Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bind Off Two, Cast On One or New Adventures in Ribbing

One of my Knitting New Year's Resolutions was that I'd have to finish two WIPs before I could start a new one.  That's ME knitting, not gift knitting.  If that was the case, nobody would ever get anything.  Right now I have a hat and a baby sweater that just need finishing touches (buttons, ends woven in...) and I'm knitting a shawl for my grandmother and a birthday present. And probably more I'm forgetting about..but I digress.

I did finally finish 2 WIPS: My sister's sweater (that I started last August, so it totally counts) that I managed to get to her almost in time for her birthday in May:

And the Owlie Socks that were last Socktober's Knit-a-long finished June 1:

As a reward for finally finishing two long term projects, I've started Mermaid, by Janel Laidman from her "Enchanted Sole" book.  Sound familiar?  Yes, I realize I am slowly knitting my way through the entire book. What can I say? I love it. I've had the yarn and beads for these socks for probably nigh on 4 years now. It has long been time to knit!

Here is what Mermaid is supposed to look like:

Twisted Ribbed "fin" feet and a pretty beaded "fish scale"  lace pattern at the top. Here's what I have:

About 3 inches of ribbing for the foot.  The pattern is cuff down, but (no surprise to anybody who knows me) I'm doing them toe up. The pattern is easy enough to reverse.  Plus, I started with 171 grams, so I want to see how far up the leg I can get) and I worry I may need to do extra increases over my calves.  It'll just work better for me that way.  It's how I roll.  Or knit. Whatever.

But here's the point I have been wanting to make all along:  see how the ribbing suddenly changes about halfway through?  Yes, I know it's there.  I'm ok with it, and here's why.  I never liked doing twisted ribbing (where you k1 through the back loop, p1) because I always felt like it stretched out the space between the ktbl and the p stitches.  Even going down a needle size or 3 didn't help. I hate how it looks when I knit it, though it always looks so pretty in other people's knitting. The twisted rib is pretty integral to "mermaid fin" look of this sock. So I started experimenting as I went along. I tried alternating between plain rib and twisted rib.  Nope.  I tried doing a twisted purl stitch instead. Nope. Finally, right at that line where the ribbing changes, I figured it out.  I twisted BOTH the knit and purl stitches. See how finally the stitches are closer together and not loose and, well, exactly how they are supposed to be?  That was the trick that worked for me.  The downside is that it takes FOREVER to do (which is the main reason I decided not to rip back the first inch or so. These socks are for me. Who's going to see it?)  That last inch of Really Twisted Ribbing (or so I've dubbed it) has taken me hours and hours.  I think the foot of the sock is going to take me longer than the lacy leg.  But I'm ok with it (for now. Ask me in another 3 inches.) because I've finally figured out what works for me, and that feels really good.

I'm still trying to finish up my next batch of WIPs in between gift knitting, hexapuffs and my Really Twisted Knitting. I already know the next project I want to cast on, if only I can bind off on a couple things first!

May you always get gauge,


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