Saturday, April 12, 2008

Another pair of socks done

I call them my Monster in the Basement socks, but really they are just simple toe-up socks using fabulous self-striping yarn. . .

Yarn: Vesper Sock Yarn, colorway Tainted Love
Needles: size 1 bamboo dpns
Gauge: roughly 7 1/2 stitches per inch

Here's the big picture:

For those readers who are more curious, or those who are reeaaalllly bored and are killing time at work, oh, and for my future reference, here are the specifics:

I started the toes with a figure-8 cast on, 10 stitches per needle, 20 stitches total. Used red reinforcement thread, to add strength and a little atmosphere.

I knitted 2 rounds, somewhere in there knitting on 4 dpns instead of 2 and adding a marker to note beginning of the round.

Started to increase as follows:
Round #1: Needle 1 - knit 1, make 1, knit to end. Needle 2 - knit to last 2 sts, make 1, knit 1. Needle 3 - same as Needle 1. Needle 4 - same as Needle 2.
Round #2: knit all

Repeated Rounds 1 & 2 until there were 13 stitches on each needle, 52 stitches total. Stopped using the reinforcement thread.

Knitted until the foot was about 2" shorter than my foot is, and started the short row heel.

Here I did a bit of stripe engineering. Before starting the heel, I set aside the yarn that I had been knitting with (currently in the green stripe), but did not cut it. From the other end of the skein, I cut a length of yarn that would be more than enough to knit the heel with (starting with brown, then red, and then green), and started knitting with this. Also added in some red reinforcement thread.

I threaded a piece of yarn through the 26 instep stitches and removed the needles they were on. Then I started working the short-row heel by knitting 25 of the heel stitches and wrapping the last stitch. Knitted and wrapped until there were 12 unwrapped stitches left, and then unwrapped, knitted, double-wrapped, etc until the heel was done.

I stopped knitting with my heel yarn and started using the yarn I had set aside, so I was back at the same place in the green stripe where I had left off. Put the instep stitches back on their needles and began knitting in the round again.

Added an extra stitch (make 1) in between the heel and instep needles on the first round after the heel. Decreased back to 13 stitches on each needle during the next round.

Knitted even until the leg part above the heel measured 5" long. Then I increased like this: knit 1, make 1, knit to last 2 sts, k1, m1, k last stitch.

Worked even until the leg measured 6 1/4" above the heel. Increased another 2 stitches the same way.

Started the ribbed cuff: knit 2, purl 2 for about 1 1/4".

To keep the tops nice and stretchy, I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off.

In conclusion, toe-up socks are pretty fun! I like that I don't have to fuss with picking up stitches and gusset decreases for the heel. I will make more, especially when I want to keep my stripes in order.

Sources: Wendy Johnson's figure-8 cast on and EZ's sewn bind off from; Jill's Short-Row Toe Socks; "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement" by The Ramones.

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