View Full Version : WIP: Argyle socks

12-04-2012, 01:32 AM
I'm not very far into the project, but I'm posting it as a self-motivator. I'm using recycled gray lambswool (fingering wt.) with some laceweight Kid Seta carried along in the toe and heel for strength. The pink diamonds, when I get that far, will be Deborah Norville Serenity. The socks are for my daughter. Oh, and the pattern is the Seamless Argyle Sock Pattern Generator (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/seamless-argyle-sock-pattern-generator).

BTW, the Kid Seta is very hard to keep untangled (working from outside and inside of one ball), so I'm tearing off yard-long lengths, whose ends will felt inside the sock. :woohoo:

Jan in CA
12-04-2012, 01:45 AM
Seamless argyle! Awesome! Those are going to be gorgeous socks.

Yeah...kid seta has mohair in it doesn't it? That stuff is a nightmare to frog.:zombie: Actually probably impossible is a better description.

12-04-2012, 02:15 AM
Excellent! And you're doing it right :wink: 2 at a time, toe up. That's the "right" way because that's how I do socks too. What cast on did you use? They're gonna be loverly for your daughter.

12-04-2012, 02:53 AM
Amen to that! I recyled thrift-store, and I learned the hard way not to bother with any that are mostly mohair. Now that I'm working with manageable lengths of the stuff, so I can detangle, I think it'll be fine.

12-04-2012, 02:59 AM
Oh, I always do socks at least 2AAT. I've also done 4AAT and 6AAT (a learning experience). For toe-up socks, I always use Judy's Magic CO. I once tried a short-row toe, and it worked OK but I didn't see any real advantage to it. When I get there, I'll be doing a Sweet Tomato Heel. I'm hoping to have the socks done by my daughter's birthday, on the 22nd, but we'll see. It wouldn't be the first time I've given a gift still on the needles and then taken it back to finish it. She knows I'm good for it, hehe.

Jan in CA
12-04-2012, 03:33 AM
I do the Turkish Cast on and the Fleegle Heel. Funny how we all do them differently. :thumbsup:

I've been doing two socks at one time, but on separate needles. Haven't attempted two at once. I don't make that many socks so maybe not a big deal, but I'll have to try it. More than two sounds like a nightmare of twisted yarn balls. :zombie:

12-04-2012, 06:34 AM
Those look lovely and soft and the argyle in pink will be perfect. Thanks for the pattern link.

12-04-2012, 08:08 AM
She's gonna love them. I am strictly a one sock at a time dpn kinda gal. I have worked with magic loop but I like the dpn's better. Of course, you always have one completed and you realize you have another to go, but unless it is a boring sock, I don't mind. :p

12-04-2012, 01:39 PM
Funny how we all do them differently.

One of the things I love about knitting. When I find that someone does something in a way I've not tried, I can try it! I have to look at the Sweet Tomato Heel again, I think I'll be doing Fleegle Heels this time.

12-04-2012, 04:37 PM
The yarn isn't too hard to manage if you put all the balls into something snug and then turn all of them at once at the end of each half round. Alternate between clockwise and counterclockwise turning, and the yarns don't get tangled. Once I get to about mid instep, I simply tuck each ball of yarn into the toe it's attached to.

Here's my yarn-management system for 4AAT:

12-04-2012, 04:39 PM
You're very welcome.

12-04-2012, 11:09 PM
Wow..amazing job..the yarn looks delicious and 4 at a time....I am so impressed that I am blogging on my kindle. (Which is a chore for ME).....AWESOME..CAN'T WAIT FOR THE FINISHED PRODUCT..u go girl

12-05-2012, 12:11 AM
Wow..amazing job..the yarn looks delicious and 4 at a time....I am so impressed that I am blogging on my kindle. (Which is a chore for ME).....AWESOME..CAN'T WAIT FOR THE FINISHED PRODUCT..u go girl
Oh!That 4AAT project was from a couple of years ago. I posted that pic just to show how I kept the yarn from getting tangled. Here's how the socks came out. Glad you like the yarn; I dyed it.



12-06-2012, 08:32 AM
Ohhhhh my. You're very talented! I love the plan! Carry on, sista!

12-06-2012, 12:24 PM
I've finished the reinforced toes, and I'm working my way up to the instep.

12-08-2012, 01:07 AM
WOW....a sock maniac!!! I am so jealous.....I have read several books on the magic method and I can't picture it...so your photo certainly does help....you are giving me motivation to try it now!!!! Thanks!

