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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bottoms Up

Related post:
28Mar2009 post (1 photo, shoe shot)
18Mar2009 post (17 photos).
I made Practice Pair of Socks #1 (blue pair) top-down. For Practice Pair of Socks #2 (these pink ones), I decided to try bottom-up. It seemed like the next logical step in my sock knitting adventures. Since the 1st sock fit neither loose nor snug, I decided to make this pair of socks using smaller needles. I used 2.75 mm for the 1st pair of socks (blue pair). I chose 2.25 mm for this pair.

Working from the toe is definitely very fiddly at the beginning. I would say it is much easier to work top-down.

The toe starts to take shape after working several rounds. Hey, this isn't too bad. I think I can do this!!!

So after finishing the toe increases, I decided on a whim to slap on a cable pattern to the front side. It's the same cable pattern used in the St. Albans Valentine Cable Mitts; I'm using this pattern because it is fresh in my mind as I am currently knitting the St. Albans Valentine Cable Scarf for my SIL. At the time I hadn't even considered the fact that cables tend to pull inwards. The thing is that I know this from knitting these 15 scarves! Putting a cable pattern on the front turned out to be a bad idea as you will see later. I should have cast on extra stitches to compensate. I had a few different ideas for what to do around the back side after working the heel area. Unfortunately, I did not get as far as trying out any of them.

Sidenote: There is something nice about working with a pattern repeat. It's so easy to know how many repeats you've done on the 1st sock (the foot section or the leg section) and this makes it a piece of cake when trying to duplicate it in the 2nd sock. With the my 1st pair of socks where the pattern was plain stockinette it was not as easy to count the rows, so measuring by length would be easier... but then I might be off by a row or two and that would really irk me if I happen to know about it. I actually did count the rows in the 1st pair of socks. That info didn't help when I changed the row gauge by knitting more tightly on the 2nd sock. However if I had knit them both with the same tension, then counting rows on the 2nd sock would have worked out.

Anyhow, I started to knit onwards with a cable pattern on the front. I had an awfully skinny foot section after a few repeats. I decided to try it on to see how it was going to fit. I slipped the stitches onto some waste yarn and tried it on. (BTW, it was a pain to put those stitches back onto needles, so next time I will just use circular needles instead) It was a snug fit around the toe end of my foot. Well, let's knit on and see how it goes...

Despite knowing that I should probably have cast on more stitches, I forged onwards through the remainder of the foot and tried that short row heel. Well what can I say about the short row heel. Words like hate, despise, and loathe come to mind, although they might be too strong to describe such a nice looking heel. And the short row heel is pretty in its simple seamless way. But oh how I hate working all those turns! I was in wrap, turn, knit hell.

Love and hate, what a beautiful combination.
Sending shivers up and down my spine.

Problem #1: I should have knit the foot longer before starting the short row heel.
You can see that the foot-to-toe section is much too short and I can barely pull the sock on around the heel. Need to remember for next time (if I decide to try a short row heel again) that besides doing short rows, the heel is also shorter than a heel flap type heel.

Problem #2: It is definitely too small around my foot.
You can see how the knitting is overstretched. I did wonder how the short row heel would work out since the number of stitches remains constant throughout. Now I see how this type of heel doesn't fit the "big" part of my foot as nicely as a heel flap and gusset. Lesson learned.

My first attempt at Practice Pair of Socks #2 went ribbit ribbit and was reduced to this.

I realized that my smallest crochet hook was a 3.25 mm, and that I should have a smaller one that is the same or smaller than the needle size I am working with for socks. So that could be a size 2.25 mm or 2.5 mm. This would come in handy for picking up stitches along the side of a heel flap. So I picked up a 2.5 mm when I stopped by this LYS, Nine Rubies, (plus some sock yarn seen here).

BTW, I do know that you're supposed to say cuff-down and toe-up. I just can't help myself. I used to say top-down and bottom-up in a previous lifetime (referring to something that was non-knitting related).

Booking Through Thursday

We’ve all seen the lists, we’ve all thought, “I should really read that someday,” but for all of us, there are still books on “The List” that we haven’t actually gotten around to reading. Even though we know they’re fabulous. Even though we know that we’ll like them. Or that we’ll learn from them. Or just that they’re supposed to be worthy. We just … haven’t gotten around to them yet.

What’s the best book that YOU haven’t read yet?

Had to think about this one as there are sooooo many books on my "to read" list. Here are some that pop up in my mind:

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (I've actually started it, but put it down and never finished it)
Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (I've seen the episodes with Jeremy Brett, would love to read the stories)

Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.

