Sunday, May 13, 2012

Why do they always change things?

It's been a while.  Like many bloggers my attention span is not good.  Lately I've been playing with my légaré 400 and not hand knitting as much.  I did design 2 other scarves and I have 2 testers, yes, I did kinda sorta write them up but neither of my testers have finished and I don't feel like pestering them because then I'd have to rewrite things.

I'll just put this out here, if you want to testknit a scarf or 2 for me and are serious, leave a comment below.  Or maybe you are one of my testers and want to finish it up?  It would force me to get back to work on them.  They are my tributaries, Turtle Creek and Nine Mile Run, links below in labels.  I'm not a slave driver but I will want them done in a fairly timely manner with some photos of your results.
Right.  Now what?  I've been playing with my sock machine and I made 3 videos.  I posted my 1st one already so I'll post my 2 latest.
Hmm, maybe some bloggers changes are good, posting that was easy and intuitive.  Good job blogger!
So what's that video about?  It's my somewhat anal retentive way to cast on which makes a nice symmetric architectural pattern.  To spare having to click to the youtube page I will repost my description
A way to cast-on a web that is even and kinda fun. I do this to help get the cobwebs out of my brain as I reacquaint myself with my machine.

If you are more inclined to be efficient you should either make or acquire a cast-on bonnet. Personally I am not. I make socks with this machine for fun and really once you get going if you are trying to get a bunch of socks going all you need to do is crank a few rounds of waste yarn and start another sock.

Here's some cliff notes:

Instructions times 12
set-up: 1 up, 5 down
clip crochet loop onto S carabiner
wrap yarn around up needles in star pattern, clipping onto carabiner as you go
add light weight
row 1: knit 1, wrap 5
add weight
row 2: lower 2 needles on either side of spoke leaving 1 needle up in center
add weight
row 3: raise 2 needles on either side of spoke lower the 1 needle up in center
add weight
row 4: lower one needle on either side of spoke leaving 2 needles up
add weight
row 5: lower remaining needles
Crank at least a few dozen rounds and you are ready to go
There you go.  Beginners can try this.

My very latest video is an attempt to improve my 1st Cat Bordhi Sweet Tomato Heel on CSM video.
Again, I'll post the notes that go with it
A demo of how to make Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel on a circular sock machine. This method incorporates the 2 step no wrap method, but re-proportioned for this heel. This may be worked either cuff down or toe up.

This is my second video attempting to explain this. It is much faster paced than my original video. If it seems to fast you might want to watch the video response below.

Notes about this sock
Yarn: Autumn House Velvet(? one of the 100% wool sockyarns anyway)
Machine: Légaré 400
Cylinder: 72 slot, leg and foot 1/3 mock rib(54 stitches), heel, all needles in
Heel: Cat Bordhi's sweet tomato heel, 3 full wedges(48 stitches) with 5 rows both above and below worked mock rib in front(65 stitches, 11 needles added for heel)
Cuff: 30 rows 2/1 rib, cuff down with mock rib (K,P,K,S, repeat)
Leg: 100 rows, mock rib, 
Foot: 30 rows 1/3 mock rib(54 stitches)
Toe: All needles in for 5 rows(72 stitches) standard CSM toe, kitchenered off the machine
Note about mock rib: to line up just right for the heel, the last needle out should be the last slot in the round, that allows a few extra needles in beyond the wedges to prevent gaps.
After adding each needle I pick up 2 sticks below to make it tight

The Rib Stopper is a slight issue with the right heel fork because of the greater spread of this heel.
I just thought I'd post this stuff to keep you folks up to date if you aren't following me in other places.

BTW Blogger, I don't want to highlight my block quote.  I sent a complaint through official means but I will restate it in my post.  Don't effing change colors in my text and background for no ©ø∂ ∂嵘´∂ ®´‰´ÅÍØ reason! I also resent not being able to allow my readers to make my videos fullscreen without going to youtube. I understand you need the advertising revenue but it's annoying.

Sorry readers, if you watch the video and want to see it fullscreen you have to go to youtube. I did figure out in my fingerpecking way how to make the videos show up 60% larger than the standard TINY setting it was at.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel done on a Circular Sock Machine

I recently made a video that is actually a montage of stills explaining one way to do a sweet tomato heel on a circular sock machine.  It might be a bit over detailed.  I emphasize keeping the latches open largely because I was just getting used to using my machine and I had dropped lots of stitches because of latches NOT being open.

On the other hand I neglect to explain some things like where to start the heel and other things.  In this blog entry I will expand on the things I neglected and briefly explain an alternate way to do the STH(sweet tomato heel) on a CSM.

Anyway, here's the video
And here's the steps in detail
  1. Start a sock on your CSM either toe up or cuff down.  If toe up, stop about 2-3 inches shy of the foot length desired, depending on how big the foot is.  If cuff down, top about 2-3 inches shy of the leg length desired, depending on how big the foot is.  I find the STH takes up about the same as a regular heel, but slightly larger.
  2. When the yarn is left of the front of the machine, around 7 or 8 o'clock, lift the needles in the front right of the target heel needles, plus one needle.  
  3. Lift the needles in back too.  
  4. Crank to knit the last needle down
  5. Raise the rest of the needles up one from the left side of the heel target needles.
  6. Raise the last needle passed on the right
  7. Pass to the left
  8. Raise the last needle passed on the left and lower 3 needles on the right
  9. Pass to the right
  10. Raise the last needle passed on the right and lower 3 needles on the left
  11. Repeat steps the last 4 steps, 8-11 until two thirds of the needles have been engaged.  This will leave 17 or 19 needles up if using a 54 slot cylinder, 20/60, 24/72, [26 or 28]/80, 32/96, etc.  Your last round of the 2-step might need to be 2 needles lowered instead of 3.
  12. As you do the last pass to the right, lower the rest of the needles as they become free to be lowered.
  13. Crank around the back once
  14. Crank around the back a second time
  15. You have completed one wedge of your heel.
  16. Repeat steps 2-14 two more times
As far as heel forks go, for this sort of heel, 3 individual heel forks work better than a V-heelfork because this heel uses two thirds of the stitches instead of just half of them.  You will need to adjust your heelforks more often than with a standard heel and they need to be more spread out.

The alternate way to do a STH is to make your wedges have a descending number of stitches instead of an ascending number of stitches, that is, the method above starts with the minimum number of stitches and increases by 2 stitches each row until two thirds of the stitches are used up.  To do descending wedges one starts with two thirds of the stitches and decreases by 2 stitches with each row until you reach your target heel number.  Instead of raising one needle and lowering 3, you may wrap one needle and raise 2.  I happen to prefer the bunny hop. 

Cat Bordhi developed her Sweet Tomato Heel over many months, working closely with over a hundred test knitters of all skill levels. During this time she distilled her illustrations and explanations again and again, until her test knitters and tech editor agreed the instructions were as clear and perfect as possible. In order to be sure that her work is not misrepresented, Cat asks that designers who wish to use her heel in their patterns send their readers directly to her free videos as well as to purchasing links for her eBook, Cat’s Sweet Tomato Heel Socks ($20), and to the eBook’s individual patterns ($6 each). She is encouraged that many knitters have been able to work from the free videos alone; if not, the eBook or individual patterns will give you the detailed instructions, illustrations, and explanations you need.