary in her Ravelry group, and I just heard Kemper of the Junkyarn podcast is hosting a “Finish in February” KAL (Knit-a-long).

I’ve recently frogged a couple projects, specifically my reindeer sock comes to mind. That yarn did not want to play nice. But I’ve got a couple projects I could work on and a couple fairly quick ones that I could start and finish during February.

My hex  has been on-going for quite some time. Originally it was going to be a blanket. That idea was born in March of 2013! It lasted awhile but has fizzled out. But I have just enough hexes that I might, if I focus a bit, finish it off as a pillow cover. Because in Santa Barbara, you just don’t really need a double thickness blanket all too often.

The best thing about this project is that it is flexible to change the end goal. Plus, I learned so much about kitchener stitch – each of those hexes had to be kitchenered (grafted) closed.

Kitchener Stitch for Eastern European Knitters

Kitchener stitch is used to graft live stitches together. There are plenty of great tutorials, I, myself, used Silver’s Sock Class for simply ages, but was never happy with the result I got. My stitches always looked twisted and wonky. When I finally realized that I was doing Eastern European style knitting, I realized why! Because of how I knit, my stitches sit differently on my needles than most poeple.
So, for a model, here is a hex, knit in the round. I’ve swapped out the tail for a pink tail to make what I’m doing more obvious.
I worked on twenty stitches. So the first step is to take it down from 3 needles to 2.

The general rule with Kitchener is Knit & remove, Purl the front needle; Purl & remove, Knit on the back needle (KP, PK).
Step A – First, though, run the needle, as if to purl, through the first stitch on the front needle.
Leave this stitch on the needle.

 

 Step B – Then run the needle, as if to Knit, through the first stitch on the back loop.
Leave this stitch on the needle.

 

Step 1. Here’s the first stitch you’ll remove. Run the needle, as if to knit, through the first stitch on the front needle. Then remove that stitch from the front needle.

 

 

Step 2 – Now run the needle, as if to purl through the second stitch (now the first stitch) on the front needle.
Leave this stitch on the needle.

Step 3 – Run the needle, as if to purl, through the first stitch on the back needle. Then remove that stitch from the back needle.

 

 

Step 4 – Now run the needle, as if to knit, through the second stitch (now the first stitch) on the back needle.
Leave this stitch on the needle. Return to step 1 & repeat until the last stitch on the back needle.

 

Et voila! You can see the new pink stitches grafting my hex shut. Once again, it’s important to note that (hopefully) these instructions don’t actually differ verbally from other blogs and posts descriptions of how to do the Kitchener stitch; what should be different is the pictures of the needle moving in & out of the stitches because of how my stitches sit on the needles while knitting.