Although this workshop is closed it can still be read by anyone.
It is likely that all questions that you have will have been answered over the time this workshop has been opened so please read all the posts. The relevant sections have been clearly highlighted so you can see what section you are trying to find questions for. However if you still are struggling you can PM me
Hi and welcome to this my second workshop in the Magic Loop series. I have really enjoyed the learning magic loop workshop and looking forward to working on socks with some old mates and some new ones.
If any one is coming to this workshop unable to do the magic loop Im sorry but you will first need to do my Magic Loop workshop. Learning the toe and magic loop at the same time will just not work. You dont need to be experts, just to be able to do it- even working a part of a piece and then going on to the socks will work but you must be able to work comfortably in the round on magic loop for this workshop.
I know this is a little early to provide the information yet again, but this coming weekend is the major weekend for my husbands work calendar and I am very much involved as well. Therefore from Thursday to Monday my time (around Wednesday to Sunday for most of you) I will not be able to access KP and so I need to provide a few days for people to ask questions before I go away.
The pattern I will provide on the 21st January is a very basic sock. The pattern will not be posted until the 21st January. To ensure that you get notified when the pattern is posted go to the top of the page and just above the opening post are two boxes. One of these says WATCH, click on this and you will automatically be notified every time a new posting is made (if you post here first then you will also automatically be notified- in this case the box above will say unwatch and do not click this if you want notifications). This is all that you need to do to join in this workshop; no signup etc is needed.
Some people have asked about doing 2 at a time on one circular. I have tried this and didnt like it. I found it took longer and was more confusing. Two balls of yarn means two lots of yarn to tangle- and you need to be very careful about which way you turn the work. All the extra pulling takes so long as well. . (Note that this is only my opinion and many people love this method.)
I do understand the risk of SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) and I do have some lonely unmatched socks lying around. However the large majority of my socks have their mates. But if you want to do two at once I suggest you use the method many use. It does require two circulars of the same size and two balls of yarn. You cast on and work one toe, then cast on and knit the second toe on the other circular. You then do the foot of one and then the second. And keep working like this.
This method could actually be good for learning the new techniques as you repeat it before you go and do the next new technique.
But for those interested in two at a time on one circular near the end of the workshop I will provide some general resources for sock knitting and include some for this method I will also give an general run down on sock construction etc. I thought of doing this first but I will wait and if it hasnt been addressed during the workshop I will talk about it at the end so that you have a basic understanding to help you work out your own socks. It is a very basic construction that you will notice as you go anyway, if you havent already noticed it on the socks you wear. SOCKS
The best guide for needle size is the ball band- each yarn can be slightly different.
I'm a non swatcher and tend to pick the size for my socks by what is hanging on my door free! But I always use between a 2.00mm and 2.5mm (US 0 or 1- we have a 2.25mm as well so that is one in between the US numbers) for 4 ply/fingering. BUT I am a loose needle who often needs to go down 2 needle sizes to get anywhere near the right tension. So depending on your average tension you can determine which needle size to use. Loose knitters pick the smallest size (or even one under), average knitters middle size and tight knitters largest size
Socks are stretchy and so the size is not essential- however they do need to have a firm tension (this helps them to wear better and to fit better) so use a size less than you normally would for a 4 ply/fingering.
One reason I don't worry with swatches is that to be accurate they should be done in the round and I figure that by time I knit enough to have a swatch I could be well on the way to having a sock knitted if the tension/gauge is correct and haven't lost anything if it is wrong as I would have needed to undone much the same amount of work anyway. On an individual sock this may mean I need to spend extra time on frogging but overall I have saved a lot of time as the majority of my socks work on my first needle chose.
But if you want more information on swatching for socks (applies to anything knitted in the round) go to 5mmdpns workshop 'just in time for Xmas'(dpns socks). On her first page she gives a bit more information, and also in barbyjones' post further down
Workshop link http://www.knittingparadise.com/s-105-1.html
If you need to buy needles you will need to guesstimate the needle size anyway. (Anyone who is looking at this without yet being able to do magic loop could use the yarn and needles to learn on and knit a swatch at the same time.)
