Sock Knitting Master Class

Book Winner

I’m happy to announce that LenaBenie is the lucky winner of a free copy of New Directions in Sock Knitting. She wrote: “Why not? Life’s an adventure and so is knitting. Love to try something different in the world of sock knitting.”

Well LenaBenie, you’ll get your chance — I hope you enjoy it!

New Directions in Socks cover

Thanks to all of you who joined in the raffle. There will be more to come.

Lost in Translation

Interweave Press routinely sends me a complimentary copy of the books I edit, so I didn’t think anything when the UPS truck stopped to deliver a couple of packages. But I was confused when I opened them.

The first package had a copy of Sock Knitting Master Class.

SKMC Finnish

I’m so accustomed to focusing on the image that at first I didn’t realize that it wasn’t in English. I thought they had sent me another copy of the Estonian translation.

Estonian translation

But, wait — the words are different. It seems that Sock Knitting Master Class has now been translated into Finnish as well! How cool is that?

The second package was equally confusing:

Loops & Schals

It took me a few moments to realize that this was Scarf Style 2 translated into German.

SS2_COV_F

I guess it makes sense that if they didn’t translate the original Scarf Style, they would want to change the title. And I guess they wanted to show more than just one project on the cover. That’s fine with me!

I love the idea that these books have international appeal. Wouldn’t it be cool to see one translated into a language that uses a different alphabet? I wonder what Ann Budd looks like in Russian or Chinese or Arabic.

 

I Can’t Read My Own Book!

The FedEx truck stopped at my house and left an unexpected package from F+W Media (the company that bought Interweave Press last year).

I opened the package to find a few copies of Sock Knitting Master Class. But wait, they changed the cover:

Estonian translation

Turns out that the book has been translated into Estonian! Now, I don’t read Estonian so other than keeping a copy to impress my family, I can’t think what I might do with the others. As much as I think it would be cool to learn another language, I’m realistic enough to know that I won’t get far.

So, if you can read Estonian and you live in North America, respond to this email. I’ll send a copy to the first two people (I’m optimistic) that respond.

I wish I knew how to say “good luck” in Estonian!

 

Pussy Willow Stockings — Done!

I completed Cat Bordhi’s Pussy Willow Stockings this week. It looks like the temperatures are beginning to drop so I might get to wear them soon.

The next (and final) pair of socks in Sock Knitting Master Class are the Toe-Up Travelers, which I designed and which I still have.

Here they are a little closer up.
I was going to ask you dear readers if I had to reknit these to officially say I’ve knitted my way through the book. But I was worried that you might vote that I did need to knit again. I need to move on to other things, so I made the executive decision that once was enough.
Here’s my “ring of socks,” representing more heels, toes, cast-ons, bind-offs, directions of knitting, and knitting techniques than I can count:
I need a bigger sock drawer!

Pussy Willow Stockings — Making Progress

I labored this weekend on Cat Bordhi’s Pussy Willow Stockings from page 160 of Sock Knitting Master Class. The socks begin with a most interesting toe, then the gusset increases are worked in a five-row pattern that includes two rows to form a three-stitch eyelet followed by three rows that are worked even. This causes a three-stitch increase every five rows in a diagonal pattern across the instep.

After the heel (which includes a firm heel flap that’s worked by slipping stitches through the back loop), the eyelet pattern changes direction and decreases are added to keep the stitch count constant.

The hardest part for me was keeping track of the three rows worked even between the eyelet increases along the foot. I put a removable marker in a stitch just below the needle on the second eyelet row, then worked even until there were three rows between the marker and the needle.
This pattern is so much fun that I even made great progress on the mate, which has the eyelets travel in the opposite direction (it’s difficult to get a good image while the stitches are on needles).
My only changes to the pattern have been to use double-pointed needles instead of two circular needles and to work a few rows of k3, p1 ribbing instead of allowing the sock to roll at the top of the leg.

Pussy Willow Stockings — Getting Started

I’m getting pretty excited as I approach the end of Sock Knitting Master Class. I am now to Cat Bordhi’s Pussy Willow Stockings (page 160).

Following Cat’s genius for placing gusset shaping wherever she likes, these toe-up socks are shaped with three increases every five rounds to form an openwork pattern that travels around the instep and front of the leg. Except for keeping track of the increases, these socks are a fairly mindless knit.
Cat worked hers with Fleece Artist Somoko at 8 stitches to the inch on two circular needles.
For my version, I’m using Huckleberry Knits Willow (80% Bluefaced Leicester, 20% nylon; 420 yd/4oz) in a beautiful handdyed blue called Spindrift. I’m getting gauge on size 2.5 mm double-point needles. As many of you already know, I much prefer working with double-pointed than two circular needles. (I’m sorry, Cat…I just can’t get used to the needle ends flopping in my lap.) But I think Cat’s most interesting design and construction are more important than the type of needles used.
Stitches emerge from a wide horizontal band to form what Cat calls a moccasin toe. I haven’t worked this type of toe before, but it’s easy and a nice alternative to the more common wedge toe.

So far, this promises to be one of the easiest pairs of socks in the book!

Half-Stranded Socks–Sole

I finished the top of the foot (instep) of my half-stranded sock and started to pick up stitches around the toe and sides to work the sole, but miscounted the stitches and ended up working the sole at an angle.
I ripped it all out and placed markers at even intervals on each side to ensure that I’d not make the same mistake again.

Here’s the bottom of the foot (sole) worked EVENLY to the beginning of the gusset increases.

The next step is to increase one stitch at each side every other row until I reach the base of the heel.
I am loving this sock!

Half-Stranded Sock–Top of Foot

Staying up late, I finished the top of the foot, or the instep, of Anna Zilboorg’s Half-Stranded Socks.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I knit much tighter than I purl. So much so that I use a larger needle for knit rows than purl rows. For these socks, I’m using a 2.75mm needle for right-side rows and a 2.50mm needle for wrong-side rows. This keeps my stockinette looking even. (When I work with interchangeable circular needles, I put different size tips on each end of the cable.)

You might want to try this trick if you find your stockinette has a stripy appearance from the stitches being different sizes on alternate rows.