kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
You can find them here. Several people had suggestions, and I've incorporated them into a new .pdf, with a better photograph, better charts, ad more definition. As always, I'd love some feedback.

If you want to knit these and you're a Ravelry member, please queue them and put them into your project page on Ravelry — it would help my designer stats move from '0' to 'more than 0'. :D

(I'm Kniteracy on Ravelry.)
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
Because I've been knitting all along: I just haven't been posting anything.

So here are some pictures of current socks in progress and recently finished.

Four photos below cut tag (three of the same socks!) )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
I'm looking for people to test-knit three or four sock designs. I'm afraid I can offer only the satisfaction of getting to see a pattern before some other people see it. I think [profile] dyddgu, [personal profile] natf and [personal profile] mokatiki had said something. Any other takers?

Patterns will be ready by the end of this week. Honest, guv.
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
Effortless Mastery is the name of a book subtitled "Freeing the master musician within." It's right up there with The Inner Game of Music and A Soprano On Her Head, as far as I'm concerned, for great books about becoming one with oneself as a musician. I've pontificated before in other places about Gerald Eskelin's brilliant Lies My Music Teacher Taught Me, and I won't go off on the intricacies of temperament or bore you with a discussion of modes. (For those of you who don't know, I'm also a bit of a musician, so I do actually think and talk about things like this.)

It's the term "effortless mastery" that I want to delve into here. I don't think the individual musician can ever know the moment or series of moments at which it is achieved, if it ever is achieved. Rather, he finds himself a few weeks or months or years later suddenly able to do something with such ease and facility that he realises he's pretty good at this. I think we can apply this term to lots of different disciplines: I'm remembering now the story of a student interpreter for the deaf at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He was in a biology class, merrily signing the lecture as the professor gave it. A difficult word came along, and he spelled it without thinking about it, then stared at his hand in disbelief. The deaf students applauded, and the class was briefly interrupted as he had to explain to the hearing students (and the instructor) what had just happened. That's as good an illustration as any of the moment of realisation.

I was thinking about the Spiraling Coriolis, after I made a plain pair. These were finished last Monday night, and Monday when I got home from class I cast on another pair. I used a Plymouth Sockotta I'd bought in the States in 2007 because I wasn't completely enamoured of the colourway and it was a prototype sock.

First of all, I was dead wrong about the colourway: It is gorgeous, and the other ball of Sockotta I have in different colours but similar patterning will become a pair of very plain socks to show off that lovely colourway.

It occurred to me that I could put that spiralling stripe in in any sort of pattern I liked: all I'd have to do would be to make sure the increases and decreases followed properly along. So, after I'd finished the toe (still in my short-term memory from the other pair) and increased to 100% (same number as before as I was getting almost exactly the same tension), I started a six-stitch braided cable on one side of the sock, bounded by a purl stitch on either side. I made the cable appear to move around the sock by adding increases on one side and decreases on the other. When I got to the point at which the 'gusset' increases start, I just changed the decrease to a twisted stitch to give it some relief and carried on. Rather than continuing the cable round the back of the sock, I twisted it back in on itself. This has resulted in some puckering on the front of the sock although it looks fine on the foot. I didn't want to have the cable be working its way around the back of the sock when I had to start the heel: that would have been awkward.

The one thing I don't like about the completed sock is that the cable, which is twisting around the front of the sock, pulls pretty tightly. Cat Bordhi suggests in the Coriolis notes that if you want to widen the leg, just leave out some of the decreases on whichever side of the spiral you're doing, but I tried that for a couple of rounds and it seemed to upset the rhythm of the cable in a way it hadn't done on the foot. For the second sock I'll make a series of invisible increases on the back of the sock above the heel, to see if that makes the fit of the cable more relaxed.

So.

Why was I going on about the moment at which we realise we have mastered something (in this case sock architecture and the beginnings of decent design)?

Because I made these socks up as I went along. And I achieved what is probably a new speed knitting record for me (I'm a slow knitter)-- one sock in two days.

Two photos beneath cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
I will try to make this understandable.

Let's say you're designing, oh, I don't know -- a sock. This sock does not have standard patterning and gussets: it puts the increases to allow for the gussets on the front of the sock.

So, imagine you're knitting a pattern, from the toe. You have some complex stuff to do on the toe and just afterwards, for about three inches (8cm) or so. After that, the middle of the foot changes and begins to increase into a lace pattern. The chart will expand from 36 sts wide to 110 or so. All this expansion happens in the middle.

I can see three ways to chart this, one of which I do not think I can actually do because the possibility for error is too great.

First way: I write the entire sock chart, from the toe, moving the complex patterning around both sides of the lace chart as the chart expands. Possibly easier to read, but the likelihood that I will make major errors is very high.

