Sock Heels

One of my best purchases at the Sock Summit was Chrissy Gardener’s Toe Up (amazon).  She manages to condense everything I worked out for myself in my first year of sock knitting into a book.  No, I don’t wish I had had this book when I started last August, but it definitely would have helped.  It is helping now.

One of her suggestions is to knit practice heels.  So a couple of weekends ago, I started this exercise. First, I knit the short row heel:

Short row heel

Short row heel

and discovered that it was reversible (not where the white strip is):

short row heel upside down

short row heel upside down

I don’t like the short row heel that much because my heels are so skinny, so I next tried the heel that Chrissy calls the hybrid heel:

Hybrid Heel

Hybrid Heel

I’m not sure what I did wrong to get the teal strip in the middle of the heel.  Well I kind of know and probably could avoid it next time.  It is all do with where you drop one color and start the next.

I put in less gusset stitches than calculated from Chrissy’s worksheet, which meant the heel was really really short.  This was a important lesson for me.  To save having to redo the heel – I dislike frogging and redoing at the best of times and definitely on a practice piece – I just carried on with the slip stitch partridge stitch after the heel was finished.

Another change I made was that Chrissy does a slip stitch rib so that the slip stitches are on the same stitch every purl row.  I changed this so that the slip stitches alternates every other purl row.  I call this partridge stitch because I read that name in a sock pattern somewhere, but I never checked the stitch name, so it might actually be something totally different (such as turkey stitch?).

One thing I found with the hybrid heel is that it is important that your gauge is right – size matters.  The slip stitch heel was much more forgiving than the hybrid heel.  Also the hybrid heel takes up a lot of your sock.  As you can see below, it need about a third of my foot and if I had done more gusset stitches, i.e. the right number, it would have been nearer half:

Hybrid Heels need lots of space!

Hybrid Heels need lots of space!

Next I’ll try the after thought heels from Chrissy’s book and I want to try this round hat heel from Knitty.

Advertisements

Sock Summit: Turkish Stitches

Anna Zilboorg

Anna Zilboorg

Turkish Socks

Turkish Socks

Another Pair of Turkish Socks

Another Pair of Turkish Socks

And another pair of Turkish Socks

And another pair of Turkish Socks

Lots of Turkish Socks

Lots of Turkish Socks

Star Toe

Star Toe - yes, toe, not hat top.

My Turkish stitches sampler

My Turkish stitches sampler

Turkish socks were made with the left over yarns from rug making, so they were not soft.  The patterns came from the rugs too. The socks were knit to a very tight gauge with the purl on the outside.  They were knitted from the toe up and there were different kinds of toes, including the one that looks like it has a bobble,  I’m calling it a star toe, but that is probably the wrong name.

So after this class, I want to try lots of different color combinations, including those in the examples of Turkish stitches that Anna bought along.  I  also want to try knitting with the purl stitch on the outside.  I also need to try the star toe.   For this one, I seem to remember that with your yarn you make a figure eight and wrap the middle. Fold in half and pick up the stitches for the toe from the wrap.

Sock Summit Homework Part 2

Arch-Shaped Stocking

Arch-Shaped Stocking

Another class I am taking at the Sock Summit is Meg and Amy’s class on arch-shaped stockings.  I know, I know, I am taking two classes with Meg and Amy.  The other one was EZ’s Art Stocking.  It was just the way it turned out in the chaos that was registration, luckily for me.

My homework was to knit a child’s sock up to the end of the heel.  The pattern is fishbone cables with twisted rib at the sides.

Detail of Fishbone Cable

Detail of Fishbone Cable

I liked the pattern so much that I used it for my next toe up socks which are for Mum.  It turns out that the only differences between our feet is her feet are 0.5 inches longer and her ankle is 1 inch skinnier.

Mums Sock

Mum's Sock

I like the way the pattern is turning out and soon I will have fudge calculate the heel.  I want to a have a few less stitches on the leg for Mum so that it doesn’t slip down.  So I intend to reduce the number after the heel is turned.

