Saturday, September 20, 2008

To End The Confusion

To those who emailed me expressing an interest in the Tita Ting Basic Socks Pattern: I'm sorry I can't give it to you because it isn't mine, and I don't have permission to. I don't even know where Tita Ting got her pattern to begin with. I only have it as the student of Ines J. at Dreams. As for the Ann Budd pattern, I paid for it, and will have to keep to a lower living budget after the bookbuying mania of the recent Manila International Book Fair.

However, I can do the next best thing: give you some links to very similar FREE patterns made available to us on the net through of the generosity of their owners.

Lion Brand Wool-Ease Grey Socks

Knitting Socks by Yarn Harlot *I prefer this one*

To convert this pattern from 4 dpns to Magic Loop:

1. Divide total number of cast on stitches by two. For example: 30+30 = 60.

2. When you join the round, the yarn tail should be on your right. This first half of the stitches (30) would correspond to the first 2 dpns (14+16). The second half of the stitches on the other half of the circular form the heel. These would correspond to the 3rd dpn (all 30 on 1 dpn), with the 4th dpn as working needle.

3. If it makes it easier for you, place markers on the circular needle where each dpn needle is indicated so you remain in place on the pattern.

4. Try for an even tension/gauge, particularly on the joins, so you don't have ladders.

5. When working with crochet cotton, use a 2.0mm needle for the 1x1 rib cuff and switch to a 2.75mm needle for the sock body. The bigger needle creates a soft fabric and a wider stretch. The smaller needle addresses the ankle elasticity.

6. I don't care if people say it's cheating, but sometimes I sew a row or two of transparent elastic in the 1x1 rib. Cotton doesn't stretch much, folks. Good thing mercerized cotton doesn't shrink further. But it is nice and snug!

For those who don't know Kitchener stitch yet, click here for the video tutorial. There are also very good videos for other techniques on I like the clear demonstration, simple language and summary of the techniques. I knit Continental and the Knitwitch knits American ("throwing") but the important thing is to watch not the hand movements, but the needle tips, where they go, and where the working yarn goes.

Other tips and tricks can be found in one of my favorite sites, Knitting Pattern Central. The free patterns directory can be found here.

You can also generate a custom sock pattern using Violet Green's Custom Sock Pattern Calculator. Just find a fiber with the right gauge. I found this in the blog QC Tester Hobbies: Sustainable Excellence (which also has links for other knitting patterns, cooking and other hobbies we all likely share). I think the surfing around is addicting enough. Don't forget to actually knit something!

You can also check out the other sites listed in my sidebar :) Why don't you join the international knitting community Ravelry and get access to other knitters and their projects? Knitter General's Warning: more fun and craziness as you get around.

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