July 17, 2007

Stitch Markers

I saw these at Harlem Purls's Etsy store and couldn't resist buying them.  Take a close look, closer, closer -- see!  They're Sidewinders stitch markers.  I'm especially happy with the thin wire Chante used for the loop and think these markers will be perfect for the socks.  I cannot wait to cast on my next pair and give them a test drive.  Thank goodness I'm going on an East Bay yarn crawl on Thursday, 'cause I'm in the market for more sock yarn.

Sidewinders Stitch Markers!
Handcrafted by Harlem Purls

July 17, 2007 in Sidewinders | Permalink | Comments (9)

July 10, 2007

A Riddle

Dear nona,

I have a riddle for you.  I'm tight where I should be loose and loose where I should be tight.  My dilemma cannot be fixed by the gym or a diet.  I'm on my side and following the rules.  What am I and can you help?

Riddler from Reno

Dear Riddler,

Could it be that you're having trouble with the paired increases and decreases in your Sidewinders Sock?  Are your paired decreases too loose, forming a gap in the center and your paired increases too tight, causing a twinge of fabric distortion?  I made a pair of ankle Sidewinders to experiment with a few ideas. 

Loose Decreases
To close the gap between the paired decreases try any -- or all -- of the following:

  • Work your decreases tightly.  I rarely advocate yarn tugging, but this is an ideal opportunity to tug away.
  • Make sure your center heel (or toe) marker is -- to quote Monty Python -- wafer thin.  A thick stitch marker will definitely leave a gap between the decreases.  Why not take the old fashion route and use a thin yarn loop.

  • If all else fails, add 1 stitch between the paired decreases.  Whether you're decreasing for the heel or the toe, add the extra stitch on the foot side of the center marker.

Tight Increases
Finding a set of paired increases that didn't distort the fabric when worked every row was tricky business.  I found the raised bar increase to be the best, though far from perfect.  If your increases are too tight try the following:

  • Work the two center stitches and the newly formed make-one stitches very loosely.  There needs to be plenty of give between each center stitch and its associated make-one to allow for the connecting yarn to be picked up on the following row.
  • Add an extra stitch between the paired increases -- 3 center stitches instead of 2.  Separating the pair increases seems to help a bit.  Whether you're increases for the heel or the toe, add the extra stitch on the foot side of the center marker.

Further Opinions
We would all me a bunch of dullards if we didn't have further opinions.   Here are mine:

  • In both cases, sometimes a wash and a wear is all that is needed to lift, tuck, and separate.
  • Only add the extra stitch as a last resort.  I think the sock looks and fits best if the paired decreases are side-by-side and the paired increases are separated by 2 stitches.

  • If you add the extra stitch to one, also add it to the other.  This will ensure that the increases and decreases are symmetrical.

  • It's only a sock.  As long as the fabric is sound and the fit is good, a little space here or a pull there will only remind you that these sock were made my hand -- your hand!

July 10, 2007 in Ask nona, Sidewinders | Permalink | Comments (12)

All patterns, designs, content, and photographs Copyright 2004-2010 nonaKnits and Carolyn Quill Steele. All rights reserved. My free patterns are available for your individual personal use as long as no profit is made from the distribution of the pattern or finished item. If you have any copyright questions or requests, please ask -- nonaKnits at gmail dot com.