22 stitch(es):

Claudia said...

What great lessons learned!!!!! And it was SO pretty!!!!! Thank you for sharing this with us!

Yvonne said...

I know the feeling of having soooo many books on my "to read" list. It's hard to narrow it down, isn't it? Sounds like you have some good reading ahead, though.

Happy Thursday!

Beth F said...

I love knitting socks from the toe up! Good job and very pretty!

zetor said...

Lovely knitting. Les miserables, I think that would be a good read.

Anita O said...

I wish more people would put into words their experiences with knitting socks. that way I don't have to make the same mistakes! LOL.

I think the cable is fabulous. Sorry it didn't turn out like you wanted! And I am a big fan of the short row heel (no picking up stitches) but sometimes you need to do a few extra rows at the top to compensate for the ahh...shortness. Ha I made a pun, LOL!

Stephanie said...

They were sooo pretty!

Chery said...

I do ALL my socks toe-up with a heel flap and they fit fine. You might have wanted to knit the foot a little longer before beginning the toe. If you'd like my generic pattern, it's on my blog sidebar.

SusanB-knits said...

I love the way the cables look on the sock. Maybe there is some way to do it top down? How do you figure out how many extra stitches to add?

I haven't tried toe up socks yet. I think one day I'll try it but my all time favorite it top down!

I have tried short row heels twice and agree with you, I hate them! I have trouble picking up the wraps (or finding the wraps to pick up) I like the heel flap and gusset. I like the way they fit. So I'll stick with them.

My daughter highly recommends Nicholas Sparks. So on my "to read" list are some books by Nicholas Sparks.

Aunt Kathy said...

I haven't tried toe up yet. I want to though. You inspire me, lol

Sherrie said...

Beautiful slipper, great job. Haven't read any of your books listed. Although I would like to read Les miserables. Have a great day!!


twistyfarmy said...

Wow! A knitter and a reader! I'd like to read some Sir Arthur Conan Doyle myself.

pdxknitterati said...

Top-down, bottom-up...window blinds?

The sock was beautiful, while it lasted. You're learning a lot of things all at once! I found the short row heel to be very shallow, too. Here's a tutorial on short row heels without the wrap and turn; I liked it a lot better.

The Social Frog said...

Both books sound good, I have not read either of them myself though.

Leslie said...

Thanks for sharing your process. I love seeing the finished projects but I am fascinated by the how and why of it.

Julie said...

Les Miserables was amazing! It does have some slow spots, but if you keep plugging along, you'll be rewarded with a terrific story!

erin said...

Thanks for sharing the sock number 2 adventures with us. I'll take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes.

I have some sock yarn and circular needles waiting for me to muster up the courage to take the plunge.

Teenuh said...

Oh that was a beautiful start to your sock! Toe up socks are better than cuff down socks, you will never get halfway down the foot and go CRAP I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH YARN FOR THE TOE. With toe up socks, you can just keep knitting until you run out of yarn! Plus you can try them on and see if they fit, as you so aptly demonstrated. I love short row heels, that's all I really do with my socks. And for short row heels, make the sock 1.5 inches shorter than the length of your foot (i.e. if your foot is 9", knit until the sock is 7.5"). :)

I'm pro-toe-up, can you tell?!

Jennifer said...

Thank you for the comment about my yarn at my etsy shop. And what a great learning experience on the toe up socks. I still haven't ventured in trying that yet. I know I should and I should be knitting 2 at a time. Maybe one day I will try that adventure. Until then top down and one at a time. Have a great weekend.

Trish in MD said...

Hello! Thank you for sharing your sock knitting adventure with us! So sorry it didn't work out... it looks like it would have been so pretty!

Allison said...

Even though it didn't turn out I'm totally impressed with your effort to design your own socks! Move over Cookie A! Best book I haven't read is probably A Thousand Spelendid Sons. Thanks so much for the award - I'm honored!!!

byrningbunny said...

I'm useless at knitting, so the hate, hate, hate part sounded familiar! :)

I've never read either of these books. It surprised me to realize it. I'm getting great ideas for a TBR list.

Renna said...

As to the book question, I can't really answer that, as there are SO many of the classics that I never got around to reading. I should have when I was younger, though, because these days, I simply don't have the attention span to read much. I'm sincerely hoping it's a menopausal symptom, and will go away in due time, as I always was an avid reader.

I'm gearing myself up to trying a toe-up sock. I need to finish the cuff down ones I've had on the sticks for a month first, though.