12-08-2012, 07:01 AM
I never really got magic loop until I watched a couple of videos on YouTube. Sometimes books work best for me, sometimes videos. I highly recommend magic loop, so don't give up.

12-08-2012, 02:45 PM
DJ, I appreciate your posting about your socks, you share tips and bits of info that help me a lot.

WOW....a sock maniac!!! I am so jealous.....I have read several books on the magic method and I can't picture it...so your photo certainly does help....you are giving me motivation to try it now!!!! Thanks!

As for learning to do magic loop, I finally just grabbed a long circ and some yarn and watched a video and tried it. It worked. I couldn't understand it until I saw it taking place on the needles. Two at a time was the same way, but once I did it, it was clear why it works. I wouldn't try to explain it to anyone, I'd have to say that once you've done it you should get it.

12-09-2012, 12:19 PM
Glad I could help! I'm working on the heels now. Once I get them done, I'll post another pic. Then I'll be doing the argyle, which is new territory for me.

12-14-2012, 05:55 PM
Lest y'all think I'm some kind of sock-knitting guru, I had just about finished the heels, realized they weren't fitting right, and discovered I'd neglected to rearrange the stitches. So I was using half the stitches instead of 60% or so. Rip, rip, rip. This was the first time I've ripped back socks the "thrilling" way: pulling the needles out! But the wool was nice and grabby, so the tiny loops just sat there for me to pick up. :woot: Here's where I'm at:

12-14-2012, 06:21 PM
OK, now you're scaring me. What's this about rearranging stitches, 60%? I'm trying Fleegle heels for the first time and think I have about 4 rounds left before I start the short rows. Now I'm wondering what I've missed. The instructions I found say to increase on the heel side to 2 less stitches than the total number before starting increasing...or that's what I remember and have been doing. I'm afraid to look at the pattern now. Of course, I don't know what heel you are doing either. *put panic on hold!*

I feel for you having to frog, it took several starts for me to get my "pink sock kind of day" socks going. Even gurus are allowed learning experiences.

12-14-2012, 07:29 PM
Don't panic. I'm doing the Sweet Tomato Heel, which calls for 2/3 of the stitches to be used for the heel, and the other 1/3 for the instep. So if you start out with the sts evenly divided 50/50 between instep and sole, you have to rearrange them on the needles for this particular heel.

I've never done a Fleegle heel nor even read the directions. So if your instructions say nothing about dividing the sts differently, then you're fine. I didn't mean to alarm anyone.

There are so many heel constructions, and they all require different things.

12-14-2012, 08:01 PM
LOL now I remember, you said you were doing the sweet tomato heel. I'm glad I put my panic on hold, I'll leave it there for a while. I wasn't all that alarmed, just reaction, then breathe, don't panic.
With this heel you increase then work short rows then go back to working in the round. I've not looked at the sweet tomato heel for a long time but expect in some ways it's similar. I think I might like the way I did heels before better but I'm not done yet so the jury is still out.
Thanks for keeping us updated on your own sock adventure. I hope getting the stitches back on the needles isn't too harrowing. Fine yarn and skinny needles make that difficult for me.

12-15-2012, 03:08 AM
Nope, getting the sts back on the needles wasn't hard at all. As long as you're gentle with the fabric and don't go tugging on it, the loops will be there.

Hey, would you like to post a pic of the socks you're working on? We're almost doing a sock KAL.

12-15-2012, 03:25 AM
I'll see if I can get a picture and get it online. My only camera is in my phone. Sometimes they don't upload well, if I even get a decent pic.

Jan in CA
12-15-2012, 03:48 AM
I have 3 pair on the needles. :zombie:

12-15-2012, 10:17 AM
How are yours coming along, Jan? Which heel are you doing? One pair at a time is enough for me! Do we get to see yours?

Jan in CA
12-15-2012, 03:44 PM
I'm doing the Fleegle heel. I will post a pic as a WIP later. :thumbsup:

12-15-2012, 03:57 PM
Jan, I'm glad. I'll get to see what it should look like! I'm working the first one for the second time, I messed up and had to redo it. :hmm: :?? I'm not sure where I messed up but my count was off and it didn't work right.

