The order of the garter

13/09/2008

Although it may appear as if I have fallen down a spinning rabbit hole to the abandon of everything else I am happy to report that this is not entirely the case. For one thing, spinning and trains are unlikely ever to mix.

I finished H’s latest pair of socks; ‘the socks that saw the Harlot‘; on Thursday evening (yes, after I finished making the pretty handspun, did I mention that spinning leads to late nights?) and I discovered that although my husband will be unimpressed if I wake him up merely to show him knitting, waking him up by putting the second sock on his cold bare foot is acceptable wifely conduct. That or it is the true wonder of Shelridge Farms Ultra

As it was sunny this morning he agreed to pose for pictures:

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Isn’t it great to know that he has become sufficiently overwhelmed by the wool fumes in this house that “stand there while I take pictures of your feet please”, is a perfectly normal request. Actually I asked for an artistic pose as well and I got…
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… quasi-Tai Kwondo! It does show the sock beautifully so I can’t fault it.

As you can see, this is a garter stitch heel and toe as an alternative to my usual vanilla sock pattern, inspired by the latest Rockin Sock Club pattern. To do the garter heel simple knit your normal top down sock until you get to the heel shaping. My sock is over 72 sts on 2.5mm needles; fifteen rounds of 2×2 rib and then sixty rounds of plain stocking stitch.

First, rearrange your stitches so that you have half your stitches plus 2 on one/two needles, and the rest sitting on the final needle. The needle with the larger number of stitches is holds the sts which will be used to form the heel. Knit across those stitches until the last stitch, then wrap and turn by bringing the yarn forward between the needles, slipping the last st across, putting the yarn to the back and slipping the stitch back again. This stitch hasn’t been worked but it looks like it’s wearing a scarf (apologies to anyone I just taught to suck eggs). Knit back across your heel stitches until the final stitch and wrap and turn again.

You then work back and forth knitting every row and every row stop one short of where you got to last time and wrap and turn. At some point you need to start working outwards again. If you started with an even number of sts then make sure you work until there are an even number of sts unwrapped in the middle of the heel (I use 10 but 8 or 12 would work just as well, it depends on how many sts you started with). If you started with and odd number of sts then use 11 (or 9 or 13), you see the idea.

Then knit until the first wrapped st, knit that st and wrap and turn the next one. Repeat as before, each time knitting the next wrapped st and wrapping the one after until you have only the outside two double wrapped sts. You do NOT need to knit the wraps in this method – and I find that it looks nicer without.

Then start knitting in the round again, when you come to the join I find the best trick is to knit the final wrapped stitch, then pick up the wraps and knit them with the next stitch. Similarly, when you work the final stitch of the top of the foot, pick up the wraps and knit them with that stitch. Finally, adjust the needles so that you can tell where the instep/sole divide is.

When you come to the toe simple repeat the heel, working with the stitches on the top of the foot and when you are finished, kitchener stitch the toe to the sole of the sock and you’re done. It’s a nice variation on an otherwise plain sock.

As a commute without knitting is unimaginable I stuck a pin in the stash and came out with this:
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Manos Pure Wool in a colour which might seem surprisingly tame for me but which has such rich deep colours that I couldn’t resist it. In an effort to provide conclusive proof that knitting controls, if not the universe, at least the weather, I noticed that it was getting a little parky in the mornings and cast on a pair of fingerless mittens on Friday morning. It has been increasingly warm and sunny ever since.

Unfortunately, I have to report that it will rain tomorrow because I have finished them:
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These are the Maine Morning Mitts from Clara Parkes’ Knitters Book of Yarn; (and also available as a free download) a pattern written deliberately to show off beautiful coloured singles yarns like Manos and Noro Kureyon. I think we can say that it succeeded.

As you may have noticed from the picture above, these mittens have been decreed to be unisex. So should they be for me
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Or for H?

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He is bigger than me, so I think I know who would win a tug of mitten.

  • picperfic 14/09/2008 at 10:51 am

    love the foot photo!! I must make some of those mitts, I have some Manos just crying out to be made into them.

  • mandycharlie 14/09/2008 at 3:29 pm

    Thank you Carie for the instructions for the garter stitch heel, your pattern has come at just the right time for me as I’m just about to start a heel for my Dad’s socks and he will love the extra comfort.