Second way: I split the toe in half, thus making the middle motif of the toe very difficult to read, with a bunch of null stitches (71 to be precise) in the middle of the chart, for something like 45 rounds, until the lace pattern begins to come in, then reduce the number of null stitches to widen the lace chart. This way is less hard for me but may be difficult for knitters to read at the beginning. It will also result in a chart that is very wide but appears to have little useful information at the bottom.

Third way: I rely on the intelligence of knitters and make two charts. One chart is for the toe up to where the lace increases begin. I then write instructions into the pattern explaining that the lace chart now begins to build in the middle of the sock; knitters should continue knitting the left and right bits of Chart A while incorporating Chart B into the middle lace panel. Much simpler for me (inasmuch as this is simple at all; that is to say, NOT), but relies upon knitters to understand that they are continuing the pretty cables on the side of the lace chart as it grows.

What would be easiest for you to do? Bear in mind that for most knitters at this level, or at least this is how it was when I was knitting the test sock, there will be clear markers as to where the lace increases happen, and the outside patterns are very repetitive: a single cable on each side. By 'reading' the cables, knitters wouldn't have to refer to two charts at once (aka hell)

Input gratefully received.
Xposted to sock knitting groups.
kniteracy: (designing)
I'm going to need to consult an expert when I finally end up charting this, but them's the breaks, I guess.


Sneak Peek!
Sneak Peek!
OK, so this isn't the wool I'm actually designing for, but this sock needed a scratch canvas; otherwise I'd be fraying my-friend-the-dyer's wool like crazy and it'd look awful when knitted up. This is Wendy Happy, btw, a blend of bamboo and nylon, of all things. And if you like those cables, wait 'til you see the lace! :)

kniteracy: (socks)
For a long time, I've been designing my own socks, more or less. I learned Queen Kahuna's toe-up sock method shortly after her book came out and began making patterned toe-up socks with gussets, yum! When Cat Bordhi's book New Pathways for Sock Knitters came out, I devoured that one, too, with its innovative ideas about where you could put gussets and how to handle those increases in ways that would make socks more both more interesting and fun to knit. Cookie A's book Sock Innovation is a great resource as well, though I really do prefer designing and knitting toe-up socks. To me, they're just more fun. For various styles and techniques, you can't beat resources like Charlene Schurch's Sensational Socks and More Sensational Socks, though the patterns are not as innovative as the things I really love to knit. Most of us who knit socks are enamoured of one or two designers who really know what they're doing and amaze us with the stuff they do. If you're on Ravelry, just have a look round the pattern section to see who's designing socks right now and what they look like.

Today, I've been working on sock designs. Now, those of you who don't knit may find it odd to realise that there are whole books worth of sock designs and whole knitting designers who design socks exclusively, but I'm sure you'll catch up. ;)

Without the aid of a professional-level charting program (and those of you who'd like to pitch in and get me a fabulous Christmas gift can take a look at Knit Visualizer if you're curious as to what I'm talking about when I say professional-level charting program), I design mostly on paper or in Knitting Wizard, which is very cool but nowhere near as intuitive as the demo of Knit Visualizer I have tried.

So, today I tried something different. I cast on sixteen stitches and considered the outside six to be just a garter stitch border. Then, I just started knitting a sock top, on the flat. I used inexpensive solid colour sock wool from Lang (well, OK, it was $7US for 50g, but trust me; that's less expensive than the beautiful stuff I'm really designing for). I played around with various stitch patterns, mostly twisted stitch patterns today, with a little bit of lacework in the mix.

It was fun! And I'll be doing some more of it tonight. I've ripped out this afternoon's work as just a scratch exercise, so I don't have any photographs to show you. Some of you have seen the first sock I designed for this project. Let me know if you have a favourite look for a lacey sock or a design with lots of travelling stitches that you like? And if the poem 'anyone lived in a pretty how town' gives you any inspiration at all, let me know that, too.

I won't rip the next one out before photographing it, promise.
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
Recently, I Got Yarn. I also started a new sock, plus did some work on some older projects. Clearly, I am seeking distractions against the other sock I have to design this week....
Several pictures below cut tags, with annotations and geeking )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
At this point, I have copies of
The Ultmate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches,
The Vogue Stitchionaries,
The Encyclopedia of Knitting,
The Knitter's Bible,
The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches; and
three of the four Barbara Walker Treasuries.

I'm working on some designs for a couple of pairs of lace socks.

But you know what? All those other books do not hold a candle to the Barbara Walker Treasuries. There's just more, and more interesting stuff, in them. Which is not to say you shouldn't get the others, but I'm finding the Walker treasuries much more valuable as a unit.

Just sayin'.

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