Archive for the “wendy's toe-up gusset sock” Category

This afternoon I went again to the LYS for an hour or so of knitting. I had a plan; I was going to finish the gusset and turn the heel of a sock that I hadn't expected to give me any trouble. As I got to the heel turn, I measured it up against the first sock and was surprised to find that my stripes were off by several rows. I'm usually more even with my gauge than that. (There was that one time that I knit several seriously tight rows on a scarf whilst having a stress-inducing conversation with my ex-mother-in-law, but other than that... *grin*)

I counted stitches, I checked the pattern, and then I realized... I'd made a mistake. I was supposed to have done the gusset over 34 stitches, not 32. The instep was supposed to have 30 stitches, not 32. I didn't hesitate; I pulled the needles out of the sock and ripped back to just before I'd started the increases. Then I heaved a sigh, said something like "rassum frassum yar grr rar stupid sock, stupid gusset, arr yar grr rar," and got the stitches back onto the needles, all in the right order, and lined up so that the heel will be in the proper orientation to the toe (I hope).

After that I didn't really feel like knitting any more. But it's ready to go... when I've forgiven it.

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On Sunday I went to my parents' house to celebrate Mother's Day, and after lunch we sat on the screen porch and I helped Mom with the heel turn on her very first sock (and put some stripes on my own sock while I was at it). Here are the mother and daughter socks:

Knitting with other people is cool, but there's something extra-special about knitting with my mom. L'dor v'dor, from generation to generation, this is what happy memories are made of. I'm going to have to start knitting around the nieceling in hopes that she takes an interest.

(Mom thought I would write it up to be embarrassing that she needed help with the heel turn but I didn't, so there. And just in case, I will point out that on my Very First Sock, I was so confused about the heel turn that I set the sock aside and knit another project or two before I convinced myself to just do it. First heel turns *are* confusing and I wouldn't hold it against anyone for needing a little help or guidance.)

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Finally, this sock that's been traveling around with me since Thanksgiving is finished. (Now I have to knit its mate. Such is the way of socks.) I wanted to do a toe-up sock, but the usual short-row heels don't fit entirely right, so I went looking for different methods. This pattern from Wendy Johnson has a gusset and an interesting heel shape. It fits pretty well, though I'm not sure about the thick stripes on the heel section. This pattern would probably look better with a semi-solid or variegated yarn. I made the socks quite tall - almost too tall, as the ribbed cuff is stretching to fit over the bottom of my calf muscle. Once they're washed they'll probably be just perfect.

I used a figure-eight toe with sixteen loops, which has worked well, but on my next toe-up socks I'm going to experiment and try fourteen loops for a slightly longer toe with a wee bit more tapering. One change I made to the pattern was to extend the length of the gusset, and I'm glad I did. I snuck in six extra rounds during the gusset increases to accommodate my extra-long feet. The socks would have been too short otherwise, and probably too tight over the instep. I'm glad it worked out well; I would have been grumpy if they hadn't fit right and I had to rip out the whole heel and gusset section!

I couldn't resist taking a picture of the sock perched in the redbud tree. This is the only one in my yard, but I see them everywhere and I love them. Maybe this year I'll take some cuttings from my tree and try rooting them! Having a line of redbuds in the yard would be beautiful. I could alternate them with forsythia for the best spring colour ever. We're supposed to have nice weather this weekend; perhaps I'll put in some time outside working on the flowerbeds... when I'm not working on the second sock. I'd like to go for a walk too, or maybe get back on the bike. Lots to do!

Spring on the mountain is just so pretty.

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The speed at which I've been knitting lately has given me a boost of confidence and renewed my energy for knitting. Two hats in five working days, a pair of armwarmers in less than ten hours? When I first started knitting, I never would have dreamed that I could crank out finished products so quickly. (And now, I'm making excuses like "well, it's worsted yarn, it's not like it was a pair of socks or anything.")

So here I am, considering that it's eleven weeks to Maryland Sheep and Wool, and wondering how many of my current WIPs I can finish before then so that I can feel no guilt about buying more yarn or fibre. (I'm rather pleased that I've used all the yarn I've bought so far this year. Three balls of yarn in, three balls of yarn out.)

Currently on the needles, I have the neglected Stripey Striped Socks, the not-yet-forgotten Napramach, my current traveling sock (I've just realized I've never taken a picture of it, nor of the last pair of socks I finished! Must rectify that.) and the light and airy Dancing Cranes stole.

The stole doesn't need to be finished until the middle of October, but I know it will take a while, so I want to keep up with adding at least a row every day, and preferably two. With around 60 or 90 rows left to work, depending on whether I choose to do three or four pattern repeats, I don't want to risk the chance of not finishing it in time. I do like working on it, but it's a solitary sort of project, and I don't always want to lock myself away to work on it.

The sock will just travel around with me until it's finished - I've almost completed the first of the pair, and then the second will take up residence in my purse. When I'm done with that one, the second Stripey Striped Sock can become my traveling companion if I haven't yet finished it at home. It's not the best sock for the job, but it'll have to do, because I really want it to be done.

Napramach... I actually don't know how long it will take for me to finish this thing! It took me six weeks to make the first half of it, and I seem to be knitting much faster now. Maybe three weeks? Then blocking, crocheting the sides together, and sewing in the lining, and it's done. I'm guessing that my friend has probably forgotten about the bag by now, or if she hasn't forgotten then she's given up hope that I'll ever finish it for her. It will be a nice surprise for her when it's finished - she only knew that I was making a bag for her, but I never told her what it would look like!

The bonus prize of finishing Napramach will be that I'll have most of each of six colourways of Rowan Felted Tweed to play with after the bag is done. I'm thinking of designing a colourwork hat with the leftovers; there should be more than enough, and I already know how nicely the colours go with one another. The second bonus prize will be on my yearly tally, because I'll be able to cross off six balls of yarn from my count! I wonder if I should cross off all six balls, because I bought them specifically for this project? Or do I mark each of them as half-used, since there will be enough to make another project?

The Stripey Striped Socks are close to the heel on the second sock, and I can't seem to find my notes on how many heel stitches I left unworked in the centre of the short-row heel. I think I scribbled them on a tiny piece of paper, not expecting nearly two years to fly by between sock heels. I'll count stitches on the first sock and try to get the second sock as close as I can.

I'm going to love each of these projects when they're done. And I hate having the Stripey Striped Socks and Napramach hanging over my head. I see them and think I ought to put some rows on them, and then I go do something else. It's time to crack down and get these projects done and off the WIPs list so that I can start new things. At the same time, I don't want to burn out on knitting again; I know that's more likely to happen when I'm forcing myself to work on projects that I don't like as much. I'm just going to work steadily on these four projects until they're done, and I won't start anything new until at least both pairs of socks are finished. Then, of course, I'll need a new traveling sock.

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