Auntie Ann Knits

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Second Flow Motion Sock -- now with markers!

I'm making progress on my second Flow Motion sock. The second one is going to fit better, I think -- my half-baked plan, rather than re-knitting the heel, instep and leg of the first sock, is to try wearing it on my left foot (which is a tad smaller), and the second sock on the right. Must mark them somehow. If all else fails, well, if I have to re-knit it, now I can use these fab stitch markers I made:

Stitch Marker

stitch marker in action

Stitch marker in action!

This was a very inexpensive project and a lot of fun. I used this tutorial and this one. Apparently the "tiger tail" referred to in David Reidy's tute is the same as the more generic "nylon coated beading wire" referred to in the other tute. JoAnn's had "Beadalon" brand "bead stringing wire", and that is what I used. Bead wire, some crimp beads, hematite beads and shell (?) beads, all very inexpensive at Michael's and JoAnn's, and very simple to put together. Here it is in a nutshell -- cut some bead wire, double it, put on a crimp bead, put on decorative beads, put on another crimp bead, use pliers to crimp the crimp beads, trim ends, and voila.

I like having no jump rings (which can catch on the yarn) and I like that the bead wire is so thin, so no gapping is created by the marker. The weight of these is nice, they hang nicely without flopping around and are not in the way. And if you are like David Reidy and into binary code, you can make bead markers with messages!

row counter 2

This one was a little more complex. I was trying to combine the bead-wire type stitch marker with the idea from this tute. The idea was to have a two-row row counter (what?! sometimes I have trouble counting to two).

row counter

The top part was double-ended, with a loop at each end for the knitting needle, and only 3 small beads. The bottom, intact part, is made with a head pin and some beads. It was harder than I thought to make the loop at the top. Yes, I am a klutz.

The general idea is that as you're going along making toe increases / decreases or gusset increases / decreases, when you get to this marker you slip it by putting your right-hand needle into the other loop, not the one your left needle is in. This should make it easier even for me to keep track of whether I'm on an increase / decrease row, or a plain row. OK, I should be able to read my knitting and not need a row counter, but sometimes I mess it up anyway. Plus I just like this idea.

The problem, I think, was that one of the crimp beads broke for some reason. Must try again. If it works, I can make row counter markers for various projects, with the number of rows for the pattern repeat reflected in the stitch marker. Whee!

ETA: I don't know why I didn't just fix that broker marker before posting, because it took all of about 10 seconds.

row counter 3

ETA - there is now an updated link above to the row counter tutorial.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Single-Stranded Flow Motion Sock

I have wanted to make Cat Bordhi's Flow Motion Sock since I first saw it in Vogue Knitting (Fall '06, if I recall right). It's also in Vogue Knitting's "Ultimate Sock Book".

But I didn't want to make it holding two strands of yarn held together, as the pattern calls for. I didn't really care to have a lacy sock in a heavy weight.

So recently I set about figuring out how to knit the same sock with a single strand of yarn. I used the Dream in Color Smooshy that I won as a prize a while back. Yum.

After a good deal of knitting, figuring and head-scratching, this is what resulted:

Flow Motion Sock

Sorry for the crummy pic, it's raining, raining, raining, and I have yet to build a light box or anything so fancy. The house is still very much in a construction mode and there is no room. DD, DH and I are all sleeping in the living room, and have been for several months. I can't decide which it reminds me of more, The Waltons or Little House on the Prairie. At least we still have our regular beds, and a working kitchen.

BTW, there is an error in the leg chart. Row 5, stitch 10, should be a YO. It's correct in the written instructions, and yet I first turned to knitblogs to solve my puzzlement over the chart error. Instead of just reading the darn instructions. Didn't even occur to me at first.

Naturally this pic, taken at my desk, doesn't do justice to the yarn. I love, love, love this yarn. It seems to have color changes / variations that would never pool or flash. Just lovely variation.

And here's a pic with flash, showing the stitch pattern a bit.

Stitch pattern

At first I didn't like the way the fabric was coming out -- all those twisted stitches. But it grew on me. I've cast on for the second sock.

Mods: Single stranded, knit on 2.25 mm circ Magic Loop style through the first repeat of the leg chart, then on 2.5 mm circ. Plain picot edge instead of seed stitch. 56 stitches around the foot, 64 stitches around the leg, with necessary fudging of heel turn and flap. I began the increases as indicated in the "Upstream" master pattern in New Pathways for Sock Knitters (this turned out a tiny bit too short for this particular pattern, which I have decided I can live with) and increased 3 times (6 stitches, 9 rows) before beginning the instep chart.

Then after the heel was done I had to match up the leg chart with the instep chart. This would ordinarily be clear if you were knitting the sock as written, but of course since I was throwing in 4 instead of 3 repeats of the leg chart, I had to work it out for myself.

I like this sock, but I don't think another pair is in my future. Knitting all of those twisted stitches in the charts is too troublesome. I had to really concentrate on loosening up my knitting, which no doubt would be a good thing in general.

I did very few holiday knits after the craziness I put myself through last year, and got through the holidays relatively sanely, for me. It helped that for me, my Mom and my brothers, we decided not to exchange gifts, but to spend a morning helping out at a center for the needy elderly. Before you think too highly of me for this, remember that I traded off a couple of hours of charity work for hours and hours of shopping and wrapping and returns. I think it was a heck of a deal, and we all had a nice time.

And we got very lovely knitted gifts from my buddy Liz --

Tiny Sweaters

Tiny sweater ornaments for the three of us with our first initials! They were perfect for the tiny tree we had this year, and will be great for years to come! Thanks, Liz!