18 December 2007

Onward up the stocking

If you've worked the part of the pattern posted yesterday, you have a nice round spiral. That's the toe. There should be 79 stitches on the needles. The body of the stocking is pretty easy -- p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k5. Always work the whole repeat. The beginning of the round shifts one stitch to the left with each round. On the sample stocking, I knit about 30 rounds. The toe of the sample stocking is a bit short -- feel free to make it whatever length you like.

Then I set-up for inserting the heel later. In Knitter's Almanac (New York: Dover Publications, 1974, 1981 reprint) p.145, Elizabeth Zimmermann calls this a thumb trick. Lynne Barr in Knitting New Scarves (New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2007) pp.138-139 calls this a scrap yarn slit. Cat Bordhi in A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting (Friday Harbor WA: Passing Paws Press, 2005) p.109 calls it a waste yarn opening. (BTW, I highly recommend all three of these books.) In this case, take a spare piece of yarn and knit across half (i.e. 40) stitches. Slip these 40 stitches back to the left needle. Continue working in pattern as if nothing had happened. Later on, you can take out the waste yarn and pick up stitches around the opening using dp needles. The heel I worked on the sample stocking did not turn as much as I thought it would. If you want your stocking to turn more, either use a different heel construction or knit across more stitches with the waste yarn so that the heel will be bigger.

After the heel set-up, I knit another 70 rows in the swirl pattern. As with the toe, knit to the length you like. If you come from a family where all the gifts go inside the stocking, you may need to knit the spiral for quite some time.

Tomorrow: the fluffy cuff!

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