Friday, 25 June 2010

Knitting Survey

Stitchlinks and Cardiff University have a new survey up about knitting and how it impacts on your life - click here Stitchlinks are doing interesting work around knitting and its impact on pain management and chronic illness.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Super duper stripey socks

So... I had two different single balls of sock yarn and couldn't find a striped sock pattern that suited me so I came up with my own with the help of some of the technical information from Cookie.a's brilliant book Sock Innovation (to be particular the tables of numbers needed for heel turning). The alternately coloured heels, toes and cuffs appealed to my inner anarchist and I enjoyed the single row stripes that can be done when knitting in the round. I made these a while ago but hadn't got around to writing up the pattern. Hope it's clear, do get in touch if anything doesn't make sense.
Regia Uni 4ply one ball blue (Colour A), one ball green (Colour B)
Any other 4ply sock yarn in contrasting colours would work.
2.75mm needles
To fit UK size 7 (European 41)

8sts to the inch

First sock:
CO 60 sts, K2 P2 rib for 1 inch in Colour A

Knit one round in Colour A , then one in Colour B, continue in stockinette stitch striping in this manner, always picking up the new colour strand from under the old one at the end of each round/stripe (jogless stripe). Continue until leg is 6inches long or desired length ending with a stripe in the same colour as the cuff/heel/toe. Turn and purl across 30 stitches, leave the other 30 stitches on their needles or a stitch holder as preferred (these will become the instep stitches).

Heel flap:Using the stitches just purled work heel flap as follows:
Row 1: *Slip 1 purlwise, K1*, repeat across the row
Row 2: Slip 1 purlwise, P to the end of the row
Repeat these two rows 14 times (30 rows worked total)

Turn heel:
Row 1: (RS) S1, K16, SSK, K1, turn
Row 2: (WS) S1, P5, P2tog, P1, turn
Row 3: S1, K6, SSK, K1, turn
Row 4: S1, P7, P2tog, P1 turn
Repeat these last two rows, working until the last stitch before the gap each time, until there are no more stitches to be worked
Turn and knit across the heel stitches

Pick up and knit 18 stitches along the side of the heel flap (approximately one per row plus one or two more in the gaps between the needles and the flap, don't worry about being too exact as numbers can always be evened up during the gusset decreases). You may wish to knit the stitches through the back loop. Knit across the instep stitches then pick up and knit 18 stitches along the other side of the heel flap.

At this point rearrange 9 of the heel stitches from the first needle to the last one. There should be 27 stitches on the first needle, 30 instep stitches on the second needle1 and 27 heel stitches on the last needle. The start of the new round would usually be between the two needles of heel stitches.

However, due to the 'seam' formed when changing colours in the striping, which would be uncomfortable to have underfoot, the round is going to start at the beginning of the instep stitches. Therefore, when the stitches have been arranged on the needles knit across the remainder of the heel stitches in the colour you used for the heel. Add in the next colour for the new round and proceed as follows, changing colour each round as before and beginning the round at the beginning of the instep stitches.

Round 1: Ndl 11 K, Ndl 2 K1, SSK, K to end of Ndl, Ndl 3 K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1

Round 2: Knit all stitches

Repeat these rounds until there are 15 stitches left on each of needles 2 and 3

Continue knitting foot until it is 1.5inches shorter than the length of your foot. I am a UK size 7 and my foot is 10inches long, if that helps to give guidance. End with a round of the contrast colour, cut that thread and continue in the colour used for the ribbing and heel.

Round 1: knit
Round 2: (keeping the needle numbering used for the heel gussets) Ndl 1 K1, SSK, K to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1; Ndl 2 K1 SSK, K to end of Ndl, Ndl 3 K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1

Repeat these two rounds until 32 stitches remain. Repeat Round 2 twice more (24 stitches remain), slip stitches from needle 3 onto needle 2, graft remaining stitches together. Sew in ends. Try on finished sock. Immediately start on sock 2 to prevent the onset of “second sock syndrome”.

Second Sock
Begin with Colour B and use that for the cuff, heel and toe, with stripes in between as in the other sock.

1 or fifteen stitches on each of two needles, as you prefer

2If instep stitches are split over two needles renumber needles two and three accordingly

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Hannah's baby hat

My friend Hannah was looking for a pattern for a baby hat knit flat on two needles the other night and even with the wonders of Ravelry neither of us could find anything suitable: a clear pattern that would be easy for a beginner knitter. So I decided to try my hand at writing one. Here it is - please get in touch if you have any questions or if anything isn't clear - be patient with me, it is my first finished written up pattern. There will be proper photos of the finished article tomorrow, as I finished knitting up the prototype quite late tonight, after the decent light had gone.
Baby hat knit flat

To fit c.3 months (c.15 inch circumference, unstretched; stretches bigger)
c.60m Patons Fairytale Colour 4 Me or any other DK (double knitting) yarn
4mm needles (or size needed for gauge)
tapestry needle

Gauge: (check before you start) 22sts to 4inches/10cm

Cast on 84 stitches and work 2 inches in K2P2 rib
Then work in stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl one row) until piece measures 5 ½ inches ending with a purl row (WS) from cast on edge.
*K2tog K5* to end of row (72 stitches)
Purl 1 row
*K2tog K4* to end of row (60 stitches)
Purl 1 row
*K2tog K3* to end of row (48 stitches)
Purl 1 row
*K2tog K2* to end of row (36 stitches)
Purl 1 row
*K2tog K1* to end of row (24 stitches)
Purl 1 row
*K2tog* to end of row (12 stitches)
Cut yarn off leaving a long tail to sew up the seam. Thread needle, weave through remaining stitches, pull tight and then sew the seam using mattress stitch. (Good tutorial here)

I would like to acknowledge the help that the baby size charts at Bev's Country Cottage gave me in putting together this pattern, thank you.