12-15-2012, 05:27 PM
Here, by request! I managed to get some photos and upload them. Here in all their glory :noway: are my WIP socks, and I just had to see if the one I got the heel turned on will fit. It does. Surprise, surprise....not! Liat Gat told me how to decide when to start the increases. I've not been able to keep even tension but I hope some of that will even out. My feet won't mind much. Warm sox is warm sox. :) Thanks for asking, Carol. It's such a pain to do pics with my phone and upload them that I rarely bother. It doesn't always work, today it did.

12-16-2012, 06:02 PM
Nice socks! I used to have trouble uploading from my phone, too, until I got Dropbox. Works like a charm.

12-16-2012, 06:31 PM
Thank you so much, Carol. I know they aren't a work of art or fine example of knitting but I'll wear them and enjoy them. Part of my problem with photos is I'm so stingy. I use a prepaid phone and generally only think to use it when I'm away from home (about the only time I turn it on) and decide I do need to talk to someone. Last August I added $10 just to not lose the minutes I had. I've done that before. I probably have the lowest cell phone bill in town.

I look forward to seeing your argyle. I've never attempted something like that. I found Cat Bordhi doing the Sweet Tomato Heel on youtube. I think I might try that one next time. I see there is a padded version of in another video.

I've finished turning the heels, there is a mystery I'd like to solve, I ended up with 3 more stitches on on the needle after the first heel but can't figure out why. It looks like I worked the short rows correctly. Rather than rework the (un)darned things, I decided one row more or less won't hurt much, if that's what caused it, and since things seem to be even otherwise, I worked a few decreases and just went back to knit, knit, knit, in an upward spiral, so now I'm bored and think I'll try a waffle stitch or waffle rib.

I had to find the first pair of worsted weight socks I knitted for myself and put them on. I used the Lifestyle Sock formula and some ugly acrylic yarn that looks like a throwback to the '70s and my high school days, vareigated browns and turquoise that I'd been given. It's not so ugly as socks.

Jan in CA
12-16-2012, 10:23 PM
:lol: I had taken a pic of one pair on my iPad and was trying to figure out how to post here. Thanks for the idea to use Dropbox. I copied them there and found instructions. I'll try it in a couple minutes.

OMG. Way to much of a pain from Dropbox. I'll upload to Flickr and fo on the computer. I wish KH had an app for this stuff. I'll have to put a bug in Sheldon's ear.

Okay, here's a pic of one on my foot. 32" size US 0 with magic loop on each sock. The heel is lovely and I'll post a better picture of all the socks later. I need to take them with my camera.

12-18-2012, 02:38 AM
That's coming out great! I just finished my heels, but I can't go any further until I work through a tutorial on knitting argyle in the round. I think I have to make a swatch to practice the technique, cuz I sure don't want to ruin the socks I've got so far.


12-18-2012, 03:09 AM
Great looking socks, :thumbsup: Jan and :thumbsup: Carol ! We're all using pink. :teehee: I have to try the Sweet Tomato Heel. Argyle in pink or any color sounds pretty intimidating to me but I'm sure you'll get it np, Carol.

I have about 1 3/4 inches on the cuffs. I decided to use Waffle Stitch. Some patterns have multiple names so in case you're interested or know it by another name:
Rounds 1 & 2: [K2, p2] to end.
Round 3: K all sts.
Round 4: P all sts.
Repeat these four rounds for Waffle Stitch.

To use pictures from my phone I have to upload it to My Album on My Account at T-Mobile and that doesn't always work well. From there I can do most anything with it pretty easily. So far I've just saved it to my computer and uploaded to wherever I want to use it.

It's snowing here.

12-18-2012, 02:33 PM
That waffle st sounds like it'd make a really cute cuff. I might try that sometime. Knitting Daily has instructions for a seamless argyle sock (in the round) that you can dowload for free by signing up (which is also free). I'm definitely going to swatch it first, because I'm feeling intimidated, too. If anybody else here already has that pattern, can you explain to me what they mean by "loops"? Maybe it'll become obvious when I actually try it.

It's snowing here, too.

12-18-2012, 02:38 PM
Carol, how about a link to the pattern at KD, I have a horrible time finding things there. I probably can't help you but I'd like to follow along, maybe I'll get brave and try to swatch it too. I'm already bored with my waffle stitch. I do like how it looks, though. Next time I'm not using sz NOTHING needles....that should be sz 0 I guess. :teehee:

12-19-2012, 03:58 AM
I just used the search engine and typed in "argyle socks." Anyway, here's the link (http://www.knittingdaily.com/media/p/95281.aspx). I tried a swatch tonight, and I can't make any sense out of the instructions. I'll have another go at it when I'm less tired.

