A New sort of Heel

Latest sockWhen I finished my last pair of socks I said that I had found a new way to knit short row heels and that I would report on it in due course.

Well I have now all but finished the first of another pair of socks in the same yarn. I am going to delay casting off as I think I can make the socks to match fairly closely but will use almost all the remaining yarn so I want to give myself the chance to easily modify the first sock if I am wrong and run out of yarn.

The wraps for this method are different to the way I have done them previously.

They are done at the beginning of the row and the yarn goes over the top of the stitch and needle as in this picture.

Wrapped stitches

I found the pattern on the Schachenmayr web site (They make Regia sock wool) and the link for the pattern is here:- http://us.schachenmayr.com/files/patterns/Sock%20Guide%20US-4-ply-final.pdf. The heel instructions are on the second page.

I found it hard to envisage the way the wraps and rows went so I drew myself a chart which proved to be accurate. So for those of you who like such things I include it here.

Heel chart

My Conclusions

As I suspected the heel looks less smooth than my previous method and I did have difficulty knitting the wrapped stitches but I think that was unfamiliarity, and that next time I will find them easier than the double wrapped stitches of my normal method, especially as there is only one wrap to deal with.

Heels compared
New heel on the left

Closer view

Previous style heel

Old style heel

Latest heel

New style heel

The holes along the side of the heel are bigger but that may just be that I did not pull the yarn hard enough. You don’t seem to see holes on the picture with the pattern.

The problem with correcting a biggish hole when you return to knitting in the round is eliminated. (As I think you can see.) Though I did have a bit of trouble one side as I dropped a stitch or two and had to pick them up. 😦 (So I won’t show you that side.)

You do get two rows of the same colour as the middle of the heel included in the front of the sock, so it wouldn’t be a good method if you were making the heel in a contrasting colour.

Heel front
They are the two white and purple rows in this picture. With this type of yarn it looks fine.

They are the two white and purple rows in this picture. With this type of yarn it looks fine.

I am not sure if this heel will become my method of choice but it has given me an idea of how I could amend my normal method to eliminate the problem holes in a different way. If I can get this to work I will report on it in due course. But I think that I have been spending too much time on knitting lately and, although I will finish the waistcoat, it is also time that I got back to some crochet.

But before I leave I will share a couple of photographs.

We don’t get snow very often in Southampton but when I woke up this morning it had snowed overnight so I grabbed my camera and took a couple of photographs through the window.

Snow today in colour

And one in black and white.

Snow today in black and white

By the end of the morning it had all gone.

Granny Bunting tutorial

As requested by http://themeepingkoala.wordpress.com/ I am sharing my granny bunting pattern.

166-bunting

I decided to do it as a tutorial.

As a general guide: I used Rico Essentials Cotton nominal DK [US 8ply] (but to my mind a little thinner) and a 4mm [US no. 6] hook to make bunting triangles about 4 inches (10cm) each side. But obviously you could use any yarn and an appropriate sized hook.

I started with a magic circle.

166-01-magiccircle

Then made 3 chain (ch) as a starting treble [US dc].

166-02-3chain

I will describe in full making the first treble [US dc]

Yarn round hook

166-03-yarnover

Hook through magic circle loop

166-04-throughloop

Pull a loop of yarn through to give three loops on hook.

166-05-threeloops

Then pick up a loop of yarn

166-06-pullthrough

and pull through two loops nearest hook to give.

166-07-pullthroughagain

Pull yarn through last two loops and you have a completed treble (tr) [US dc].

166-08-treblecomplete

Work another tr [US dc] into the loop and you get the first of your ‘granny’ three treble [US dcs] group.

166-09-anothertreble

You then need to make 3 ch for the corner

166-10-add3chain

and another 3 trs [US dcs] into the loop.

166-11-add3trs

You have the first corner.

Then you work another 3 ch for your second corner

166-12-3morechs

followed by another 3 trs ([US dcs] into the loop.

166-13-last3trs

Then work 3 ch

166-14-last3chs

and draw the loose end tight to close the loop.

166-15-drawtight

You now work a slip stitch to close the round  by inserting the hook into the third of the starting three chains

166-16-slipstitch

and pulling a loop of thread through the stitch and the loop on the hook.

166-17-rowcomplete

*****     *****    *****    *****    *****

If I was changing colour at this point I would join a new colour before the slip stitch thus:

I would tie in the new yarn (I show the knot loose so it is easier to see but I would in fact pull it tight.)

