Sunday, January 27, 2008

Quick and Thick Socks

Here's the pattern that goes with the sock tutorial I just posted. QUICK 'n' THICK SOX

US #8 dpns (set of 4 or 5)
2 skeins Lion Brand's Wool-ease Chunky (or similar yarn that is labeled a #5 "bulky yarn")
tapestry needle

this pattern is for an average lady's sock; changes for man's sock are in ( ). This is a very simple pattern that you can embellish (particularly on the leg portion) once you feel comfortable. Please understand that this pattern is copyright in 2008 by:
Mary C. Gildersleeve
By Hand, With Heart ... hand-knit designs.

CO 32 (36) sts. Distribute evenly across the dpns. Join.

Cuff -- k2p2 ribbing for 8 rows or desired length of cuff. On last rnd of ribbing, inc 4 sts evenly across by knitting 2 sts into every 8th (9th) st. 36 (40) sts on needles.

Leg -- knit rnd on all sts till leg is desired length (about 20 rnds for lady's sock, 30 rnds for man's sock).

Heel flap -- redistribute sts so that half are on one needle and second half are on the other needle -- 18 (20) sts on each needle.Begin traditional heel sts by:

Row 1: * slip 1 st, k next st; rep from * across 18 (20) sts. Turn.
Row 2: slip 1 st, purl across 17 (19) sts. Turn.
Repeat these 2 rows for 18 (20) total rows -- you'll have 9 (10) chain sts on each edge of heel flap.
Heel turning --
Row 1: k9 (k10) sts, ssk, k1 turn.
Row 2: slip 1, p1, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 3: slip 1, k2, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 4: slip 1, p3, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 5: slip 1, k4, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 6: slip 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 7: slip 1, k6, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 8: slip 1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn.
(Row 9: slip 1, k8, ssk, k1, turn.)
(Row 10: slip 1, p9, p2tog, p1, turn.)

Pick-up gusset stitches and start working foot:

K across 10 (12) sts. Pick-up 9 (10 sts) along heel flap edge. Knit across 18 (20) instep sts. Pick-up 9 (10) sts along heel flap edge. 46 (52) sts.

Begin gusset decrease by:
rnd 1: k10 (12), k7 (k8), k2tog, k18 (k20), ssk, k7 (k8). 44 (50) sts
rnd 2: k10 (12), k6 (k7), k2tog, k18 (k20), ssk, k6 (k7). 42 (48) sts
rnd 3: k10 (12), k5 (k6), k2tog, k18 (k20), ssk, k5 (k6). 40 (46) sts
rnd 4: k10 (12), k4 (k5), k2tog, k18 (k20), ssk, k4 (k5). 38 (44) sts
rnd 5: k10 (12), k3 (k4), k2tog, k18 (k20), ssk, k3 (k4). 36 (42) sts
rnd 6: k10 (12), k2 (k3), k2tog, k18 (k20), ssk, k2 (k3). 34 (40) sts
rnd 7: k10 (12), k1 (k2), k2tog, k18 (k20), ssk, k1 (k2). 32 (38) sts
rnd 8: k9 (11), k1 (k2), k2tog, k18 (k20), ssk, k0 (k1). 30 (36) sts
rnd 9: k9 (11), k1 (k2), k2tog, k16 (k19), ssk, k0 (k1). 28 (34) sts
(just man's sock: k11, k1, k2tog, k17, ssk, k1. 32 sts)

Work around on foot sts -- 28 (32) sts for desired length which is about 1-1/2 inches before tip of toes -- approx. 15 (30) rnds.

Begin toe shaping by redistributing sts on 2 needles: 14 (16) sts per needle.
row 1: k1, ssk, k to 3 sts before end of needle, k2tog, k1; rep on 2nd needle
Rep row 1 until 8 (10) sts remain. Break yarn and pull thru sts. Tuck in all loose ends and ENJOY!

Socks really aren't so hard and with big yarn on big needles they go together quickly and you can easily see what is occuring. Try these socks and "holler" if you have any questions....

Happy knittin!

Tutorial -- Quick and Thick Sox

Some of the ladies over at 4real asked about sock knitting. I offerred to do a tutorial about socks and since the thick socks make it so easy to learn to knit, I thought I'd do a tutorial on a quick and thick sock.

