Tonight, I sat down with my knitting with the sole intention of turning the heel. My friends had gone to bed, likely. I still had homework to do. Dinner was done, and I’d had a glass of wine. I decided to knit before I tackled the homework. I knit the heel turn in cream colored yarn. That was likely the easy part, except the did I finish it off right, but sock heels and gussets can be forgiving. If they weren’t, I doubt we’d start planning the next pair as we were knitting the challenges of the current pair.

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The heel is turned, the periscope is formed…

Once I knit the heel turn, I got to begin decreasing the gusset. This is a bit of a challenge as the top half of the sock and heel flap are black. The bottom half of the sock and heel flap are cream. Decisions needed to be made so I could keep this black on the top half and cream on the bottom half. I think I’ve worked out a mostly happy medium, but I’m not entirely sure yet. You’ll see it in the pictures. It is impossible to miss.

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Front view of the periscope and cream-ribbon

The cuteness comes in puppy form, as one of the times I set the knitting aside to check the broccoli I decided needed to be added to dinner, the dog curled up next to the knitting. I’m not sure if he’s guarding the knitting or if he’s telling me its time to put it away to cuddle…. At least he doesn’t try to eat the yarn.

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Zeus, guarding the yarn, while stealing my pillow…

Alas, I’m at a reasonable place and will have a few interestingly worked eyelet combinations to keep my bi-colored socks knit in the round while knitting and purling each yarn color to make this work. The good news is, the decreases only happen on the knit sides. Sometimes, I think its easier to follow this way. If I were any more tired, I’d probably be further lost, wondering if I remembered the decrease.  I think I’m just going to take photos and show you at this point. 006

The eyelets created by knitting and purling two colors of yarn in the round

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I never knew the heel was so special. I never knew it would consume so much of my time, or research. I consider myself an intermediate knitter, most days. When it comes to the heel of my fourth “pair” of socks (I admit it, the cats led the third pair into the beginnings of second sock syndrome, which I plan to resolve shortly after this pair is knit), I still need to look up how to set up and distribute the stitches to knit the heel. This was not included in the instructions. I wish it was, but not including it gives me a great chance to plug a favorite helpful site:

http://www.cometosilver.com/socks/SockClass_Start.htm

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Maeve inspecting the knitting

I have used this site for many a sock question: How do you turn the heel? How do you divide the stitches when not specifically told? How do you create a heel of a sock? What the heck am I doing? Which needle is needle #1 again? Silver only asks for a donation if you can give it. I try to when I use the site.

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Scamp investigating my heel knitting

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Both girls checking on my progress, Scamp pretends she’s not interested

Now, I have the heel stitches divided and am ready to knit the heel. But first, I must make another decision: which heel to knit. I get three choices–the stockinette stitch heel, the slip stitch rib heel and the eye of partridge heel. If I were knitting solely in black, I might choose the stockinette stitch or the slip stitch rib as the stitch will not be noticeable. However, I’m planning to switch to cream(finally!) about half way through the heel. That means the eye of partridge will be a treat to knit, since I haven’t knit that one up to this point. Each heel does come with specific instructions in this section. Let’s see how it goes.

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Half-way done with the heel

I’ve knit the heel and I chose the eye of partridge stitch. It was a little tricky on the black yarn, but I thought it best for the tension to keep the stitch the same. I knit four sets of four rows in black, then I switched to the cream for the last four sets.

Here is the heel after switching yarns:  

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I chose the half and half as I plan to make the bottom of the sock cream. I’m hoping to keep the top black. Currently, I’m jumping ahead to the foot. I want to keep the higher part of the gusset black and wondering if I should knit in the round and carry the cream thread along the stitches for the gusset reduction. The other option is to knit both colors together for the reduction of the gusset, which will make for a tight stitch and could change the tension.

I’ll have to decide once I get there, because I’m almost winging this from this point out. I’ll still follow a standard sock pattern, but not many are knit like this. I am considering knitting two rows at a time knit and purl to keep the colors separated. First, though, I need to turn the heel. That part’s almost looking easy compared to the sections to come.

Third Time’s The Charm

March 13, 2015

This week was Spring Break…a traditional week off of classes to give students a break with no homework. It was a nice break, though I spent it visiting my aunt, knitting, researching and writing a paper. So much for less work, but it might explain why I have one A and two slightly disappointing A- grades. I know, I know…I should be proud. I am, but I know I can do better. I have only eight more weeks to prove it and prepare for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. I don’t have to take the exam in eight more weeks, but I will be taking it as soon as I can manage it. I will still have clinicals, which may make knitting a challenge, but I will make time. I  kind of like this pattern.

