Knit Flix

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy to learn

We were fortunate to have Amy Singer in our part of the world last week. She stopped by Purlescence to teach Easy Non-Wool Socks. Yeah, I signed up for it--I signed up for it in a heartbeat. Not only was I interested in new construction for socks, but I absolutely had to take advantage of the opportunity to meet Amy in person.

The internet is an interesting medium... it brings us together virtually and sets expectations that may or may not be realized when you meet someone in person. Well, in this case Amy was just as funny, charming and engaging as I had imagined. Oh my, I'm doing the fan-girl thing, aren't I? Sorry about that. Sorry.

Amy taught us her recipe for toe-up socks using non-wool yarn. I was able to find some Crystal Palace Panda Soy and suitable needles in my stash so I fulfilled part one of our homework. Unfortunately I didn't do the second half of the homework and so I was not in the least bit familiar with Judy's Magic Cast-on when I got to class. But I was able to get a quick lesson from the knitters there and although I didn't execute it well, I got stitches on my needles and was able to continue with the wee sock.

Toe-up is a great construction for non-wool socks because the elastic (or non-elastic) nature of those types of yarns. Toe-up means you can try the sock on as you go and make on-the-spot adjustments for your specific yarn, st pattern, and elasticity. Skinny foot? Stop the toe increases earlier. Need more room for your instep? Work more gusset increases. Fabric not stretchy enough? Start adding increases to the leg every X rounds. You get the idea.

The really cool thing about Amy's recipe is there's no tricky math involved. Sure there's easy arithmetic, but none of the figurin' I typically go through when planning a toe-up heel turn--not that the planning is that difficult, but her method is much easier. As Amy puts it, if you stay with an easy stitch pattern, this sock is the perfect travel project because your st count and markers (and a little experience with the recipe) will let you know what comes next.

Her heel turn is similar to mine in that it uses short rows, but hers are Japanese short rows which makes it really easy to keep track of where you are and what loop to pick up because there are markers hanging off the back of your work. I'm able to deal with W&T short rows, but I admit that I don't like putting my knitting down until I'm finished with the heel turn when making or picking up wraps because I'm afraid I'll lose my place. The markers make it easy to stay on track.

Once I finish the current pair of socks on my needles, I'll cast-on the adult sized version of the Amy's recipe.

Hmmm... what else? Well, I guess showing off my wee sock would be a good thing to do. Here's a bonus for you, CJ's sock on the left in Elann's Fixation and mine on the right in Panda Soy Wasabi (love the color name).

Wee socks
Wee socks

Thank you to Purlescence for hosting Amy's class, and thank you Amy for coming out and teaching. It was a pleasure to meet you. Fan-girl signing off.

with Amy Singer
with Amy Singer

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  • Sounds like a great class. I love knitting my socks toe up too. Thanks for the link to the Japanese short rows as its a technique that I have not used.

    By Blogger Ann, at 11/12/2010 5:20 PM  

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