12-24-2012, 08:17 PM
They look funny but since they fit my feet, that's to be expected. :teehee: I have done better, I don't know why I had so much trouble keeping tension even and with laddering.

They feel great! I worked the top ribbing on *I think* US 000 needles. The set came with 000, 00, 0, and 1, I think I used the smallest but I'm going by how they feel in my fingers as I've nothing to measure them by except each other. After the smallest needles for the ribbing, the sz 0 seem absolutely huge! I've not been switching much between skinny, skinny needles and my usual 8 or 9 sizes because it's just so awkward to readjust. I discovered a dropped stitch which I think contributed to my different stitch counts on the heels and picked it up with a crochet hook and secured it on the inside. I was not...I repeat, I was not...going to frog that sock! Warm sox is warm sox after all and I'm not entering them in a beauty contest. I leave near perfection to those who can achieve it.

I look forward to seeing the other SIP (socks in progress) when they're done. Happy knitting!

Oh yeah, US sz 000 dpns should be classified as "hazardous to my health." These little skewers take some getting used to. I lost count of how many times I poked myself with them, and actually ended up with a small cut on my middle finger of my left hand. Mora for mel: When knitting with very sharp, skinny, double pointed skewers, be carefeul and wear a bandaid!

12-25-2012, 03:51 PM
Those came out great! I forget, are they wool? Did you do anything special to reinforce the toe and/or heel? I'm pretty hard on socks, so I have to reinforce.

12-25-2012, 03:55 PM
I'm officially excited. :cheering: That's me being excited. I've located a Eunny video tutorial (yeah, we're on a first-name basis now) on intarsia in the round, specifically argyle intarsia! I haven't watched it yet, because I have a work project to finish before I take a big knitting break. It's episode 910 of Knitting Daily TV (http://www.interweavestore.com/Knitting/DVDs-Videos/Knitting-Daily-TV-Episode-910.Download.html). It was $4 to download, but it'll be worth it to me, because there's some other useful stuff on it, too.

12-25-2012, 04:27 PM
Thanks, Carol. They're Lion Brand Sock-Ease one ball makes a pair (and it does) 75% wool, 25% nylon. I didn't reinforce the toe or heel, that's new to me and I was already past the toe when I read about you doing it. I'll want to know what you used, did you knit double strands, etc. but I'm sure that can wait. I'm not ready to start my next pair yet.

I learned a few things. I think the ergonomic needles contributed to my laddering problems. I prefer the short row heel I worked before over Fleegle heels, adding the stitches for the Fleegle heel made it more difficult which may be attributable to the needles, but I don't like the shape as well and can't say it feels more comfortable. Next time I will try the Sweet Tomato Heel. As for the waffle rib, if I do it again for the sock top I will probably go down a needle size when I start it and will do a few more rounds of stockinette first.

How's the argyle coming along?

ETA: I missed the Eunny video intarsia lesson post. Sounds good to me. If you can learn what you need for $4 it's almost a steal! I bought the first season and have only watched the first two episodes. I really want to watch them all, I'm sure there is lots to learn.

12-25-2012, 05:47 PM
Re reinforcing, I've used wooly nylon, and I've used laceweight Kid Seta. Yes, you just hold both strands together. The reinforcing strand is so thin, you shouldn't notice much of a difference in fabric thickness. Both came out great. In some pairs where I reinforced the heels with woolly nylon, the toes have already worn out, but the heels are holding up just fine. Lesson learned.

I think you're going to love the Sweet Tomato Heel. It makes a very natural-looking deep cup for your heel.

I haven't started the argyle yet, but I did watch the video. The technique makes a ton more sense now that I've seen the demo. I'm going to watch it again and then make a practice argyle cuff in worsted before I try it on the actual socks. I'll try to take some closeup pics of the process and post them.

12-27-2012, 10:06 PM
It can be done! Here's my practice swatch.


12-27-2012, 10:20 PM
:cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

12-29-2012, 09:03 PM
With renewed optimism, I have forged ahead and produced a few rows of argyle in the round. :happydance:


12-29-2012, 09:24 PM
Yay! :cheering:

I hope it's smooth sailing for you!