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Third set of hearts done, ready to move onto the heel.

I like this pattern, so far, enough that I’ve knit the third and final set of hearts on the leg, which now measures six and a half inches. I’m happy with the length and am ready to begin the heel. Yeah! I think. The good news is, I now have Tuesdays off. The bad news is, I still have class on Wednesday morning. I may have to compromise on making time for the heel. I need to set up a new method of memorizing drug brand names and their generic names as well as what they treat. I really sometimes wish we had a more hands-on lab for this last semester, but that’s stitches already ripped out. Not that I have to rip any stitches out. I’m not being that much of a perfectionist right now.

Now, I get to pick a heel. Note: This is an intermediate to advanced pattern when it comes to the heel. Charts are already intermediate, but can be figured out with a couple of questions. But the directions simply state pick a heel. There is no mention of lining up stitches on the needles, so the top of foot stitches are all on one needle. I’m grateful I recall the need for this step.

001Difficult to see Squib, but the light pink triangle in the background, just behind the pattern is his ear. Just before I got out the camera, his paw was on the pattern, trying to keep the yarn for himself. He’s getting camera savvy, I say.

The heel choices are the usual suspects: Slip Stitch Rib, Stockinette, and Eye of Partridge. I will be debating about this until I sit down to knit it. I’ve knit both the Slip Stitch heel and the Stockinette heel. I’ve wanted to knit the Eye of Partridge heel since I learned it was an option. I haven’t been quite brave enough or sure it would work with the sock. In addition, its a black sock, it won’t show.

I haven’t forgotten that I’m switching colors, but that decision will come with this as well, and I’ll likely be two-stranded through much of the heel and gusset process. I will want the entire bottom to end up cream colored. However, I want only the black to show out of my shoes. I have not decided on the best way to make this happen. I’m truly considering switching off colors about halfway down the heel and picking up the stitches in black for most of the gussets. Then switching to cream after that point. It shall be an interesting sock as I knit.

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A better picture of all three hearts knit into the leg of the sock.

Since it is an interesting sock, I will have to take excellent notes as I finish it, critter help or not. Wish me luck and determination as well as a little time.

I decided during my crazy-busy week of mid-terms and laundry and stress from schedule changes, I decided to give in tonight and do nothing related to studying. I do mean nothing, with the exception of checking my grades. I typed up some previous writing for a story I like to work on. I photographed the cats reclaiming my work chair. I photographed the dog when she tried to turn a stocking stuffer gift into a puppy toy. Then I sat down to finish planning the spacing for the next set of lace hearts. It seems that when your brain is fried after midterms, or even during, one just isn’t enough.

005Squib, guarding the yarn(so he says) during a break…

I thought I’d worked out spacing for eight rows in between the sixteen row hearts. Only there may be two problems. I like to anchor my work, which I discovered after row sixteen this evening, and I missed the mark, I believe. In addition, I may have forgotten to mark a row as I was knitting the “eight” spacer rows. I may now have ten spacer rows.

I have yet to decide if two sets of hearts will be enough or if I will attempt to recreate this spacing(which I will have to do on the second sock as well) or if I knit in the round for a few more inches. I currently have three and a half inches of leg, and the pattern calls for six inches. I’ve debated if I’m going to knit one more spacer and one more set of hearts, or if I wish to attempt two more sets of hearts. Then again, I suspect this sock will look cute enough with only two sets of hearts.

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Squib, checking out the work I’m really doing, since I’m not petting him.

Why make it harder than it needs to be? Because I like challenge. Because if there is a challenge, something pulls me back to push through it. If I simply knit in the round for two and a half more inches, I will have to make getting to the heel flap the goal, and decide how to knit this set-up, as there will be a distinctive choice. So, for next week, I may have to decide between more open lace work hearts and faster method to the heel.

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The second set of hearts worked into the sock…I hope this fits;-)
If I choose more hearts, I have to figure out an amount close to what I knit before for the spacers. Ah, the choices knitting brings us. Perhaps I will design my own sock one day. However, I will not be going to class when that happens. Wish me luck with this (black)hearted sock and the next.