Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

Darned in time

March 6, 2011

Knitting is an amazing skill. Our society rests upon multiple layers of highly refined techonology, but the general availability of cheap clothing has dulled many people’s appreciation for what really is a slow motion magic trick: taking several strands of plant or animal fiber, and then looping that strand upon itself to make articles of clothing that fit well and keep you warm.
Check this out:

Darning hand-knit socks! The clothes we buy are often discarded when they are damaged or even wear slightly. No point repairing something that was selected for being cheap in the first place. Hand knit clothes can be not only made to last, but in top shape for years (Highly contrasting darning color optional).
But even beyond that, the things knitters are capable of is stunning. Ravelry has thousands of patterns and posted projects, and the level of design and planning involved in making some of these patterns requires a high level of skill, plus serious attention to detail. That kind of skill makes for more than just pattern-following ability as well. Check this out:

Hand knit darning of a machine-made wool garment! Slightlyharmless (owner of this blog) was able to match the stitch pattern, replicate it to replace all the missing links, then thread it back into the garment. That’s some serious 3d modeling to be able to pull off such an elegant patch.


Knee High Men’s Ribbed Socks

January 12, 2010

Knee High Men’s Ribbed Socks    a pattern by slightlyharmless

These socks were knit for a Men’s Size 12 recipient.

I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease (worsted weight): 1 skein for contrast toes, heels and cuffs; and a little less than 4 skeins for feet and legs.

I knit these on size 5 needles.

The gauge when laid flat is about 5.5 stitches per inch, but since some of the purls are hidden it looks like 4 stitches per inch – there are purls between the visible knits to account for.

These were Magic Loop, two a a time, toe-up; when you get to the heels, just work one at a time with the other sock on hold on the cable.


Using Contrast Color, CO 12 stitches using Judy’s Magic Cast On (24 sts per sock, 48 sts total). If using ML, always repeat for 2nd sock, using a separate ball of yarn.

Knit the first round, and make sure to knit into the back of the stitch for the 2nd half of each sock (the CO leaves them twisted, so you must untwist it as you knit around).

Increase every other round using Kf&b into the leftmost and rightmost stitch on both sides of both socks, then knit the next round even.

Repeat these two rounds 5 more times, giving you a total of 48 stitches per sock. Then knit 1 more round increasing 2 stitches (i.e. into the first stitch of each needle but not the last as before) to give you a total of 50 stitches per sock.

Knit 1 more round in CC, then switch to MC and knit 2 more rounds before switching to ribbing on the instep.

Ribbing Pattern

When stretched, the K1, P1, K1 will create the look of a “column” of knit stitches offset by 2 purl stitches on either side. When relaxed, the single purl between 2 knits will tuck itself out of view, giving it the look of K2P2 ribbing. By starting and ending each repeat with a purl stitch, the pattern of 5 columns is centered over the instep with a single purl on either side.


At 50 stitches per sock, work 5 repeats of the ribbing on side A of both socks, then knit across the bottom of the socks on side B. Continue in this way until you are 2” short of the required foot length.


Make heels with Contrast Color using the Short-Row Heel method. I wrapped 8 stitches on each side of the heel, leaving 9 unwrapped stitches in the middle (8+9+8=25).

Begin wrapping stitches:

Row 1: K to last stitch, wrap 1 and turn work

Row 2: P to last stitch, wrap 1 and turn work.

Row 3: K to 1 st before wrap, wrap and turn.

Row 4: P to 1 st before wrap, wrap and turn.

Repeat Rows 3 & 4 until you have the required number of wrapped sts on each side, ending on the Right Side with yarn in back, having just finished wrapping the final stitch on a purl row, and turning.

Begin unwrapping stitches:

Row 1: K to first wrapped stitch, lift up the wrap and work it by knitting it together with the stitch it was wrapping. Then wrap the next stitch (which will now have two wraps) and turn.

Row 2: P to the first wrapped stitch, lift up the wrap and work it by purling it together with the stitch it was wrapping. Then wrap the next stitch (which will now have two wraps) and turn.

Row 3: K to the next wrapped stitch, lift up both wraps and work them by doing a K3tog with the stitch they were wrapping. Then wrap the next stitch (which will now have two wraps) and turn.

Row 4: P to the next wrapped stitch, lift up both wraps and work them by doing a P3tog with the stitch they were wrapping. Then wrap the next stitch (which will now have two wraps) and turn.