12-30-2012, 01:11 AM
Thanks, it's pretty good so far. Soon I'll have to start doing some increases (these are going to be knee socks), and I guess I'll just put them on the sides so they don't interfere with the pink diamonds. I'm thinking paired M1 increases, but I'll have to swatch to see how I like those. What do people usually use for increases up the back of the leg? Come to think of it, paired increases on both sides might be too many increases at once (4 incr. in a round instead of 2).

12-30-2012, 01:38 AM
Not that I have any experience with it, but I think the M1 would be a good choice as it doesn't really show much, kfb gives that purl look that you might not want. What about KRL and KLL? What's usually used? Good question, I'm clueless there. Are you doing the increases in the back? or on the sides as for the toe? I agree about paired increases being too much. These socks are going to be awesome! :thumbsup:

So I'm sitting here thinking what would I consider doing, and I think I'd do 1 increase on the left and one on the right, maybe one on each needle. Hopefully someone who knows something will check in and offer some real advice.

12-30-2012, 01:46 AM
I don't know what KRL and KLL are, but I think I've figured it out. The M1 increases (one on each side, leaning in opposite directions) look pretty good, so I think I'll use those. To keep the diamonds from getting skewed, I'll do an increase at each end of the front needle, then (however many rows up I need) I'll do the same increases at each end of the back needle. That'll keep everything even and keep the diamonds nice and centered.

I'm doing the increases on the sides (as for the toes), because I don't want the diamonds to be bigger in the back than in the front.

12-30-2012, 01:57 AM
The KRL & KLL are where you pick up a loop from a stitch a row below, I find it easier than the M1, but what works for you is what counts. Yeah, 1 on each end of the same needle makes sense.

I found out Knitting Help has a FB page and checked it out and found this and I have to try them!

12-30-2012, 03:29 AM
WOW, that's amazing! I had to show it to my daughter, and she got a good laugh out of it, too.

Yes, I'd forgotten about the increases where you lift a stitch from below. I'm more used to lifting the bar below, so I'll prob'ly do it that way. I should check out that FB page.

12-30-2012, 12:04 PM
I think I'm in trouble, both grandkids want shark socks! They won't look quite the same but if I try them, I'm using worsted weight yarn! The nose looks like an afterthought heel. I've been trying to decide, was it done top down or toes up and which heel? I think it's a short row heel.

12-30-2012, 06:55 PM
Probably toe up, but it might have been knit flat, then seamed. Otherwise, I guess the white heel could have been done with intarsia in the round and then short rows.

12-30-2012, 08:15 PM
OMG I never should have shown that picture on my FB page. Not only do family members want shark socks, apparently my GD would love a pair of slippers/socks that resemble, of all things, pointe shoes!

Making the white work would be the challenging part for me. Well, the first challenging part.

01-01-2013, 03:10 PM
The argyle in the round is killing me! :wall: The video tutorial only shows the increasing diamond, but the decreasing side just doesn't work the same. I've written to Interweave's customer support to see if there are any written instructions to be had. I'm also going to search again for instructions for intarsia in the round (argyle in the round is a subset). If none of that pans out, I'm just going to have to knit the legs of these socks flat and then seam them. :pout:

01-01-2013, 05:07 PM
I'm sure you've searched and searched and read and read, but sometimes something pops up for someone else and because that happens I'm posting a link that might, just might, be helpful. Hand Knit Seamless Argyle Socks with Short Row Heels. (http://www.thedietdiary.com/cgi-bin/Argyle.pl) You've probably already seen it but just in case.

01-02-2013, 03:30 AM
Yes, I actually started out thinking I'd use that pattern, but I didn't care for how the short-row diamonds look (they seem a bit lumpy to me). I haven't given up just yet. Today, I did a search for "intarsia in the round" and found a couple of tantalizing tutorials. I won't have any time to knit for the next few days, so I'm going to wait before I try some more swatches. Meanwhile, the would-be argyle socks are having a time out in the corner.

01-02-2013, 07:57 AM
<<If none of that pans out, I'm just going to have to knit the legs of these socks flat and then seam them.>>

First pair of socks I ever made back in 1958 were argyle...a Christmas present for my dad. I knit the leg of the socks flat and seamed them. Couldn't even tell they were seamed. They were really warm socks.

