The second half of the heel on Kathryn Alexander’s Mitered Triangles socks (from New Directions in Sock Knitting), is a simple duplicate of the first half, then the two halves are joined to form a pyramid.

The live stitches of the two triangle pairs are joined using the three-needle bind-off method. To begin, the loops along the base of each triangle’s cast-on edge are lifted onto needles. I lifted 14 loops for each of the two halves because I added two stitches to each of my triangles to compensate for my tighter gauge. The available yarn ends are used for the three-needle bind-off.

 

 

When the two halves are joined, the heel looks like a half circle made up of four wedges of alternating colors.

 

 

 

Loops are again picked up along the cast-on edges of the outer two triangles in preparation to use the three-needle bind-off to join them together and form a clever pyramid.

Two sets of held stitches at the base of the pyramid will be joined to the two sole panels; the remaining two sets will be worked into the the Back Leg Panels. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, the heel on Kathryn Alexander’s Mitered Triangles socks (from New Directions in Sock Knitting), made up of four short-row triangles, is unlike any other I’ve ever seen and it takes a bit of faith. Unfortunately, there’s an error in the instructions (sigh, no matter how many times a number of us read the instructions, errors do pop up from time to time). Please accept my apologies.

The instructions say to use the long-tail cast-on for all four triangles; this is wrong! You need to use the backward-loop cast-on in order to use the tail for the first 2 rows of the First Heel Triangle and the first 1 row of the Second Heel Triangle. Please make the correction on page 67 under First Heel Triangle and Second Heel Triangle. This allows you to work the set-up rows of each triangle with the tail as specified, and be in position to continue with the working yarn for Row 3 of the triangles.

Once you get the cast-on right, the First Heel Triangle (shown in pink) is a breeze — it’s just like triangles worked for the Front and Back Panels, although the first two rows are worked with the tail instead of the working yarn.

The Second Heel Triangle (shown below in blue) also begins with stitches cast-on using the backward-loop method, followed by one row worked with the tail.

The two triangles are joined as the Second Heel Triangle (shown in blue below) is worked. At the beginning of every right-side row, a loop of the First Heel Triangle (pink) is worked together with the first stitch of the Second Heel Triangle (shown in blue below) as k2tog. The instructions say to lift the loops (just lift them onto the needle without knitting them) along the edge of the First Heel Triangle individually as you go. Note that these stitches are picked up along the edge that does NOT have the garter ridge.

I found it easier to lift all of the loops onto a spare needle so that I was sure to have the correct number of loops. For ease of picking up, I inserted the needle into each loop from front to back, opposite of the normal stitch mount (the leading leg of the loop is in the back of the needle instead of in the front of the needle).

It’s important to note that you’ll need to lift 2 fewer loops of the First Triangle that there are stitches cast on for the Second Triangle. If you’re following the instructions as written, you’ll want to lift 10 stitches from the First Heel Triangle. Because I increased my triangles to 12 stitches, I lifted 12 loops, as shown above.

You’ll begin joining the First Heel Triangle (pink) by working from the tip of the triangle (nearest the cast-on edge) to the wide part of the triangle (the held stitches). In the photo at right, the needles are positioned so that the first lifted loop of the First Heel Triangle (pink) is at the needle tip and will be worked together with the first stitch of the Second Heel Triangle (blue).

 

 

Because I picked up the loops on the pink triangle from front to back, I had to correct the mount of each lifted loop when I transferred it to the left needle in preparation to work it together with the first stitch of blue triangle, as shown at left.

 

 

When the two triangles are joined, the live stitches of both triangles will be adjacent to each other (blue stitches on the needle; pink stitches on a holder). There is a garter (purl) row along the outside edge of each triangle.

If you see specks of the First Heel Triangle color peeking through along the join, simply give a good tug between the two triangle to make them ease their way to the back of the work.

The Third and Fourth Heel Triangles are worked exactly the same as the First and Second, even with the same colors. In my next post, I’ll show how the heel is completed.

