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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17 Comments

Filed under fearless knitting, socks

17 responses to “Jogging along

  1. barefootrooster

    I like your brand of crazy — and these look fantastic!

  2. They look great! Love the colors too!

  3. super cute and very fun! they just scream “fall” to me for some reason — perfect to wear when the trick-or-treaters come by, too.

  4. I kind of like your brand of crazy too. I don’t think I’d ever wear knee socks, but if I did, I’d have to make them striped. The colors on yours are PERFECT. Very witchy, to me.

  5. These are fantastic, and the only thing keeping me from starting on my very own are the eleventy projects already on the needles, including my very own slooowly progressing stripey knee-highs of the self-striping variety. I heart the most-of-one I’ve done so far, though–your knee-high recipe was perfect!

  6. Ah, what a metaphor for life! Just go with the jogs and stick ‘em out back where no one notices!

    I love it!

    Knee socks are quite snazzy, too.

  7. Marjorie

    Totally inspiring! Just finished my first sock class and love your pics and explanation – thank you! Looking forward to seeing pics of the finished pair . . . . .

  8. Femke

    I love seeing the inside of knits! These are so cool.

  9. Carrie

    They look great and thanks for the tips on shaping, especially the negative ease part. I wear knee socks all winter (even tho I’m 55) It’s COLD in northern New York in the winter. Never liked nylons…

  10. I love these knee socks! I may have to make a pair of striped myself. Of course, knowing me, I’ll make A pair, and then become addicted! :-)

  11. Heather Ricco

    Ack! Stripey knee-sock goodness. Seeing the down and dirty insides only make me want it more…=) Those are just gorgeous, thanks for taking the plunge and sharing the jogs. It looks great as a seam. =)

  12. All that jogging must be great exercise! ;-)

  13. Wow, it looks awesome! I’m glad you embraced the jogs :)

  14. Ann

    Thanks for sharing the technique & I like the seam. I will love to knit a pair of stripy socks but will have to wait till I finish some of my wips.

  15. As I’ve always been fond of stockings with seams (sheer OR fishnet!), I’m just *tickled* by the subtle seaming effect up the back of your knee highs. :)

    And yes, thank you for showing the inside of your work. Those of us who DO a particular craft like to see the workings, too. (As I told the nice lady at the Swedish Institute when I went to see the Bohus Stickning exhibit in Minneapolis. Beautiful, beautiful sweaters, very hard not to fondle. Not a backside of ANYTHING, including swatches, to be seen! Argh!)

  16. Thany you for showing the sock joins, I iwll know how to do it now!

  17. Thanks for sharing the intimacies of your superb striped sock knitting, Glenna!

    I would personally carry the yarn up as you have done; I must admit, though, that I still would find it hard to deal with 3 balls of yarn on the go on such a small scale. But then, I’m a wuss.