Tuesday, 4 September 2007

In Which the Orange Thing Take a Step Backward

Last night I took a stiff drink....and this

became this.

But fear not fans of orange I've not given up yet! I'm going to try doubling up the yarn. This will give the thickness I'm looking for, and will (I think) help with the variegation of the yarn as the colours will become blended. (That's the theory anyway.)

Thanks so much to everyone for their input....it helps to know others share your pain!

Tonight was a better night. I took my gorgeous goddaughter (is goddaughter one word?) to see

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat. This is perhaps not entirely knitting related but I thought I could include it as my Kaffe Fassett coat has always been fondly referred to as the coat of many colours (and many Joseph songs have been sung while knitting it as a result) AND I did a lot of productive knitting watching Lee Mead win the role of Joseph in BBC's Any Dream Will Do.

In celebrity spotting - Michael Parkinson sat 2 rows in front of us (for North American readers Michael Parkinson is the godfather of the celebrity interview here, anyone who is anyone gets interviewed by Michael Parkinson). G was most impressed when I confirmed that Parkinson had more than likely interviewed Justin Timberlake. I'm sure it was a highlight of Parky's career as well.

The show was a joy. I defy anyone to watch the finale without wishing they were up on that stage - they looked like they were having so much fun.

And finally in the world of socks. The Kaffe Fassett socks are almost done - just need to complete the afterthought heel on the second pair. I've attempted to outline in pictures the process, but for a better outline check out the Knitting Biologists explanation.

The heel can be knit in either toe up or cuff down socks. When you reach where you want the heel to be, simply knit 30 stitches (for a 60 stitch plain sock) onto a piece of smooth contrasting scrap yarn.

Then knit those stitches again with the sock yarn and continue knitting through the cuff or toe of your sock. When you are ready to work the heel you can either remove the contrasting yarn by cutting it and then pick up the stitches, or (if you are cautious like me) pick the stitches up before you cut the contrasting yarn.

I use a smaller needle to pick up the stitches (2mm here, the socks are knit on 2.5mm needles) which makes it easier.

Cut the contrasting yarn (I've used a seam ripper because I can't find my small sharp scissors) (sigh). Remove the bits of contrasting yarn from the stitches and you now have 60 stitches ready to shape into a heel.

Join your sock yarn, and start knitting across your stitches. You can pick up 1 (or more) stitches at each end of the needles if you are worried about holes. I'm a dpn sock knitter, so I'd spread the stitches across four needles.

The good news is that it seems that the standard decreasing used for toes works equally well for heels. Simply decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of needle 1, the end of needle 2, the beginning of needle 3 and the end of needle 4 every second row until you have about 24 stitches left. Here's one I made earlier.

Kitchener the stitches and heh presto an afterthought heel!

(Heel flaps are still my favourite.)

(But these work well for patterned yarn where you don't want to disturb the pattern for the heel.)

Right. It's late now, and I've sung all the Joseph songs so it must be time for bed. Any dream will do.....but one involving a handsome stranger and a lottery win would go down particularly well.


Holly said...

Ouch! That's some serious ripping. I commend you for doing it, though, and I hope you're happier with the next try. I will be watching to see what comes of that orange yarn, my friend!

Nevisknitter said...

Those afterthoght heels look good, and looking forward to seeing the reincarnation of the orange yarn, hope it turns out better next time.

susubee said...

Thanks for the afterthought heel explaination. I was familiar with the general concept, but couldn't quite figure out how it actually came together - your tutorial illustraited it perfectly. I'm used to doing shortrow heels, but I really like the way the afterthought heel preserved the striping of the yarn.

Wasn't frogging a liberating experience? Now that lovely yarn can become something it was meant to be - whatever that is!

yarndancer said...

Thanks for the afterthought heel tutorial! I'm going to make a pair of socks soon with patterned yarn, and I didn't really want to have the pattern break up with the heel. Your explanation was really clear.

Good luck with the orange yarn - I hope doubling it up works better for you.

Bearium said...

Love the afterthought heel, it's so much more straight forward than I realised. Definitely needs to be added to my repertoire!

Oh and I'm seriously jealous that you've been to see Joseph!