Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Look ma, NO HOLES!!!!

Being a *fluffy* knitter means upsizing many standardized patterns. I'm an avid sock knitter yet I've never knit myself any socks! Upsizing the pattern itself is no problem but knowing how much yarn to use can be. Yes, a 100 gram skein of Opal or 2 50 grams skeins of Regia are enough for the *average* size foot and yes, I can measure the exact gram weight of half of a ball of sock yarn so I can use half for each sock but if I knit the sock top down, how do I know I'll have enough yarn to reach the toe? So I needed to learn how to make socks from the toe up so that I can knit until my yarn runs out. I found the GREATEST cast-on for toe-ups called the Turkish Cast-On. It is demonstrated by Meg Swansen in the fall issue of Vogue and it's definitely worth the cost of the magazine!

NOTE: I usually don't buy Vogue because of the absolute dearth of any patterns written above a size 10 but I was waiting for a study group at Border's and it was the only knitting mag I hadn't read! For those that don't buy Vogue or have no access to American Knitting Mags, I will do a tutorial here on FKD of this technique in the near future because it's REALLY great!

So learning how to do short row heels has been my quest over the last week and by George! I think I've got it! LOOK......

Not too shabby, huh? I was using Plymouth Sockcotta yarn which is a cotton blend sock yarn and kinda splitty so I'm thrilled with how they turned out!!

My inspiration was
Alison and her short row tutorial, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' book, Simple Socks, Plain and Fancy and a little encouragement from a favorite perfectionist and short row heel knitter, Terry ....thanks for your help ladies! These are for mom (my sock guinea pig, hehe ) who has already tried on the finished first sock and LOVES it...she's also happy because all her prior socks were made top down with flap heels and since the short row is a bit less bulky, it fit into her shoe perfectly where sometimes the top down socks do not! :::Debi and Debi's mom do the happy dance together!:::

I got tagged by my great friend Ada so here's the 411 on Fluffy Knitter Deb:

TEN YEARS AGO: I was living in Hollywood, Florida and working with the Visiting Nurses Association of Miami. I was a Clinical Manager for Infusion Services and working mainly with AIDS patients because when AIDS became epidemic (Florida was the state with the second highest number of people diagnosed with AIDS in the country) Oncology Nurses were the most qualified to work with patients who were immunosuppressed.

FIVE YEARS AGO: I was still living in Hollywood, Florida :) I had 3 cats at the time, Jaxon, Mickie and Beau. Beau was a 4 year old Blue Point Himalayan who died suddenly of a pulmonary embolus that summer :(

ONE YEAR AGO: I was just starting grad school for the second time (the first was 13 years ago at U of M for Oncology Clinical Specialist) This time I'm getting a Master's in Human Resource Management and an MBA. I was living in my condo in Plantation, Florida with my precious boys, Jaxon and Mickie both of whom went to the Rainbow Bridge this year.


1- Any cheesy chip like Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles or Puffed Cheetos

2- Plain M&M's

3- Spicy V-8 juice with lots of black pepper, lime, hot sauce and some celery stalks

4- Ben and Jerry's ice cream

5- Fruit Salad with melon, pineapple and grapes


1- Oh Christmas Tree in German!! (I actually don't know the words in English)

2- American Pie

3- Paradise by the Dashboard Light

4-Train In Vain

5- The Star Spangled Banner


1- Pay off all my debt (school loans and such)

2- Put at least 50% in the bank/investments

3- Give to charity

4- Buy a house with a pool here in Florida and one for my parents in California

5- Take a cruise to Holland and Australia

6- Open a killer great yarn store/coffee shop/book store ( I had to add this one!)


1- The Florida Keys

2- The Netherlands

3- San Francisco

4- Tahiti

5- Hawaii


1- High heels

2- Mini skirts

3- Fur

4- A nose earring

5- A size zero....hey, a size ten would be a stretch :)


1- 30 Days

2- Nip/Tuck

3- Rescue Me

4- Leno

5- Gray's Anatomy


1- A great night's sleep

2- My Pumpkin

3- knitting

4- Learning something new

5- Friendship


1- Yarn, yarn and more yarn!

2-My Laptop

3- My knitting needle collection

4- My Dyson vacuum :)

5- Beads

PEOPLE TO PASS THIS ON TO: Kim, Liz, Agnes and Kelly

Can't wait to read your answers ladies!

