Thursday, April 26, 2012



Saturday, October 21, 2006

Hi, I'm back!

The eternal project is finished, and it is a very strange feeling! The Palm Tree socks are ready for wearing, if I can bring myself to take them off Flash the Peacock's tail - they look so good there! They are a copy of a pair at the Textile Museum in Washington D.C. knit some time between the 11th and 14th centuries. They were a hot subject of discussion on HistoricKnit in the beginning of 2003, and I decided I really did want to knit them. I sent off for slides of both sides of the sock and charted the pattern. The only thing I didn't copy as exactly as possible was the heel, since the original was only half as deep as mine, like the heel in this medieval Egyptian sock.

The other socks on the peacock's tail are ones I happened to wash at the same time. I am rather pleased with how the entrelac socks turned out. They are knit in the round from (Opal) self-striping yarn based on several different on-line patterns.

The purple socks are the "Baltic socks" from a German knit-along.

The blue and sand-colored socks are "Making Waves" from the Six Sox Knitalong.


Friday, March 03, 2006

Well, my poor Team Wales socks are finally (almost) done!

Here is what they looked like when the flame went out:

Here is what they look like now:

And why I say they are almost done:

The project was a success. I designed a sock and tried out several techniques that were new to me.

What I learned

When they recommend shortrowing down to approximately 1/3 of the original number of heel stitches, they know what they are talking about. I was knitting a 72-stitch sock, which means I was knitting the heel on 36 stitches. So I should have stopped decreasing when there were 12 stitches left at the center of the row.

However, I was following the Sherman heel at http://knitlist.com/2002/ToeUpSock.htm
which is knit on 26, not 36 stitches. I followed the pattern blindly all the way down to 8 stitches. Oops. 8 is roughly 1/3 of 26, but not even close to 1/3 of 36. I plan to try snipping a thread at the very tip of these pointy little heels and pick up a row of stitches on either side of the row with the snip. With any luck I will be able to tink and/or pick out stitches back to a more reasonable number (12) and kitchener these together. It will be interesting to see how the corner stitches behave.

Festive knitting worked very nicely for the dragons. Two details needed special attention.

I discovered that the red stitches at the beginning and end of each row looked best if I twisted the two yarns one white stitch beyond the pattern on either side. This meant that when I was slipping for red stitches and knitting white stitches I would knit one white stitch after slipping for the last red before twisting the yarns and working back. It is also important not to twist both coming and going. If you do, you can end up with a little red vertical bar that can show on the front.

Long floats
There were some very long stretches of red stitches, which would have resulted in very long white floats. When you are knitting two-stranded, you can pick up two or three stitches from underneath the long strand as you are knitting, which will anchor the float without showing through. When you are slipping and knitting, you can get the same result by lifting the long float up onto your lefthand needle for a couple of stitches. You just let it ride there while you knit those stitches, then let it slip off again.

The combination gusset and short row heel was also a success. I made the heel flap about the width of my thumb, in heel stitch. The heel stitch makes it stronger, but also pulls the fabric inn a little, so the sock is not baggy around the ankle. I slipped the first stitch of each row to make a nice chainlike edge to pick up stitches through. At my gauge with the width of my thumb, this was 14 rows, making 7 to pick up in each side. But before picking up stitches in the sides of my little heel flap, I changed to white and made a short row heel on the end of the flap. I ended the SR heel on the side where the green yarn was waiting

After the SR heel, I changed back to green and picked up my heel flap stitches. I decreased the gusset stitches in the usual way every other row until I was back to the original number of stitches. This small gusset eliminates the strain at the corners of the short row heel, and together with the short heel flap, is a nice solution of the problem that short row heels can be a bit too shallow.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Well, no gold medal here! I was sooooo close - about 400 stitches left when the flame went out. I did learn a lot from this project. After a good night's sleep, I will make an attempt to share my results.


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Decisions, decisions. I've been testing various related heels known as
Strong Heel
No Pickup Gusset Heel (Laurie Bolland)
Tongue River Non-stop Heel
and I don't think these are the heel for this sock. I think the sock will look best with white heels and toes to tie in with the white top, so a flap heel or a short-row heel would be the thing. This brings us back to the first heel I tested. The "Niantic heel" turns out to be a short row heel with gussets. The white part could be the short row section, and the little heel flap and gussets would disappear into the main body of the sock.

I am knitting with Sisu yarn, which I previously have sucessfully knit on 2mm needles with a 72 stitch cast on. Just in case it might be a little loose, I'll put in some ribbing down the back a la Nancy Bush (Knitting on the Road).

This should look something like this:

(Got it! "No fill" comes out black, white comes out white. On white paper in Word, you cannot see the difference!)

We watched the opening ceremony, waiting for the flame to be lit. Hans was envisioning three thousand knitters around the world all poised with their needles ready to cast on as the flame leapt up. I was tinking a heel sample that wasn't working out. Our Norwegian commentators liked the pulsating heart (for passion) best, but Hans and I liked the ski-jumper. Both figures were formed by dancers in various colored garments, moving around the floor of the stadium.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The weekend in the mountains was a success, and one heel (Niantic) is tested. It fits well, and is still a candidate.

I also have a chart ready - which should be a good one to learn Festive Knitting on.

The black squares should, of course, be white. On the original picture they are, so I don't know what has happened here! I haven't managed to get the loop in his tail, but I think the overall effect is fairly recognizable! Comments and suggestions would be welcome.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

I have signed up for the 2006 Knitting Olympics and joined Team Wales via the Frapper map. (Too late to get my name on the Roster, unfortunately!)

Since half the fun will be talking progress, here should be a good place to do this.

Until the flame is lit, we are limited to training and getting in shape. Here in Norway, my project is a self-designed sock with a new-to-me heel. If two socks are to be completed by the time the flame goes out, I had better start choosing that heel NOW. That means I will be in hard training for the next few days!

Candidates so far:
Strong Heel
Auto Heel
Boomerang Heel from Regia
Short Row Heel with gussets
Niantic Heel
Stepped Heel

Hans and I are invited to the mountains for the weekend - what better time to start experimenting than while all the pure Norwegians (and the Dane, if he is along again this year) are out skiing.

Team Wales has a set of really cool buttons - I hope to figure out soon how to place one here.