I'll post the formal pattern separately, but this tutorial will walk you thru all the steps of knitting a sock. So here goes:
Step 1: Cast on the appropriate number of stitches. You'll be using double-pointed needles, but you can certainly CO all to one needle and then distribute onto the other needles.
Step 2: distribute CO sts onto the dpns -- here I have a set that is 4 needles, so I distribute the 32 stitches evenly across 3 of the needles -- 10 on each of two needles, 12 on the 3rd needle. You'll join the CO together by knitting the first stitch from the needle below the needle from which the yarn is coming.
Step 3: here the cuff is done -- a k2p2 rib makes an elastic but lovely ribbing. Remember the cuff should be at least one inch deep so that the rib is able to pull-in and keep the sock up!
Step 4: here, we've finished knitting the leg and have distributed the stitches onto two needles only. The first half of the stitches will be used to knit back-and-forth to create the heel flap. The second half of the stitches will remain unknit until the heel is done. Step 5: Here the heel flap stitches are done. The right-side row for traditional heel stitch is done by *slip 1 st, knit 1 st; rep from * across the heel flap. Next row (ws): sl 1 st, purl across all the other sts. This "traditional heel stitch" pulls in nicely and allows sock to hug the heel back. As you can see in the picture ... the slipped stitches are larger and make the knitted sts sink back so that the heel actually only looks like half as many stitches. Step 6: The turned heel flap is shown above. Basically you work half way across, k2tog, k1 and then turn, purl back across and p2tog. Continue knitting the right-side stitches and purling the wrong-side stiches, adding 1 more each time until you've worked across all the heel flap sts (here you'll have 10 sts left when you're done turning the flap of 18sts).Step 7: once you've finished turning the heel, you'll pickup the side sts -- which are technically called the gusset sts. Since you've slipped every st at the beginning of each row when doing the heel flap, you'll have half the number of rows knitted as a nice chain on the edges to pickup -- here we'll pickup nine sts (from the 18 rows knitted for heel flap).Here the gusset sts have been picked up and the top of the foot sts (technically, the instep stitches) are all ready to work. You can see the inside of the heel flap -- the slipped-stitches are where the bar of yarn is shown here.Step 8: once you've picked up all the gusset sts -- 9 either side of the turned-heel and knitting across the instep sts -- for a total of 46 sts. Every row you'll dec the extra gusset sts (the slanted line shown above) on either side of the heel flap until you have a total of 28 sts for the foot. You'll re-distribute these 28 sts onto two needles only -- 14 sts each -- as this makes it easiest to shape the toe once you've done the 15 rnds or so for the foot.Step 9: shape the toe (ending the foot about 1 to 1-1/2 inces short of the desired finished length of the foot) by k1, ssk, k across the needle to 3 short of the end, k2tog, k1; rep on second needle. Continuing this toe-shaping until you have 4 sts left on each needle -- 8 sts.
Step 10: once you're down to the 8 sts, cut the yarn (leaving a tail about 4 inches long. Thread onto a big-eyed needle and thread thru the sts as you remove them from the needle. Pull tight and tie off the end ... this makes a nicely finished toe.
And the sock is done! Now, repeat for the second foot ... now that wasn't so hard was it?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

OT: Family Movie Nights

We don't watch much television. We haven't had cable or a satellite dish for the past almost-10 years. We rely almost exclusively on being able to "beg, borrow or steal" good family movies to watch on the weekends (or special feast days/celebrations) for "Family Movie Night". It is getting harder and harder to find entertaining videos that will satisfy all our diverse tastes.

But then I saw mention on a Yahoo group of a new venture by some Catholic families in the Chicago area. Faith and Family Flix is trying to be the Catholic alternative to Netflix or Blockbuster. Right now, they have a pretty good catalog of classics, comedies, documentaries and kid-vid that would rival Netflix or Blockbuster. They'll be adding more offerings as fast as they can. For about the same as a Netflix subscription ($9.99/1 dvd, $16.99/2 dvd, etc) we'll be able to bring home good family entertainment on a pretty consistent basis!

Go ahead, give Faith and Family Flix a try -- it's a worthwhile endeavor that needs to be supported by those interested in bringing good movies -- movies that edify, educate and entertain -- into our homes!

After all, what more could you want: the family sitting together watching a great movie while you sit there and knit?????