Monday, December 31, 2007

Argyle Updates

Many of you will remember the argyle sock I am making for the TKGA Master hand knitting program. I am working on sock # 2. I have been waiting for the needles to arrive in order to transition from the flat to the round. They are here, so now I have no reason to procrastinate finishing this exercise.

Argyle Knitting Lessons I have learned:

1. Gauge. Sock yarn does not look nice knitted at a loose gauge. I knew this, but still I tried to meet the gauge of the pattern. Therefore, I got a huge sock (yes, it was the size the pattern called for). I went down to a smaller gauge, and got a more appropriately sized women’s sock. I went from a 3.25mm to a 2.75mm needle for the flat knitting. It made all the difference. My big fear in changing gauge was having to remake the chart, but since the size of the sock is still acceptable, I won’t have to do this.

2. Add an extra row of plain background color to the instep before placing it on hold. This helps the knitting stay neat once the sock switches to being worked in the round. Remember to compensate with an extra row on the gussets for seaming!!

3. Stitches look different in the flat than in the round. In the round my knitting in more even and there is a “slight” variation in the gauge. Hence the need for new needles. I will try both the 2.75 mm and the 3mm to see which one will give the best look.

4. Use needles with better points. Originally I used the Addi Turbos and once again I was disappointed with the tips. My decreases looked terrible. I prefer to magic loop, so I need needles with a good cord in addition to nice pointy tips. The addis have a great cord. But the points are less than desirable for fine knitting. I’m trying out Knit Picks Harmony needles, the site claims they are perfect for Magic Loop---

5. Work the heel either in straight stockinette or work the cushioning stitch differently. Work row 4: Sl1, K2 (slip1,K1) to last two sts ,k 2 rather than Sl2 (k1,sl1) to last 2 sts, k2. This will create a more stable outer edge on which to pick up gusset sts. The cushioning st may look better at a smaller gauge...we shall see.

Do you suppose I over think things just a little?

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