Sunday, March 25, 2012

Can You Skew?

Another goal bites the dust. A friend at Green Planet Yarn started the Skew Sock. This is another one of those patterns that has fascinated me for a long time. Since I was looking for another sock to start, this seemed like the appropriate time to start Skew. The sock is knitted on the bias and goes through a couple of phases where its hard to envision the final product. It is easiest to see this in pictures.

The sock's big toe. At this point it looks like a normal toe up sock.
The mid-toe. This section is increasing only on one side in preparation for knitting on the diagonal.
The foot. This section is knit on the diagonal, maintaining a constant width.
The inner ankle. Extra increases are inserted on one side of the sock. At this point there are 84 stitches with 12 stitches between the newly placed ankle markers.
The mini gusset. Additional stitches are added for the gusset. At this point their are 102 stitches on the needles.
The right heel. At this point we are maintaining the 15 heel stitches. The sock is looking pretty bizarre at this point.
The right heel after kitchener and magic happens. Suddenly we have a heel and a sock foot that can be tried on.
The gusset decrease. This section decreases the stitches increased in the previous mini-gusset section. I made some modifications here to increase the size of the leg. I also added a couple of extre repeats to increase the leg length.
The short row leg. Short rows are knitted back and forth to level out the leg in preparation for the cuff.
The finished socks.

My Skew Sock can be found at Amaranth Skew.

This sock is a wonderful use for those highly variegated yarns that we all stash, but don't know how to use them. So take a stash dive for an appropriate skein and start your Skew.

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry


Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits;

Friday, March 16, 2012

My First Dutch Heel

I recently completed the Twirl Sock by "numma numma Yarn". This is the first time I have knit a sock with a Dutch Heel. The sock is a top down sock with a heel flap knit in pattern.

Lets say the heel flap is 36 stitches across, then knit the heel as follows:

Row 1: k23, ssk, turn
Row 2: sl1, p10 p2tog, turn
Row 3: sl1 k10, ssk, turn
Row 4: sl1, p12, p2tog, turn

Repeat rows 3 & 4 until all stitches are worked. Now knit across heel stitches and pick up the appropriate number of stitches along the side of the heel flap. Knit across the instep, in pattern and pick up the appropriate number of stitches on the other side of the heel flap. A few decreases may be needed along the gusset to return you to the correct number of stitches, in the case of this example, 36 stitches.

The finished heel:

How does this heel compare to a traditional heel flap with gusset? The heel created is narrower than the traditional heel flap / gusset combination. The Dutch heel seems to wrap the heel nice and snug. The decrease stitches are at the bottom of the Dutch heel while they are at the back of the heel, where heel flap and sole join, in the traditional heel flap / gusset heel. The dutch heel doesn't have much of a gusset, while the heel flap sock has a gusset. I didn't feel the decrease stitches when walking in the sock, but I can imagine this won't be true for everyone since the heel flap and hence the decrease stitches wrap under the heel. I can also imagine that on a less stretchy pattern, it may be hard to get a sock with this heel on your foot. Guess I need to do more dutch heels.

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry


Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits; Twirl pattern copyright numma numma llc

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Knitting up a Holden

I needed a break from knitting socks, so I decided to knit up a Holden. I had the pattern in my queue along with my target yarn, Malabrigo Sock.

As I do with most my knitting, I skimmed through the pattern and poked around on Ravelry to see what other people had done. One of the interesting things mentioned had to do with an oddity in the pattern repeats. On each side of the shawl would be a number of 13 stitch repeats followed by a 15 stitch repeat followed by a number of 13 stitch repeats.

The oddity was that the 15 stitch repeat added 2 border knit stitches to the 13 stitch repeat. So, I decided to only knit the 13 stitch pattern repeats. In addition, I wanted to have more lace than the pattern called for. Here are my modifications. I also modified the SKP into a K2tog TBL. I made this modification because it was quicker for me to knit. Either stitch works. You are free to use these modifications, but the original pattern has some copyright restrictions which still must be observed.

Prairie Willow's Holden Modifications

Follow the first section up to row 5, then repeat rows 4 & 5 30 times.

At this point you will have 3 edge stitches, 65 body stitches, 1 center stitch, 65 body stitches, and 3 edge stitches. Knit the chart as follows: Row 1: K3, Knit a row from the chart for the required number of repeats, K the center stitch, Knit a row from the chart for the required number of repeats, Knit 3; Row 2: Knit 3, purl, Knit 3. Repeat the chart 3 times and then repeat the first 6 rows once more.

For each repeat of the chart, the pattern (red outline) will be repeated on each side as follows:

Chart RepeatPattern Repeats
15
27
39
4 (first 6 rows only)11

Finish off with the picot bind off specified in the pattern. The pattern doesn't mention which bind off stitch to use, so I used the K2tog TBL bind off.

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry


Photos & charts copyright Prairie Willow Knits; Original Holden pattern copyright Mindy Wilkes

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Classes at Stitches West

This is the first year that I took classes at Stitches West. I took 2 classes from Cookie A and a knitting ergonomics class. Both Cookie A classes were interesting. The first class was traveling stitches. A little too much storytelling analogies for my taste, but good overall. The second Cookie A class was intuitive cable chart reading. This was a much better class and I can now read cable charts - yeah! The interesting thing in the Cookie A classes, is that there were people who took her classes just because she was teaching them. Personally, if I'm choosing classes, I choose them because I want to learn the topic of the class. Hopefully they learned something new about knitting along the way.

My third class was a Knitting Ergonomics class. I would highly recommend this class for all knitters. We should all be aware of how our body responds to the task of knitting. Having gone through the start of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and Ulnar nerve problems from computing, I know I don't want to go through the same problems with knitting. So, keep an eye out for this class and take it! Protect your ability to knit.

Would I take classes again? Most definately. I took one class a day, which gave me time to peruse the market.

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry

Friday, March 2, 2012

Trouble with Oeste

The February Stephen West Shawl is "Oeste". In an earlier post, I selected 3 yarns that I might use. I finally decided upon Malabrigo "Chocolate Amargo" and "Primavera".

When the pattern arrived I was not a happy camper. I really didn't like the pattern. I started knitting the first triangle anyway. I liked the color combination, but still, didn't like the pattern. It was such a waste to use these two colors on a shawl I really don't like. So, I'm not doing the shawl. Life is too short to knit something you really don't like.

Ok, Ok, I know, this seems to contradict what I said earlier about "Sharktooth". Sharktooth presented me with some interesting knitting. I learned how to do the picot bind off and how to modify the back of the shawl so that it had some detail. Oeste doesn't provide me with any of these things. Oeste requires the knitter to knit and bind off seven triangles, then knit the back piece. The final shawl/scarf is created by sewing together the pieces - no interesting new techniques here.

While I'm not planning on knitting this shawl, I know a couple people who are knitting it. Once I see the finished product I might change my mind. In the meantime, I need to figure out what to do with these lovely yarns, another Chadwick maybe?

 

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry.


Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits