Monday, May 26, 2008

Sock Snags

And I thought things were going so well! The first stage of the sock is finished, which means I've done the toes and foot without any hiccups; the heel, though, is another story. Even though I've done short rows before, I've never used the wrap-and-turn method. I admit it has me stumped. It feels like the heel flap gets longer and longer, but there aren't any actual decreases. Most of my previous sock projects were based on the basic top-down pattern in Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks, which means that the heel flap is pretty simple: you knit to the middle of the heel flap, do your decreasing, turn the sock, purl back the other way, and so on until you get the short row shaping done and are left with a nice little cup-shaped bit which conforms to the curve of the heel.
Okay. That's peachy, but how do I apply this to the task at hand? I spent about half an hour this afternoon looking at Cat Bordhi videos on YouTube and reading various descriptions of how to do this wrap-and-turn business. And you know what? I still don't get it. I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually. I mean, if I can learn how to at least get a toe-up sock started--even something mildly ambitious like tabi--then surely I can figure out how to handle this heel thing.
In other, unrelated news, I've finally been able to sit down and start watching Season 2 of Supernatural. The weather, however, is conspiring against me... it's supposed to rain tomorrow, which means no one--ahem--will be out in the garden. I was able to watch the first two episodes in complete peace, and I think the season started out strong. I felt bad for the poor Reaper; if Piers Anthony is to be believed, such creatures are supposed to rule supreme in their bailiwicks.
I'll try to watch some more when the weather clears.
Oh... and that clown? That was just creepy.


Rachael said...

Wrap-and-turn takes a bit getting used to. I've done it about a dozen times with different projects at this point and the first several were pretty difficult until I really figured it out.

I think the biggest trick is to trust that it works exactly how it says it will. The biggest potential problem with it are holes where the wrap and turn is done. To avoid that, I make sure to make my tension tighter than usual when I get to those stitches in the second half of the process, when I'm picking up the wraps and knitting or purling them together with the skipped stitch.

If you're still having trouble with it, here's what I do. If you're knitting the row, when you get to the stitch that you wrap and turn on, bring the yarn forward, slip the stitch as if to purl, bring the yarn to the back, and slip the wrapped stitch back to the left-hand needle. Then turn the work around and work your purl row. When you get to the stitch that's to be wrapped on the purl side, it's a bit trickier. Your yarn is already in front, so keep it there. Slip the stitch as if purl, put the yarn to the back, slip the stitch back to the left-hand needle, bring your yarn to the front again, then turn your work to knit the next row.

Once you're ready to start reincorporating wrapped stitches, you knit or purl up to the wrapped stitch, pick up the wrapped yarn however you can manage to get it back on your needles, and knit or purl it in with the actual stitch. Then, you have to wrap-and-turn the next stitch again, just like you did the first time with it. This can feel really awkward, and can look even more awkward, but it should work out in the end. Just be aware that on every row after the first two where you're picking up these wrapped stitches, you'll have two extra loops of yarn to knit or purl in with your main stitch rather than just one.

I hope that helps! Let me know if anything needs further explanation.

Naughty weather! I hope it's clearer than it's supposed to be, or if not that it returns to being clear as soon as possible. Impressive amounts of man-pain going on, huh? :D I love season two! I wish I could be there to watch it with you!

Yeah, I think that that was the Reaper's point too, just the YED apparently has the power to trump such things... because he's the YED...

That clown has kinda made me creeped out by all clowns now. 'Cause... "apparently, clowns kill," yo. LOL!

La Duchesse said...

LOL! Yep.

Thank you for your help once again, darlin'. I'm truly, truly grateful. Which intarsia design did you pick for the legs of your socks? I'll give it another go tomorrow and see how it goes.

Alas, the rain is supposed to continue through tomorrow: thunderstorms, which we do actually need since it's been a bit on the dry side. But, darn it, I want to watch some more Supernatrual! *goes googly-eyed and blinks peevishly at the weather* That would be so cool! Much popcorn and iced chai and giggling!

Rachael said...

You're most welcome, sweetie! :D

Yes, lots and lots of giggling, popcorn and tea! LOL!