The two Sole Panels of Kathryn Alexander’s Mitered Triangles (form New Directions in Sock Knitting) knitted up pretty quickly. So quickly, in fact, that I didn’t take time to take a photo before I joined the two with a three-needle bind-off (just as for the Front Panels). The only difference is that the Sole Panels involve just 7 triangles. Up next is what has got to be the most peculiar heel.

I’m on it!

I’ve got to say the I’m having a blast knitting Kathryn Alexander’s Mitered Triangles in New Directions in Sock Knitting! Those little triangles are definitely addictive. It didn’t take long for me to finish the Second Front Panel. Below left is a photo of transferring the stitches to a circular needle in preparation for working the garter ridge. Because I worked 12-stitch triangles (instead of the 10 sts called for), I picked up 12 stitches for each triangle (detail shown below right) for a total of 83 stitches (instead of the 69 sts called for).

 

The two panels are joined with the three-needle bind-off. At bottom is the top of the toe; at top is what will become the cuff, though at this point, it’s still pretty had to see how this is going to turn into a sock! Stay tuned!

When I posted about my progress with Kathryn Alexander’s Mitered Triangles Socks from New Directions in Sock Knitting, a few days ago, I failed to post photos of my early progress. I was so excited to show how these socks were coming along that I forgot to look for the earliest photos of my progress. So bear with me as I start now from the beginning.

 

The socks are shown in the big image on the front cover. These socks are about as different as a pair of socks can be. They have the familiar sock shape, but without the need for decreases at the toe, turning a heel, knit in the round, and many of the other things “traditional” sock patterns require. These socks are knitted in four panels, each consisting of a number of mitered triangles.

 

 

In Kathryn’s usual form, she used 18(!) shades of her handdyed yarn (you can purchase a kit by contacting Kathryn directly) for a riot of color. I chose to use a gradient kit of Done Rovings fingering weight Frolicking Feet yarn. The yarn comes in six colors, which I decided to use randomly.

 

The yarn specified in the pattern is considerable heavier that what I’m using, so I’m modifying the instructions to 12-stitch triangles instead of the 10-stitch triangles in the pattern. I figure this will add enough width to compensate for what will undoubtedly be smaller stitches. It was a simple matter to cast on 12 stitches instead of 10 and work a total of 21 short-rows until all the stitches were worked.

I’m using US size 2 (2.75 mm) double-pointed needles (Stilettos from Signature Needle Arts).

 

 

In the image at right, I’ve completed the first 6 triangles of the First Front Panel. The work can be a little fussy if you turn the work after every short-row, but breezes along if you master the “Knitting Mitered Triangles in Reverse” method shown on page 65. Either way (I’ve used both methods), the short-row pattern is quite addictive! I had finished the First Front Panel and added the picked-up garter edge before I could make myself stop and take another photo!

Stay tuned for more colorful progress!

 

 

 

 

The winner of the Blue Lobstah’ Cowl pattern and exclusive skein of yarn is Tina L, who wrote:

     I love to knit cowl because they are small and portable and allow        me to experiment with new stitches and techniques. love the blue!

Congratulations Tina! I’ve sent you a personal email to get your mailing address.

Thanks to all who entered. As consolation, you can get 25% off the Blue Lobstah’ Cowl purchase price by using the code “loveit” when checking out.

Wishing all you mothers a most happy day!

 

After a too-long hiatus, I’m back to knitting the designs in New Directions in Sock Knitting, my most recent sock book. I’ve been wanting to try out Kathryn Alexander’s Mitered Triangles (shown on the cover; instructions begin on page 68) ever since she sent the socks to me when the book was in early stages of production.

 

 

 

For my version, I’ve chosen to use a gradient set of Frolicking Feet fingering weight yarn from Done Roving Yarns. In doing so, I may be setting myself up for trouble. The socks in the book call for Kathryn Alexander Designs Light 2-Ply Hand-Dyed Sport (which is available in kit form by contacting Kathryn herself at kathrynalexander.net). The yarn I’ve chosen is fingering weight, which means that I need to use smaller needles and a tighter gauge, which in turn means that the socks will be much too small if I knit them exactly according to the pattern.

