Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Sock construction

I'm a notorious non-finisher when it comes to knit and crochet things. Well, I do finish some things, eventually.

I have completed several pairs of socks though, mostly just plain, ordinary socks and one or two pairs of Tadpole socks. I changed the heel of the Tadpole socks from heel flap/gusset to short row because I like a short row heel better. However, the heel and the resulting short row from working back and forth always looked....odd. I found out awhile back it's because of the way I was doing my purl stitches-which was to wrap the yarn from top to bottom around the needle when I made the stitch. Now, while this method works to keep the stitch turned right when you turn to do the knit row, it actually makes that stitch just a hair bigger when you work it off on the next row. I found out from Nonaknits that if you wrap the yarn from bottom to top around the needle when making the purl stitch this will remedy that. However, as you will notice if you try that, the stitches are backwards on the needle when you turn to do the other row. This is remedied by knitting the stitches through the back loop when working back. I tried this when I did my short row heel on a plain pair of socks and the resulting heel looks like the rest of the sock, with no oddities. The short rows even look better when I worked them off as well. Just FYI, I like to do the YO short row, it's easy and much less complicated than any other one I've ever tried and it looks the best of all of them. The only oddity I still have to work on is the large stitch that's left at the end of the last short row I work off. I still haven't figured out why that is and what to do about it, but when I do I'll let you know.

The other thing about sock shaping that I experimented with was two different ways to make a left-leaning decrease. Nonaknits has a post about this somewhere on her blog, but I'm too lazy today to find it and can't be bothered to try. The two easiest ones to make are the SKP and the SSK. On one sock I did the SKP and on the other I did the SSK when I did the toe shaping. My verdict for my socks? While both of them didn't look nearly as good as the K2tog, the SSK stitch was much smoother than the SKP.

So, when I make socks from now on I'm doing my heels and toe shaping in those manners, no matter what the pattern calls for. Oh, and while I'm at it, I'll also sub k1p1 for any pattern calling for a k2p2 ribbing at the top, the k1p1 is much better-looking.

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