Sunday, December 19, 2010

Herringbone Socks Progress Pics

I am knitting some socks for my dad as a christmas gift. I knit him some solid blue acrylic socks a few years ago and he took very good care of them and wore them out instead of losing them, so I felt it was time to knit him a pair of nice wool (wool needs a bit of washing attention or it will shrink) complicated socks. The free pattern I chose was knitty's Red Herring sock, which was on big needles (by sock standards, that is- I just don't love anyone, including myself, enough to make them socks on smaller than size 3 needles.) I spent perhaps 8 hours over the course of 3 weeks knitting the first 5 inches of the sock. Every other row is easy, 2 stitches in each color all the way around, but the other rows were so hard for me. The chart is 12 stitches wide over 72 stitches and I had to recheck it every 6 stitches. I was thinking about ending the stranded colorwork part early, because it was quite tedious and you have to knit love into handknit things or they are no good.

Then I went to my brother's hockey game, and I brought the sock because my Christmas deadline is looming. I accidentally left the pattern in my car, so I had to use the knitting as it's own pattern. The chart is only 4 rows long but I could not memorize it or see any pattern to it. (it goes A BB AA B A BB AA B which was much too complicated for me to remember)

So what I did is count 4 rows back and knit the same colors as that row for 12 stitches, then repeat that order for the next 60 stitches- the rest of the round. That was tricky because 4 rows back in knitting is hard to keep track of, but I realized that it also has to be opposite color of the pattern 2 rows So then I only had to look back 2 rows, and I knit two rounds counting in my head,
"opposite, opposite, opposite, opppoooosssiiiite, opposite, opposite, opposite, opposite..." Then I realized how the pattern works! I have no explanation for how long this took me to work out, except that I have not knit in a few years and my major prizes ingenuity not decoding. So, here is how to knit herringbone pattern:

-rows need to be a multiple of 4 and columns a multiple of 12-
1: 2 stitches of the main yarn, 2 stitches of the contrasting yarn, all the way
2: start with the same color as the previous row. One stitch in that color, then:
2CC, 2MC, 2Mixed; start with the color that contrasts with the most recent 2 stitches, repeat.
3: there have to be 2 stitches of the same color vertically so it's time to switch
to the contrasting color as the start of the round. 2CC, 2MC around.
4: start with the same color as the prior row. One stitch in that color, then
2/2/1/1/2/2/1 around, and each unit has to be opposite the previous one.

I am very relieved that I learned this pattern because I also bought the yarn to knit my Nana a pair and now I will be able to in time. It's okay that it's not in time for Christmas, because that side of the family gathers on Epiphany, which is January 6th. Presumably she would still love me if I knit her striped socks, but we are good at similar but separate handicrafts so I know she can tell the difference between a beginner sock and an intermediate sock and I am very glad to be able to send her an intermediate sock.

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