confessions of a closet knitter

October 2, 2007

My socks are already at the crucial heel part. I need to rip something out (that shawl I’ve tried for the 5th time), I have new skeins of yarn which I have not blogged and all of this has not been updated on ravelry. Now I do love sharing these things but it means admitting that I’ve started something. Also admitting that I’ve got more stash than I need. Even moreso it points out that I’m probably going to have to rip something out again. There is something hidden about publishing items that I’m creating that telling you about them then jinxes the item in to a backward spiral to nothing.

Confession time. I’m using up the orange yarn I have, practicing for more professional socks once I have the pattern and design down. Yet again I’ve tried to follow patterns but for what I want to achieve I am squishing several patterns together to achieve perfect sockdom. I know I’m not that experienced but this is how I learn best, trying and testing techniques until I have one down that achieves the desired look and feel. So far I LOVE the toe, and gusset. I need to tackle the heels but for now I’ll add some details as to where I’ve pulled my toe technique.

Firstly I started with a: Single Cast-On aka Backward-Loop Cast-On
what they say is: Easiest method to learn, but tricky to knit from evenly. listed on knittinghelp.com
I casted on 15 stitches for each sock then pushed them off the back of the circular needle on to the wire. The issue with this is to do one toe at a time because you need to hold on to the loops, save them falling off the needle and tangling. Then I knitted back across the stitches to make them solid. For this I knit first stitch in to back of loop then k across. k in to back of 2nd to last loop and drop the original cast on knot loop. Once these stitches are on the wire rather than the needle, take up the 2nd circular needle and pick up the draping loops and knit those on the new needle.

This does work great but for some silly reason on my first attempt I have managed to make toes that are an odd number of stitches on the base and even on the top. 33 and 34. Also not a congruent size with any pattern out there. I can see a rod coming and its going to be strapped to my back shortly.

To make the extra stitches in the toe on every other row, of course this is all now in the round and every other row is increased after the first stitch which is twisted and just before the last stitch that is twisted. This is for both sides of the sock. Here is an example of the increases I made. found on knitting help I also found that lifting stitches like this works one way to hide and be perfectly hole-less. There is an alternative for the other side of the sock that works the same but the twist has to be in the opposite direction. The opposite increase can also be found on the same knitting help page.

Here is a fine example of sock instructions on how to do the toe up loop on method:  http://www.socknitters.com/toe-up/tulessonone.htm  The instructions are broken down in to reasonable parts and each page takes you through the next stage of a toe up sock.

Yarnissima, and Wendy have also been my saviours for sock ideas and understanding. They are both EXTREMELY talented knitters and well worth listening to. Some of their stunning designs can be found free of charge at The Loopy Ewe

One tool I cannot do without is the fantastic and well written tech knitting blog. Where they also have instructions for  casting on by looping and many many more fantastic techniques. I’m in awe at how knitting has been deconstructed here and made simple to understand what each stitch type does and how it relates with others.

I found a blog that does video blogging for those who love visual instruction. http://www.letsknit2gether.com/ well worth a look. I would love to do something like this but I know they are way better than I could ever produce.

Anyway enough knitting for now, I need to go practice some heel types on some spare yarn before I dare commit to my new socks. Maybe even take photos… Shock horror I may even get something up on ravelry! go on, add me as a friend 😉


  1. I tried to do toe up socks and gave up and went back to my tried and true cuff down. I just can’t wrap my brain around that new fangled stuff! You ought to join sockamania ,its free and you get a new sock pattern every month.

  2. oohh sounds interesting. except I’m going at this like an idiot. I can cope with toes, and I can cope with two circulars at the same time too. Although its now I admit I’ve only ever made one sock ever before…. It never even had a pair. poor sock.

  3. How does one join Ravelry?

  4. go to here: http://www.ravelry.com/
    and stick your mail on the waiting list. They will send out an invite to you as soon as they can. They are inviting around 1000 people a day at the moment.

  5. Done. Ta.

    *awaits email*

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