Then pull the new yarn through the stitch and loop on hook.

166-19-slipstitch

To give –

166-20-slipstitchdone

*****     *****    *****    *****    *****

I have my own way of starting a new round for a granny square, circle or triangle which is the following.

I pull the loop out to make it larger

166-21-pullloop

Then I pull it through the corner from back to front.

166-22-pullloopthrough

so it is the right size to start making stitches in the middle of the corner.

I then make the starting 3 ch tr [or US dc] equivalent.

166-23-3ch

followed by 2 trs [US dcs].

166-24-3tr

This completes half a corner. Between corners I use 1 ch to separate the groups of trs [US dcs].

166-25-1ch

Now we work the next corner but making 3 trs [US dcs] into the corner on the previous round.

166-26-3tr

followed by 3 ch

166-27-3tr&3ch

and a further 3 trs [US dcs] into the same corner gap.

166-28-anothercorner

Now we work into the next corner in the same way making – 1ch, 3trs [US dcs], 3 ch, 3trs [US dcs].

166-29-secondcorner

And we finish the last corner by working 1 ch followed by 3trs [US dcs] into the corner.

166-30-lastcorner

then 3 ch.

166-31-lastcorner3ch

And joining with a slip stitch (sl st) as before.

166-32-2ndrowcomplete

For the next round the corners are worked in the same way but in the 1 ch gap between corners we work 3trs [US dcs] separating the 3tr [US dc] groups by 1ch, but still using 3ch for the corners as before.

Giving

166-33-3rdrowcomplete

This process can be continued as long as you wish depending on how big you want the bunting.

Each round has three corners with one extra 3 tr [US dc] group for the third row, two for the fourth, three for the fifth and so on………………

Here I show you a chart for the five rows that I used for mine.

166-buntingchart

As in my previous post

0163-finishedtriangles

The triangles tend to be a little rounded so to make them more crisply triangular it is a good idea to pin then out and iron them. I used a little spray starch with mine as I was using a cotton yarn.

0163-pinnedout

I found the easiest way to join them into bunting was to take two strands of the cotton yarn and make a chain. After a few inches I slip stitched into the corner of a triangle then proceeded thus:

sl st into corner, 3ch, then repeated (sl st between groups, 3ch) until I reached the last corner when I did another sl st and then a few chain (5 I think) before slip stitching into the corner of the next triangle.

Ans so my bunting was complete.

0163-bunting

Genesis of a Granny ripple

In July I showed you the yarn I had bought for my next blanket.

Well it has taken me longer than I expected to get started but here is the story if how I decided on the pattern I would use.

While I was still making my hexagon blanket my mind was already looking forward to the next blanket I would make.

I decided that the choice was between a granny stripe and a ripple blanket but wasn’t sure which, so I made a couple of samplers as cafetiere cosies. I decided that I preferred the feel of the granny stripe but liked the look of the ripple though I might have preferred bigger ripples. So the idea of seeing if I could make a ‘granny ripple’ was born.

I like a challenge so I decided I wouldn’t look for patterns but try to work up my own.

My first attempt at a sampler turned out like this:-

I felt it was more of a granny zig-zag than granny ripple and that the zig-zags were too frenetic so I tried again:–

I thought this was better but it was still a zig-zag rather than a ripple.

I knew that it was the double increases and decreases that had created the pleasant ripples in the pattern I used for the cafetiere and so far I had been unable to see how to incorporate more than one in a granny blanket. But then I had a breakthrough and realised that the problem was that the granny rows alternated between an odd and even number of treble groups whereas for the ripple blanket all the rows were the same. So I decided to only work the increases and decreases every other row.

Success!


I had decided to interleave the colours as in some of the ripple blankets I had seen.

Later I wasn’t sure if the way I had worked the increases and decreases was less symmetrical than that on the ripple blanket and so I tried a few variations:-

The middle is the first one – the one I shall use

But decided it was a case of ‘first time lucky’ and that I liked the first one best.

Then I tried another version of the above ripple but interleaving the colours in a 1 2 4 2 1 pattern instead of a 2 4 2 pattern but I have decided that I find the single rows a bit bitty.

Finally I decided to reverse the rows as worked originally so as to start with the easy row with no increases or decreases as seen below.

(In case anyone else likes this idea for a blanket I will put the pattern in the menu at the top and I also include it below.)

I have decided the colours and showed you them in THIS POST

namely

As you can see it is going to incorporate a spectrum array of colours and will use Stylecraft  DK yarn and it will be a little larger than the last blanket so as to be more of a winter bedcover.

