Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Entrelac socks tutorial - part 2

Some points to note -

* I cast on with a provisional cast on using a piece of spare yarn. You can just cast on loosly if you choose but you need to pick up that first row later so I prefer to have active stitches.

* Each patch is 5 stitches wide and 10 rows long - 5 knit, 5 purl.

* That being said in some places you will pick up more than 5 stitches as you want to keep it straight and even. Just work these stitches with others in the first row to get your number back to 5.

* In some cases you will do 11 rows instead of 10 as you want to change direction and bring your yarn with you save cutting and rejoining. ( If you are changing colour every tier regardless then you mostly avoid this after the initial set up)

* It is easier to slip stitch the first stitch of each row - usually only in the direction you are going next.

* Slip the stitch on the end you will work into later. Sometimes you ss at both ends. 

* If I need to work more than one stitch together I do not always ss the first row to keep the stitches neat and tight. Use your judgement.

* You will use these slip stitches to pick up stitches for a new row. If you are not good with picking up stitches, you will learn. There's no escaping it in this pattern.

* You will also learn to juggle. Many needles and many stitch holders.

Here goes.....

I am using 3.25mm needles and what I believe to be 8ply pure wool. I have 4 needles but if you have 5 this is easier. 

Provisional cast on method: 

Wrap your scrap yarn around your needle front to back. Using your sock yarn knit into the loops created. You should build 5 stitches. 

Turn your work and slip the first stitch and purl the remaining. Repeat until you have 10 rows - finish with a purl row. 

Ordinarily this is where we would finish but we want to eliminate changing yarn too frequently so we are going to build the next block to the left of the first from those slip stitches so we will knit one more row across and pick up 5 stitches down the left side. This is best done with a new needle. Partly because it's less confusing but also because it's tricky to pick up so close to active stitches going the other way. We are working anticlockwise for this first tier. 

When picking up stitches you want to eliminate any gaps you see forming by picking up extra stitches and working them together where necessary. This counts as your first row of knitting (or purling in some cases). 

As with the first patch, knit 11 rows remembering to slip stitch the first stitch. Repeat the process from patch 2 to create patch 3 and work until there are 11 rows as before.

This is where your entrelac begins.

Entrelac socks tutorial - part 1

Inspired by a picture of rainbow entrelac socks I kept seeing on the internet I grabbed as many needles and stitch holders I could get my hands on and set to work out how these socks are assembled without the use of a pattern or any plain stocking stitch sections as found in other tutorials.

If you're unfamiliar with entrelac I suggest you do a little bit of googling. Essentially it's a basketweave done on a diagonal. It's made of small squares/diamonds built on top of each other in tiers. Each tier is created in opposite directions which gives the basketweave look. 

In traditional entrelac a base row is created using triangles to form a straight edge. As this is a sock we are starting from the toe and with some shaping we will turn some flat diamonds into a curve we can squeeze our tootsies in. From there we build along the foot and with some tricky bits we expand around the ankle and tighten to create a heel. From there it's move up the leg and finish however you choose. My finish is fairly basic but retains the zigzag effect of entrelac which I think is pretty cool so I'll show you how to do that.

I've attached a few pictures to get your creative juices flowing while I get started on sock number 2 so I can take photos and give you some step by step instructions.