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dancejunky
03-27-2013, 12:26 AM
I'm trying out Anna Zilboorg's new sock construction: free-sole. In case you haven't heard of it yet, the instep and the sole are knit flat and attached at the sides by a toe band. The purpose is so you can detach a section of the sole if and when it wears out and easily reknit it.

My yarn for the project is a lambswool/angora blend that I liberated from a thrift-store sweater and dyed with food coloring. The color work is stranded and knit two-fisted, so to speak (the soles and heel will be plain ol' stockinette in brown). Instead of purling and getting yarn balls all twisty, I'm knitting backwards. I'm about 5 inches into the instep (knitting 2AAT, toe up) and already in love. :inlove:

http://images4-b.ravelrycache.com/uploads/dancejunky/155341385/PicsArt_1364357420354_medium2.jpg

Jan in CA
03-27-2013, 12:31 AM
How cool!!

GrumpyGramma
03-27-2013, 12:35 AM
That is cool. I've wondered: where the sole and instep are attached do you end up with a ridge or something? Like your colors.

dancejunky
03-27-2013, 02:07 AM
No, there won't be a ridge. There's a toe band that goes around the toes, and it has selvedge sts along each edge. The instep and the sole are attached to the toe band by picking up sts, so that's a smooth way of joining. Where you see what could be a ridge on the end of the toe, that's just the toe band curling under a little because it's stockinette.

Thanks, glad you like the colors. I dyed the blue as a gradient, so the color is going to get lighter as I go up the sock toward the cuff. I'm really having fun with this project. And I love working with recycled yarn. The cost of materials for these socks is about $1.70.

salmonmac
03-27-2013, 05:44 AM
And those thrift store sweaters are happy to be put to this beautiful use! This really does look like a fun project and I like the idea of knitting backwards instead of purl rows. Should be warm and comfy socks too. Very nicely done, indeed.

Antares
03-27-2013, 08:51 AM
Very nice socks! And I love the idea of replaceable parts . . . . and recycled yarn (wish I could find such a deal, but all I found was an acrylic hand-knit sweater--so sad to see it in a Goodwill store).

Now where are those posters whose husbands wear hand-knit socks out in a matter of hours?

dancejunky
03-27-2013, 04:41 PM
Very nice socks! And I love the idea of replaceable parts . . . . and recycled yarn (wish I could find such a deal, but all I found was an acrylic hand-knit sweater--so sad to see it in a Goodwill store).

Now where are those posters whose husbands wear hand-knit socks out in a matter of hours?

Thanks. Finding good yarn to recycle is hit or miss. Some days I find several sweaters I can use, other days I get nothing. FWIW, I seem to wear socks out fast, too. I suspect it's because I like to walk around the house in my socks, on carpet. I think all that friction wears 'em out fast. Nowadays when I knit socks I reinforce the toe, sole, and heel with a strand of woolly nylon.

Jan in CA
03-27-2013, 05:08 PM
I don't see it on Ravelry. It's it called Free Sole?

dancejunky
03-27-2013, 08:33 PM
I don't see it on Ravelry. It's it called Free Sole?

Free sole is the name of a technique not a specific pattern. Here (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/half-stranded-socks)'s the one AZ has on Ravelry. It's available in a couple of books, both of which you can probably get at your library.

GrumpyGramma
03-27-2013, 09:23 PM
Instead of purling and getting yarn balls all twisty, I'm knitting backwards.

I'm trying to do this. Interesting to say the least. I think I'm starting to get the hang of it!

Jan in CA
03-27-2013, 09:32 PM
Oh I see, thanks!

dancejunky
03-27-2013, 11:15 PM
Good to hear. Backwards knitting comes in very handy sometimes. E.g., for entrelac.

nonny2t
03-28-2013, 08:22 AM
Very interesting and cool looking socks

butlersabroad
03-28-2013, 08:27 AM
Those are very cool looking socks and I like that you're re purposing wool too..... but backwards knitting!! That must be like trying to learn something with your eyes shut! Or at least it would for me! :wink:

GrumpyGramma
03-28-2013, 10:50 AM
..... but backwards knitting!! That must be like trying to learn something with your eyes shut! Or at least it would for me! :wink:

:teehee: I've been working on this and the problem is, it's all backwards! :roflhard: I can do it now but I'm not comfortable with it yet. Tensioning the yarn is proving to be a challenge. I still have to concentrate on it too much to be able to do it effectively so for now I switched back to turning and purling my heels.

dancejunky
03-28-2013, 06:03 PM
Those are very cool looking socks and I like that you're re purposing wool too..... but backwards knitting!! That must be like trying to learn something with your eyes shut! Or at least it would for me! :wink:

LOL. Knitting without looking is fun, too.

dancejunky
03-28-2013, 06:07 PM
:teehee: I've been working on this and the problem is, it's all backwards! :roflhard: I can do it now but I'm not comfortable with it yet. Tensioning the yarn is proving to be a challenge. I still have to concentrate on it too much to be able to do it effectively so for now I switched back to turning and purling my heels.

