Ecoyarns Top Down Socks Part 2 Heel Turn

This part of the sock recipe is the one that makes beginners nervous. Never fear, give it a try and we have provided a wordy version of the heel turn with pictures to help.

Abbreviations

Sl: Slip 

k: knit 

p: purl 

k2tog: knit 2 together

p2tog: purl 2 together

ssk: slip 2 stitches knitwise, insert left needle into front of the 2 slipped stitches, knit through back loops.

Heel flap

Redistribute stitches for 32 stitches on one needle (Heel stitches) and 16 stitches each on 2 other needles. 

Sock_heel_setup_

Working back and forth only on the 32 heel stitches 

Row 1: (Slip 1, knit 1) repeat until end of needle.

Row 2: Sl 1 purl to end. 

Row 3: Sl 1, (sl 1, k1) repeat until 1 stitch is left, k1.

Row 4: Sl 1, purl to end.

Repeat these 4 rows until there are 31 rows in total, finish with Row 3.

Heel turn

Next row, start heel turn: purl 18, p2tog, p1, turn. 

(These are short rows and you only knit SOME of the stitches in each row)

Sl 1, k5, ssk, k1, turn.

Sl 1, p6, p2tog, p1, turn.

Sl 1, k7, ssk, k1, turn.

Sl 1, p8, p2tog, p1, turn. Continue in this way until all stitches are used.

The last ssk, will NOT have a matching k1, and the last p2tog also does not have a matching p1,but it requires a yarnover to start the next row. Please see picture.

How to Yarnover at the beginning of a row: bring yarn to the front, insert needle into first stitch as to knit, bring yarn over the needle to the back to knit this first stitch.

(Note: The yarnover is to reduce the chance of a hole forming at this spot. If the instructions are too confusing, just omit this yarnover for simplicity, it will not change the pattern. Optional instructions are in italics.)

Sock_heel_yo1Sock_heel_yo2

There should be 1 yarnover and 18 stitches on your needle.

Sock_heel_turn

Rearrange the 2 needles holding 16 stitches each for the top of the foot to 1 needle holding 32 stitches.

Pick up 16 stitches along the edge of the heel flap. I picked up 15 stitches along the edge, then the 16th stitch was from the stitch in the corner turn. This minimises a hole in that area. Place Marker. 

Sock_pick_upSock_pick_up_2Sock_corner

Knit in pattern across the 32 stitches for the top of the foot. Place Marker.

Pick up 1 stitch in the corner between the leg of the sock and the heel flap, then pick up 15 stitches along the side of the heel flap. 16 stitches picked up. 

Slip the yarnover from the previous row then knit across 9 heel stitches.

At this point, you should have 27 stitches on Needle 1, MARKER 1, 32 stitches on Needle 2, MARKER 2, 27 stitches plus 1 yo on Needle 3.

Decreasing heel stitches

Decrease round: K to 3 stitches before Marker 1, k2tog, k1, slip marker. Knit in pattern across top of foot. Slip Marker 2, k1, ssk, knit to stitch before the yarnover, slip yarnover as if to knit slip the next stitch, knit these 2 stitches through the back loop, then knit to base of heel.

This completes the first round of decreasing. 

All subsequent decrease rounds will not have the extra ssk for the yarnover.

Plain round: Knit all stitches to marker, slip marker, knit in pattern across top of foot, slip marker 2, knit all stitches.

Repeat these two rounds until each of the two heel needles have 16 stitches remaining on each.

Sock_heel_ndl1Sock_heel_ndl2

Additional Note: In case you did not notice from the photos, I do not actually use stitch markers, but use the space between two needles as the indicator for decreasing the heel stitches.

 

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SOCK KNITTING Part 1

Happy Mothers Day!

I do hope you enjoyed your Mothers’ Day as much as I did. 

I would like to introduce the Newcastle Farmers’ Market. This fresh food market is fantastic for fresh produce direct from the producers and includes small artisan made items. The Umbrella Artisans carries some of our Ecoyarns, including some of Vivian’s handspun yarns and fibres and batts for spinning or felting.

The Ecoyarns Top Down Sock was previewed several weeks ago, if you missed the instructions, here they are again

For those who are really keen to cast on those Top-down socks, Using 2.25mm needles, cast on 64 stitches and join in the round. K2 p2 for 20 rows.

