I lost my sock knitting mojo several months back. How does this happen to a devoted sock knitter? What could have caused it? How can I get it back?
It was disconcerting not have a small project in my purse at all times. Everything else I was working on, being the sweater knitter that I am, was too large to carry around. What to do? What is happening here? I’m so close to this pair of socks being done and can’t pick them up to finish.
After a couple months of fretting thinking, no blinding flash of insight here, it occurred to me that I had made myself a rule for socks that was getting in my way: I would knit all my socks in a different style of knitting than my usual method. For me that was knitting in the English, throwing method. I learned the continental method of knitting from Ruth, a girl in my university residence, who learned it from her German neighbour and have always knit this way.
Apparently knitting in a different style can help with the pain and strain of knitting. Any change to your knitting changes your posture. Your head, shoulders and hands are in different positions so that you are not always sitting exactly the same way for the many hours you knit. I thought that knitting socks with my other hand would be a good rule. I would always have one project on the go that was worked in the throwing method.
It worked for a while and then it didn’t. I never got really good at it. I never felt comfortable and I don’t know how you purl easily in the throwing method because to me it continues to be so very, very awkward. My sock mojo left. Not good.
Last week I decided to buy some new sock yarn. No rules this time. I started knitting on Thursday, in my usual continental, double pointed needles fashion and, guess what, it’s fun again. I’m most of the way down the leg already and anxious to get going today to do some more.
Maybe the lay-off was needed. A couple months of no-sock-knitting has shown me that I still love knitting socks. I will have a project in my bag at all times. Back at it and happy to be here.
I like Garter Stitch. I like that it’s cushy. I like to work it in the round with no seams. Yes you have to purl every other round but I still like it.
What I don’t like is this.
That line you get when garter stitch is worked in the round. It’s a jog that looks like a seam where you change the knit round to a purl round. Since there is going to be a line anyway, you might as well knit it flat and sew it up. Sewing is NOT my first choice, ever.
There is no seam line anywhere in the garter stitch. Nowhere. I’m doing the happy dance in my new hat. I knit the crown of this hat like The Blizzard (Top Down) in the Need A Hat book by Cabin Fever (that’s me).
The trick is to use two balls of yarn in the same colour (or two different colours if you want). With ball #1 work one knit round and with ball #2 work the next round in purl. DO NOT TWIST the yarns when you change balls. That’s it. No Seam! Check out the Helical Garter Stitch Tutorial where Jen Arnall-Culliford gives you some extra tips.
Do you have a favourite shawl stitch pattern that you love? Have you ever wondered if it could be used to jazz up a raglan pullover? Could you work with a plain sweater pattern and make it your very own design? That is just what I’m trying now.
I have a reliable Top Down straight-necked Raglan pattern which I will be publishing in the new year. I’m knitting a lace version to wear to the upcoming wedding.
I’m using a couple of triangle shawl stitch patterns from the Knitting Lace Triangles book by Evelyn A. Clark. I have knit the pattern for the Leaf Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark several times already and I know it is perfect for this.
A triangle shawl knit from the top down is actually two triangles with a centre stitch between them.
Each triangle has two increases worked every other row. One increase at the beginning edge and another increase at the far side of the triangle.
Does this sound familiar? Yes, a raglan Front for instance, has an increase worked at the beginning and outside edge, every other round. The sleeve works the same way. Could this work?
Start your shawl pattern part way down the chart so that the stitch count fits into the stitch numbers for the section of the raglan pullover where you wish to place it. You may have to adjust your stitch numbers to accommodate the stitch pattern.
Here is my sleeve at the divide. I’m working the Leaf pattern from the Knitting Lace Triangles book by Evelyn A. Clark.
I also worked it on the Front and Back with two more repeats of the pattern.
OK, call me a knitting overachiever, I then transitioned into the Medallion pattern which will continue to the bottom of the sweater. It’s an exciting knit.
Do you have a favourite shawl stitch pattern? Would you like to be using it in a sweater?