Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just one more

pair of socks to complete before Christmas. Today is the 14th and Christmas is a mere 11 days away. Really I'm not sure if the last pair will be complete by the official day or not. I hope so but will not stress if it is not. That there is only one pair to complete before christmas means that the Old school socks are done and put aside with the other gifts.

Here they are, in all their ruffled glory. Technical details, 54 grams used, which means 46 grams left, enough for a second pair without the ruffle maybe. Needles were signature 2.25mm dpns (lovely to use), pattern was made up, and is to be written up soon for sharing. Sized to fit a UK size 3 foot which is what younger cub has right now. Destined to be work with black mary-janes and a wedge-wood blue print floral dress (that is yet to be made). Or anything else that is cute and clean.

The final pair of socks for 2011, of the seven knitted this year, is KAL aka Keith A... L.... In the last few socks I have knit I have been developing some guidelines for my own use. Things that I always seem to be working out from other patterns and from first principles. Things that I feel I should 'know' or have an opinion on. Things like where the gusset increases should start on a toe up sock. What I have found is that every sock designer has their own placement and proportions - some of which don't feel 'right' on my feet or the socks I knit. When I was knitting top down socks the heel flap was worked over half the sock stitches, and the gusset was formed from stitches picked up from the slipped stitches along the edge of the heel flap. Because the heel flap seemed to be worked as  as square or to a length that equaled the width the number of gusset stitches seemed to be 1/4 the count of the sock. Many toe up pattern work with a gusset that is much smaller than the top down patterns I started with. I've been playing with where to start the gusset shaping as a proportion of the foot if I want the gusset to be 1/4 of the sock count. Having such a deep gusset will let me have a long heel flap - which is what I'd like to achieve in the socks I work to my own patterns. I'm not saying the socks that I knit that others design don't fit - they do, I'm just saying I want a longer heel flap. I've not yet discovered the proportion for the gusset to sole length that will give me the heel flap I want, but I have worked out how to wrap the slip stitches of the heel around the sole of the foot. I'll work the pair the same way as this one ... but in the next pair I aim to extend the slip stitches further along the sole.
CB tantalising sock 2 past the heel

This is not a new idea or unique to me, way back in 2008 I knit Cat Bordhi's Batholomew and in that sock the slip stitches continued under the heel. The idea that slip stitches create a double layer of knit fabric and the result is the slip stitched area is more durable appeals, and why should that stop at the base of the heel?  Bartholomew was was knit top down so continuing the slip stitches round the curve seemed a natural thing to do as it was worked. Now I think I've worked out how to start slip stitches from  under the heel ... and I'll test my method in the second of the pair just to check. This kind of discovery and problem solving is quite exciting and I only had to frog back and rework the heel cup turn-ey bit once!

Take care - only 2.5 more work days before I'm on leave/holiday :D
Just knowing that makes me smile, and yet I'm still pleased at how well the preparation for 2012 teaching is coming along at work.

na Stella


KathyR said...

A longer heel flap is a good thing, I think. Maybe it is because I wear sports shoes/trainers (which have higher backs than "normal" shoes) most of the time but I seem to wear out socks just above the heel flap or where the heel flap would have been if there had been one. A longer one could mean the sock lasts longer. For me, at least. I began another pair of socks this week. It seems like a long time since I last knitted a pair.

Knitting Linguist said...

Something that I tend to do on toe-up socks where I want a heel flap is to knit them exactly as I knit a top-down sock. That means that the heel flap (which I can knit in slip-stitch) is underneath the heel of the foot, if that makes sense (rather than on the back of the heel). That way, I just start the heel flap whenever I'd normally want my gussets to end, and that's how it works out.