Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stocking unstuckings!

A lot has happened with Sam's Christmas stocking. I started it and got all the way to the gussett and got stuck. The pattern calls for a circular needle but I didn't have one small enough for the small number of cast on stitches I had. I decided to do it on straight needles. I also changed the number of cast on stitches to make it even bigger than the largest size. I finally put it on 2 circulars when I got to the heel flap and started knitting it in the round. I will have to seam up the rest of the stocking when I'm done. I did fine till I got to the part where you pick up the gusset stitches. I know how to pick them up, but then what? The pattern has you switch to DPN's. I can't knit on DPN's. I was stuck.

I decided to learn how to learn to knit a normal sized sock the traditional way. The book I have and the socks I've made are not traditional patterns. So I grabbed a huge skein of worsted weight acrylic (not normal for socks) and found a pattern that used 2 circulars (that I was using on Sam's stocking) and that was cuff down and started. Problem is, the pattern is for knitting 2 socks on 2 circulars. I just wanted to knit one sock. So I ignored the instructions for the second sock. I didn't know what cast on number I should use for a sock to fit me. The pattern gave an example of 60 stitches. Great! I just needed a number so I used that one. Needless to say Sasquatch could wear this! I don't care since it's just practice and will not be worn when finished.

I managed fine till I got to the part where you pick up the gussett stitches. It was the same place I got stuck before. The pattern was not clear and having instructions for 2 socks at the same time made things worse. I was very frustrated. I searched the internet again for a pattern that was more clear.
I watched videos hoping they would help me. They didn't. I called 2 yarn stores and asked if they charged to help me. I really didn't think it would be that hard or take long. They both charged so I decided to keep searching. I put a book on hold at the libray for 2 socks on 2 circular needles from the the same author of the book I own. I was hoping it would help me get past where I was stuck. I will have to wait a few days to get it. I  finally found a pattern that was clearer, used 2 circulars and was cuff down. I picked up the pattern at the place I was stuck at and started.

The pattern was clear and now I am past the heel and the gussett and and working my way to the toe. The picture shows where I am. I am very excited. I am anxious to get to the toe. It took forever to
knit the leg portion, below the ribbing, to the heel. The pattern said to knit 6 inches but I stopped at 4 inches. The leg was not what I needed to learn. When this sock is done I will have to mesh 2-3 patterns to make Sam's stocking. Hopefully when I am done I will have a "pattern" that I can confidently use to make the other 4 stockings. Yeah me!?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stocking stuckings

I am making progress on Sam's stocking. But as I expected I hit a snag. I got to the point where I needed 4 DPN's. Thankfully I had enough circular needles that I used as DPN's. But my real problem is I've never knit a real sock. Oh, I've knit 2 socks so far and wear them all the time, but the pattern I use doesn't use gussets and heal flaps. Plus the pattern is toe up. This one used gussetts, heel flaps and is cuff down. I ripped the heel out once already. The second time seems to be going better but I really don't know if I'm doing it right. Plus, I am making it larger than the pattern calls for so my numbers are off and I have to use the pattern numbers as a guide. So far so good, till I got to the heel. If this doesn't work, I may rip it out and put it aside and go learn how to knit a sock the traditional way so maybe this stocking will make sense when I come back to it. I need to learn how to do this because this is the pattern I am using on all the stockings. So far the needles seem to be lining up right and I am able to knit in order. Will keep you informed how it goes.

I have a terrible desire to go to a yarn shop and buy yarn. It's a "I just had surgery so I want to treat myself nice and Valentine's Day is almost here and I'm not getting anything even though I told Joel I would like a gift certificate to a yarn shop for V-day". Problem is, I put myself on a yarn diet ("cold sheeping" in the knitting world) and I am waiting till my birthday to buy some. Between what I have and what was given to me over Christmas, I am swimming in it. Why would I want to buy more? Ahh..the addiction! There is soo much acrylic I have that I don't want. I also don't want to be like this person's yarn stash: It's very neat and color coordinated but it looks like she has a yarn store in her house! I like my like my yarn contained in one large tupperware container.