Monday, 25 June 2012
One Step at a Time
I finally finished my sock on Friday night. Yes, that's right, sock. Singular. I still have to knit the other one.
The pattern is available free from Ravelry. It's David's Toe-Up Sock Cookbook, and it's great because it allows you to make a sock according to your own measurements. You measure the length of your foot and around the widest part of your foot. You also do a tension swatch to see how many stitches per inch. From this you do a few calculations and fill in the blanks in the pattern. Hey presto, a pattern tailored for your foot.
I cast on following Judy's Magic Cast On as recommended in the instructions. It's a very clever and neat technique. The video demonstrates this technique with one set of circulars using the Magic Loop method, which suits me as that is the method I wanted to use. There is a tail, that needs to be woven in at the end, but I think when I do the other sock, I will knit it into the sock along with the working yarn. I must confess that I just remembered now that I haven't yet woven that end in. It's on the inside of the sock though, so no-one can see it. Oops!
For the increases, I just worked into the front and back of the stitches I was increasing on. There is another method suggested that is supposed to be neater, but with the busy yarn I was using, I felt there wasn't going to be much difference, and it looks fine. If I were to knit with a plainer yarn, I pobably would try the other method.
When I did the short rows for the heels, I could really see the difference in my tension between purl and knit. At the very beginning of constructing the sock, when David tells you to do the swatch, he says to knit it in the round, but doesn't actually say why. When you knit in the round, all your stitches are knit stitches. When you knit back and forth, to get stocking stitch, one row is plain, then the other purl. Since they are different stitches they have different tensions. I can really see the difference in the heel. My tension here is way tighter than the rest of the sock. I guess I am more relaxed knitting plain?
I made a bit of a boo-boo at the top of the heel flap. One side of the sock worked perfectly, the other not so much. Of course, I took the picture above with the bad side showing. You might notice the little hole? Right at the top of the yellow strip below the ankle? The other side is perfect :D Hopefully I will get both sides right when I knit the other sock.
To make my sock more exciting than just stocking stitch, I worked the top of the foot and the leg in a kind of rib. Three plain, one purl. I basically then kept going until I was half way through the yarn. I used my kitchen scales to check it the weight of the ball periodically, and then, when I was close I just unwound the amount I had left until I was half way. I will just knit the other sock to match. If you do it this way, it is a good idea to weigh the yarn before you start. My ball actually weighed 103g. I made sure that my leftover ball weighed 53g. I started the rib at the top of the sock when it weighed 57g. I should theoretically have about 3g left over when I am done. Better than running out and ending up with one sock shorter than the other!
For casting off, I used this method, sort of. I'm not sure if you are supposed to just do it in knit or purl, but I did it matching my knit, purl, knit, purl rib. I found the knit stitches a little tricky to be honest. David mentions a tubular cast off, I might try that on my next pair of socks. (Ummm... once I know what that is) The cast off I used is nice and stretchy, and looks fine though.
Overall, I am pretty happy with my sock. The only issue is that the sock has no shaping above the ankle. It is a little tight over my calves. It fits ok, but could be a little looser. I would recommend that if you intend to make a longer sock, unless you have nice, skinny legs,(lucky you), then you might want to do a bit of increasing part way up the leg. I wasn't really sure about how to do this without messing up my stitch pattern.