Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Knitting Education

I've had a couple of comments and a handful of IRL... well, "comments" is as good a word as any... about knitting two socks at once.

We're talking technical knitting stuff, so those of you who glaze over at the term "cast-on" can just join us later.

[SUMMARY: So polite, so thoughtful.]

First, if you start with a copy of Judy's Magic Cast-On% from knitty.com and a copy of the free Knit Picks Two-at-Once Toe-Up Sock Pattern, you have all the support you need to knit just like Marin.

You'll have to extrapolate stitches backward on the toe if you're using a pattern.§ While this looks a leetle bit like math, it's really just numbers: no adding, subtracting, dividing... even counting.@

If you're translating from cuff-down, you'll note how many stitches the foot has and how many stitches the toe ends on and then you'll reverse it.

If you're translating from toe-up, you'll just skip all that provisional cast-on, pick up stitches nonsense and pretty much follow the footnote from the end of the cuff-down paragraph.#

Or just follow the Knit Picks pattern. I mean, you don't really have to complicate things by knitting *just* like Marin.††

[SUMMARY: So thorough, so wordy.]

I have instructions for a couple of different short-row heels I really like, so I just pick one and take the directions with me.

I always do at least one heel twice because I was watching Kelso fall off the back of the couch or finishing my second beer and you‡‡ kinda have to pay attention to heels.§§

[SUMMARY: So vague, so dingy.]

Some lace or cable patterns don't translate well from cuff-down to toe-up. I've generally found that if it's charted, you can turn the chart upside down and it all works out dandy.¶¶

So there you have it.

[SUMMARY: So helpful, so done.]

Those of you who don't knit can tune back in now. For you, I will add:

I'm Giving You the Best of My Duh.

In more ways than one.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Critics rave: "It scares the hell out of me."

%FOOTNOTE (percented): No grafting! No seam! Magic!

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Something I strive to do every day of my knitting life.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Well, a cuff-down pattern or a toe-up pattern that doesn't use a figure-8 or magic cast-on or such. See, a lot of toe-up patterns call for a provisional cast-on where you cast on the number of stitches you want for the foot, then at some point you pick up the provisional stitches and knit down to the end of the toe, decreasing as you go. I can see little point in knitting both up the foot and down the toe -- much less picking up stitches -- if you don't have to. And you don't. I'm here to help.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): Which is a very important feature for some of us.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Start with the number of toe stitches (the smaller number) you would end with and increase to the foot number (the larger number) you desire. Duh.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Coincidentally indicated by the paragraph symbol.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): The More You Know... (rainbows, stars, celebrity spokesperson)

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): And by, "you," I mean, "I."

§§FOOTNOTE (two circular needles at once!): This may be another case where you don't want to knit *exactly* like Marin.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (perhaps these are stitch markers): Magic!

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