Our Sock KAL site - come join us!

We're doing it. Knit-A-Long with us and the "Need A Sock?" book .

Your two KAL guides will be Deb Gemmell and Brenda Harris.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Heel Flaps

Things were in a flap yesterday at Grey Heron! Heel flaps that is.

Remember Arlene who left last week with her yarn re-wound and not a stitch complete? Look what she did at home during the week.

Arlene knows she is a very slow, methodical knitter. Knitting this seven plus inch sock leg took her a l-o-n-g time she admitted and required some 'stick-to-it-ive' discipline. Well done Arlene!

Re-arranging stitches to obtain the correct number on one needle to begin the heel flap took some time. Mostly because I didn't stress the importance of rearranging the stitches according to the leg chart on Page 17 before the class left for home last week. Sorry, ladies.

The heel flap is knit on 50% of stitches, but not the 50% already on one needle. It's the two 25% needles that come together to form the heel flap. Reversing the stitch configuration is required and can be confusing if the stitches are not already arranged according to the percentage system. Check out the chart.

Once that was done, tension mounted. There was dead silence in the room as heel flaps were begun. Can you sense it? Here's Diane in deep concentration.

Ruth too is very studious!

But by the end of class, look what was accomplished!

Diane's heel flap - just a couple rows short of completion. The entire class loved the easy row-counting tip pictured at the bottom of page 18 .

Before the ladies went home, we had a visitor. Never a dull moment at Grey Heron. Carol, a soon-to-be Great Grandma, came to the store to show off the knitting she has done for baby. I took her into the workshop room and while she oohed and awed over the ladies socks, they oohed and awed over her little, pink, baby outfit. There were knitterly smiles all around.

Next week, - the dreaded heel turn. Not!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sock KAL At Grey Heron

What fun we had at our Need A Sock? KAL today at Grey Heron.

There were four knitters - all experienced in knitting on double pointed needles. But! None of them had ever knit with such fine yarn or such small needles.

Starting was awkward.

Can you sense tension in those hands?

As I say in the book, the awkwardness doesn't last long. Look at where they were by the end of class.

Well, poor Arlene has decided to start over.

They have homework this week. They will knit the leg at home, then next week, we do the heel flap. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cross-posted from my (Elizabeth's) blog, Chez Lizzie.

A Walk in the Park

I made the 5-minute walk over to Grant Hall at Queen's University for a flu shot this morning. This is supposed to be the last of our Indian summer days, so I used the opportunity to take some photos along the way. First, I strolled down Bagot St. to the Cricket Field, where I had a great view of the Courthouse. The site was originally intended for the Parliament of Upper and Lower Canada (Kingston was the capital in the early 1840's).

Frontenac County Courthouse

On the other side of Bagot St., I noticed that the City has begun to set up the boards for what will be a skating rink.
Rink boards in background, sign commemorating 1837 militia garrison in foreground

 I crossed Barrie St. and entered Queen's campus, passing Summerhill, now the home of the alumni offices.

Students were walking to their morning classes.

Arriving at Grant Hall, I took my place in the line and was through pretty quickly. Very efficient. I worked on closing up the toe to my second Pillar Sock while I waited the mandatory 15 minutes after my shot. Had fun listening to a conversation between retired professors.
Then, back home to lunch and the final grafting of the toe and blocking. And here is the result:

Can't say how much I love the garter stitch edges on the heels--so incredibly easy to pick up the stitches for the gusset. Also, I love the V heels. You just knit to the centre of the heel flap to start; how easy is that? Just a walk in the park! Plus, I have narrow heels anyway, so they're a great fit. Thanks, Deb.

Monday, November 15, 2010

James Socks

Sorry about the immodesty, but look at what a great job I did here.
No gaposis at the corner of 'instep & gusset' on James socks.

I eliminated the gaposis, by reaching down inside the sock and picking up a purl bump close to the corner then knitting into it.

It wasn't hard to do and sure beat that gaposis into submission.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Round Heel

I used the Round Heel for James sock. Here's a close up.
James sock has 56 stitches. The heel flap was worked on 50% of 56 or 28 stitches.

To turn a round heel, the initial row is knit to 2 stitches past centre. In the case of James socks, centre was between stitch 14. I knit to centre (14) plus 2 - or 16 stitches, before making a decrease to start the turn.

The socks look good so far and are knitting up quickly.

