Monday, December 01, 2008

Serafina Socks

Serafina socks are now available thru Ravelry. I had a few ideas when I first started working on this pattern, like working the cables in mirror images or making the arrowhead go in different directions for the left and right socks. This is the end result and I'm pretty happy to share it with you. I'm not going to do an elaborate photo shoot because we're in the midst of the Holidays...we'll save that for another day...with more daylight opportunities.
Pattern: Serafina Socks
Yarn: Shibuiknits sock yarn
Needles: US 1 dpns, Knit Picks Options

For now, I should tell you a little about this lace and cable pattern. It's based on the Germaine stitch found in Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitted Patterns, page 275. The 9 stitch pattern repeat is easy to follow as there are only two rows of actual lace knitting to memorize. Since I knit backwards, the C4F that I knit will appear like a C4B...don't let the photo confuse you. This is my second time using Shibuiknits sock yarn (in Wasabi, S7495) and it works up really nice. If you're looking for a solid yarn, I would not suggest this yarn. It does has a substantial amount of striping as you can see in the photos. I have knitted the medium size (Women's size 7-9) and calculated the numbers for a larger size and listed some suggested yarns. If there are any modifications to the larger size, I will post them here and on Ravelry (once that size is test knitted). Enjoy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Working on a Sock Pattern

I'm still here...I'm working on my first sock pattern. It's interesting all the considerations I need to keep in mind as a backwards knitter when writing out a pattern.

The first thing I knew would be challenging would be to find a good division point for the instep stitches and continuing the pattern along the entire front length of the sock (from cuff to toe). Accomplishing this with an odd number of stitches in the pattern repeat meant I had to chart out the pattern for my backwards knitting first, find the cutoff point for the instep and the heel stitches, then rechart its mirror image for right-handed instructions. This was a pretty important step since it's not a symmetrical pattern repeat. After that, I went back and knitted two different size heel flaps and turned the heels with scrap yarn. One of the things I like to be able to write in a pattern is the exact number of heel stitches left after the heel is completely turned. So I needed to figure out those numbers.

I'm definitely going to have it test knitted. And the pattern will be available for free once it's ready. I was thinking about knitting it with Malabrigo sock yarn, but the shipment still has not arrived at Anacapa Fine Yarns yet. Maybe I'll use a couple of different yarns (I have green skeins of Shibui and Koigu are calling my name). I'll let you know when it's availabe in PDF for free download...hopefully within the next month. Thanks, Preita, for all of your excellent improving the chart symbols and offering more than one size!

There are lots of wonderful and helpful reference tools online that I've been using this past week. Here are a few:

Elizabeth Bennett's sock calculator

Heels by Number available on the Sock Knitters website

Marnie Talks tutorial on using Excel for charting cables

I'm terrible at keeping secrets like this. So now you know what I'm working on.