December 31, 2007

At the last

New Years Eve. Today is the day that I'd planned to have all the Christmas knitting done, no matter what, but as is nearly always the case with my plans, I didn't quite plan enough. It's not so bad though, I've only got one pair of socks remaining, but we'll talk about them another day - for today, today we glory in Argyle victory!


Finished. Finito. Terminé. Stick a fork in these babies because they are done. Done, wrapped, unwrapped and happily adopted since the recipient has an argyle fetish that these fed nicely. (They are seen here on my feet, which they don't fit very well.) I was thinking, while I was modelling these that it's a very good thing that they don't fit me, because I really like them and probably would have tried to keep them.


When last we left off on the argyle pictorial, I had knit the patterned leg flat, and was ready for the next part. The next part is where argyles get sort of weird, and for a little while here, the argyle process is odd as fish. I promise it's not hard. Just odd. If you're really interested in how this works, and wind up feeling dissatisfied with my quick and dirty guide (for which you could hardly be blamed) there's way more out there than my meagre musings:

Julia (The Argyle Queen who got me started on the whole thing) has a whole series of posts about argyle, but the most technically helpful one (for the purposes of this post) is here.
Julia, in her infinite wisdom has a page of resources
Edie Eckman has a fantastic
Argyle tutorial here. (I used it to figure some stuff out. It's good.)
Zarzuela knit a gorgeous pair...there's some good tips (and great pictures)
Knit Science has a
podcast about Argyles Here.

On most socks, heels are worked on half the stitches, so 1/4 of the stitches on each end are set away to become the heel in a little bit, and work continues down the top of the foot.


I know. I said it was weird. Breathe. When the diamond is finished, all of the intarsia for the whole sock is done and you finish the rest of the sock in one colour. The stitches for the top of the foot get held, and to start turning this beastie into anything resembling a sock you sew the seam up the back of the leg. (Julia points out in this far superior explanation of argyle fashioning that one must not be tempted to cheat, and she is right. Shoddy seaming has dreadful consequences. Don't do all that fiddly intarsia and then mince out on the seaming.)


Seam sewn, all of the heel stitches are lined up and I knit an ordinary flap heel.



Next, well. Next is hard to explain. Next you pick up stitches along the sides of the flap, just like you would on an ordinary sock, except where you would usually then knit across the top of the foot, here you already have the top of the foot knit, so you're going to work the bottom of the foot back and forth. You go back and forth, from one gusset to the other, making decreases like you would normally, trying really, really hard to ignore the fact that you're not working the top. When you have the bottom of the foot knit as long as the top of the foot


you pick up those held instep stitches, heave an enormous sigh of relief and knit the rest of the thing in the round like an ordinary sock. (I've marked the point of normalcy with the green dots.) When you're done you have this wee seam to sew at all the insteps:


But that's it. See? Not so hard. Just fiddly and weird. I'm totally going to do it again, because let me tell you, it's weird, fiddly and time consuming....but totally charming. (My next ones are going to be these. How can I resist?)

With the departure of the argyles, and the arrival of New Years Eve, I started thinking about the last years knitting. Things that were disappointments, successes, failures and surprises. I contemplated what the best thing I knit over the last year was. (I think you would be surprised if I told you what it is, which I'm not going to do until tomorrow.)

Today I'd like to hear what you think the best thing you knit in the last year was. What was a stellar project...and why? Was it the yarn? The pattern? That you learned something good...or that you found out that you're a much better knitter than you thought? Did you surprise yourself with your skills?

Tell us your best thing - if you've got a link to a picture, enter it in the "URL" field of the comments so we can see it. Tip: Clicking on a persons name in the comments takes you to their website - if they have one. (For anyone who doesn't know - entering a url in the "comment" part of the comments instead of the URL field means that your comment might not get posted. It's an anti-spam thing.)

Walk proud....

and Happy New Year. It's been a great one, and this blog and enormous way it enriches my life has been a big part of that.
Thank you.

Posted by Stephanie at December 31, 2007 1:52 PM