Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Posts Tagged ‘Socks’

Kilt Hose Mending

Posted by mtmom on October 24, 2010

This summer was the third time Aaron Shaw had mending for me to do.  His kilt hose are splendid — the work of Debra Gilding of D&D Natural Fiber Co. — and I’d hate to see them come to the end of their useful life.  They had to wait until after I finished the pair for Robert (posted to him last week — yay!), so I’ve only just finished the job.

kilt hose "in the field" -- argyll matches his tartan

toe hole re-knit with Cascade Heritage

back-of-heel hole fixed and stitches picked up for new heel

I first learned to repair knits from Rena Crockett’s book, Flawless Knit Repair, and used her techniques in 2008 and 2009.  I’ve modified them this year — simpler.







That heel hole is just above last year’s repair (brown) and reinforcement with nylon (purple)  The whole thing was starting to look a bit ragged and thin, so I knit a new heel.

picking up stitches in first row of old heel

new short-row heel that closely matches shape and size of original

grafting new heel over final row of old (marked with thread)

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Revisiting Robert’s Kilt Hose

Posted by mtmom on July 25, 2010

2009 Satakieli hose

Longtime readers may recall the pair of green kilt hose I knit in fingering-weight Satakieli wool for Irish bagpiper Robert Watt last year. (He’s only in Flagstaff for 11 – 12 days each summer.)  —  —  –>

Well, he decided they were “too bright” to go with this kilt (they are, really, aren’t they) and asked me this year if I could remedy that, and also make the cuffs more snug.  Reknitting the cuffs I knew I could do, and I also knew that overdying the socks darker was possible — but I had never done such a thing before.  I told him I would try.

I mixed up some Jacquard acid dyes: some red and blue to tone down the yellow-ness, a touch of black and some more blue to go for a darker, bluer hue — more like the forest green yarn he liked in my long swatch.  And I overdyed those socks.

not an especially good photo of overdyed hose, 1 cuff removed

<– The lighting here is not especially good to see the color, but the next one shows it better.

It also shows an unexpected side-effect of dying a pre-knitted fabric that has RIBS. . . .


The dye did not penetrate the recessed purl ribs nearly as much as it did the knit portions.  I can call it a “design feature” all I want, but I still doubt this will look good on his legs.  Arrgh!  Grimace!!  And anything more I do will likely only make matters worse.

I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll go ahead and reknit the cuffs and send them to him in Ireland, or just frog and reuse the (slightly dappled) yarn for something else.  Either way, I will charge him nothing for his second pair . . . and perhaps his third as well, if I don’t send back pair #1.

Speaking of pair #2, here is the current state of them.

Pair #2 for Robert

First foot has a turned heel — toe-up gusset heel, a la Wendy Johnson — and 4.5 inches of ribbed ankle.

Second foot is ready to begin the heel gusset.

After I turn the second heel and begin the second ankle, I’ll be ready to begin the calf shaping.

Yarn is Wool-Ease worsted weight, in color Forest Green Heather, on 3.75 mm needles (US #5).

Aaron’s argyle repair work and the white textured hose made by Elsie, Stuart’s mum in Scotland, continue to call to me.  I want to finish Robert’s pair first, but don’t want to wait so long that the others get “sour” in my mind.  (Perhaps I should set them more out-of-sight for the time being.)  In the meantime, Elsie and I have struck up a knitterly e-correspondence.  If she gives her permission, I’ll recreate her (flat) pattern in the round — in yarn and on paper — and then share them with you all.

Oh, I almost forgot to add:  When DD got her practice chanter and registered for Piping School, I crocheted a protective “sleeve” for the instrument in “royal blue” Wool-Ease sportweight (sadly, no longer produced), with  variegated drawstrings.

Posted in Celtic, Crochet, Design, Dying, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Socks for Kathy

Posted by mtmom on April 21, 2010

I finished these a few days ago.  Yarn is worsted-weight “Fair Isle” by Wisdom Yarns.Process:

I split the yarn into 2 balls, with the colors aligned.  Started both cuffs in yellow; split for each heel after a green-brown stripe; each toe grafted just past the yellow again.  (Hurray!)

I enjoyed this adaption of a crochet-chain cast-on that looks like a bind-off; may use it again.  It’s actually quite stretchy because you SKIP chains in a regular rhythm:  here, I skipped 1 after picking up each k2 or p2.  My cast-on chain started with 50% extra stitches.  Also played around a bit with the heel turn and gussets — thanks, Elizabeth Zimmermann, June Hemmons-Hiatt, and Cat Bordhi for ideas and inspiration!