I decided to forge ahead anyway. I’m using size U.S. 2 (2.25 mm) needles, which are appropriate for a firm fabric with the fingering weight yarn. To compensate for the gauge difference, I’ve added two stitches to each of the triangles. In other words, I’m using 12 stitches for each triangle instead of the 10 stitches specified in the instructions. The pattern calls for 18 colors, but my gradient kit contains only 6 six colors so I’m going to alternate the six colors randomly as I go.

 

So far, things are looking good. I’ve worked the 14 triangles of the First Front Panel and have picked up stitches for the garter ridge. Instead of picking up 10 stitches per triangle as directed in the book, I’ve picked up 12 per triangle for a total of 83 stitches.

I’m delighted to finally be a little back on track following my father’s death. Last month I held my Knit For Fun Retreat in Freeport, Maine, at the beautiful Harraseeket Inn. My co-teachers were Norah Gaughan and Bristol Ivy. Attendees got to take classes from all three of us and enjoy a lot of fun and surprises in between.

One of the highlights of the Knit For Fun Retreats swag (something we all get) bag is a cowl pattern and a skein of a colorway dyed especially for the retreat. For this retreat, my cowl design Blue Lobstah’ Cowl pays homage to Maine and lobsters.

The corssover-stitch openwork pattern between garter-stitch bands reminds me of the lattice on lobster traps. The yarn is Tern (75 % American wool, 25% silk) from Quince and Co in a “Blue Lobster” colorway specially died by Forage Color of Searsmont, Maine. Although this colorway is no longer available, the cowl will look terrific in most any solid or semi solid fingering weight yarn.

I’ve just added the pattern to my Ravelry store and would like to raffle off a copy of the pattern and one of few leftover skeins of this remarkable colorway. Respond to this post by telling me why you like to knit cowls and I’ll enter your name in a drawing that will take place Sunday, May 14 (Happy Mother’s Day!)

I’ll announce the winner in a separate post.

I feel the need to explain why I haven’t posted for several weeks. Last month my most excellent father died. Although there is a hole in my heart the size of the Sahara, I am extremely grateful that he got to die on his terms — in his own home, without pain, and surrounded by his family.

In the last days I took a couple of photos that speak volumes to me. In the first, he’s dozing in his favorite chair listening to classical music with his faithful cat Lily in his lap. Of course he’s wearing the sweater I knitted for him back in 1980! The second photo shows his attachment to Lily, the world’s most loyal cat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have inherited Lily and we’re getting accustomed to one another. She brings me lots of comfort. Be sure to hug someone you love today.

Most of you already know that I’m smitten by handknitted skirts. I have three patternson Ravelry (from left to right:Putting On the Pleats, Take-Two Skirt, Lacy Pleats), one through Quince & Company (Tavia), and another soon to be published by a yet-to-be-disclosed yarn company, and one on my needles.

All of these skirts are knitted from the top down, beginning with the waistband facing (to hold waistband elastic), followed by four darts to increase to the high-hip circumference, then the introduction of purl stitches to create “gores” between the “pleats.” The skirts are designed to have about 2″ of negative ease around the high hips so the skirt hugs you from your waist to high hips, then the pleats begin well before the full-hip circumference so there’s no awkward “bucket-butt.” Because they’re knitted from the top down, you can customize for the most flattering length. The result is a tailored fit that hangs gracefully and looks good on all body types. It’s a little-known fact that skirts are easier to fit than sweaters and take less time than a sweater in the same weight yarn.

Next Saturday Jeane deCoster of Elemental Affects yarn and I will teach a workshop on designing and fitting a custom pleated skirt at Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins in Boulder, Colorado. The class fee of $210 includes a skirt’s worth of Elemental Affects Cormo yarn (your choice of fingering or sport weight), discussions on the best length and styling for you, personal body measurements, help filling out a custom pattern for your measurements and gauge (pick up sample yarn for swatching at Shuttles ahead of time), an 8-week knit-a-long that details all the steps of knitting the skirt, and ends with a follow-up party where you can show off your completed skirt or progress.

There are a few slots left. Call Shuttles at 303-494-1071 to register and join the fun.