Posts Tagged ‘grafting’

Smoother Sock Toes

November 27, 2018

It’s no secret that I love to knit socks. Although it took me ages to take the plunge, I’ve almost always had one on the needles as a second (or third) project, especially when I need something portable. 

My latest pair is made with a vibrant skein of Lady Dye’s Superwash Fingering (can’t recall the colorway).  

knit socks in sink before blocking

The Yarn Harlot’s Good Plain Sock Recipe continues to be my go-to pattern, but I’ve discovered a new technique that makes the toe graft smoother.

Top-down socks need to have the toes “closed” by grafting, rather than by seaming, which would create an uncomfortable lumpy edge in one’s shoe. I’ve always used the Kitchener stitch but had never been able to achieve an invisible graft — there was always a bit of a line. See? 

The recipients of my socks didn’t seem to mind at all. In fact, some say they are “real juju” especially when facing academic challenges. But I was still on out the look out for a better technique.

And I found one, thanks to the TECHknitter. Instead of using a darning needle to graft the two sides together, you use a double-pointed needle. It shouldn’t make a difference since the grafting yarn is traveling in the same way. But it made a remarkable difference for me — a smooth, truly seamless toe. 

I always feel so clever when I learn something new!

Socks are blocked, dry, and tucked away for someone (still haven’t figured out who though).

two finished knit socks

 

 

 

 

Socktober, Just Under the Wire

October 31, 2013

Since she was unable to attend class this week, I paid a house call to Judy who was close to finishing her first sock. We’d met earlier in the week after she texted that she had a “knitting crisis” with the gusset and asked if I had a few minutes to help.

Non-knitters may scoff at the idea of a knitting crisis, but most of you know exactly what I’m talking about. Been there. Done that and survived, often with the help of a friend who talked us down from the “I’m-going-to-rip-out-the-whole-thing” edge.

What she needed, and what I was happy to provide, was a steady voice talking her through the toe shaping and reassuring her that, yes indeed, she was doing it right. She chanted through the Kitchener stitch mantra (more on that below) and then she had it, a complete, correctly proportioned, cozy, bee-yoo-ti-ful sock!

JudySock

I think she was appropriately pleased and proud even as she voiced doubt about whether she’d be able to make its mate. She can and she will.

A couple of days before, I’d shaped the toe of the first of K’s socks and was down to 8 stitches per needle. Since no one wants a seam along the toe of a sock, these stitches would be joined, or grafted, together (as opposed to being bound off and then seamed).

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I keep a Kitchener stitch cheat sheet rolled up in my darning needle holder so it’s right where I can find it when I need it. I’ll spare you the details of how long it took me to get the damn thing out of the tube. Suffice to say that I used DPNs as chopsticks before resorting to tweezers.

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I talked my way through each move: through stitch on front needle as if to purl, leave on needle; through stitch on back as if to knit, leave….

And then there it was.

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I don’t know if Socktober is a thing, but I like the sound of it so there you go.

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