I will hopefully have finished enough of the blanket by next week to show you how it is getting along.

Here is a chart showing two ripples. I know it is far from perfect but I hope it gives the general idea so as to clarify what is below in the pattern (UK & US versions given).

Granny ripple chart

An edging would be appropriate for this pattern

I have not yet decided exactly what I am going to do for an edging but it seems to me that you could either use trebles singly or in groups or double crochets for a firmer edge.

I am planning quite a deep edging.

PATTERN

I am using a 5mm hook (but some people may get the same result with a 4.5mm hook) and DK yarn.  I like using a 5mm hook for granny square type blankets because it produces a soft fluid result.

I also find that introducing a chain between each group of three trebles as happens in granny squares makes granny stripe type blankets too loose so I have omitted them.

My ripples come out about 7” (18 cm) between adjacent troughs (or peaks).

You need to decide how many ripples wide you want to make it.

To start you make a chain [(36 x number of ripples) + 4] long.

[However my tip is to actually make the chain about 5 chains longer than you need and then when you have finished the first row you can actually undo any excess at the start of the chain, link by link, and it all remains quite secure. This way if you make a small miscalculation you don’t have to undo the whole row.]

I think that this pattern is not as bad as some as you only have to work into every third chain on the foundation row!

Row 1: work 3tr into the 7th chain from the hook (I don’t count the loop on the hook itself).
Then repeat (miss 2ch 3tr into next chain) until you have [(12 x number of ripples) –1] three treble groups. Then miss 2ch and 1tr into last chain.

Row 2: 3ch = 1tr then 2tr, 1ch, 3tr, into first space. 3tr into each of next 3 spaces. Miss a space. 3tr into each of the next two spaces. Miss a space. 3tr into each of next 3 spaces. 3tr, 1ch 3tr into next space.

Then repeat for each ripple:-

3tr, 1ch, 3tr, into first space. 3tr into each of next 3 spaces. Miss a space. 3tr into each of next two spaces. Miss a space. 3tr into each of next 3 spaces. 3tr, 1ch 3tr into next space.

Until the last ripple where the very last treble should be worked into the chain 5 chains from the first worked treble group instead of into the space. This will give a firm edge.

Row 3: 3ch = 1tr then work 3tr into each space between ‘three treble’ groups and finish with 1tr into the last treble on the row below.

Row 4: 3ch = 1tr then 2tr, 1ch, 3tr, into first space. 3tr into each of next 3 spaces. Miss a space. 3tr into each of the next two spaces. Miss a space. 3tr into each of next 3 spaces. 3tr, 1ch 3tr into next space.

Then repeat for each ripple:-

3tr, 1ch, 3tr, into first space. 3tr into each of next 3 spaces. Miss a space. 3tr into each of next two spaces. Miss a space. 3tr into each of next 3 spaces. 3tr, 1ch 3tr into next space.

Until the last ripple where the very last treble should be worked into the 3rd of the chains in the row below instead of into the space. This will give a firm edge.

Repeat rows 3 & 4 as many times as you like.

Another plus point about this pattern is that all the odd rows after the first one are just a matter of working 3tr into each gap except at the start and finish.

PATTERN (US version)

I am using a 8/H hook (but some people may get the same result with a 7 hook) and worsted weight yarn.  I like using an H hook for granny square type blankets because it produces a soft fluid result.

I also find that introducing a chain between each group of three double crochets as happens in granny squares makes granny stripe type blankets too loose so I have omitted them.

My ripples come out about 7” (18 cm) between adjacent troughs (or peaks).

To start you need to decide how many ripples wide you want to make it.

To start you make a chain [(36 x number of ripples) + 4] long.

[However my tip is to actually make the chain about 5 chains longer than you need and then when you have finished the first row you can actually undo any excess at the start of the chain, link by link, and it all remains quite secure. This way if you make a small miscalculation you don’t have to undo the whole row.]

I think that this pattern is not as bad as some as you only have to work into every third chain on the foundation row!

Row 1: work 3dc into the 7th chain from the hook (I don’t count the loop on the hook itself).
Then repeat (miss 2ch 3dc into next chain) until you have [(12 x number of ripples) –1] three double crochet groups. Then miss 2ch and 1dc into last chain.

Row 2: 3ch = 1dc then 2dc, 1ch, 3dc, into first space. 3dc into each of next 3 spaces. Miss a space. 3dc into each of the next two spaces. Miss a space. 3dc into each of next 3 spaces. 3dc, 1ch 3dc into next space.

