Saturday, August 31, 2013

Top Down vs Toe Up Sock Construction

When I first started knitting socks, I was enamored with the idea of toe up socks. All I wanted to knit was toe up socks. I thought I could get a better fit. Over time, I discovered that it was a lot more work to get the foot of a toe up sock to fit me and I became a top down sock convert. Here's why:

Toe Up Advantages:

  • You can use all of your yarn - just knit until you run out
  • Its easy to adjust the size of the sock leg as you go up the leg

    Toe Up Disadvantages:

  • Determining when to start your gusset based on your row gauge and the size of the gusset. This can be tricky if you are particular about the fit of the sock foot. If you fail, you have a lot of knitting to rip back.

    Top Down Advantages:

  • Its easy to get a perfect foot fit.
  • If you don't get a successful fit, you only have to rip out the toe and maybe a few rows of the foot.
  • Getting the leg to fit is a matter of knitting the cuff and some pattern rows. If you don't have a good fit, you don't have much to rip out.

    Top Down Disadvantages:

  • If you run out of yarn before finishing the toe, you need to get creative. If its just the toe, you can always knit a simple toe in a contrasting color.

    What about a heel first sock? I've always thought this would give you the best of both worlds, but I haven't knit one yet. The Double Heelix sock by Jeny Staiman. This pattern can be found in Knitty, First Fall 2011.

    So what is your favorite construction method and why?

  • Wednesday, August 28, 2013

    Knitting in Willow Glen

    The Willow Glen Library knitters have just passed their 1 year anniversary. We have been meeting to knit & crochet on the first and third Tuesday of them month, from 1-3 pm at the Willow Glen Library on Minnesota Avenue in San Jose. We recently expanded by adding our event to Santa Clara Valley Knitting Meetup . So come join us or find a knitting meetup that suits your schedule.

    Saturday, August 24, 2013

    Rain on My Window

    I finally published my first top-down sock design!! My goal was to create a design that had some good stretch and was an easy to knit design. The hardest stitch in this sock is the center double decrease.

    This sock uses a simple pattern that is reminiscent of rain running down a window. Texture is created using center double decreases and yarn overs. Some ribbing is incorporated into the design to give the sock stretch. This top down design uses a standard heel flap construction and ends with a simple rounded toe. The sock looks best in a light to medium solid or semi-solid yarn with a good twist. The pattern will look good in a darker yarn, but the design will become more textural, since the flow of the stitches will not be easily seen.

    I have tested the medium size sock. I have tested the transitions of the large size, but have not knit a complete sock. Please report any issues you may find with the pattern.

    Skills Used:

  • German Twisted Cast on or other stretchy cast on
  • Center Double Decrease
  • Twisted stitches
  • Kitchener
  • Standard heel flap construction
  • Slip stitch heel
  • The pattern is available for free on ravelry. download now