Thursday, June 5, 2008

Beginner Socks, Magic Loop Variation



Size- Women=s shoe size 5 to 11, (Men=s shoe size 8 to 12)

Materials- Approx. 275 yards sock yarn

One 40” circular needle size 3 (or size required to obtain gauge).

Gauge- in circular stockinette stitch (St st): 7sts to 1 inch.

Abbreviations-

skp - slip 1 as if to knit, k1, pass the slipped st over

sl - slip a st purlwise from the left needle to the right needle

M1tbl – do a M1 but knit it through the back loop (makes an invisible increase with no hole).

Directions are for women=s size, with men=s size in parentheses.

Directions

Beginning at the top of the sock, cast on 56 (64) sts very loosely. I recommend casting onto both ends of the needle held together, then removing one end. This gives a very even, yet loose, cast-on.

Slide sts onto cable. Divide sts in half, bending the ends of the needle towards each other and pulling a loop of cable out at the half-way point. Slide sts back onto needles, with the needles held parallel to one another, and with 28 (32) on each needle. Position sts so that the working yarn is coming off the needle farthest from you. This is “ready position” for magic loop.

Arrange sts so there are no twists in the round.

Pull rear needle-tip out to the right, letting sts slide onto cable. mark the first st of the round (the first st on the front needle) with a marker (or leave the tail hanging to mark the rnd beg. I prefer to hold my tail and the working yarn together for the first 10 sts, thus weaving in the end as I go. But if you do this use a st marker).

Begin round, using the rear needle as the right-hand needle, and knitting sts from left-hand needle onto right-hand needle. Knitting the very first st joins the round.

Rows 1-10: Work in k1, p1 rib.

Next: Work in St st until the sock measures 7 (8) in. from CO edge.

Begin Heel:

K 28 (32) sts (across one half of the round). Pm around a st in this row, marking it as the first row of the heel flap.

Begin working back and forth in St st across these sts, slipping the last st of each row to the right-hand needle without knitting it.

Work as established for 24 (30) rows. You should be ready to work a k row.

Turn heel:

Row 1- k 1, k14 (16) skp, k 1, turn.

Row 2- sl 1, p 3, p 2 tog, p1, turn.

Row 3- sl 1, k 4, skp, k 1, turn.

Row 4- sl 1, p 5, p 2 tog, p1, turn.

Row 5- sl 1, k 6, skp, k 1, turn.

Row 6- sl 1, p 7, p 2 tog, p 1, turn.

Row 7- sl 1, k 8, skp, k 1, turn.

Row 8- sl 1, p 9, p 2 tog, p 1, turn.

Row 9- sl 1, k 10, skp, k 1, turn.

Row 10- sl 1, p 11, p 2 tog, p 1, turn.

Row 11- sl 1, k 12, skp, k 1, turn.

Row 12- sl 1, p 13, p 2 tog, p1, turn.

For the women=s size, the heel is turned, there are 16 sts on the heel needle. Go to ** below.

For the men=s size, continue:

Row 13- sl 1, k 14, skp, k 1, turn.

Row 14- sl 1, p 15, p 2 tog, p1, turn.

The heel is turned; there are 18 sts on the heel needle. Go to ** below.

**Next row- k across the 16 (18) heel sts, and using the same needle, pick up and knit 14 (17) sts along the side of the heel. *Optional:* M1tbl on the instep end of the picked-up sts. This st must be knit together with the adjacent picked-up sts on the very next rnd. This will close the little hole that tends to form when heels are made.

Resume knitting in the round.

k across the instep sts.

Using next needle tip, pick up 14 (17) sts along the other side of the heel. *Optional:* M1tbl on the instep end of the picked-up sts. This st must be knit together with the adjacent picked-up sts on the very next rnd. This will close the little hole that tends to form when heels are made.

Using the same needle, k across all heel sts until there are 3 sts left on left-hand needle: k2tog, k1. (If you have done a M1, this would look like k2tog, k2tog. *Tip:* knit all picked-up sts through the back loop when you first knit them. This will make the heel ever so nice and neat, with no gaps.

You should have 43 (51) sts on the first needle and 28 (32) sts on the second needle (instep).

k across instep.

Shape gusset:

Round 1 (heel needle): k1, skp, k to end.

(instep needle): k all sts.

Round 2 (heel needle): k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.

(instep needle): k all sts.

Continue to work these 2 rounds until there are 28 (32) sts on each needle (56 (64) sts in all).

Foot:

Work in St st until foot of sock (including heel) measures 2 in less than desired length. To find the finished length your sock should be, stand barefoot on a sheet of paper. Using a pencil, make a mark in front of your big toe, and another behind your heel. Measure the length between the marks and add 1/4 inch. That is your finished length.

Shape toe-

Round 1 (decrease round): *(k 1, ssk, k to last 3 sts on needle, k 2 tog, k 1), rep from * on other needle (4 sts dec).

Round 2- k.

Continue to work these 2 rounds until there are 20 (24) sts left, 10 (12) on each needle.

Now work the decrease round (round 1) on every round until there are 8 (10) sts left on each needle. Break yarn, leaving a 12” tail, and using a darning needle, graft toe using Kitchener st.

Variation – Two socks at a time on one needle:

The trick to doing two socks at a time is in the cast-on. Knitting the socks remains the same. A 47” circular needle works better for two socks at one time. A needle of at lest 40” is required.

Use two balls of yarn (we’ll call them ball A and ball B).

Using ball A: Loosely cast on half the sts needled for sock (28 (32)), leaving enough of a tail to cast on the rest of the sts later.

Using ball B: Loosely cast on all the sts needed for sock (56 (64)).

Push all CO sts to cable section of circular needle. Count half of the B sts and bend the cable at this point, pulling it out at the halfway point between the B sts. Push the A sts onto one needle point, and, using the A yarn attached at the cable end of the needle, CO the other half of the sts onto the other needle point.

You will now have two separate sets of CO sts on the needle. Place the needle in “ready” position (the working yarns are coming off the back needle), mark the first st of the round with a marker (or leave the tail hanging to mark the rnd beg. I prefer to hold my tail and the working yarn together for the first 10 sts, thus weaving in the end as I go. But if you do this use a st marker).

Begin knitting the sock as given above, working from right to left around the needle, working ½ rnd of A, ½ rnd of B, turning the needle, working ½ rnd of B, and ½ rnd of A. You have now completed one full rnd for each sock.

Tip: to keep your yarn from tangling, do not rotate the balls of yarn as you rotate the needle (you could do this, but it is a pain). Instead, keep the yarn separate by moving it around the socks between the needle tips.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Forty-Dollar Coaster



I bought this skein of Temptation to finish my “Fiat Luxe” neck warmer, and what did I do with my leftover half skein? I acted like a true celebrity brat and CROCHETED a COASTER out of it! Ha! That is how little respect I have for this yarn. I would do better to just crochet my next coaster out of 20-dollar bills!

Pattern:
Round 1: Magic circle, 3ch (= turning ch,) 11 dc in magic circle, sl st in 3rd ch of 3ch to join, tighten tail to close loop. - 12 sts.
Round 2: ch 3 (=turning ch,) dc in 1st dc, 2 dc in ea dc around, sl st in 3rd ch of 3 ch to join. - 24 sts.
Round 3: ch 3 (=turning ch,) (2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc) around, sl st in 3rd ch of 3 ch to join. - 36 sts.
Block. Starch if desired.

Margarita recipe:
1 shot silver (blanco) tequila
1/2 shot Cointreau
1 shot good-quality margarita mix

Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker, pour over rocks in a chilled margarita glass with a salted rim and a wedge of lime.

FIESTA!