Then repeat for each ripple:-

3dc, 1ch, 3dc, into first space. 3dc into each of next 3 spaces. Miss a space. 3dc into each of next two spaces. Miss a space. 3dc into each of next 3 spaces. 3dc, 1ch 3dc into next space.

Until the last ripple where the very last double crochet should be worked into the chain 5 chains from the first worked double crochet group instead of into the space. This will give a firm edge.

Row 3: 3ch = 1dc then work 3dc into each space between ‘three double crochet’ groups and finish with 1dc into the last double crochet on the row below.

Row 4: 3ch = 1dc then 2dc, 1ch, 3dc, into first space. 3dc into each of next 3 spaces. Miss a space. 3dc into each of the next two spaces. Miss a space. 3dc into each of next 3 spaces. 3dc, 1ch 3dc into next space.

Then repeat for each ripple:-

3dc, 1ch, 3dc, into first space. 3dc into each of next 3 spaces. Miss a space. 3dc into each of next two spaces. Miss a space. 3dc into each of next 3 spaces. 3dc, 1ch 3dc into next space.

Until the last ripple where the very last double crochet should be worked into the 3rd of the chains in the row below instead of into the space. This will give a firm edge.

Repeat rows 3 & 4 as many times as you like.

Another plus point about this pattern is that all the odd rows after the first one are just a matter of working 3dc into each gap except at the start and finish.

What did I do this afternoon?

Well! I continued knitting the white socks.

I worked up a bit of a guesstimate chart for something I want to crochet where I can’t find a pattern.

And then I went out in the not quite pouring rain to see the Olympic torch arrive in Southampton.

I had decided to go to Bugle Street in the old part of the town. Since my new camera is quite small I managed to hold my umbrella in one hand and the camera in the other and take some photographs in spite of the rain. I felt that it was more a point and shoot photo session than a series of considered pictures but I was pleased to find that I had enough worthwhile pictures to put together this post.

When I arrived people had begun to gather.

Most were standing on the pavement but some people had not had to leave home!

After a while the excitement mounted as the advance guard came up the street.

There were police motorcyclists and cars,

(I didn’t know the police are on Twitter!)

The official olympic torch relay cars,

Various sorts of advertising, of course!

By now everyone was getting very excited and my ears were assailed by a terrific cacophany from children with their ‘only £1’ whistles.

The police were there trying to get people to leave enough of the road clear for the vehicles to get by.

And then at last it came past….

The Olympic Torch

On down the Street it went.

Until it was almost out of sight.

Rising to the Challenge

I decided that I would take up Maryanne of WoolHogs’  suggestion that I should make something for the “Made It” monthly challenge with the yarn and knitting needles my daughter bought me for my birthday; the only question was what?

I couldn’t find any patterns I liked on the internet but I decided it was about the right amount for a hat and scarf. (Though I later realised I might have been better to just aim at making a scarf but I do like the hat so much :-)).

I have never ever knitted with yarn of this weight before so I asked a couple of people what sort of patterns would work well with this sort of yarn. They both suggested some sort of cable pattern but I have never done cable and (as you will realise, if you have read my previous posts about knitting scarves) I have a preference for scarves that are reversible so I decided to look for something else.

Then I remembered this book:-

I wasn’t especially inspired by the couple of patterns that they declared to be reversible but I found a chart I had put together for a hexagon textured pattern.


Some time ago when I saw this pattern in the book I realised that it ought to be possible to create a textured design of hexagons even though they didn’t include one. (Because of course I am crazy about hexagons).

So not wishing to experiment too much with the yarn itself. I knitted a couple of samples in some DK yarn I had using the number of stitches I thought might be appropriate and came up with these

The one on the left seemed to show off the hexagons to better effect so it became first choice.

But what about a hat?

I decided to take my favourite hat (one I think suits me as I am not really a ‘hat person’) and a tape measure and the stated tension on the yarn band and work up a pattern for a hat that would go with my hexagon scarf

and came up with this –


I am now into making the hat and scarf but everything has not been plain sailing and in fact I decided to make another couple of scarf samples as I realised that with the earlier ones I would run out of yarn or have a very short scarf!

However I think it will come right in the end and when they are finished I will do a follow up post and submit them for the “Made It” challenge.

Watch this space!

Oh! and the jigsaw is definitely of a duck because I have got this far.