Leave a comment

New cast on for socks?

I almost NEVER make cuff down socks.  But recently I did.  In the process, I think it may have created a new sort of cast on.  It is a variation on what I think is called the double tail long tail cast on (or at least some versions with that name) but it gives a super stretchy and (I think) very decorative edge that works great for 2×2 ribbing for cuff down socks.  I had a hunt on YouTube and found this video, which isn’t the same but shares some characteristics with mine. And the re-arranging of the strand around the thumb is done clearly, so that is probably helpful.


Here is a shot of the final effect of my variation:

But the effect is different in the reverse, so you can adjust to make the side you prefer the right side:

And you can see the amount of stretch it offers:

My mate from Yorkshire tells me this is now the only cast on she uses, but to be fair she is a wicked tight knitter!

The first thing you need to do is double the tail and make a slip knot near the yarn end:

Arrange your yarn as if to do a standard long tail cast on, making sure the yarn around your thumb is the SINGLE STRAND. This is where it deviates from the double strand LTCO. Like a normal LTCO you will scoop the single strand and take it over the thumb loop, over the double strand and back thru the thumb loop

This creates your first stitch, next to the slip knot.  I count the slip knot as a stitch.

Now, you have to reposition.  Release the thumb loop and make the single strand come across your palm and around your thumb from the back to the front, like so:

Scoop the lower strand that is across your palm, bring the needle over the double strand, and back thru the loop.

And that’s it.  You will have created a pair of double-stranded stitches like so:

And you can already see how stretchy they are.  Treat each doubled stranded stich as a single stitch – so the above, circled, is TWO stitches::

Join to work in the round, and work a 2×2 rib

If there is a drawback it is probably that this might be tricky to cast on two at a time – I’ve not tried it, so I don’t know!

I am not sure what to call it!  How about ukmaryanne’s very stretchy double strand long tail cast-on variation for 2×2 cuff down socks?  LOL!  I’ll work on it and see if I can wedge in 10 or so more words, or make an stupid acronym… ukmaryanne’s very unique LTCO alternative?  That makes it UVULA <snort>

I never have used the cast on from the video but it also looks interesting so I have to give that a go. Not so far as to knit another pair of cuff down sock, to be fair, but just to see how it’s end result differs from my end result.  Maybe it isn’t so unique after all!

On a completely different note, I have been watching the National Theatre production of Frankenstein and it is outstanding.  Interestingly it stars two Sherlocks – Benedict Cumberbatch, the BBC’s Sherlock and Jonny Lee Miller from Trainspotting but also Sherlock in the US tv show Elementary.  There is a lot of great stuff coming up, I think each is only available or a week.  I’m gutted I missed Treasure Island.

Leave a comment

Socks – less a pattern, more a guideline

Because I knit virtually all my socks toe-up, and with a Fish Lips Kiss heel, it is really quite easy to slot in any stitch pattern I want.  I have, goodness, maybe 6 or more books of stitch pattern, but my favourites are from Wendy Bernard.  I have The Knitting All Around one, the Up, Down, All Around one, and her Japanese stitches one.  I love that there re lists in the back that sort the various patterns by stitch count, so if I want to see all the patterns that match my usual 68 stitches count, I can do it.  It is also pretty easy to figure out how to add a couple of framing stitches and use most patterns that way.

I saw a stitch pattern called the Alternating Slip Stitch, and quite liked the way it looked. I felt like it might work well for hand-dyed yarn, and decided to give it a go.  after knitting a bit of a swatch, I decided to omit one line, which made the pattern created more round then oval.

One of my mates asked for the pattern, but there really isn’t a pattern, I just slot in the stitch sequence to my existing framework.  But I wrote up a little description for her, and having gone to the trouble to do that, I figured I might as well share it.

Here is another look at the socks:

I always like how a slipped stitch pattern breaks up colour pools in hand dyed yarn

Anyway, if you fancy the look here is the most basic outline of what I did. and just a little tip – I placed the stitch pattern info quite specifically on the PDF.  I like to use a little clip like these:

although to be fair a paper clip works just as well, on the side of the printout,  to keep track of where I am in the sequence.

I am already working on another pair, which I am really liking a LOT, but I feel like the stitch pattern might work even better if I shift it a few stitches tot he right to centre the design, or if I flip one sock so they are a mirror image.  Perhaps more on that at a later date.



It’s all about the knitting at the moment

I know I have been totally MIA here for a loooooonnnggg time.  Life has been pretty full.  The crafting I am doing is pretty much limited to knitting – something I can do in the car, in waiting rooms, while catching up on my endless film queues etc. I will also say the knitting is almost 90% socks.

I thought I would just do something I have been thinking of doing for a while, and that is using my blog to document those projects.

I made these a couple of months ago – the wool is from a bag we unearthed from under the table at my local knitting shop (very sadly soon to close) All Ewe Knit is Love in Shaftesbury.

This sock is using the pattern Slip Stitch Lines and is free on Ravelry.

I formed the sock-blocker from a coathanger, using the printable pattern here and the info here.

The heel is as nice a FLK heel as I have ever done.

And I have been experimenting with other versions, like a traditional slip-stitch version

and an Eye of Partridge version!

So that is what has been keeping me busy.  I am still also sending out 10-20 book folding pattern every week and a fair few DASH planners as well.  I may be back soon. But it’ll likely be a knitting post so papercrafters be warned!