Use either double pointed needles (dpns) or 2 circular needles

The yarn I am using is ANNA, this yarn knits up at a light fingering to fingering guage for the Americans, or 3-4 ply for us Aussies.

It is perfect for baby items like booties and socks of course.

Materials:
2.25mm needles dpns
Sock yarn 100g for an average sized foot. Larger feet will need more yarn.

Cast on 65 stitches onto one needle, divide the stitches onto 3 needles ( usually 20, 20, 25 stitches). Carefully join into a round. The last stitch is passed over to the first needle and it and the first stitch cast on are then knitted together for a jogless join. See picture.
Mark beginning of round. 
I used the Twisted German Cast On as I find it strong yet stretchy. This LINK takes you to a YouTube Video to show how it is done.

Rounds 1-20 : K2 P2 repeat till end of round.
Option to K2 P2 for 10cm.

Round 21: Knit all stitches.
Round 22: (Knit 3, Purl 1) repeat till end of round.
Rounds 23-24 : Knit al stitches.

Repeat Rounds 21-24 until leg measures 12 cm (or until length preferred).

Sock_1Sock_2Sock_3Sock_4Sock_5
Sock_6_k2tog
Sock_7
Sock_8
Next week we will continue the pattern from the heel of the sock.

Photo competition

Fancy being a winner?
Send in your photos of items made with Ecoyarns or Fabrics, including laces and go in our draw for prizes.
Send photos to ecoyarnstore@ecoyarns.com.au by the 31st of May to enter the draw.
Winners will be drawn on the 3rd of June.

First prize $100 gift voucher
Second prize $50 gift voucher
Third prize $30 gift voucher

Please include your name, email address and postal address.

Legal bits: You own the right to the photograph, we only ask that we have your permission use the photo on the Ecoyarns website, emails or blog for 2012 only.

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Skeining and balling a hand-dyed yarn

Alright. So now you have a skein of yarn, dried on the line after getting really bright with jelly colours. What are you going to do with this? 

Option 1: Skein/Hank it up and store it because you already have several other projects on the needles so this has to wait. This form reduces stress on the yarn, so this is the preferred option for longer term storage. The yarn will not be overstretched when you knit your garment.

OR

Option 2: Wind it into a ball now and cast on immediately. There are many sock and shawl patterns that would work with this amount of yarn.

Over the next few weeks we will bring you a simple sock pattern step by step.

1) Skeining/Hanking

I stretch the yarn between my two hands with my finger through the loop at both ends, then rotate one hand to start twisting. At one point the yarn will start to twist on itself, at this point, hold your hands firmly at the same distance from each other and add another 2 twists to the yarn, then rapidly bring your hands together allowing the extra twist to move into the skein. Tuck one end into the loop at the other end and TA-DA! there is a skein/hank.

There should be a nice fluffy twist to the yarn. 

When I first tried this, it took me about 10 tries to get it right.

_skeining_1
Skeining_2Skeining_3Skeining_4Skeining_5

2) Winding into a Ball by hand

I asked my kids to demonstrate this. First one person holds the yarn taut with their hands/forearms.The other person gently finds the ties that hold the yarn together and very carefully unties the knots. Usually two ends are tied together for security, pick either one, but if one end clearly lies on the outside of the skein, then start winding with this. Sometimes there are 2 ends tied onto different parts of the skein, pick one that looks the least tangled.

Winding
Winding_2_butterflyWinding_6Winding_3Winding_9Winding_7

Start winding the yarn onto your hands, forming a figure 8 between your thumb and pinkie. When this little bundle gets slightly puffy, release your fingers, fold it in half and start winding the yarn around across the strands.

Continue winding this way until there is a sizable ball in your hands, rotating the growing ball of yarn every few times as yarn is wound onto the ball.

I know some very clever people that can make perfect spheres, egg shapes and can even leave the inside yarn tail in the middle as a center pull ball.

As you are winding, try not to pull the yarn too taut, because if the yarn is stored that way, it can lose some elasticity and give an incorrect gauge when knitting with overstretched yarn. The correct tension for your ball should feel like it gives a little when squeezed, like a juggling ball, not hard like a cricket ball.