My Adventures with Deb's Sock Pattern

I (Elizabeth) have cross-posted this from my own blog http://chezlizzie.blogspot.com/
The last two days have been an unexpected gift--frosty mornings followed by brilliant sunshine and warm temperatures. With Bill attending a conference at Queen's (something to do with public finance), I decided that the weather demanded a road trip. So off to Picton, in Prince Edward County, I went. The drive along Lake Ontario was glorious, with the water sparkling on my left. Then I came to vineyards and orchards and finally the Glenora ferry. While I waited for the ferry, I worked on a sock from Deb and Lynda Gemmell's new sock book.

Here is the sock on the hood of my car, waiting for the arrival of the ferry. And here is the ferry itself.

Once in Picton, I window shopped, visited the Rose Haven Farm Store, browsed in French Country, and bought a bagel with cheddar cheese and a coffee. Then I drove home.
In the evening, while Bill had dinner at the Faculty Club, I paid $10 to hear violinist David Stewart play a concert featuring the music of Ysaye. Very enjoyable since I love Ysaye and one does not hear his music often enough, especially the solo works. I sat in the back and knitted (quietly) some more on the sock.
Today, another day of warmth and blue skies. After having the eavestroughs cleaned, I wandered down to the Kingston market. Lots of squashes on display.

And apples.

And pickles and jams.
I bought this gorgeous red dogwood to dress up my back deck for the holidays.

Finally, I returned home to admire my freshly blocked sock. (I always block the first one before starting in on the second, just to be sure of the fit.) Don't you love DK weight sock yarn? It makes socks that can fit in your shoes, and it knits up so fast!

"Pillar" patterned sock in Trekking 6-ply tweed.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How handy Is That?

Just to let our fellow KAl-ers know. Being brain dead after 4 Remembrance Day services yesterday before knit group, it sure was nice to have the stitch distribution chart on Page 16 for my 2 X 2 rib. No thinking required! Now I'm on to the leg and simply readjusted my stitches according to the chart on Page 17. What a brilliant idea those charts were! :):)
Would you like to join us as we knit socks? If you would like to put in a blog posting about your progress, your finished socks or any questions you might have send your email address to deb.cabinfever@gmail.com and I will send out an invite. Join the party!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

James Ribbed Socks

Here is the first couple of inches of my KAL socks.
I cast on 56 stitches and am using a 2 x 2 rib - my favourite. James' shoe size is right between the largest child's size and the smallest ladies size as per the Cast On Chart on page 11, so I decided to go with the larger number of stitches. The yarn has 10% Possum Fur and is incredibly soft.
I finished my first sock mate. Here's proof.
Second sock done. This is the Squiggle Lace Pattern on pg. 31. I did it in Shelridge Farm's DK weight superwash and they have turned out really well. This pattern is easy to read. You can always tell where you are, either there is a yarn over that you can see and then you know you're on a standard rib round or else there is no loop and you need to work a lace round. I found it an easy travelling sock to knit. I would like to do it in a finer sock yarn now but I'm putting it lower in the sock knitting queue so it will be new again when I get to it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm much further along on my Squiggle Socks. These are a variation on the K2,P2 rib socks. They're fun to do. The ribbing on the cuff runs right into the Squiggle Lace pattern.
And the P2 part of the rib is maintained which makes this pattern hug the leg well.
It's easy to see what you are doing for every row too which makes this a good travelling sock pattern. I'm working the Elizabeth Zimmermann heel with garter stitch edges. Nice heel.

Here you can see that I've turned my heel. This is a Round heel and by far the most popular of the heel turnings. Now a bit of gusset work and onto the foot.

Comments: Yes, Brenda there are many, many double pointed needles under that deck. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Welcome to the KAL with Cabin Fever. We're going to be working on socks from the Need A Sock? book. This book was written by Brenda Harris and Deb Gemmell and teaches you how to knit socks with a Sock Percentage System so that you don't need a specific pattern to knit socks anymore. You can knit them in any gauge and any size too. And so that you don't have to dig out your calculator we give you stitch numbers to go along with all the percentages.

So here we go. I'm going to start with my favourite ways to cast on loosely.
I cast on all the stitches I need for the sock onto one needle. Or in this case over two needles held together as if they were one needle.
Slide one needle out so that you have a loose set of stitches on the needle.
Working in your rib pattern, work the prescribed number of stitches onto each of the three double pointed needles. Join in a circle making sure the cast on edge does not twist around any needle. You should be able to run your finger all around the cast on edge.
I have to admit I take a departure from Brenda on the number of needles used. I like using 4 needles and knitting with the 5th needle. So I would work my cast-on stitches onto 4 needles and join in a circle. Now I would work my ribbing for as long as I like.