Special Deliveries

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One day this week, I got home and found a package in my mailbox. I assumed this was an amazon delivery that I had forgotten about. When I got into the house, I took a closer look at the package and realized this was from Skienny Dipping Yarns. Christine had contacted me a while back about providing some yarn support, and now these lovelies are in my hot little hands.

From left to right, these are MCS Luxe Sock in Two Bit Hussy, Underbelly in Cannon Ball Sock, Emerald Necklace in Penelope Sock. The colors are beautiful, and I have plans for all of these lovelies. Sadly, much of these plans must remain confidential for now. Not to worry, in time, all will be revealed. It’s a safe bet that socks may be involved.

Posted in Knitting, yarn Tagged with:

July Randomness

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I find myself with no specific topic to blog about, but I do have a few random things to share.

I finished the first Ellington sock and have started the second. I’m looking forward to see these post wash. The tencel in the yarn means the socks are a bit stiff prior to blocking. That said, I like the way they are turning out. I’m really glad I choose a skein of tarte because the first sock weighs in at 62 grams.

In a few weeks, members of the Barking Dogs Yarns Sock Club will be treated (or at least I hope they feel that way) to one of my original designs. The pattern will be exclusive to the club for a while, and should be available to the general public next year.

I share that last bit because this leads to the next piece of randomness. Suzan, the proprietor of Barking Dogs Yarns, has generously offered to sponsor a KAL for my patterns. I think it’s very gracious of her to do this. I’ve started a group over on ravelry to host the KAL. The KAL starts in August and will run through September. If you’re a member of Sock Knitters Anonymous, I suspect you’re familiar with the format that I’ll be following. When all is said and done, someone will win a lovely prize provided by Suzan. I hope everyone who participates has fun. More details will be announced when I figure out what it is that I’m actually doing.

I have to confess that it feels a bit weird starting a ravelry group all about the awesomeness that is me. I’m a colossal introvert, and I struggled with some strangeness before creating this group. I do think it will be good for me to have the group since it will encourage me to get out of my shell. I’ve added a link to the sidebar if you want to check it out. Don’t worry, I still plan on blogging. Feel free to join the group even if you plan on just lurking. Lord knows, I lurk in quite a few groups over there myself. :)

Posted in Knitting, random, sock Tagged with: ,

Heels, Toes, and Sock Knitting Resources

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Regardless of the method that you choose to resize your sock, you’ll need to work out the details for the heel and the toe. Honestly, the easiest way to do this is to grab another pattern that you already have in your library and follow those instructions. As a general rule of thumb, a heel flap contains the same number of rows as it does stitches rounded up to an even number. When determining the number of stitches to turn the heel, there is some math involved. Rather than reminding everyone of high school algebra, I’m going to refer you to Cookie’s Sock Innovation. It’s somewhat ironic that I suggest this book since all of the patterns are written for one size. That said, Cookie provides a tremendous amount of material in the beginning of the book for resizing sock patterns. She also includes a table that you can use to rework the heel turn.

The general rule for short row heels is to divide your stitch count roughly by 3. One-third of the stitches will appear on the right side of the turn, one-third on the left, and one-third on the right.

Resizing toes are fairly straightforward. You need to decrease by 4 stitches every other round until you have one half the number of stitches that you started with. I like to add three additional rounds where the stitches are decreased on each round. It’s not a requirement, but it does mean fewer stitches to kitchener.

Someone mentioned in the comments, Charlene Schurch’s Sensational Knitted Socks. This is the first sock book that I ever bought, and I also have the follow-up More Sensational Knitted Socks. Even if you don’t use any of the charts that she provides in the books, she provides heel and toe instructions for both cuff down and toe up.

Lastly, the Wendy Knits blog includes some free patterns for vanilla toe up socks. She provides three types of heels (slipped stitch, short row, and the gusset heel). If you are resizing a toe up pattern, you can substitute Wendy’s toe and heel instructions from the vanilla patterns.

This wraps up my series on sock resizing. I hope it was helpful. Feel free to add any additional tips in the comments.

I’m also happy to say that I’ve finished the last of my stealth projects (for now at least). This has allowed me to make some serious progress with Ellington.

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Posted in Knitting, sock, Tutorial Tagged with: ,

Grading Charts

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Grading the charts in a pattern offers the most flexibility for changing sizes, but it does require a bit of thought and work. What grading means is to essentially alter the chart in the pattern to widen or narrow it while retaining the original concept of the design. A simple example would be changing this cable to something either smaller or wider.

Example 1

Sometimes widening or narrowing the chart can also lengthen or shorten the pattern. A really good example of this appears in the Ellington socks that I am slowly making progress on. Cookie includes 3 sizes in this pattern, and this is accomplished by grading this element.

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This works for lace charts as well as cables. In this example, the original chart is 16 columns wide. The smaller chart has been reduced to 12 stitches, but retains the look and feel of the original design.

Example 2

While you can fly by the seat of your pants, I do suggest swatching if you are going to play around with the charts. Your gauge could be altered in the case of widening cables. It’s also a good idea to make a swatch to ensure you like the look of it after it’s altered. The stitch count may work, but once the chart has been knitted, it may not look that appealing.

All you really need to grade charts is some graph paper, a pencil, and some imagination. There are no hard and fast rules for what to do. Keep in mind that if you want a smaller sock, a wider chart with fewer repeats may be the answer, so don’t limit yourself into thinking that smaller socks must mean smaller repeats. The same thing goes for larger socks.

Posted in Knitting, sock, Tutorial Tagged with: ,

Ellington Update

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IMG_4439_WEBI’m super swamped this weekend, so I thought I’d share a quick Ellington update. The leg is a little bit longer.

I have a couple more sock resizing blog posts in the queue. I’ll publish them when life is a little less chaotic.

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