The end of the Shaped Triangle is in sight so I should have some FO pics soon...Pumpkin will be sad tho....one of his favorite things to do is something we call *push-push* around here. He loves to stand on my knitting and knead it, rhythmically pushing alternate paws deep into the pile of knitting I usually have by my side! He can do it for 15 minutes or more and he purrs like a motor boat the whole time! Here he is caught in the act doing push-push on my Shaped Triangle...

Can't you see the rapture on his face? Hope you enjoy your knitting as much as Pumpkin enjoys mine!


Kris said...

Pumpkin is such a cutie.

I'm going to check out your new toe up technique. I've been interested in doing toe up but didn't understand (nor was too interested in understanding) a provisional cast on.

pleutim said...

The socks look great! I'm a toe-up short-row girl. I do mine with a provisional cast-on (crochet chain) and short-row toe and then a SR heel too. It's amazing how many ways there are to short-row! Boggles my mind. Personally, I'm a wrapper - I wrap on the first half and then just do a simple work-the-wrap-with-the-stitch on the second half. Some people yarn over, some people wrap on both the up and down... Variety is the spice of life, no?

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see your tutorial, although I may have to go out and buy the magazine too. I have trouble making socks fit because I have very narrow feet - they always come out too big. I think toe up is the solution - I've made a couple, but haven't been all that satisfied with the technique. Looking forward to seeing a new one. Dorothy (Missouri Star)

Christina said...

The socks look great. I haven't tried a toe up version next, but want to as I'm hoping it will help with getting them to fit my wide feet.

Agnes said...

A while ago nona mentioned that cast on mehtod from the magazine too ... I have it at home, but haven't read that article yet.
I am still waiting for the sock inspiration to come back ... but there are new sock yarns! I got a ball of
Sockatta too ... in a pink colourway ... very lovely!
Would Pumpkin use his claws on your knitting ... just saying, I was worried! ;)
Got your tag, would inform you when it is up. Have a good day.

margene said...

Kitchener, short rows...grrl we are worlds apart;-)

Anonymous said...

Again, I love the sock. I can't believe YOU, of all people, finally broke down and saw the good in a short row heel. I love the list...Off to practice...

Happy Knitting,

Ada said...

The sock looks wonderful and i can't wait to see the tutorial on the cast on. Maybe just maybe i might try it.
Thanks for answering the meme, loved reading the answers.

Beth said...

I will never get over being afraid of running out of yarn on top-down socks. I've done a few toe-up: provisional cast on for the toe (figure 8 sucks), Sherman heel, and EZ's sewn bind off - the only way to go). Unless that Turkish cast on is magic... But I'll probaby stick with top-down and worrying about running out. Which I'm doing right now as a matter of fact!

Logan said...

I learned toe up from a Wendy D. Johnson article in the Knitty.com archives, and am now a sworn toe-up provisional cast on (crochet chain) girl. My REALLY wide feet love it - I can use as many as 24!!! stitches across the toe (wide feet and all my toes end at the same place - will never, ever get my feet into pointy toed shoes).

Knittykim said...

Crap on a Cracker, woman. Now I have to think of answers with that whateveritis you tagged me with!!! Nerts...

Sharlene said...

Totally agree with your assessment of Vogue... not only have the sizes been an issue, but I usually don't like their designs. So I was shocked to find a couple I liked, and the valuable cast-on info too. Its almost enough to make me try socks again!

snowballinhell said...

If Pumpkin ever turns up missing, you'll know where to look for him. I've managed to sneak in and kidnap him.

We call that push-push thing "making biscuits" at my house because the kitties look like they're kneading dough. Wilbur the Amazing Deaf Cat drools when he does it. I try to prevent any of them from doing that with my knitting, though. Little claws tend to snag my yarn and make my scream!

Teresa C said...

Wow! Your socks look awesome. I have photos taken of the sock that I have had on the needles as a back up project for awhile, and am planning to post about them so you can see how mine look. I'm thinking yours look better. I googled the heel you wrote me about and might try it on my next pair of socks. The PGR method is so automatic for me though, we'll see.

La said...

Thanks for the sock cast-on tip. I may just have to try it on my next pair of sux.

I caught Momoze making biscuits on my Fibercrack, The Sequel last night. The just look so enraptured that it's so hard to scold. Maybe I'll make him his own mini-crack with any yarn leftovers.

La said...

Ha! I just read Snow's comment. Funny how great minds think alike!

Gina said...

Socks look awesome! Is that book really that good!?!?!

Teresa said...

hee hee...we call it "making biscuits"! Meow, Pumpkin!

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