Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Sock for a Walk

Last Sunday I walked in a charity walk I do every year. I didn't want to drag my Pencil Sketch Camisole along since it is far too large to do while walking and has a lace chart that I haven't memorized yet. (Only an 8 row repeat and I still can't get it into my head!)

So Saturday I cast on for a pair of socks to try another toe up heel flap pattern/tutorial by Andrea Mules. Socks are the perfect thing to knit while walking. I worked on Saturday and Sunday morning enough to get the toe increases done so I would have nothing but straight knitting on the walk.

My plan worked and I got quit a bit of knitting done. The sad part is that by the end of the walk it was obvious that the sock was too wide and I had to take it all out. (I think it was less than 2 inches so not that bad.) When I started reknitting I decided to add the narrow and simple lace panels just to keep things interesting. I'm just up to the gusset increases now and it is the perfect chance to try EZ's loop increases.

This style of increase comes in a pair so you can mirror image them.

You can see in the left image above the added stitches lean to the right, and in the right picture they lean to the left. And this is done in a very simple way...

First knit up to the point where you want to add a stitch:
Then loop the working yarn around the right needle so that it is twisted (unlike a yarnover). You can see it can be twisted in two directions:
right leaning                             left leaning

The twist on the left will result in a right leaning increase, and the one of the right will make a left leaning increase.

Then pull the yarn to snug up the loop right next to the last stitch you knit:
Now you can continue knitting. When you get back to that point in the next row, you knit it like normal, making sure to knit through the front loop so that it stays twisted. Besides controlling the direction the stitch leans, this twist also helps prevent a hole from appearing at the site of the increase.

I haven't charted it all out, but this increase is exactly equivalent to picking up the loop from the row below and knitting it so that it twists. (Equivalent except that it is done one row higher. Either will work within a pattern.)

The method discussed above causes less distortion to the row below and works better when the yarn is not very stretchy or giving. In a case where the yarn is stretchy or especially prone to leaving gaps or holes, I would recommend the method of picking up the loop from the row below.

And next up is figuring out this particular heel flap...

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