Wednesday, April 30, 2008

How To Knit a Sock on a 12" Addi Turbo Circular

Below is ONline Supersocke 100 Savanne. Glorious colors! This is what makes sock knitting so much fun for me - great colors and stripes - lots of stripes!

Because of the fabulous colors, I am going to knit a simple sock. I have knit socks on the 12" Addi Turbo for several years now. It makes the most sense to me. What could possibly be easier? No long cable to deal with as in Magic Loop, no confusion about which needles to knit with as with 2 Socks on 2 Circulars and very little double point use. This project is so easy to pop into my purse, a zip bag, my sock-knitting bag or even a coat pocket. Remember, you can double click on any picture for a close up look!

Casting On

From my personal experience, 60 sts is the least amount of stitches you can cast on and still join to knit in the round on the 12" circular. (I just used 60 sts for a cast on in a sock design I am working on. I did have to push the stitches around the cable knowing that once I got to the actual pattern which has lots of yos ; it would be very, very loose) A 64 stitch cast on is okay, but you have to make certain you don't cast on too tight or you will have to work the sts around the cable. A 68 stitch cast on or more is a breeze. For my sock, I am using a 72 st cast on. I used 64 sts for a couple of years but realized I didn't like the ribbing of my sock stretched too much while I had it on. So, I began to cast on more sts settling on 68 - 72 sts depending on the yarn.

Begin to cast on. Notice that the stitches are not too tight nor too loose. If your stitches are too tight; you won't be able to join. This could take a bit of practice; maybe one or two tries.

Now, you can see that I have cast on all my stitches. Markers have been placed where the needle breaks would be if I were using double points with 18 sts between markers. I have done a cross-over join. Notice that the stitches are NOT stretched taut around the circular.

One row of K2, P2 ribbing has been completed. You will have to move your stitches around the cable at this point. It isn't difficult; it's not "stretching" them around; it's moving them around. A little sheep marker has been added to note BOR (beginning of round).

I have knit approximately 1 inch of ribbing. (a cute picture of the little sheep) At this point, continue on with ribbing until you are ready to start the heel flap.

Starting the heel flap - Knit 1/2 of the sock stitches off the circular onto a double point. For my sock, that would be 36 sts. You are now going to knit back and forth on the heel flap with two double point needles. The circ acts as a stitch holder for the top of the foot stitches. There are two views below, so you can get a good look.

I knit my heel flap 2.5 inches in length. Below, I am ready to turn the heel. This isn't hard; so don't let it intimidate you. It's actually fun - it's just little short rows knit back and forth in the middle of your heel flap.

I know this looks a bit weird, but it's the side view of the heel flap. (Ohhh, now, I see.....)

A simple turned heel is pictured below. Pretty neat, huh?

A little different view of the turned heel -

Picking up gusset stitches - following the pattern, you should finish the heel turn ready to pick up gusset stitches as pictured below. With another double point, insert your needle catching both threads of the edge (slipped) stitch, wrap the yarn and pull it back through. (a pick up and knit completed) You can do this with a small crochet hook until you master the technique.

Gusset stitches have been picked up down one side of the heel flap.

The next step is to knit the stitches left on the circ onto another double point.

With a fourth double point, pick up the stitches across the other side of the heel flap in the same manner as before.

You now have picked up (and knit) the gusset stitches on both sides of the heel flap. You also have your sock on FOUR double point needles. Yikes!! Did you say you didn't like double points?

Looking at your sock from this point of view, with the needle to the right of the turned heel, knit 1/2 of the turned heel stitches onto that same needle (the same one you used to pick up the last set of gusset stitches.) So, I have taken the needle to the right and knit 10 of my turned heel stitches onto it. (it's a good thing I took a picture of this, right?) When you are comfortable with this technique, this step and the one above will be completed at the same time.

Take your Addi and knit the other 1/2 of the stitches(10 for my sock). You are now ready to knit one complete row "back in the round". As you knit the gusset stitches, knit into the back loop! This gives them a little twist making a great looking gusset! (do this only for the gusset stitches) Place a marker here. Continue knitting across the next double point (these are the top of the foot stitches and you can divide these stitches in 1/2 placing a marker between them). Place a marker here. You are back at the gusset stitches for the other side of the heel flap. Remember, knit in the back loop only, and only for these stitches. Knit the last 1/2 of the turned heel stitches. Place a BOR marker here.

You now have your sock back onto the 12" Addi. Knit your sock in the usual manner until you are ready for toe decreases. You will knit the stitches off onto double points to be able to decrease the toe.

I think most sock knitters will be able to do the toes without a tutorial. If you have questions, email me.

(the pattern for this sock on the 12" circular is available as a free download on Ravelry. My Ravelry ID is Dlhaymark.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Memories of Tugley

Last Tuesday, I lost a cherished friend and companion. Tugley was a part of every minute of my day. He was a constant joy and always comical; making every step I made. His very favorite thing to do was nap beside me while I knitted. He knew when I sat down with yarn, it was time for him to get on the sofa too! Tug ran with the grandchildren; because he was one of them. He proudly wore every t-shirt and sweater I put on him. He loved Nacho Doritos and many times we shared a big bag!

Below are some of my favorite pictures of Tug

Tug napping with Alexis. I could tell him Alexis was coming and he would get beside himself with excitement. When we went to pick him up, at six weeks old, he bonded with Alexis on the ride home. After that, Alexis was always special to him.

He preferred Joe take him for his morning walk.

Tug loved napping on plastic bags - this one happens to be full of yarn! I finally had to put it in a box as he kept going back to it. We were packing to move.

Relaxed and warming his backside in front of the fireplace. On a cold day, he would do this repeatedly throughout the day. I was concerned that he would singe his fur.

Tugley wearing his rugby shirt from Old Navy! This was his favorite. He strutted around in this shirt.

Matthew and Tug. This was taken the last time Matthew was here during Easter. When Matthew was about 3 yrs old, he always wanted to bite Tug's tail. We couldn't leave them alone together for even a minute.

Not one but TWO beds and he's thinking someone has his OTHER chew bone.

My favorite picture of Tugley napping.

Another napping picture. He napped quite a lot but if Joe or I got up or moved around; he was up and going with us.

Can't a guy take a bath without having his picture taken?

Tugley added to my life in more ways than I ever imagined. He will always be loved and remembered in my heart.