Well, frankly handwinding is pretty tedious and boring, and there might not be a willing volunteer to hold the yarn for you. Thats ok, try the back of a chair, or flip the chair over and drape the yarn over the legs. Or invest in a swift and ball winder.

PREVIEW:

For those who are really keen to cast on those Top-down socks, Using 2.25mm needles, cast on 64 stitches and join in the round. K2 p2 for 20 rows.

Use either double pointed needles (dpns) or 2 circular needles

more pictures and instructions coming in 2 weeks as Salihan is our blogger next week!

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Jelly Dyeing Just for Fun

Salihan asked for some pretty green, pink and purple yarn to use for her expected baby and I thought: “Ah Ha!” perfect excuse to do some Jelly Dyeing.

So, I pulled out some simple kitchen items and found some jelly packets. Rummaged in the shop and pulled out the Undyed Sock yarns. This became a morning of fun for me and my kids in this Easter school holidays. Whilst the materials are safe and kids usually have lots of fun putting colours onto yarn, an adult supervisor is always recommended. 

Materials:

  • Yarn undyed 100% wool we used Tamara 100% Wool Tweed yarn 100g and Anna 100% Falkland Wool 100g
  • Bowls or dishes
  • Jars for mixing the jelly
  • Packets of Jelly: Purple (Port Wine) Pink (Bubblegum) Green (Lime) Blue (Berry Blue)
  • We used Aeroplane Jelly, any coloured jelly will work (Jelly made with natural colours will give colours that are muted)
  • Stirrer, tongs as required
  • Protective items: aprons, gloves
  • Kettle for boiling water
  • Microwave

Jelly_dye_1

Firstly, I tied the Tamara yarn in 3 places. Not too tight, or the colour will not penetrate the yarn.

I soaked the yarns in warm tap water so they are thoroughly wet. Anyone fancy a bit of yarn spaghetti? or “Pisghetti” as my 4 yo says it.

Jelly_dye_spaghetti

Empty the jelly packets into the jars and add about 100-200ml of boiling water, stir well. I tend not to be exact with water quantity as it does not affect the final result. The way you apply the colour will change the final result. More on this in a future post.

Jelly_dyeing_2

With my gloved hands, I separated the Tamara yarn into 3 bowls, then poured the 3 different colours (pink, purple and green) into the bowls and pushed the yarn into the colour mixture gently with a stirrer. Making sure the white parts of the yarn also receive some colour. 

Jelly_dye_x3

Place this 3 bowl extravaganza into the microwave. Turn microwave on High for 3 minutes.

Jelly_dye_microwave

If there are some white spots that you want coloured, used gloved hands or tongs to squeeze the white yarn through the colour solutions gently and repeat the 3 minutes the in the microwave. Remove yarn and bowls from microwave carefully. (Don’t scald yourself) Let them cool, then gently pick the yarn up without tangling, very gently squeeze out the excess jelly liquid then place it in plenty of warm water. The water should be bath water temperature.

Soak for 5 min or so. Gently remove, very gently wring dry (or roll in a towel) and hang to dry. Repeat the rinse process if there is remaining jelly smells or any stickiness.

Jelly_dye_tweed

See how the Tamara yarn creates a tweedy effect. This is one strand of superwash wool which take dye up faster and has a stronger intensity, and 2 strands of non superwash wool, which absorbs slightly less colour.

I then prepared the Anna yarn the same way then placed it in a bowl with some warm water. I wanted to achieve a slightly variegated effect, so I poured the colour solution into the middle of the yarn in the bowl, and did not mix it. Then placed in Microwave for 3 min. Allow to cool and rinse as for the other yarn. 

Jelly_dye_blue
Jelly_dye_blue1

Once the yarn is dry, wind into a ball and use for your favourite project. Happy Jelly Dyeing!

I will ask Salihan which yarn she prefers for her baby, and the other yarn is destined to be a new pair of socks. Stay in touch for step by step sock knitting instructions using the yarns you have dyed!

Jelly_dye_on_rack

General Notes:

Be careful not to scald yourself

Wear gloves for protection

Handle the yarn gently as agitation or rapid temperature changes can cause the yarn to felt.

The colour effects are dependent on amount of colour to amount of yarn and the method of application of the colour. Saturated colours require more colouring agent. More on this in a future post.

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