Half a sock and a finished baby top

Flowery baby top

I finished knitting this a couple of weeks ago, but it’s taken me a while to find some suitable buttons. Now they are sewn on and the top has had a wash and been blocked, as much as anything made of acrylic can be blocked. I’ll be handing it over to the proud mother when I see her at the beginning of next month.Flowery baby top

I think the flowers-in-a-row stitch was a success and I’ll use it again for little girls’ clothes. The pattern for the top is All-in-One Baby Top, the 9-12 month size, but a range of sizes from newborn to 6 years can be found on Marianna’s Lazy Daisy Days, all for free, bless her.

Diversion socks update

I like my socks to reach mid-calf, which has mean knitting the leg of this sock (Diversion, available for free on Knitty) a fair bit further than the pattern calls for. This is my first top-down sock and I don’t like the way I have to guestimate whether I’ll have enough yarn for a nice long leg – with toe-up it’s possible to keep going up the leg of sock 1 safe in the knowledge that all is well provided that it weighs less than the remaining yarn, making allowance if necessary for matching if the yarn is multi-coloured and identical twins are the aim. I can’t very well do the same in reverse with these socks because the foot length needs to be whatever it needs to be. But I’ve yet to use more than about 80g of a wool/nylon sock yarn for a pair, so I’m reasonably confident that there’ll be plenty in this 100g ball for a mid-calf leg.

I would have liked to have knitted my usual heel on half the stitches, instead of the heel flap heel on 2/5 of the stitches (for the larger size) that the pattern calls for. But after a lot of scribbling on the backs of envelopes to try and work out how to achieve that with a short-row pattern that has an odd number of repetitions (5) around the sock, I gave up. Centring two-and-a-half reps at the back of the heel would have meant dealing with fractions of a wave horizontally as well as half waves vertically, and it still wouldn’t have been symmetrical.

I did consider doing an afterthought heel. I’ve never worked one, but basically you insert an extra row of waste yarn across the heel stitches and then ignore it, continuing the patterning by working across those stitches again with the working yarn, just as if the waste yarn partial row wasn’t there. When the sock is otherwise finished, you pull out the waste yarn and transfer the live stitches released onto needles to knit the heel.  I’ll give it a go sometime, but I resisted it for this sock because it still wouldn’t solve the problem that two-and-a-half reps can’t be centred symmetrically. Which is why, presumably, the designer of Diversion opted to work the heel on two reps for both the smaller 4-rep sock and the larger 5-rep one.  So I have gone with the flap-and-gusset heel she designed (but with German short rows, as for the wave pattern), the first time I’ve knitted such a heel.

Diversion sock, round the heel

To date, I’m round the heel and busy working my way towards the toe, decreasing gusset stitches as I go. I’ve found an error in the heel instructions which, oddly, only one other Raveller has mentioned. I wish I’d read her notes first. (Memo to self: it’s always worth searching for “error” and “mistake” in others’ project notes before starting any non-straightforward pattern.)


About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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2 Responses to Half a sock and a finished baby top

  1. Aussie says:

    The baby top is beautiful, well done. I agree the flowers suit it so well and it makes it so pretty. Do the socks knit up quicker because they are so stretchy? Hmm yes the heel stitches and 2 reps for all sizes of socks would frustrate me too, but there’s only one way to figure out if it will fit or not! I haven’t tried socks top down but maybe you could estimate that the yarn needed for the foot will have to equal the leg of the sock (if they are both the same length usually) minus the decreases in the toe. I imagine that the extra heel stitches in the flap vs the swing balances out the decreases in the heel turn. I hope you end up with a good sock they are very pretty and unique. They could prob do with a flower stitch every second swing near the ribbing too!

  2. Alas, all the short rows mean that these socks are very slow-going. I probably ought to learn to knit backwards to speed things up (no turning or purling!) but I can’t be bothered. Now I’m round the heel, it does seem to fit OK. I think I’ll just have to keep going though to find out if I’ll have enough yarn because the sole is non-swing so perhaps quite different in yarn requirement from the leg. Worst case, I suppose I could snip a stitch a few waves below the cuff, unpick each stitch to put them back on the needles, then re-knit the cuff bottom up to give a shorter leg and free up yarn for the second sock. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

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