Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Einstein's Finest

Actually, there are many things that can be counted as 'Einstein's Finest', but because my mind is SO not of a scientific bent there are many things that make my brain go kablooey. Still, the Theory of Relativity is something that we're taught about from an early(ish) age, even if it's just so explain why we don't fall of the earth, considering that it's spinning around at such a velocity!
theory of relativity by yours truly size large
sirdar heart and sole in 'skippy'
This is a cuff-down, gusset-heeled sock, designed with self-striping yarn in mind.*

The blurb:
When Albert Einstein wrote his theory of relativity in 1915, he found a new way to describe gravity. It was not a force, as Sir Isaac Newton had conjectured, but instead a consequence of the distortion of space and time, conceived together in his theory as 'space-time'. Any object distorts the fabric of space-time, and the bigger it is, the greater the effect. 
Such, it seems, is what happens when adding and subtracting stitches to a line of knitting, distorting the fabric and creating an effect of leaning towards decreases, and away from increases, and all sorts of timey-wimey, spacey-wacey bends and whirls... In my mind, at least!!
theory of relativity by yours truly size medium
king cole zig zag 50/50 in 'jubilee'
I found a picture of something resembling this stitch pattern on Pinterest the other month. I say resembling, because the photo must have been lifted from a stitch dictionary without any instructions or charts to help a poor knitter out. I was, however, taken enough with the potential that I reverse-engineered it to create something that would cry out, cry out I tell you, to be used with self-striping yarn.

As you do.
theory of relativity by yours truly size small
(this used an afterthought heel, but I found it too restrictive)
trekking xxl in '538 browns'
What I didn't like was what appeared to be the use of diagonal lines of yarn-overs to make the increases. Quelle surprise, I don't hear you say. Or maybe I do, but you're probably saying it in a very sarcastic manner...

I have no idea what I do wrong in attempting the humble yo. Well, the humble yo in sequences of diagonal increases throughout a piece of fabric. No matter how many tutorials I watch on YouTube, nor how much written instruction I read (which, let's face it, isn't that much for such a seemingly simple stitch) I always, always, ALWAYS end up with a series of holes that look like my little sister c.1977 has been playing with the scissors again.

So I changed the type of increase from what was probably a yarn-over to a twisted lift increase. Which sounds a tad tricky, but really it's rather simple!

M1 (make 1) = using the right-hand needle and working from back to front (which means you automatically place the stitch with the correct leg at the front) you pick up the running thread between the stitch you just worked and the next stitch on the left-hand needle, and place it on the left-hand needle as a new stitch and knit it through the back loop as a twisted stitch. The twist will ensure that you don't have a hole where you've added the new stitch. (Although, that could be quite interesting - all the M1s worked as ordinary lifted knit stitches instead of twisted. You'd end up with small eyelets, which could be very pretty. That being said, if you're working the M1s as an ordinary eyelet (a plain, untwisted M1), then you might want to go down a needle size to counter the extra stretchiness of the added yos!)

See? Nothing to be scared of!

So, we start off with our favourite cuff to hate, the twisted rib: one stitch knit through the back loop, one plain purl, repeated until Hades starts to get a little chilly. Yes, yes, I know, I chose it, I shouldn't be so disparaging, but hoo-boy, for such a beautiful stitch, it's a royal pain-in-the-behoochie to work. But we loves it, we do, so one shall endeavour to suck it up, as our American cousins are wont to say!
And so we start, and yes, it's an easy one! Huzzah!

This pattern works very well with double-pointed needles or circulars, but I recommend using a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round, even if you're using DPNs, because the way the pattern swoops and swirls, it's quite easy to lose the beginning point! Yes, this particular PSA comes from experience!

The heel is the old favourite, an eye-of-partridge heel flap with a short-row heel turn. I was originally thinking of using my new favourite, the Fish Lips Kiss heel, here, (I actually used an afterthought heel for the small pair) but I found after the first pair of socks, that it wasn't quite roomy enough around the ankle/heel/foot hinge for the nature of the fabric; with all the contrary motion of increase versus decrease there's a little less give than it would have if it was a plain stockinette sock. The heel-flap, which can sometimes look a little less impressive than it's short-row cousins, does have one major card up its sleeve (um, leg...) in that you can add extra repeats of the 4-row heel-flap pattern to accommodate a high instep, or sturdy ankles!

Moving on to the foot, I recommend that once you're finished with the gusset decreases on the sole to continue a couple more decreases on the sole, just bringing in the width of the foot a little for a better fit, remembering, of course, to factor this into the toe decreases. (The instructions are written out on the pattern, for ease of counting - I'm all for easing the horrors of counting!)

And there you have it! And although they were a bit of work to get the pattern just right, the pattern is now just right! Huzzah!! AND available for sizes S, M, L, & XL!! And how can you get your hands (um, feet??) on this little beauty?  Click HERE and you'll be whisked away to the pattern page on Ravelry (of which you don't need to be a member to have a jolly good gander over the thousands of patterns available!!) and once there you'll find all the information you need to download this crazy wonderfulness!!  Alternatively, you can click the button below which will take you straight to the PayPal page where you'll be asked for the paltry amount of €3!

Go on! You know you want to!!

* The yarn I used is more like light fingering yarn, slightly thinner than the thicker US fingering yarn I see. Please bear that in mind when choosing your yarn!

Many, many thanks go to my Intrepid Testers™ dizzybea, Ibecutest, jkob, KnittingNightElf, mandi216, mpindstrup, Mysewing2, Quilter05, sgeorge24, Sharpei4Kris, taraknitterb, and TurtlesOnDown.


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Footerin' Aboot

Footerin' Aboot
Heh! I'm so funny!

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