My colorwork sock is feeling a bit neglected. I’ve had clients in town this past week. I’m also working on an urgent stealth knitting project. Both of these events have caused this poor little sock to get shoved in the bottom of my knitting bag. Hopefully, things will calm down soon, and I can give it the attention that it deserves.
I received a handful of questions about the notes on my vest project, so I thought I’d write a few tutorials to address them.
The tubular cast on has a few things really going for it. It’s very stretchy, and it has a very polished look. When used, there is no discernible cast on edge, which appeals to some people. If you work a tubular bind off, the bind off edge looks like your cast on edge. There is a possible downside to this cast on in that it can flair a bit. The best way to combat this is to work the cast on using a needle one size smaller than you would use for the ribbing. For example, if you work your rib on an US 6 needle, work the tubular cast on using an US 5.
There are actually a few ways to execute this cast on. My preferred method is to start with a provisional cast on using waste yarn, and then switching to the working yarn. You will need to provisionally cast on roughly half of the number of desired stitches. The formula to compute the number of stitches is (X + 1)/2, where X is the desired number of stitches. For this example, I wanted 19 stitches, so I used the provisional cast on to work (19+1)/2 = 10 stitches. That does bring up the caveat which is the tubular cast on will always yield an odd number of stitches when worked flat. If you want an even number of stitches, you can always increase or decrease after the ribbing is complete.
My favorite provisional cast on involves crocheting some chain stitches directly onto the knitting needle.
Provisional Cast On
- Form a slip knot.
- Chain 5 stitches.
- Place the knitting needle to the left of the crochet needle.
- Wrap the yarn around the knitting needle.
- Draw the yarn through the loop.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you’ve worked the desired number of stitches.
- Chain an additional 5 stitches.
- Break the yarn and pull the tail of the yarn through the last stitch.
- Tie a couple of additional knots into the end of the waste yarn where you finish the chain stitches. (This helps you remember from which end to unzip.)
Tubular Set Up
- [Knit 1, Yarn Over] X Times, Knit 1. Turn Work.
Where X equals the number of stitches on the needle minus 1 (in this example, it’s 9).
- [WYIF SL 1, Yarn Back, K1] X times; WYIF SL 1. Turn Work.
- [K1, WYIF SL 1, Yarn Back] X times; K1. Turn Work.
- Repeat the last two rows.
Where X still equals 9 in this example.
At this point, you can work the K1, P1 ribbing using a slightly larger needle. After working 4 rows of ribbing, you can unzip the provisional cast on and remove the waste yarn. No need to worry, ribbing is magical and won’t unravel.
The big ball of fire in the sky is hiding, so these photos look a little dark. That said, I finished the first sock except for weaving in the ends. I’ll confess to ripping out the leg once, and then ripping out the foot once to tweak it a bit. The downside of making things up as you go along is that you may not always be happy with the result.
I’m really please with how this has finally turned out. The patterning is asymmetrical, which seems to really appeal to me these days.
Now I’m debating about what to do for the second sock. I’m feeling the need to make a fraternal pair. I guess I’ve been infected with some asymmetrical bug. That means that I’ll have to give some thought to the patterning before casting on. In all likelihood, I’ll rip again.
Looking at some of these pictures, I really should give this sock a working over with the lint brush. Thanks kitties.
I’ve started playing around with some colorwork. I briefly considered starting a sweater or a vest, but I found myself a bit paralyzed by the thought of choosing 10 – 12 colors, so I opted for a pair of socks instead with only two colors. I’ve accumulated not a small amount of Plucky Feet over the past year. I had an extra skein of Lincoln, which pairs well with Singin’ the Blues.
In case you’re wondering, yes, that sock is inside out. That’s not because I’m hiding anything. I always knit colorwork socks inside out. It makes the floats a little longer, which yields a better fit. Colorwork is the enemy of negative ease, and negative ease is the thing that makes socks magical. One of the tips for resolving this discrepancy is to knit inside out.
The pattern is of my own devising, and is loosely based on some images that I saw on Pinterest. For the longest time, I didn’t get Pinterest. It was used extensively for the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long, which prompted me to start poking around. That turned into a total time suck. The big outcome of poking around is that I think I get it now.
On a completely different note, thanks for all the comments and emails on my vest. The positive feedback is always great to hear. There have been requests for a pattern, and I’m taking that under advisement. I think it would be fun to write a pattern for something that is not a sock, but if I do this, I need to resolve the issue with the cable pattern being copyrighted by Vogue.
Tagged with: colorwork
Posted in Knitting
It’s finished!!!! It is a very warm vest. Given that this winter has some teeth, I’m not complaining. I’m pleased to say that the shoulder width is perfect (unlike my last vest). The body is a little longer than I’d like. The downside of knitting this flat is that you can’t really try it on to see if it fits. That said, I’m happy to turn up the bottom and no one will be the wiser. I seem to have an issue when I’m knitting where I think I’m either taller or shorter than I actually am.
To recap, I used just over two mega-skeins of Alpaca with a Twist Baby Twist in the Rust (5003) colorway worked on US 5 needles. I started with a tubular cast on, and then worked the Op Art chart from Vogue® Knitting Stitchionary® Volume Two: Cables: The Ultimate Stitch Dictionary from the Editors of Vogue® Knitting Magazine (Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Series). I used a three needle bind off for the shoulder seams, and then mattress stitched the side seams together. Then I picked up stitches for the arm and neck bands, worked k1, p1 ribbing, and then used a tubular bind off.
I’m really pleased with the way this all came together. I also overcame my resistance to seaming pieces together. I relied upon Finishing School: A Master Class for Knitters and a few youtube videos to walk me through the mattress stitch. Now I really don’t know why I was so resistant.
Now I need to figure out what my next project will be. I’m torn between color work and cables.
Tagged with: original
Posted in Knitting