Thursday, December 17, 2015

Back to Bath! A Yarn Story, possible beer drinking

Very happy to say that as part of my UK trip in February, I'm going to be making a few shop visits...

The weekend of February 20 and 21st, I'm back at the lovely A Yarn Story in Bath, to visit Carmen and friends. I'm teaching Custom Fit Socks, Math for Knitters Part 2 (alterations and adjustments) and Pattern Writing.

More details, and registration here!

Although thinking of convening a impromptu knit-night at The Bell Inn, which has been recognized by CAMRA as one of the 2014 pubs of the year.

Real ales, real yarn, real friends. What's not to love?

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

New Sock Design: Sidekick Boot Socks & KAL

New sock pattern in the Winter Knitty: Sidekick boot socks.
They’re a pretty standard toe-up sock to start, in a lovely fingering weight yarn from SpaceCadetCreates, Ester but things get interesting around the heel…
I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a lot of sock yarn. And as you may not, I have rather a weakness for ridiculous variegated yarns. This design helps me with that particular “issue”, in that a double-stranded heel and leg use up some of that sock yarn! (In addition, the double-stranded heel wears better.) And the double-stranding of a sensible yarn with a ridiculous yarn tames the colour changes down, and makes the whole thing nicely marled and interesting. 
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The reversible mistake stitch rib pattern on the leg was inspired by Sequence Knitting, an absolutely fantastic book. If you’re at all interested in stitch patterns or design or textured fabrics, you need to look at this book. The stitch pattern I chose is stretchy and squishy and warm and nice, and being cleverly reversible, makes an excellent cuff folded over the top of your boots. Make them long enough for whatever boot length you wear... Because the ribbing pattern is very stretchy, you can make longer-than-usual legs without any faffing about with calf shaping. (Not that I'm against calf shaping, but sometimes you don't want to do the math.)
The good news about this design, too, is that the socks go faster than conventional socks, with a smaller stitch count and a larger gauge on the leg.

Full credit for the double-stranded heel and leg idea goes to friend-of-the-show Lynne Sosnowski, who helped me out of a sticky design dilemma with her brilliant simple and simply brilliant suggestion.
Naturally, they come in multiple sizes, and the pattern is written to be worked on your choice of DPNs, magic loop or two circulars.
And the lovely people of SpaceCadet are running a KAL in their Ravelry group, starting on Boxing Day. More details here!