Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Playing with Stripes

It's a new month (I know -- I'm as surprised as you are!), so there's a bit of catching up to do.

First of all, I finished up my July socks over the weekend, not quite at the last minute but close enough that I was starting to worry.

Pattern: my basic sock recipe, with a twist (see below)
Yarn: Desert Vista Dyeworks Viso in Seven-Year Itch
Needles: US 0 (2.0 mm) Addi Sock Rockets
Started/Completed: July 2/July 29

I'm guessing that most serious sock knitters have their own plain vanilla recipe memorized and can do it without referring to notes or a pattern. For me, that's a 70-stitch cuff-down sock starting with two inches of 3x2 ribbing, a 7 in. leg, a traditional heel flap and gusset, and a wide toe. Occasionally, though, I like to change things up a bit. I decided to substitute a simultaneous heel flap and gusset for these to try to keep the striping pattern a little more intact.

A simultaneous heel flap and gusset sounds a little complicated, but (much like turning a heel), once you've done it once, it's much more simple than it seems. The basic concept is this: Working the same number of rounds as you would work rows for a traditional heel flap, you alternate rounds of the heel stitch (slip 1, knit 1) with plain stockinette on the stitches that make up your heel flap. At the same time, on the rounds that you're working the heel stitch on the heel stitches, you increase one stitch on either side of the instep to form the gusset. Once you've increased the required amount and gotten the full length out of your heel flap, you turn the heel and then decrease most of the added gusset stitches by working back and forth over the remaining heel stitches, working an ssk at the end of RS rows and a p2tog at the end of WS rows. Once you're back to your original total stitch count, you resume working in the round again. As you can see, it helps to maintain the striping pattern a lot better, and an added benefit is that you wind up with a reinforced flap under the heel if you continue working the heel stitch over those stitches (as I do).

This was my first time working with this yarn (it came in the Knit Girllls anniversary kit that arrived earlier in the summer), and I quite liked it. It's a thin fingering but has multiple plies, so it has great stitch definition. I definitely wouldn't work it on anything larger than a 2.0 mm needle, though, to get a durable fabric.

August socks have not been cast on yet, but I'm sure they will be soon. We have a vacation trip coming up, so I may use my socks as my travel project.

Meanwhile, I am still plugging away at my Driftwood Tee, which I've somehow convinced myself I can finish before we go on vacation so I can wear it there. There isn't all that much to the garment -- just two pieces that are seamed together, but I'll admit I might be a bit delusional in thinking that I can get everything done by then (in addition to knitting and spinning other things, working full time, and packing).

Next in the series of "Things I Keep Meaning to Knit but Never Get Around to Actually Knitting," I've cast on for my fourth and final Kerameia Cowl, again using leftovers from the original samples. I thought this would be good lunch break knitting for the week, as it should only take me a few days to finish it up.

I've got plans to cast on a brioche hat as soon as the cowl is done, and I've already begun plotting my vacation knitting plans for our trip to Cape Cod in about a week and a half.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I love this heel idea! Hmmm, I might even have some stripey sock yarn to test this out with! Thank you!