Just over a week ago, having worked very hard on my ripple blanket while listening to Formula 1 on the radio and watching the highlights on the BBC, my hands started to hurt and I realised that I needed to revert to knitting to give the crocheting muscles a rest and so I started another pair of socks.
I decided to use the ‘Drops’ yarn that I had bought
and to try out the pattern for Wendy Johnson’s “Waterfall socks” that I had liked best some time ago when I looked at different patterned socks. You can find the pattern HERE.
I use a Wendy Johnson basic sock pattern to make socks and in fact I am only using the chart from the Waterfall pattern for these socks. When I first decided I liked the look of these socks I was pleased to find that the pattern is really easy and is just three different rows and every other row is just knit. I am finding it easy to check that I am going right as I go which is always a bonus.
It isn’t easy to see the pattern at this stage so I have put something inside the sock so I can show you.
I realised, having completed the foot part of the sock, that actually the pattern built into the yarn is very attractive and I might have been better to have just have knitted it plain.
But I like the “waterfall” pattern so I will continue.
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I have found what I regard as the best thing to hold the extra stitches while working a short row heel and that is a length of the plastic used for scoubidou (US – bondoogle).
Here you can see it in use.
I like it because
- it is a similar thickness to the 2.5mm knitting needles so the stitches stay the same size.
- it is light enough not to pull on and stretch the stitches at the end.
- it is so long (if you use a whole piece) that the stiches are not going to come off.
- it is flexible enough to keep out of the way.
- it is stiff enough that, with care, you can use the end to take the stitches straight off the original needles.
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For those of you who followed my short row tutorial ( https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/toe-up-socks-with-wraps-mini-tutorial/ ), I can say that I now have what I consider as the optimum way of preventing holes when you revert from straight needles to knitting in the round again when making short row heels. Things are slightly different if you use short rows for the toes but then holes are less of a problem then anyway.
A little while ago I experimented with some scrap yarn to work up the best way to proceed with short row heels but this is the first time I have used it on an actual sock.
It is this
The wrapping of stitches and the subsequent knitting up of those stitches with their wraps occurs in pairs with a knit row followed by a purl row.
For the last pair: when you get to the end of the knit row and have picked up and knitted the last wrapped stitch, instead of returning with the purl row you proceed to putting the extra stitches back on needles (circular or otherwise) and continue on to knit them. This works without the problem of a hole because you are now on the natural level of the work and it is just like you never left.
The large hole you can see is the pattern.
For the other end of knitting the extra stitches however you do need to do as I suggested before because there is more of a step.
When you get to the last two of the extra stitches you make one (M1) picking up the strand between the stitches and knitting into the back of the loop. You then knit the last stitch together with the following wrapped stitch and it’s two wraps. This means knitting four loops together but the combination of M1 and the knitting together takes up any slack and creates a smooth join.
Not sure if you can really see in these photographs that this works but I have included them anyway.