“One can never have enough socks," said Dumbledore. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” J.K. Rowling
Sooner or later, some damn idiot will knit a fucking book. Yeah, do the words via intarsia. Knitting has gone out of sane limitations these days.
So I'm still designing socks, finished all the lace designs. Rather than put them all in one book, I'm going to upload the individual patterns. All of my designs are cuff-down, not toe-up. Why? Because if you have a hefty instep, cuff-down socks will fit your feet far better due to the heel shaping. I have a couple of designs with short-rowed heels but I prefer a gusseted heel.
I've had people on Ravelry ask me questions about sock designing so I figured here is the place to yack about it. If you're looking to become a knitting designer, sock designing is a good start. If you're teaching beginners who are ready to make something, cuff-down socks are great because they include techniques that beginners need to learn--increase and decrease types, shortrowing, stitch pick-up, and grafting.
Gapped Out GussetMany people don't like to do a standard heel gusset due to the potential heel and leg junction issues. I have a very simple technique that I use for my patterns. When you're done with the leg length and are ready to knit the flap, start off with one knitted row, then one purled row, sans initial slipped stitches. If you do the flap with nothing but slipped stitches at the beginning of each row, the first two rows with slipped stitches will make a gappy mess when you're picking up stitches for the gusset.
So after the two plain stockinette rows, then go for the *Sl 1 purlwise" pattern for the rest of the flap rows. Yes, adding the two stockinette rows means that when you pick up the gusset stitches, you will have to pick up either one or two extra stitches there. For example, if you have 15 slipped stitches on each side of the flap, you'll use those to pick up the gusset stitches and then add one or two more from the initial two stockinette rows. So you'll have either 16 or 17 gusset stitches, not 15.
Here's a picture of one of my gussets, done this way.
And when picking up the gusset stitches, don't forget to knit them through the back. Whenever you pick up stitches, do this.
Sockin' NeedlesA while back, I wrote about Magic Loop and how I wasn't going to bother with it. Well, I was wrong. I still use double-pointed needles but often, depending upon the design, I go for Magic Loop. My favorite DPNs are my Signature Needle Arts needles. Fabulous pins!
Credit for EditI've been busy writing directions but now that it's Friday night, I'm done for the weekend. If you read the comments in the last post, you can see that the editor of Yarnwise, a UK knitting magazine, left me a message. Yes, she has asked me if I would like to do tech editing for them. Yes! I love editing directions because I've done it for years and want knitters not to yell, "What the fuck does THIS mean?" My friend, Lars Raines, is working on a Lopi sweater book, which I will edit for him. Lars does beautiful designs so I'll let you know when it's published.
Another reason why I wrote that interactive book for Open Air Publishing. I love beginners. Remembering when I first got into knitting seriously, when I was 23, there was no internet, no training videos, very few knitting books, so I had to figure out shit on my own. I recall reading a vest pattern in a Mon Tricot issue, the magazine that taught me how to be an intermediate knitter, that had directions for shortrowing.
I'm saying to myself, "WHAT? Stop knitting in the middle of the row? NO!" And then I picked up some yarn and needles to see if this was actually a mistake or a real method. Duh. It was. Made a wedge. Wow! That experience made me realize that you can manuveur yarn loops in amazing ways. Shortrowing is rare and handy, for sure!
Later, skanks. I'll be back next week.