The “heel” of Natalia Vasilieva’s Smokey ZickZacks (page 140 of New Directions in Sock Knitting) is worked in Tier C. This has got to be one of most peculiar heels ever!

It begins by using the Crochet-On Provisional Cast-On to provisionally CO stitches for the heel (I used a tightly spun cotton yarn), which are inserted at the position of the double increase marker. Whenever I work a crochet chain (which is basically how the Crochet-On Provisional Cast-On is worked, only it’s worked around the working needle), I tie an overhand knot after the last stitch so I’ll be able to identify which end to unravel later.

Inserting the new stitches is a bit of a tricky maneuver. You’ll want to use a circular needle with a very flexible cable in order to knit outward from both sides of the provisional cast-on. This involves making a hairpin turn in the knitting by pulling out a loop of cable as for working the Magic-Loop method.

 

 

 

The knitting feels tight at first but loosens up with each successive row as double increases are worked at the center of the heel stitches.

The provisional cast-on will appear as purl bumps on one side of the knitting (the right side in my example) and chain stitches on the other side of the knitting (the wrong side in my example).

I’ve finished Tier B of Natalia Vasilieva’s Smokey ZickZacks (page 140 of New Directions in Sock Knitting). At this point, there are 11 garter ridges on the right side.

The knitting is surprisingly easy for what looks like such a complicated construction. And I love the firm yet squishy feel of the garter stitch!

I’m six rows into Tier A of Natalia Vasilieva’s Smokey ZickZacks (page 140 of New Directions in Sock Knitting).

I’m using Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock 100% Superwash Merino Light Weight (color: Schwarzwald) and a size U.S. 2 (3.0 mm) circular needle.

These socks begin with a crochet-on provisional cast-on that will provide the loops to Kitchener together with the live stitches when the knitting is complete. I’m trying not to think about that yet…

The sock is constructed with a series of increases and decreases that will produce the the unique sideways zigzag pattern. I’ve placed blue markers in the decrease stitches and pink markers in the increases stitches. For reasons not yet revealed, a double decrease marker is placed at the toe and a double increase marker is placed at about the half-way point — I suspect this is for the heel.

Double decreases (slip 1, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over) are worked at the decrease markers every right-side row.

Double increases (yarnover, knit 1, yarnover) are also worked every right-side row, then the yarnovers are twisted to close the holes on the following wrong-side row. The effect is similar to working Make-One increases, but extra yarn is added in the increases by working the yarnovers on the right-side rows. It’s a clever way to insure that the stitches aren’t too tight at the increase points.

So far, the knitting is fun — I forget how much I love garter stitch!

The next pair of socks in New Directions in Sock Knitting that I’m going to attack is Natalia Vasilieva’s Smokey ZickZacks (shown in upper left of the cover).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This amazing design is worked side to side in garter stitch with increases and decreases that form zigs and zags that fit together with a row of Kitchener stitch to produce the traditional sock shape. This construction requires a leap of faith because the sock cannot be tried on along the way. I’ve got to wonder how Natalia thought up the design!

For my version, I’ve chosen Socks That Rock Light Weight (100% superwash merino) by Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the colorway Schwarzwald (Black Forest).

Stay tuned!

I’m over-the-top excited to announce that two of the hottest podcasters in North America, The Grocery Girls (Tracy on the left and Jodi on the right), have accepted an invitation to join my Knit For Fun Retreat in Vancouver, Washington, this fall (September 21 – 24). I can promise you that you’ll enjoy every minute you spend with these smart, witty, energetic, fun-loving, and spontaneous sisters!

In addition to attending classes with the other retreat-ers, Tracy and Jodie host the special Friday night (September 22) event during which they will interview the three teachers–Carson Demers, Lorilee Beltman, and me. Carson has agreed to assess the Grocery Girls on their knitting styles with a special focus on ergonomics and ways to prevent stress and injury as described his new book Knitting Comfortably. It’s bound to be a learning experience for all of us, and a ton of fun, too!

The event, which includes dinner, is included in the retreat registration fee. Click here to secure a seat.

 

The winner of a free copy of New Directions in Sock Knitting is Susan Day, who wrote:

“. . . because I have loved seeing your progress on the Mitered Triangles socks. They are beautiful!!”

Congratulations Susan! I’ll send you a personal message to get your mailing address and get the book in the mail right away!

Thanks to all of you avid sock knitters who entered!

Next up, I’m going to try my hand at Smokey ZickZacks (pictured top left on the cover) by Natalia Vasilieva.

I’m thoroughly delighted with my version of  Kathryn Alexander’s Mitered Triangles socks from New Directions in Sock Knitting. Adding 2 stitches to each of the triangles compensated for the thinner yarn I used and I’m happy to announce that they fit my feet!

 

 

As you might suspect, the fit is a bit odd with all the garter ridges and I’m not sure I’d want to wear them in a pair of shoes. On the other hand, why cover up all that fancy colorwork in shoes? I’m happy to wear them as slipper socks.

