Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In search of a sock

Kathi wants to know - and I can actually hear her evil cackling as she asks this - what socks I plan to knit next?

I want to know too. I keep seeing very attractive patterns for socks but having worked my way through one skein of the yarn I plan to use next, I know they won't work with such an assertive stripe. Probably the I'll do more of the same, fine-tuning the number of stitches so they're a bit thicker with more give in the ribbing. I'd like to try a different heel that lends itself more easily to mending later on too. The heel will be pink, I can tell you that - and the toes - because, naturally, I treated myself to the matching-yet-contrasting solid.

Which leaves the following burning questions for any sock knitters inclined to help me out:

Is it easier to achieve a stretchy cuff when you're casting on there, or casting off? I am guessing casting on, assuming a second needle that's three sizes bigger than the one you plan to knit with is held alongside the first throughout the process.

Is there any toe as cute as a toe-up toe?

How do you do an afterthought heel? (wait, Kathi's already answered that and sent me instructions, only they arrived right before The Very Bad Day, and I think I have mislaid them.)

Can you go toe up and top down and meet in the middle for the best of both worlds?

Is there an effective way to eat chocolate and knit socks at the same time? By way of Tootsie Rolls, perhaps?


Karen said...

Maire, have you considered Spring Forwards from Knitty? They have several advantages: extreme ease of pattern, so that you're not constantly scratching your head and wondering what the heck row you're on; extreme cuteness for not much effort; and they look fantastic in variegated yarn.
As for your questions, I can tell you that one of the first things I had to master with toe-ups was the non-constricting bind-off. There are several ways to do it, but suffice to say, you're looking at UBER-loose binding off, which can be harder to achieve than a loose cast-on.

Anonymous said...

I'd do cuff-down next. Once you've done both ways, you'll be set for anything. If toe-up you *have* to try 'Judy's magic cast-on' - it's extraordinarily brilliant, largely for its simplicity. FWIW my cuff-down are stretchier edged than my toe-up (for which I used EZ's sewn bind-off), so your instinct may be right on that. And hey, you got a good tip on the afterthought heel - share it, I'd already decided this was the next thing I needed to know.

Kathleen Taylor said...

I almost always knit cuff-down. I cast on with a needle 2 or more sizes larger than the one I will knit with (usually a size 3 US-3.25mm), and that gives me enough stretch. HOwever, I am taking a hem class at the Sock Summit, and a loose bind off, 1 hr class, so I may learn many new tricks, come August.

Mary Keenan said...

Oh man, Spring Forwards is adorable! It won't work with these stripes, but I'd love to try it in something gentler... and I'm sure I've got something kicking around the stash that would do ;^)

I agree - cuff down next, with a big needle for the cast on. I got my coordinating heel and toe yarn in the mail and it is SO CUTE. I can hardly wait.