Repeat Rows 3 & 4 until you have unwrapped all but one stitch on either side, ending on the Right Side with yarn in back, having just finished working the 2nd to last wrap, wrapping the last stitch on a purl row, and turning.

(This will leave one unwrapped stitch on each side, one will be worked in the next step, the other should be worked in the following round as you come to it naturally, it will be worked on the RS in the round, rather than on the WR flat.)

Knit across, working the final wraps at the end of the needle. Then repeat the whole process on the 2nd sock, which has been waiting patiently on the cable.


With Main Color, resume the ribbing pattern for the front and back of each sock; at 50 sts per sock, you will be working 10 repeats per sock, beginning and ending each needle with a P1 in order to center the columns evenly. Work in this manner until you reach the beginning of the calf shaping.

Calf Shaping

The calf shaping takes place in the upper two thirds of the length of the leg (measuring roughly from just above the ankle to just below the knee).

To determine where your calf shaping should take place, measure the length of your recipient’s leg as described and refer to the following diagram.

The length of the leg is divided into three roughly equal sections by the blue lines. Each of these sections is again subdivided into three equal sections, marking the sites of all increases and decreases to shape the calves. All incs and decs are to be done on the back (heel side) of the sock, the front (instep side) is to be worked in the established ribbing pattern. Thus, the first 3rd of the leg is worked according to established ribbing pattern.

(Referring to hand drawn diagram on far right): each “column” is represented by a thick black line (there are 5, centered across the back of the sock), the purl stitches have deliberately not been drawn, in order to give a clearer picture to the placement of the increases.

All increases occur in the middle 3rd of the leg, represented by downward pointing triangles.

The first pair occurs at the first subdivision, centered around the middle column. In order to do this, work 2 repeats as usual, increasing into the final purl stitch of the 2nd repeat with a Kf&b, then work 1 more repeat, again increasing into the final purl stitch with a Kf&b, then work 2 more repeats as usual. You will have increased two stitches into the back for a total of 52 sts per sock.

Continue in newly established pattern (there will be two spots where the columns are offset by 3 purl stitches instead of 2).

The second pair of increases occurs at the second subdivision. These will again be centered, but this time around the middle 3 “columns.” Work these increases as before, with a Kf&b, into the first of the pair of purl stitches which offsets the “columns” between which the increase is positioned. You will have increased 2 more stitches, for a total of 54 sts per sock.

Continue working this newly established pattern until it is time to begin the first of 2 decrease rounds.

All decreases occur in the final 3rd of the leg, represented in the diagram by an upward pointing triangle.

The first pair occurs at the first subdivision.

This time, in order to mirror (across the “x-axis”) the increases, you will reverse the order of decreases by first decreasing the outter portion, and then the inner portion.

Work decreases with a P2tog at the points diagrammed.

Refer to this closeup of the increase and decrease positions for further clarity.

Increase and decrease into the first of the two (and the first two of three) purl stitches which offset the “columns” of ribbing.

The remaining decreases will all ocurr at the 2nd subdivision of the upper portion, and there are two steps.

First, decrease back to the original 50 stitch ribbing pattern in the same manner as before, with a P2tog in the remaining inner positions centering the middle column. Then work 2 more rounds in pattern.

For the final round of decreases, work the following over both sides of both socks: P1, *K3, P2tog, repeat from * 3 time, K3, P1. You will have decreased down to 42 stitches, for a snug fit just under the knee. I do this rather than changing needle sizes, though you could just as easily go down a needle size instead of decreasing, but make sure that each “column” is now a K3, in order to make the cuff pull in more than the leg. For a larger calf, incorporate more increases and decreases, doing your best to evenly distribute and mirror them horizontally and vertically. Keep in mind that the ribbing is EXTREMELY stretchy.


With Contrast Color, continue in cuff ribbing for at least 2 inches. Then Bind Off VERY LOOSELY, exaggeratedly loosely, as the cuff will need to pass over the widest part of the calf. The ribbing should be much snugger than the Cast Off in order to keep the sock in position.

These socks were originally knit in Jan/Feb of 2009; the pattern was written out Jan 2010. If you should happen to find errors, or need clarification on any points, please leave your comments below. They are greatly appreciated.

Sock Construction

May 26, 2009

Some diagrams I drew to help distinguish the differences in technique and construction: