I need more hands, is what I need. Right now I need to be blogging, and editing pictures, and knitting, and correcting and e-mailing patterns, all at once. (Did I just hear a dirty word? Did someone mention laundry?)
I am somewhat behind where I hoped to be on all these things at the moment, and will probably remain behind until I figure out how to take up the slack with toes and elbows.
Oh - and also until I learn to grip reality as firmly as I do my needles. This is the second time in as many days that I’ve had to do a catastrophic frog on a sock (I’ll tell you about Imbas some other time…) because I was in denial about a self-perpetuating mistake. I knew that counter-clockwise pattern stitch was too tight and was distorting the whole foot, so what possessed me to keep going for several inches? One big fat frog later I can only hope I’ve learned my lesson. The problem is now corrected and… I’ve almost reached the heel, and in the process I have learned, if not necessarily the desired lesson, at least some valuable information about how the stitch behaves.
But a woman who doesn’t knit with her toes and elbows has no time to philosophize, so let’s get on with the hard data, ‘cos I’ve got inches to knit (and patterns to correct and send out!!!!) before I sleep.
Veil Stitch, Method #4
How cool is this? Pam of the comments found all my circular twiddling still overbusy and overcomplicated, so she came up with her own technique. It uses two separate moves, and at first I was dubious about that - but once get up a rhythm and danged if it doesn’t work just great. I’ve done my best to illustrate it.
You’ve worked the basic stitch but not pulled it off the left needle yet. Now bring the left needle in front of the new stitch -
and insert the left needle into the stitch from right to left,
pulling it off the right needle. Then bring the right needle around behind it and insert the right needle into the back of the stitch from left to right,
pulling it off the left needle.
You’ve now turned the new stitch the requisite 360 degrees without having to do all that twisty contorting.
Thank you, Pam!
When I said that Half-Veil stitch does not look like Veil Stitch - well, that was true as far as it goes. But in case I didn’t make this clear, it is exactly the same stitch. That is - Half-Veil is to Veil what stockinette is to garter. In either case, working the single stitch on both sides of a flat piece is going to create a different effect from working it in the round, because you don’t get to see the purl side of it in alternate rows.
It’s going to get interesting when we start to discuss the mirror-image version of this stitch. That’s where I ran into trouble last night, and now I understand why. I need to test all the methods before I can swear that they all work exactly the same if you work the twist part counterclockwise. So far the techniques I’ve tested work just fine, but the result is a little different - a bit tighter and less elastic, with a slightly different texture.
Reason: when you twist the stitch clockwise you are going with the grain of the yarn (there will be exceptions here and there, but most commercially-spun sock yarn that I know of is plied in the same direction), increasing the tension on the twist. This is like winding a spring tighter - gives it more bounce and springiness. When you go the other way you are, in effect, partially untwisting the yarn, un-plying it, so it loses a bit of its shine and bounce and stretchiness.
Solution: Get a Bigger
Hammer Needle. Yes, I’m now working the patterned portion of the counterclockwise-spin sock on #2s instead of #1s, and now it’s coming out about right.
Note to self: get more accurate picture of counterclockwise (on the right) - the difference isn’t really quite this extreme.
Don’t know whether tonight’s outgoing batch will include all the checked calculations I had originally hoped, but in any case a bunch will be going out tonight and I’m psyched. Response has been pretty exciting. In case you haven’t been over to the main tsite, here’s a preview of the cover (click for big):
BTW there is no (I’m going to regret saying this, aren’t I…) limit to the number of possible “beta” testers. The only reason I’m even calling it “beta” is so it’ll be obvious up front that parts of the pattern aren’t totally ready for prime time yet. Will be soon, though (and as soon as I can draw breath I will set it up properly as a download), so if you want it by all means let me know - tsocktsarina AT tsocktsarina DOT com.
And with that I leave you and scurry back to my knitting and typing. Maybe if I used my nose…?