Pretty in Pink

Lily was so excited to finally get her bright pink socks this weekend.

Lily

Lily

We started our first lesson today.

I casted on the stitches and she worked a few knit rows while I sat behind her directing her hands. She came up with a unique way of holding the needles so that she could throw the yarn and not drop stitches. Hopefully grandma will keep up the lessons.

While I was away the postal service attempted to deliver a package from Club Direct Laine. It’s got to be my order of Bergereine yarn!

Lily, your socks are done!

Whisper Rib & Sheperd's Lace Socks As I write this entry I’m listening to French hip-hop rap accordion music  by Java. I acquired this unique CD after listening to an NPR music review while on the way home from a Java programming class a couple years ago. At that time, I appreciated the music as well as the coincidence between the group’s name and my choice of programming languages.

This morning I noticed that the coincidences continue.  The woman on the cover is holding knitting needles and yarn although she doesn’t appear to actually know how to knit. On the back cover there’s a picture of her grasping the needles in an “X” position and the yarn is draped around the needles in a tangled mess. Not to take this too seriously, but it’s funny how others perceive knitting as only a kitschy thing. I guess we can blame that on knitted toilet paper covers and the like.

Here are the completed socks. I’ll be giving them to Lily in a couple of weeks and hope to get better photos then.

Since I started from the cuff I had to close the toes using the Kitchener stitch. I can never remember how to do this from memory so I decided to capture pictures of the process.

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Instep on One Circular

Yesterday I showed the sock that’s being worked on two circulars. Today I’ll show the other one that’s being worked on one circular. Here’s how it looked after I picked up all the heel flap stitches.

mloop_instep

It’s really not difficult to get the stitches rearranged. After all the heel stitches were worked I pulled the cable between half of the heel stitches, creating a loop to the right side. Next, I created a loop on the left side between the two halves of the instep stitches. At this point I was set to proceed with picking up stitches along the heel flap and working half of the instep stitches.

With half of the stitches on one side of the cable I was now ready to start the second half of the sock by flipping it so that the loop was on the left side. I positioned the needles to work the rest of the instep stitches, pick up stitches from the other side of the heel flap and knit the remaining heel stitches.

Dutch Heel

Despite my fondness for socks with short row heels, I’ve decided to stick to the pattern which, calls for a traditional heel flap and Dutch heel for these Estonian socks. The rugged heel stitch used on the flap is continued while turning the heel, making it quite a durable heel. The end result is a very square heel.

whisper Rib instep After the heel was turned, I picked up stitches along the heel flaps and readjusted so that each round now starts at the back of the heel. Since the lace pattern is symmetrical I could easily place each half on one circular.

 

V&A Stocking

My first sight seeing stop in London was the Victoria & Albert Museum . While strolling around the British Galleries, I came across these stockings with an interesting description.
mans_sock

Man’s Linen Stocking 1660 – 1670

Stockings made from wool or linen, cut on the bias

(diagonally to the weave) to allow stretch were known

as ‘cut hose’. Lacing at the ankle gave a tight fit.

Plain hose like this could be worn under a more expensive

silk stocking to create a smooth line over hairy legs.

Shepherd’s Lace Sock

sl_front.jpg Although I like to work socks toe-up, this time I started from the top to get a neatly finished picot cuff. This cuff was started by doing an provisional cast on with a crochet chain. When it was the correct length, I folded it over and secured the top edge by knitting each stitch from the provisional cast on edge with a stitch from the bottom edge, forming a small tube. I then continued knitting the leg. The ribbing is just a K2, P1 rib except odd rows are all knit stitches (row 1: K2, P1 – row 2: knit all stitches).

Changing Needle Sizes

wisper_swatch

I’ve been contemplating the Whisper Rib Sock design. The sock is sized for a woman’s foot so I need to adjust it to fit Lily’s small foot (child size 10/11). I don’t want to mess with the stitch design so I’ve been knitting swatches using various needle sizes. The pattern specifies a size 1 needle with no mention of the metric size, which is one of my top knitting peeves. Size 1 means nothing to me since I have size 1 needles that are 2.5mm and others that are 2.25mm.

The top swatch was knit with a size 2mm needle and the bottom one was knit with a size 1.5mm needle. The size 1.5mm needle will gives the right sized sock (6.5 inches) but makes a very stiff and tight fabric. I’ve decided to use the 2.0mm needle, which will make the sock a little larger then desired, but I’m sure she’ll grow into them.

The orange loops (tiny rubber bands) on the bottom swatch are markers that indicate where the center lace panel is worked. I ran across these “hot markers” on Countrywool‘s website. I think they are rubber bands that kids wear on braces.