01-02-2013, 06:18 PM
Yep, I could definitely do it that way. I guess I'm stubborn, and I want to overcome this hurdle and learn intarsia in the round. I find seams in socks uncomfortable, which is one of the reasons I like handknit socks so much. If I master intarsia in the round, I can also make my socks with reinforced soles and seamless! How cool would that be?

03-05-2013, 12:56 AM
Finally, these accursed socks are done! Never again.


03-05-2013, 07:24 AM
Success! They turned out really well.
Intarsia in the round including argyle socks in the round is definitely a challenge. Yesterday I say episode 910 (http://www.knittingdaily.com/blogs/tuned_in/archive/2012/10/30/take-intarsia-further-with-knitting-daily-tv-39-s-episode-910.aspx) of Knitting Daily which shows Anne Berk's technique for doing this. If you're ever tempted to try again, it's a must. (Although you could probably make your own video at this point.)

Jan in CA
03-05-2013, 12:44 PM
Just out of curiosity why are argyle socks always intarsia? Why couldn't you do them fair isle? I've never done them and refuse to have to seam socks although I suppose just the top wouldn't be too bad.

03-05-2013, 01:37 PM
Your accursed socks are lovely! However, I hope they don't reek havoc on your sole!

03-05-2013, 07:31 PM
I purchased that episode before I started the argyle part. Unfortunately, the instructions take you only through the diamond's increases. The decreases don't work quite the same, but there's no instruction on how to work the decreases. Believe me, I tried about a half dozen times to figure out how the same technique would work for the second half of the diamond, and I just couldn't. My daughter tried, too, and she can usually figure these things out. In the end, I complained about the incomplete instructions, and Interweave gave me a refund.

03-05-2013, 07:33 PM
The reason they're typically done using intarsia is that most people don't want wide floats. You could strand this and just twist the yarns in the back of the work every few sts.

03-05-2013, 07:35 PM
The soles are just ordinary stockinette + reinforced toes and heels. As for my "soul," I should get credit for persevering and finishing them, right? Maybe some debit for all the swearing I did while knitting them.

Jan in CA
03-06-2013, 02:26 AM
The reason they're typically done using intarsia is that most people don't want wide floats. You could strand this and just twist the yarns in the back of the work every few sts.

I always catch the floats ever 3 or 4 stitches so that reason never crossed my mind. There is a special method for catching themselves you're not really twisting them.

The biggest problem I can see, for me anyway, is when they are done in multiple colors. You'd have to carry multiple yarns across. I usually do fair isle with two colors or at least only two colors per row.

03-07-2013, 02:16 AM
If I remember correctly, traditional Fair Isle is just 2 colors to a row. So how do you catch the floats? Speaking of which, I'm doing some Fair Isle sock cuffs right now.

Jan in CA
03-07-2013, 02:40 AM
I use the method shown on this video.

This is the video I learned with because I do use two hands. It's much faster for me. Yeah, tradition fair isle is 2 colors. I usually just put it on hats and make up my own design as I go along.

03-08-2013, 03:07 AM
Thanks, Jan, that method is pure genius. I don't like throwing, but I think I might try it anyway for Fair Isle, because the way I'm doing it right now is kinda slow going. And I love the idea of a woven look on the WS rather than floats. I might have missed something in the last video section, because I didn't understand what the fourth stitch type does, although I understand how to do it. Is the purpose of the fourth stitch to do multiple left-hand stitches and have them woven?

Thanks for posting that link.

03-14-2013, 11:08 PM
I use the method shown on this video.

This is the video I learned with because I do use two hands. It's much faster for me. Yeah, tradition fair isle is 2 colors. I usually just put it on hats and make up my own design as I go along.

Jan, do you know of a source for learning the two-handed weaving Fair Isle technique for the purl side? I didn't have any trouble learning the two-handed method for knitting in the round, but now I have a project I want to do that uses Fair Isle knit flat. I figured out how to catch the floats (on the WS) when I'm (1) purling with the yarn in my right hand, but I can't for the life of me figure out (2) catching the floats (on the WS) when I'm doing several purl sts with the yarn in my left hand. Vogue Knitting has some illustrations of the weaving technique, but for the WS, it shows only (1) and not (2). Do you know how to do (2)?

I have some wonderful half-stranded socks to try (Fair Isle only on the top of the sock), but I don't want floats inside the sock.

03-14-2013, 11:48 PM
Jan, do you know of a source for learning the two-handed weaving Fair Isle technique for the purl side?

