Saturday, May 31, 2008

Andersson Heel

I have revised and moved my bibliography of toe-up sock construction methods, adding some patterns I've run across in the past year. As I was adding the Andersson Heel, I realized that because the instructions are so brief, I need to do some complicated figuring in order to adapt it when I make socks. I would find it easier to work from a chart, and so with Knitman's permission, I offer my version. (BTW: Knitman gave his permission, but not his endorsement. He was unable to make sense of my directions. It's very possible that I've got it wrong. So do check out his instructions here and here.)

Toe-Up Socks using the Andersson Heel

Start the socks using your favorite toe-up starting method, such as my Tornado Toe. Make your toe and begin knitting the foot.

After a few inches, count how many rows (or rounds) work out to an inch. Multiply that by two inches less the length of the foot this sock is meant to fit. Example, if your foot is 9 inches long, then you want 7 inches, and if you're getting 11 rounds per inch, then we're talking 77 rounds. Got it?

Now find your sock's stitch circumference on the chart below (column A). Subtract the number of designated gusset rounds from your total number of rounds (column C is a standard gusset; column D is for a longer, more tapered gusset). You now know how many rounds to knit before starting the gussets.

Sock Circumference (A) Gusset Stitches (B) Standard Gusset - increase alternate rounds (C) Longer Gusset - increase every 3rd round (D)
28 6 12 18
32 6 12 18
36 7 14 21
40 8 16 24
44 8 16 24
48 9 18 27
52 10 20 30
56 10 20 30
60 11 22 33
64 12 24 36
68 12 24 36
72 13 26 38
76 14 28 42
80 14 28 42

Back to the example: if your sock is 60 stitches in circumference, your target is 77 rounds, and you want the longer, more tapered gusset, you would subtract 33 from 77: you'll knit 44 rounds from your cast-on point before starting the gussets.

Decide which side of your sock is the sole and which is the instep or top. When you reach the round where your gussets begin, increase on either side of sole: knit 1, make 1, knit across sole until 1 stitch remains, make 1, knit 1.

Knit one or two plain rounds after the increase round, depending on whether you chose the standard or longer gusset numbers from the chart.

Repeat increase and plain rounds until you have added on each side of the sole the number of gusset stitches designated for your circumference (column B in the chart).

The Heel

Knit across the sole, stopping B+1 stitches before the end. (If you added 11 gusset stitches to each side of the sole, you will knit across the sole until 12 stitches remain). SSK, and turn.

Sl1, then purl across sole until B+1 stitches remain. P2tog. Turn.

Sl1, then knit until 1 stitch before the gap. SSK. Turn.

Sl1, then purl until 1 stitch before the gap. P2tog. Turn.

Repeat these last two rows until 2 stitches remain beyond the gap. After the SSK that leaves one stitch, do not turn. Resume knitting in the round, across the instep. When you return to the sole (now "back of heel") side, K1, K2tog, and resume knitting plain.

Knit the leg using whatever ribbing or pattern you choose, and bind-off loosely at the top.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 debuts

As a Xmas present to myself a while back, I bought I couldn't find a way to easily make it the home for this blog, so I've just let it be. Until now.

The Evil Genius Sock Pattern is ready to be unleashed on the world. I was going to put the files up where I normally do (the bit of space afforded me by my ISP), but thought I'd have a go at finally putting some content up on my own domain. After a bit of tinkering Monday morning, I had a basic site built (using Google Page Creator) and my new sock pattern uploaded.

I'll gradually add more content, and periodically get inspired to make the whole thing look better. But meanwhile, you're welcome to click on over to Yarmando's Laboratory, Lair of the Evil Sock Genius. And let me know what you think of the Evil Genius Lessons.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Koolhaas for M

A friend has begun losing her hair during chemotherapy, so I decided it was time to put aside my obsession with evil and use my knitting powers for good.

Presenting Jared Flood's Koolhaas Hat in Rowan All Season Cotton. I loved it when I saw it on Jared's blog, but since I'd just knit three things after seeing him knit them first, I decided I needed to stop being a copycat. But when I found out M. needed a hat, this immediately leaped to mind. And it's even library-related, based on the windows at the Seattle Public Library.

Today is Columbus's Komen Race for the Cure. Maybe next year I'll be in shape for it. But meanwhile, I'll make a donation and encourage everyone to do the same.

Random bizarre thought: cancer drug companies should underwrite free mammograms since they create demand for their product.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Evil takes new direction

Big thanks to the underlings who voted in my poll.
  • 8% said it was better for smaller socks to be looser, relative to bigger socks
  • 16% said the opposite was true, and smaller socks should be relatively tighter.
  • 76% picked the obviously correct answer, which is that "tightness" is a variable that doesn't correlate with size.
But while you were distracted with these trivialities, I have put my genius to work and discovered new resources of sock-based evil.

The question, minions, is not how much bigger must you make a sock to accommodate the heel. Imagine that you begin with the knowledge of the circumference of heel and instep, and from there calculate how much smaller the sock should be to fit the foot and toes?


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Jane Chord

From Slog, I learned this week about the Jane Chord: combine the first and last words of a book into a two-word sentence which just might reveal something interesting about the book. One description of the method says to skip articles when constructing the chord.

The book I'm currently reading, Declare by Tim Powers: "Young Day." (Or "Telephone River" if you skip the prologue and afterword).

The new Jim Butcher book on my bedside shelf: "Winter too."

Simple Socks, Plain and Fancy: "Socks repertoire."

The Golden Compass: "Lyra sky."

The Great Gatsby: "In past."

Last year, I noticed a trend among librarians to designate in their email signatures what they're currently reading. I've started doing that in my work account. I've noticed that it causes me to leave my signature block in place, rather than deleting it and signing with my initials, as I normally do for internal/informal mail. Give it a try. And go read this inspiring, passionate essay about the wonders and importance of reading.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Design opinions needed

The Evil Sock Genius pattern is nearly complete. (They all laughed at me, but soon...soon...I will have my revenge).

I need one more element before I begin to unleash my weapon on an unsuspecting world: the world's opinion. So I've put a poll up on the blog -------------------------------->

It's really all about stitch circumference. Do you think it's better for socks with a smaller stitch circumference to be a bit looser or a bit tighter, relative to socks with a larger stitch circumference?

My general rule is that all socks should err on the side of "tighter." But see, I'm building a reference chart that is the base of my pattern, and the references I'm consulting -- while they agree on the fit of socks in the mid-range (48 - 60 stitches around), one reference makes socks with less than 48 stitches slightly looser, and one makes it slightly tighter.

Which do you think is best? Take my poll. (And seal your doom).