For those who have already done 5mmdpns workshop you will find that my approach is totally different. Each have validity and indeed if you do both you will be able to work out your own style. 5mmdpns style does not work for me and I suspect mine won't work for her but each knitter needs to work out what works for them- there are very few definite rights and wrong ways in knitting- it is the final product that matters. However we can all learn from each other.
The needle is the most important tool. I am including this information again (from first workshop) because it is important though most of you should have some knowledge of this by now.
I find the best sizes are 80 or 100cm (30 or 40 inch). You can use longer needles if you have them, but it leaves you with extra cord to maneuver. However if you are thinking of later trying 2 socks on one circular at once and dont want to keep buying new needles then I recommend a 120cm length.
The cord is vital; it must be flexible but firm. I have used very successfully Addis, KnitPro (same as Knit Picks) and HiyaHiya. Lincraft over here sell a cheaper bamboo circular, which works OK if you want to trial it first without paying for more expensive needles.
Do not use very soft cords (the old Kollage was terrible IMHO, -the cord was too flexible and the joins terrible- though they have a new one now which I believe is better though I have not yet tried it)- or inflexible cords. If you do you will think the method is terrible, when it is the tools. When I first tried magic loop I used a circular with an unsuitable cord and almost gave up. I decided to try an expensive needle and havent looked back.
As an aside I loved the feel of the Kollage needle tips and do want to try the new ones with the firm cords.
Using a sock yarn is advisable; most have some form of nylon in them, which helps with both durability and elasticity. Some sock yarns are specially woven with 100% wool but I still find some felting occur on heels- heat and friction after all are the two factors needed for felting and are present on heels especially (and toes to some extent). But not enough to be a problem yet.
Many sock yarns have a repeating pattern. If the yarn you have looks like it does (sometimes there is a picture on the band, or where you bought the yarn or it is clear that there are some large sections of colours) and you want to have identical rather than fraternal twins you will need to make sure you begin your first sock at the beginning of a colour change. This way you can begin the second sock at the same point. (Identical means the pattern starts and finishes in the same places so the socks are identical. Fraternal means you use the same yarn, but begin and end in different patterns so the pattern is the same but staring from a different point. This is purely personal preference
1 100gm (or 2 50gm)5mmdpns' Information For Diabetics:
As I am a diabetic, and am a Diabetes Educator, I can tell you that the most important thing for the diabetic foot, is to make sure that the foot is not in any way experimenting pressure. That means the sock needs to be non-binding or tight, but be allowed to expand as the foot needs to. Once the heel is turned, the rest of the leg on the foot should be done in ribbing -- to provide support to stay up while allowing the swelling of the ankle/leg to do so comfortably. (I like a 2x2 ribbing as that gives the best stretch and support.)
Another thing is NO knots in the yarn but use another join such as knitting double for 3-4 stitches with end of the new ball of yarn overlapping the old yarn end.
The other aspect of a diabetic sock is to promote the foot to remain dry. The wool aspect of sock yarn does that. For those who are allergic to wool (such as myself) you will use a non-allergic-to-you yarn. Some suggestions are an alpaca/acrylic blend. If you are not able to use that, then you can knit with acrylic yarn (I do) and change your socks as often as your feet get damp. Zoe
Most all of the sock yarn sold in USA and Canada have a wool blend to them. You would want to check the label of the yarn to be sure. You will also want to make sure that the yarn is superwash wool yarn, as a non-superwash wool yarn will shrink. Some superwash wool does shrink a tiny bit, but not enough to be concerned about.
You can try on your sock and see how loose/tight the sock is to your foot. (My suggestion is to try on the sock after the evening meal as that is when your foot/ankles have swollen the most.) You can cast on extra stitches if the sock is fitting too tight with no wiggle room. Or, you may switch over to a slightly larger needle and continue on.
I will once again post the introduction here and download it. I will be converting it to a PDF, which Prismaticr says should enable most of you to open it. However the download is NOT essential as everything is available in this post so if you cant open it dont panic. A quick post to say you cant open it would be helpful for us to know that it is an issue, but especially for this introduction it is pretty superfluous anyway. But if we know that people are having difficulties we may be able to address them for the pattern- which it will be helpful to be able to download (though not essential).