LOL, almost immediately after posting this question, I found some instructions in Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting. Man, I am so glad I have a knitting library. :yay:

03-15-2013, 12:46 AM
Good question, I'm glad you found an answer. Is it online somewhere, or will I have to buy a book, or could someone explain it for me? I've just started playing with this Fair Isle stuff and want to learn techniques I won't then need to unlearn if that makes sense.

03-15-2013, 04:49 AM
Good question, I'm glad you found an answer. Is it online somewhere, or will I have to buy a book, or could someone explain it for me?.

I've been looking for it online for a few days, and I was able to find all but that last bit I mentioned above. If you can't get hold of the book, I'll try to explain it, but it's very tricky to explain, especially without any visuals. That book was published 3 years ago, so there's a good chance you could find it at the library or through interlibrary loan.

Before you do that, though, it might be a good idea to learn ordinary Fair Isle (with floats instead of weaving), just to get the hang of basic Fair Isle. Try the 2-handed method, cuz that's what you'll use when you add weaving (catching the floats).

Jan, have you found any drawbacks to catching every st rather than just catching the middle of a long float? Apparently there's some controversy; some people say weaving every st makes the fabric too stiff.

03-15-2013, 07:51 AM
I was playing with cotton yarn the last couple days doing a Fair Isle checkerboard pattern in the round and trying to get the hang of being a two fisted knitter and yesterday I tried the method in the video and thought it was really pretty easy. FWIW at this early stage, the method of catching every other stitch did seem less stretchy but at the same time, my tension was more even. I've not tried FI flat knitting yet.

I think I can check the library for the book on my computer (a light just came on!) which would be pretty easy. Thanks for the tip.

03-15-2013, 11:52 AM
Jan, do you know of a source for learning the two-handed weaving Fair Isle technique for the purl side?

:) I did it! :) I did it! :)


I actually figured out how to do it!


Whew! Getting that excited is exhausting.:passedout:

After I recouperate I'll see if I can write out how to do it so that it makes sense. No promises.

Sometimes insomnia has it's benefits. I hate waking up at 3:45 and can't go back to sleep but I'm not sure I would have gotten this thing figured out if I hadn't!

:) I did it! :) I did it! :)

03-15-2013, 03:08 PM
Congrats, GrumpyGramma! I'm kinda wishing this info about Fair Isle wasn't buried in a thread about my argyle socks. It would be nice if the Fair Isle posts could be moved into a thread about Fair Isle so people who need info on that could find it. Mods?

Jan in CA
03-15-2013, 04:48 PM
Sorry I didn't see your question. I had to go get a new router which is confusing since I know almost nothing about this sort of thing. Anyhoo..I've only done fair isle in the round so I wouldn't have known. Glad you figured it out!

Carol, I don't do every stitch. I only do it about every 3 which seems to work fine. I can see where doing it every stitch would make it stiff.

03-15-2013, 05:16 PM
The flat FI I'm doing with acrylic worsted is somewhat comparable to Tunisian crochet if you're familiar with that. Double thick like dk but the back isn't stretchy like in dk.

Jan, sorry 'bout your router troubles. If it's not one thing, it's something else with computers. :hair: Did you get it working or did you have to resort to :ick: plugging in a cable. I lived so contently w/o wifi now I have it, it's a necessity!

03-15-2013, 07:18 PM
Carol, I don't do every stitch. I only do it about every 3 which seems to work fine. I can see where doing it every stitch would make it stiff.

That's weird. I replied to this, but it didn't get posted. Maybe I accidentally closed the tab before hitting Send.

Anyway, that's good to know. I'll use your approach. Happily, my sock cuffs did not come out stiff even though I used weaving for every stitch at the top of the cuff. It'll certainly go faster if I use it only for longer floats. :thumbsup:

Hope your transition to a router goes smoothly. I had to take one of my daughters along when I bought my first router. Mainly so I wouldn't get taken in by a sales pitch and buy more than what I needed.

03-27-2013, 12:36 AM
I had an epiphany about catching the floats on the WS. I decided to just knit backwards across the row (which I already knew how to do), instead of turning my work and purling. This has at least 3 advantages:

The public side is always facing me, which makes it easier to read the chart.

The balls of yarn don't get twisted.
To catch the floats knitting backwards, I simply mirror what I do when I'm knitting forwards.

Here's a link to the new thread I started for that projects:

linky (http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1373141&postcount=1)