The lengths of color in this (discontinued) “self-striping” yarn weren’t long enough to make actual stripes, versus long blips, on any circumference greater than about 10″.  I didn’t think this wool would make a nice newborn hat, so I decided on socks.  One ball not enough for adult socks — (thanks, Ravelry search-by-yarn!) — so made child’s socks.  Another option might have been fingerless gloves, but I was glad to make something for elder DD (especially casting on for the project on her birthday!).


I have tried quite a few self-striping yarns in the past year or so, and I do not recommend this one.  😦  Color is too short, and texture is less than the best.  But I got to experiment, and I do hope DD gets some use and enjoyment out of her new handmade socks!

Posted in Design, Knitting, Reviews, Socks | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Stripes of Several Sorts

Posted by mtmom on April 4, 2010

I’ve run a safety line in the Bayerische cap, and am proceeding with care.  I plan to try it on again at the next decision point, after 5 rounds into the next repeat.  We’ll see how tall it is then, and I’ll decide whether to decrease some or all of the motifs — there are 2 each of 4 pattern motifs around the circumference.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on striped socks (self-striping yarn) and another band on my Fair Isle Sampler Scarf — plus hatching another idea for the *next* band.

First, the socks.

The yarn is a discontinued worsted-weight from Wisdom Yarns, called “Fair Isle”.  I expected this to be brighter.

I started it as a cap, but the striping didn’t work out well at any size larger than newborn, and I didn’t think that would be a good match.

Next, I thought of quick socks, but a look around Ravelry confirmed my suspicion that a single 100 gram ball would not be sufficient for an adult pair.  Hence, these are destined to be for 10-year-old DD.

First, I split the belly-band ball into 2 center-pull balls, each beginning with yellow!

Began the knitting with a variation on a crochet cast-on that I found in June Hemmons-Hiatt’s book, The Principles of Knitting, recently borrowed from interlibrary loan.  Heel flap is a la EZ’s basic sock, with 3 garter stitches at each side edge.  Turned a wedge heel (modified the first one, also a la Hiatt, but forgot and did the second one normally), and worked the gusset in a way reminiscent of Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways book, with decreases along the sole, in 2 straight lines lining up with the heel decreases.

Getting near to being done with these — hurray!


Also striping my Sampler.

One thing I’ve done is go back to my “Korean” stripes and improve the end-tucking . . . with an eye to improving the end-of-round jog.

After -- pulling matching ends towards each other, and then weaving in with yarn needle

Before -- trapping ends as I go










And began a band based on the Philosopher’s Wool book, Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified.  The motifs are really intended for a bulky-weight (3-ply) yarn; in fingering-weight, they’re a bit small.  No 2-color rounds so far; all these effects achieved with slipped stitches, knits and purls.

"Philosopher's" Band

I found a very interesting blog this past week, by an artist only recently turned to knitting.  He has some gorgeous tams on Ravelry.  Read his words about combining colors!

Inspired by his “lectures”, I’ve begun to go through my stash of Shetland colors, grouping them into “progressions”.  Photos to come!

Posted in Color-work, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Kilt Hose Done -and- Celtic Festival Enjoyed

Posted by mtmom on July 19, 2009

Mostly photos today, as I’ve been doing so much knitting (and so little sleeping) that I’m short on words.

Robert Watt appreciates his new Kilt Hose

Robert Watt appreciates his new Socks

Aaron's mended Hose -- match his Kilt

Aaron's mended Hose -- match his Kilt

2 Wicked Tinkers:  piper Aaron Shaw and wildman-drummer Keith Jones

2 Wicked Tinkers: piper Aaron Shaw and wildman-drummer Keith Jones

My girls had a good time

My girls had a good time -- and butterflies.

Posted in Celtic, Socks | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Sock Mistake Caught and Fixed

Posted by mtmom on July 5, 2009

I’ve finished with all the calf-increases on piper Robert‘s second sock — hurray!! RWatt socks Just the “work even” few inches and garter left to go.

Then the cuffs.

Or perhaps we’ll have the try-on first, then any alterations, and then the cuffs last of all.  Partly depends on *when* I finish the socks-proper, as I’m expecting Robert and all the other bagpipe instructors to arrive in town on Sunday, 12th July.  The following week, with all the lectures and concerts (I listen but don’t play, so I don’t take part in the classes), will be busy and exciting!



The “mistake” of the title, you ask?

Examine the following close-up images: wrong v

You see the wide central V in the left photo?

Something’s missing.  What happened to the wide-narrow-wide rhythm?

I had forgotten to make a certain few of those new (increased) stitches purls instead of knits.  No wonder the central rib got so wide so soon — I knew something was amiss and finally realized what it was.  Boy, am I glad I caught it!