Mums Sock

Mum's Sock

I have two of each of the arch-shaped and art stockings, so I should actually be able to do stuff in class and then practice it immediately afterwards.  There are some advantages to convalescing.

WIP: Homework for Sock Summit

Art Stocking

Art Stocking

One of the classes I got into at the Sock Summit was Meg Swansen’s and Amy Detjen’s EZ’s Wearable Art Stockings.  The homework was to knit the sock from the cuff to the heel.  I’ve nearly finished one and will probably do my other homework before knitting the second.

Art Stockings 2

Art Stockings 2

The yarn is Classic Elite Yarns Classic One Fifty 100% merino in natural and teal.  I am using US5 – Bryspun needles and I amazingly made gauge.  I guess two color knitting makes me a little tighter.  The one correction I did make as I did not want these to be over the knee stockings, is that I am stopping when they reach ~12 inches long instead of 16.  I guess Meg and Amy are taller than me.

Art Stocking Seam

Art Stocking Seam

There is a seem up the middle of the back of the leg.  I think if I was going to do this again, when my brain is 100% (i.e. no anaesthesia for several months), I would do the contrast color up the center of the seam to make it less obvious.  When decreasing for the ankle, I did a SSK after the seam and a K2tog before it.  This makes the pattern blend into the seam.

Art Stocking 3

Art Stocking 3

For the pattern, I used the simplest one given with the homework.  I really couldn’t deal with anything more complicated.  As it is, there are a few mistakes.  I did correct some, but found that so stressful, that I decided errors were preferable.

It seems odd to be knitting long wool socks in summer, but it seems to be the right project for my convalescence.

Stash from Maryland Sheep and Wool Fest

MSW 2009 Stash

MSW 2009 Stash

Despite the weather – the Saturday of Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival was the second day of a week of rain in these parts, I had a good time at the festival.

I got to eat my annual funnel cake – I only eat this at MSW.  One of my companions commented that she didn’t understand why anyone would want to eat funnel cake, after all it is just fried dough and sugar, and then proceeded to eat hotdogs.

I got to fondle lots of lovely luxurious fibres.  I looked as sheep (the weather was not favorable to photography) and bunnies and lots of gorgeous hand knitted outfits.  I met a few people from Ravelry, which is hard as I mostly lurk so I know them, but they don’t know me.

Yummy Yarns

Yummy Yarns

Oh, and I bought yarn. I would just like to comment that sellers of yarn NEED TO LABEL their yarn or their receipts as I now have two gorgeous hunks hanks of yarn (on the right above), which will be a waistcoat one day soon, but I can only guess that they come from Cavey Family Sheep-Wool Company, either that or I bought the drop spindle from them.

Drop Spindle

Drop Spindle

I know I bought Fizz, left in top photos, from Autumn House Farm, they cleverly told me that it was the last of a specialty run, so I had to buy it!

Jamie Harmons One Ply In Variegated and in Blue

Jamie Harmon's One Ply In Variegated and in Blue

I bought Jamie’s yarn last year, so I had to have more.  The colors are amazing and the yarn (alpaca and merino) is soooooooooooooft.

Sock Yarn to the Rght (Unknown named yarn on the left).

Sock Yarn to the Right (Unknown named yarn on the left).

Finally, I bought sock yarn from Creatively Dyed, won’t the yarn on the right make lovely socks. Mystery yarn is on the left will make a gorgeous waistcoat.  Label your yarns, people!

Oh, I bought some plants from Putnam Hill Nursery who are at MSW every year and I love their plants, as they are cheap and healthy.  My kind of plant.  No photos yet as they were planted before I remembered to take pictures of them.  No doubt you will see them later in the summer when they are flowering in their glory. I bought 3 different salvia.  I have a campaign to grow salvias around my patio.  I am trying to find which ones are hardy perennials and can survive fighting it out with rudbeckia and my form of healthy neglect. I bought five salvias last year, which all died over winter 😦  Wimps.

Yep,  I had a good MSW this year.