It definitely takes some practice, like anything new. If this were just plain stockinette, I'd certainly turn my work and purl. But I'm finding it a lot easier to do flat Fair Isle by knitting backwards. Once I have my tensioning worked out, I don't even have to reposition the yarn between rows.

GrumpyGramma
03-28-2013, 09:34 PM
Well, Carol, your skills are certainly beyond mine. I really :heart: learning from you and others here. Nobody has that I'm-better-than-you-are attitude. Right now I'm pretty pleased that I turned a short row heel and had no holes to fix. I'll work on the backwards knitting again soon, my main hang up was seeing how to yank the yarn when I did my German short rows turn w/o turning. That makes sense to me, does it to you?
:muah:

dancejunky
03-29-2013, 04:42 AM
Well, Carol, your skills are certainly beyond mine. I really :heart: learning from you and others here. Nobody has that I'm-better-than-you-are attitude. Right now I'm pretty pleased that I turned a short row heel and had no holes to fix. I'll work on the backwards knitting again soon, my main hang up was seeing how to yank the yarn when I did my German short rows turn w/o turning. That makes sense to me, does it to you?
:muah:

Awww, thanks. I keep working on my skills to improve them, but you shoulda seen my first pair of socks! My puppy did me a favor by chewing them up.

I'm not sure what German short rows are or why that would involve yanking the yarn. I use the STH (Sweet Tomato Heel) invented by Cat Bordhi.

dancejunky
03-31-2013, 05:02 AM
I've flipped one sock over so y'all can see how the sole is constructed. On the left is the instep, a stranded windowpane design, and on the right is about 3 inches of sole so far.

http://images4.ravelry.com/uploads/dancejunky/156072347/PicsArt_1364719453961_medium2.jpg

ArtLady1981
04-01-2013, 08:46 PM
Well you are quite the knitting guru, that's for shore! From liberating yarns from a thrift shop, to dying the yarn with food coloring...to knitting backwards! Not to mention, the pesky technique of fair isle knitting! Any one of those is quite something else!

I love the idea of being able to undo the soles when they are worn out. Very useful, and innovative1

dancejunky
04-02-2013, 01:45 AM
Well you are quite the knitting guru, that's for shore! From liberating yarns from a thrift shop, to dying the yarn with food coloring...to knitting backwards! Not to mention, the pesky technique of fair isle knitting! Any one of those is quite something else!

I love the idea of being able to undo the soles when they are worn out. Very useful, and innovative1

Thanks for your kind words. I guess I love the challenge of learning new things, so I'm always experimenting with my knitting. The free-sole technique was invented by Anna Zilboorg; she's really amazing, inspiring, and all good things. :muah:

dancejunky
04-09-2013, 07:00 AM
I'm not done with the socks, but I've finished the heels, so I thought I'd post again. I ended up simply doing increases on the side holding the heel stitches so I'd have enough to create a decent STH. I did the plain rows between wedges, but instead of going around the ankle, I did them only on the heel and attached them to the selvedge sts of the band. This is far from perfect—e.g., I have to learn how to tighten up those side joining pickups so there aren't any holes—but I think it's not bad for a first crack at it.

http://images4-b.ravelrycache.com/uploads/dancejunky/157755167/almost_finished__collage__medium

Antares
04-09-2013, 08:24 AM
Thanks for posting update pictures. Your socks are looking great! I take it you're working them two at a time, yes?

GrumpyGramma
04-09-2013, 09:52 AM
Those are great! They're really coming along nicely.

dancejunky
04-09-2013, 04:31 PM
Yes, two at a time. To take the photo, I had to slip one sock on to a spare needle, because on one needle they were too close together to maneuver my feet into them. Even with the stockinette sole and heel, the stranded instep and cuff make it difficult to get the sock over my heel, because it doesn't stretch much. I'm going to have to read up on Fair Isle socks and see if there's a fix for that. I've noticed that some Fair Isle socks have the Fair Isle only on the upper cuff, so maybe that's a known issue.

GrumpyGramma
04-09-2013, 04:52 PM
I've seen self-striping yarn that can sort of mimic Fair Isle, I've thought about trying it. The little I've done Fair Isle style didn't have as much stretch so I thought I'd try it and save FI for other things. If you find out there's a way to do it stretchier, please let us know!

Jan in CA
04-09-2013, 06:17 PM
Fake fair isle socks...my first pair.
Make with Schoeller and Stahl Fortisima Colori Socka Color in blue.

dancejunky
04-10-2013, 01:30 AM
Yes, self-patterning does create fabric that looks something like Fair Isle. I dye most of my own yarn, so if I want Fair Isle, I pretty much have to do the real thing, at least if I want a specific Fair Isle design. I suppose one way to get some extra stretch would be to work some ribbing into or around the Fair Isle.

dancejunky
04-13-2013, 04:31 AM
:woot: Three weeks to make these, and they're a bit hard to get over the heel (because of the stranded color work), but they feel great once they're on. I'll definitely knit free-sole socks again.

http://images4-b.ravelrycache.com/uploads/dancejunky/158373403/finished_medium