Saturday, August 22, 2009

Say it isn't so...

...but even experienced knitters can suddenly be confronted with challenges. I thought I knew how to knit cables and, of course, I did. I knew the basics, such as the general rule of x stitches used in cable equals x rows in between crossing the stitches. But I had never really read charts with more complicated cable patterns.

Two of the Internet sock knitting groups to which I belong, have been heavy on cables and travelling stitch patterns. That's when I realized there was trouble in this knitting land I inhabit, extraordinary trouble. I was really a newbie in cable knitting land. Ouch! I'll take lace patterns over cable patterns any time. But I decided that the little gray cells needed stimulating and, thus, I started my journey in the State of Cable Knitting. And the path is actually becoming more familiar. I no longer have to look every time I cross a cable at the table of explanation. What a relief. This old dog still has some brain cells left that are amenable to learning new things.

The blue socks are a pattern by Kleine Hexorei, aka Nadja Brandt. The pattern is called Interruption. The reason for naming the pattern are self-explanatory. The yarn is Fortissima Stretch 100 bought on sale at Patternworks. I have learned a couple of things while knitting the socks:

One of the lessons learned is that I must decrease the no. of stitches before starting the heel to 30. Thirty-six stitches make too wide a heel and sole for me. It is fairly easy to decrease the stitches just before starting the heel without being too visible. I also need to make the same decreases on the top of the foot before starting the toes. Of course, I only learned this after having knit the sock per specifications given. Oh well, at those times I remind myself that I am really a process knitter.

The second pair of socks on which I am currently working are the tan ones and are a design by Monika Eckert of Wollklabauter. Her designs can be found on Ravelry. The yarn used is again Fortissima Stretch 100 from Patternworks. This sock pattern has an interesting heel construction. Rather than making the usual heel flap (turning the heel and picking up stitches), this heel flap is knit at the same time as the foot continues over the arch. The increases replacing the gusset stitches are made on each side of the middle two stitches of the heel flap. When the heel flap is long enough, the heel is turned as on a regular heel flap, except the German version uses less stitches for the middle portion of the heel turning in comparison to the 1/3 stitches I normally use. I think the next time I use this heel construction, I will increase the no. of stitches for the middle of the heel cap construction.

I used 2.75 mm needles for the Fortissima Stretch 100 since the yarn is somewhat thicker than the average sock yarn. The cables were also easier to knit with the larger size needles. The yarn has a somewhat "rustic" look to it, but feels good when wearing it. This is not a yarn to wear in "normal" shoes, but will do fine with my Birkenstocks, particularly in the middle of the Winter.

So there you have it. Not much accomplished production-wise, but a whole lot accomplished learning-wise. Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Knit on merrily!


  1. Nice work. I love the cables on the light ones!

    I guess if you're knitting 52 pairs of socks you need some challeges to keep from going bonkers :-)

  2. ich erspare Dir mein schlechtes Englisch weil ich weiß, Du kommst auch mit meinem Deutsch klar ;-)
    Beide Paare sind wirklich schön geworden!!!
    und ich musste sehr lachen, als ich gelesen habe, welche Herausforderung die Socken für Dich waren ;-)
    Danke, daß Du tapfer weitergestrickt hast!!!!
    (ich finde, es hat sich gelohnt! :-))
    liebe Grüße,