As I suspected, the second sock was much easier than the first. I had the “road map” in my head as I worked and didn’t have to puzzle out the errors in the instructions, which I’ve summarized below.

 

 

Corrections Mitered Triangles

Please accept my apologies for the following errors and the confusion they undoubtedly cause!

Page 67

First Sole Panel Garter ridge (left column):With Rosy pink, knit (not purl) 1 WS row, then place 10 sts at end of panel onto holder.

First Sole Panel Pick-up row (left column): (WS) With attached strand of Rosy Pink and WS of panel facing, pick up and purl (not knit) 8 sts along selvedge of Rosy Pink triangle, then 10 sts each along Melon, Pale Gold, and Mustard triangles–39 sts total.

Second Sole Panel Garter ridge (left column): With yellow Green purl (not knit) 1 RS row, then place 10 sts at end of panel onto holder.

First Heel Triangle (right column): With smaller needles, Yellow Gold, and leaving a 30″ (76 cm) tail, use the backward-loop (not the long-tail) method (see Glossary) to loosely CO 12 sts.

Page 67; Second Heel Triangle (right column): With smaller needles, Rusty Rose, and leaving a 30″ (76 cm) tail, use the backward-loop (not the long-tail) method to loosely CO 12 sts.

Page 68

Second Back Leg Panel Pick-up row (right column): (WS) With attached strand of Fuchsia and WS of panel facing, pick up and purl 9 sts along selvedge of Fuchsia triangle, then 10 sts each along Purple Rose and Dusty Violet panels, then purl (not knit) 1 Rusty Rose heel st from holder–30 sts total.

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Don’t forget to sign up for the raffle for a free copy of New Directions in Sock Knitting. Respond to this post by telling me why you’re ready to knit socks from a new direction, and I’ll enter you in the drawing to be held Sunday, June 25, 2017. I’ll announce the winner Monday morning (June 26).

While I’m busy knitting the mate to my version of Kathryn Alexander’s Mitered Triangles socks from New Directions in Sock Knitting, I want to hold a raffle for a free copy of the book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respond to this post by telling me why you’re ready to knit socks from a new direction, and I’ll enter you in a raffle. I’ll draw the winner Sunday, June 25, 2017, and announce the winner Monday morning (June 26).

Put your best foot forward!

I’m excited to say that my version of Kathryn Alexander’s Mitered Triangles socks from New Directions in Sock Knitting is a success!

 

I joined the Front Leg Panel to the Back Leg Panel with a couple of colorful garter ridges followed by the three-needle bind-off. This left just four groups of 14 live stitches along the top of the sock for the cuff.

I worked the cuff in a few rounds of garter stitch with two shades of red, then used a simple bind-off to complete the sock.

You can’t work this kind of colorwork without ending up with a LOT of ends to weave in. But it didn’t take long for me to finish the task and the inside of the sock is nearly as neat as the outside!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that I have my head wrapped around the construction, the mate should be a breeze to knit!

I’m excited to say that my version of Kathryn Alexander’s Mitered Triangles socks from New Directions in Sock Knitting is coming along nicely. To be sure, the heel is the most complicated part. I think it’s going to be smooth sailing from here on out.

To begin, the heel pyramid is joined to the held Sole Panel stitches with a three-needle bind-off.

Because there are 4 more stitches on the heel needle than the sole needle, 1 stitch at each end of the heel needle is placed on a marker (below left). To account for the other 2 extra heel stitches, 2 stitches are picked up in the garter ridges along the sole panel as the heel and sole are joined in the bind-off.  The completed bind-off is shown below right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next step is to create the Back Leg Panels.

The first panel is worked off the Third Heel Triangle. In the image at left, the Third Heel Triangle stitches are on my needle, minus the two stitches that are placed on holders.

To begin, I used the same pink yarn to work a Left-Leaning Triangle; then I used dark navy for a Right-Leaning Triangle and a Left-Leaning Triangle; then I used dark purple for a Right-Leaning Triangle and a Left-Leaning Triangle; and I finished with turquoise for a last Right-Leaning Triangle and a last Left-Leaning Triangle, as shown below.

Next, I picked up stitches along the inside edge of this panel and knitted a garter ridge in preparation for joining it together with the Second Back Leg Panel.

I then worked the Second Back Leg Panel off the held stitches of the Fourth Heel Triangle, beginning with a Right-Leaning Triangle, and then repeating Left- and Right-Leaning Triangles with each of three colors (red, dark turquoise, pink). I’m sorry to mention that there’s an error in the Pick-up row of the Second Back Leg Panel. At the end of the pick-up row, you should purl 1 Rusty Rose heel st from holder (the wrong side is facing at this point so you don’t want to knit this stitch). The two Back Leg Panels are joined with a  three-needle bind-off.

And now, the completed back half of the sock with stitches picked up along the left edge in preparation to join with the front leg panel. Woot!