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Green One Off Needles [May. 25th, 2012|05:14 pm]
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[Current Mood |accomplished]

Green One, (3rd pair of socks, first green)  seemed like such an easy-going, cooperative pair of socks at first.  The cuff ribbing...the careful decrease to a narrower part of the ankle below...the successful eye-of-partridge heel flaps.  All was well, it seemed. 

Until the rejoin, at which point...the heel flaps weren't as stretchy (besides being 2 stitches narrower and the top of foot also being 2 stitches narrower.)   I had to change gussets to help with that...and then try to adjust (with frequent try-ons.)   First they'd be really tight, then (when I let off on the decreases) suddenly they'd be overly loose.  And the attempt to graft/Kitchener the toes shut...worst so far.   Each pair has been harder--this pair was impossible.    I was trying to do it flat, off the needles, using cooking twine to hold the stitches:

The idea was to stuff the end of the sock to make a rounded-nearly-flat work surface, and I'd be able to see what I was doing.   There's a separate piece of twine through each  needle's worth of stitches--6 front, 6 back.  (Tied up here to they couldn't come loose   I *still* could not see what I was doing.  The stitches "shrank" without the needles in them.   I had directions.  I had watched the video again.   I had directions in front of me; I understood the directions...but I could not see the stitches, or the results of what I was doing, except as a confusing mound.   The first rounds tried to crawl back down into the fabric...I undid them and started over.  Yes, I'd done things in the right order but they didn't look right.  I did them again.  And again.  By the second or third stitch, there was a mound of yarn...and time (more than an hour...considerably...) was passing.   Frustration built.  Laundry needed to be put out.  The other sock had barely started its toe decreases. 

I gave up and ran yarn through every stitch and pulled the toe together.  OK, it's a sock, it's not the best sock, but it's a sock. 

The second sock, I left on needles, except changing to a smaller size needle right before trying to graft the toe, thinking that might help.   No.  This time I gave up faster (family had come back from the city--the solitude in which to say things to the yarn, the needles, etc., and the lack of interruption was over) and purse-stringed that one, too.    It's annoying--I was able to do it with Red One and Blue One, both of whom have imperfect but definite grafted toes.    But here they are, Green One socks on feet, off the needles.  They're comfortable.  I can walk in them, in shoes or out.


The thicker heels do help with my wider-heeled walking shoes, but also (and understandably) push my foot forward in the shoe a little.   Although these fit better in some areas than previous pairs, they're still a bit big where I had to change the rate of decrease at the gussets.   Learned a lot, but it's still not the perfect pattern. 

On the very bright side, I now have three pairs of socks.


From: (Anonymous)
2012-05-25 10:56 pm (UTC)

Love socks

I love the fancy eye of the partridge stitch ... very stylish in green.

I wonder if the color/shade of the yarn makes seeing things harder ... some projects I've done over the years just seem to be harder to see ... the navy blue vest on size two needles was a killer, even socks ( in "denim") on 0 seem easier to see.

Have you blocked your socks? That could help with fit I think.

Have a great weekend!
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2012-05-26 04:43 pm (UTC)

Re: Love socks

It may well be a color problem. The cataract in my left eye is giving me more trouble every year and is approaching the point at which I won't be able to pass the driving test. The other one is there but not nearly as "ripe." I've been told that cataracts change color perception, too.

What happens it that when the strands overlap while doing the stitch, I can't tell one from another, and the harder I peer, the more it turns into a lumpy green blur. The next two pairs will be red (with which I was successful before) and medium-denim-blue (have no clue what that effect will be.

I'm thinking of practicing with white cotton twine or something that has no fuzz and that I can lay flat on a contrasting background, and then work back down to yarn, until my hands have the movements.

Or just sewing the toes closed.

Blocking socks? No, I haven't. When I wash them I squeeze out the water gently and then lay them flat on a towel, wrap the sides over them, roll it up and press--then lay them out flat. The green ones haven't touched water yet (because I'm so eager to try a new pair that I wear them several hours before washing them.)

I have a lot to learn.
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[User Picture]From: catsittingstill
2012-05-26 01:11 pm (UTC)
If I remember right, my first pair of socks I gave up on Kitchener stitch halfway through and just sewed up the toes with an overcast stitch. I mean, what the heck, it's all the same yarn.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2012-05-26 02:50 pm (UTC)
My mother made me two pairs of socks something like 45 years ago. But she never taught me to make socks. When I finally decided I had to learn, I had two very battered socks to work with...and I found Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's book _Knitting Rules_. Between the basic sock direction there, and my mother's socks, and the internet, I figured out how to make the first pair. As near as I can tell (the light green socks, that may have been knit toe-up, were in the worse shape--moths or something else had made holes all over them. (The toe is closed with a tiny square that looks almost woven, but of the same yarn--it's hard to really see what it is, given the damage. The blue socks, certainly knitted top-down as the toes were perfectly "Kitchenered" , had one still whole and one with a hole in the toe.

So I was determined to try Kitchener, since my mother had done it (and the whole sock-making thing, besides needing socks, was in part a "I'm free of maternal restrictions" statement of intent.) But having found it much harder than it should (in theory, looking at the diagrams) be, perhaps due to my ageing vision or the fuzziness that quickly develops in this yarn--I can't SEE where the strands are--I'm going to go with another method just because I don't want to spend one to two hours per sock in total frustration.
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[User Picture]From: swingdancefan
2012-05-26 02:23 pm (UTC)
Toe up socks.Really. I won't do them any other way. No grafting, no heel flaps, try on as you go. There are some great tutorials and convertors to change a top down pattern to toe up.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2012-05-26 02:42 pm (UTC)
To each his/her own approach to knitting. Mileage varies. I suspect a lot depends on the shape of the feet that will be in the socks (and some on how one was taught.) Schurch & Parrott's _The Sock Knitter's Handbook_ has a section comparing the amount of instep ease in different styles of sock...in color, so it's easy to see. Heel flap socks offer the most for those with high insteps. Like me.

Trying on as you go is available in either direction.

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From: mrs_redboots
2012-05-26 04:09 pm (UTC)
Maybe it would be easier to learn how to graft stitches together (Kitchener stitch) if you tried with contrast yarn. Do a few rows of stocking(ette) stitch with an even number of stitches, then divide between the 2 needles, thread a darning-needle with a length of contrast yarn and have at it! Once you know what you're doing, try with the same yarn. And after that, it will stop being difficult and daunting and become second nature.

The green socks rock anyway! Although the thought of any kind of sock makes me shudder just now - it's far, far too hot to wear socks today!
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[User Picture]From: ndozo
2012-05-27 03:27 pm (UTC)
They are wonderful! Wearable art.
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