Friday 27 March 2009

Designing Socks

I have been a busy little bee this week. I have been designing! No matter what my beloved family think about my general brilliance, this is not as easy as they would have me believe. Tinkering with patterns is something I would generally leave to someone with a great deal more experience than me. Making bags up is one thing, messing around with sweaters is another thing entirely. However, I have found a compromise project. The humble sock.

You may have noticed in previous posts that I have been searching for the perfect sock pattern/recipe pretty much since I started knitting. This post is all about my search.

Starting with the toes, I am doing Judy's Magic Cast On for the first time with these socks. I love this technique. It has made the toes of my new socks lovely and smooth, with a very nice shape. I like the toe up sock for several reasons, namely you can try them on as you knit ensuring a perfect fit, and you can knit until you run out of yarn to get the right length.

I think I have found my perfect toe! Part one of the mission completed!

I am also trying to do 2 socks at once on a circular needle.

So far, I am liking this technique a lot. Essentially, this means that I can ensure that the all changes in the sock pattern and shaping are made in exactly the same place. It also means there is less threading through of the cable, which makes the whole process feel much faster. I don't know if it is, but it feels more efficient. It will also mean that I can keep going with my socks until they are the right height and all width adjustments, made as I go, will be identical for both socks.

So Part 2 of my mission is completed, my favourite needle technique discovered.

As you can see from the above photograph, these socks have patterns on them. These patterns were not taken from someone else's pattern. I could not find patterned socks that would fit my gauge/obscenely wide feet. I have had to invent my first cable pattern. This was less scary than I thought it would be. I started off with graph paper, made to scale using a lovely helpful gadget I found here. Once I finished sketching my ideas out, and played around with the stitches, I wanted to write it up more clearly. After a quick Google search I found this clever software, on Jacquie's blog, which hasn't been updated since November 2008. I'm not sure if KnitChart is being looked after actively, but in the short term it did the job admirably of charting my cable pattern.

I am really happy with these socks so far. I am going to attempt to do a Toe-Up Gusseted Heel from a tutorial on MaiaSpins' blog. The tutorial looks really complete and I hope that this will be Part 3 of my sock mission completed when the heel is turned. I will keep you posted.

In the meantime I am going to plough through all my magazines to see if I can find a sweater pattern that my brother might possibly like. My SIL wants me to knit him something and I have yet to find the perfect pattern. After the pattern work on my socks you would think I would be confident about tinkering with other people's patterns, but in fact, it has turned me right against the idea. See Emma, I am brilliant only on a small sock sized scale, help me find a pattern that doesn't need messing with.... please!


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