I dropped down just the offending 4, and corrected them.

fixed v

Can you see the “extra” V now, that wasn’t there before?  And the 2 narrow ribs flanking it?


Now, as for the cuffs. . .

My sampler is progressing.cuffs Different yarns, different stitch patterns, even some beading experiments along the way.  (This is for now and for later.)

I didn’t enjoy the first (purple) one, worked side-to-side.  Don’t know quite why. . . .

The top 2 are possibilities for the current pair:  “ploughed field” (yellow) and an arrowhead pattern of slanting ribs (olive).  Plus a few more I want to see before I make up my mind.

See how the stitch patterns affect the gauge:  all 3 top bands are worked over 60 stitches in different colors of same yarn on same needles, but the white lace bulges out while the yellow slip-stitch-psso section pulls in.  Ribs are in-between.

Posted in Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

An FO! And a Turned Heel

Posted by mtmom on June 19, 2009

I finished the scarf in Twisted Fiber Art “Duchess” DK-weight yarn, colorway “Rodney”, and gave it to Julie (the woman who taught me to knit) for her church Craft Sale.

Twisted Bias Scarf

She was delighted!  I always enjoy getting to visit with Julie.  This time we talked about the (apparently dozens of) Ring-necked Doves that moved into our neighborhood this last year; a pair of them come often to my millet feeder and I see them perched atop our streetlamps.  She says they came here from Kuwait by way of Los Angeles, blown in by a storm, and managed to survive the winter.

Yesterday, I turned the heel on Robert‘s second sock and resumed in-the-round knitting.

foot 2 top

Now, to check which round begins the ribbing. . . .  Gotta match sock #1, and both gotta fit!

Posted in Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Finished Robert’s First Sock

Posted by mtmom on June 10, 2009

I’ve been knitting doggedly and have gotten all the way to the top of the first of Robert Watt‘s socks.

RWatt 17 1/4"Here, you can see the back-of-leg shaping, the pins marking increments of 2o rounds, and the “garter” at the top.

I’ll put these on hold for now, and begin the second sock.

The cuffs, which will turn down and cover the garter, I plan to add last.

I’m currently swatching some likely candidates:  “ploughed field”, “uneven/broken rib”, “arrowhead”, and maybe cables.cuffs 1,2

cuffs 3,4Meanwhile, I ordered my Level III materials today!

Posted in Design, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Second Sock Repaired

Posted by mtmom on June 3, 2009

I think I’ve finished the repairs on Aaron’s purpler pair of kilt hose.  You may recall that, on sock #1, I reinforced the heel-back and closed a small hole near the cuff.  Sock #2 required much more extensive work, but now the heel-hole has been closed and I can find no other holes in it.hole neat and stable

First I stabilized the hole with sewing thread, pulling the broken strands loose enough to give me ends to tuck in later.

Then I reinforced some of the surrounding rows with purple Woolly Nylon.  Some of these stitches were getting VERY hard to see and isolate due to the friction of wear.

Finally, I used crochet hook and yarn needle to reconstruct the missing stitches in the closest-matching sock yarn I could find in my stash:  brown Silja.

purple heel fixedLots of ends to tuck in, and I didn’t want extra bulk that might rub, so I took care with this part too.  I think I might add some more reinforcing where you can see the yarn has faded — weaker there.

I gave all 4 socks a good wash in Eucalan and they are currently drying.

Next will be the greener pair, socks #3 and #4.

On another note, my blogging-friend Jean is celebrating her first blogiversary by giving away some yarn and needles.  Head on over to her blog to check out the contest:  “Knitting Garden”, June 2 post.

Posted in Socks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Beginning the Calf Shaping

Posted by mtmom on May 31, 2009

The quality of fit is perhaps the most significant reason to handknit socks.  And, when a sock must come up to the knee, a good fit requires some shaping to accommodate changes in leg circumference.

Because they march in their work, bagpipers often have quite different calf vs ankle measurements.  This current pair, for instance, needs to fit calves that are 50% larger around than the ankles.  Hence, INCREASES!

RWatt 8" rear viewAt this point, I’ve added girth by 2 different methods:  changing needle size (went from wood 2.5 mm to metal 2.5 mm at 6″, and then to metal 2.75 mm at 6 1/2″ from base of heel) and adding stitches (M1R, k1 tbl, M1L, as suggested for raglan sweaters by Barbara G. Walker in her book, Knitting From the Top Down, starting at 7″ up).  I like the look of this increase line; quite inconspicuous.

You’ll get a better view once I’ve worked another inch or so, but I think you can see the ribs expanding outwards from the center.

The pins mark increments of 20 rounds, to help me make the second sock match the first.

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