Daily Archives: July 19, 2009

Jogging along

On my last post several of you inquired about how I am dealing with the ‘jogs’ on the striping (jogs = that little row blip that makes it look like the stripe doesn’t line up properly at the beginning and end of the round). And, well, I feel rather sheepish admitting this, but the answer is: I am not dealing with the jogs at all. I am knitting blythely along without any care in the world about the jogs.

The reason is because I am changing colours at the middle of the back of the leg and the middle of the bottom of the foot. This creates a sort of ‘seam’ effect running up the back of the sock, and I work the decreases for the calf shaping on either side of this seam. I rather like the resulting look that it creates on the sock, and when I change colours I try to pull the first and last stitches of the round a little more snug to minimize any loose gaps between different yarns.

What you saw in my previous post was the front of the leg (and really, this makes sense – when was the last time you tried to photograph the back of your own leg?), and so there were no visible jogs/seams at all in that picture. Here is what you would have seen if I’d given you the whole idea:

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You can see there the ‘seam’ line where the colour changes create a bit of a shift on each round, and where the calf shaping begins and ends. The key to making comfortably fitted knee socks is negative ease (2-3 ins at upper calf is good), and to shape the socks to fit the shape of your leg. I am working straight for 4-5 ins or so, then decreasing 2 sts every 4th round until I get to the circumference I need for the ankle, then working even until it’s time to start the heel. As you might imagine, it is well nigh impossible to create a ‘one-size fits all’ knee sock pattern. But really, all you need in order to do this yourself is your leg, a measuring tape, and the known gauge that you are working with.

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As far as how I am handling the colour changes, I am simply carrying up the yarn along the inside of the sock as I go. I could also snip the yarn at each colour change and weave in ends as I go, (and I have done enough fingering-weight fair isle and done enough weaving-in-ends-as-I-go that I would be quite comfortable doing this) but I chose to just carry up each strand a) because I am feeling a bit lazy, and b) because this preserves the yarn in case I realize the size is off and I need to rip it out and start over. I’d rather not get to the end of the leg and realize I need to start over and then be left with a bunch of little short bits of yarn.

It is a lot easier to use this method when you only have 2 or 3 colours to work with, mind you, which is why when I commit to a fair isle project with eleventy-million colours, I do weave in ends as I go. The only trick with carrying yarn up the inside of your work like this is to make sure that you don’t actually pull it tight – this would bunch up the whole works and that’s not the effect you’re looking for.

So there you have it folks, the inner sanctum of striped knee socks. Don’t you just want to make some? How about now? Why aren’t you making your own pair TODAY? Your tape measure and your sock yarn are compelling you. Or you could at least start with a pair of regular socks. I realize the striped knee-highs might be my own personal brand of crazy.

Happy knitting this fine Sunday!

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