Day 6

Where did the weekend go? Day 6 is here and I'm only 2 days into actual knitting on my 30 day sweater. I chose to knit Lollipop Cardigan by Vera Sanon using Milky Way in Nimbus. Vera is one of my favorite sweater designers of all time, and I've been in love with this cardigan since the first day I saw it and tried on the sample. I've known since that moment I had to have one of my own.

Of course, I've never knit a sweater before. So far it's been great, tricky, but great. That doesn't mean I'm not a little nervous about a couple of the new (to me) techniques. I swatched like crazy. I'm a loose knitter and I really want this to fit properly, so swatching was a must for me. Not that swatching is really new, just um, rare.  

So, what actually is new for me?

Beads. I've never beaded any knitting before. How can a person knit for 5 years and never bead anything? I'll let you know how it goes. (Note to self: Buy beads.)

Contiguous sleeves. What does that even mean? Well, it means the shoulders look like set in sleeves, even though it's seamless and knit top down. It also means that after 2 days of knitting and a couple provisional cast-ons later, I have about 7 ends to weave in. SEVEN. Yay! (Really, yay! I love finishing.) Even if you are one of those knitters that hates weaving ends, I have a feeling this is going to be worth it. I mean, I've tried on the sample and it was so perfect. How could it not be worth it?

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My theme for the month: Go big or go home! Check back soon to see how I'm doing. Feel free to offer tips, suggestions, advice, or your favorite chocolate to eat after throwing your knitting across the room in the comments below.

 

Continuing the Little Cable Knee Highs

So now you've knit the length of the foot and are ready to start the gusset of your sock. (Not there yet? See the first post explaining our Little Cable Knee High knitalong, get the pattern from the Purl Bee, and cast on!)

Kim's Slate sock is looking comfy already!

Kim's Slate sock is looking comfy already!

The gusset is made with simple yarnover increases. Don't forget to knit the yarnovers through the back loop as with the toe. You're increasing the number of stitches around your sock in preparation to start the heel.

Sylvia is just starting to turn the heel on her Chiva sock. 

Sylvia is just starting to turn the heel on her Chiva sock. 

Once you've finished the gusset you are ready to turn the heel. Turning the heel means creating the small half-circle of stitches that makes the bottom of the sock extend to cover the heel and meet the heel flap. You turn the heel by using short rows. The Purl Bee offers a great tutorial here that takes the mystery out of this shaping technique, or check out the video at New Stitch a Day, and just wrap and turn! If this is your first time using short rows, you'll be excited to learn that you need not be intimidated, and as you use them you'll find that mastering them opens up a world of new pattern options!

Turning the heel creates the little wedge of stitches that is just under the heel flap, seen here on Charlie's Petunia sock.

Turning the heel creates the little wedge of stitches that is just under the heel flap, seen here on Charlie's Petunia sock.

One of the things that may seem strange if you haven't done this before is that you aren't knitting all the way across Needle 2 and Needle 3. Some stitches are left unknit on each side. As you follow the pattern, those stitches will be picked up. Also, during the process of turning the heel and knitting the heel flap, you are working only on Needle 2 and Needle 3. The stitches on Needle 1 will just wait until you are finished with the heel.

Up next - the leg, the cable, and the cuff. Rebecca's already finished one of her Coco socks!

Up next - the leg, the cable, and the cuff. Rebecca's already finished one of her Coco socks!

No matter what stage you're in, come join the conversation on Ravelry - we've been talking about color choices, calf increases, needle sizes, and more. As you can see from the pictures, we are all in different places in the project so come join us!

Casting On the Little Cable Knee Highs

We have started our Little Cable Knee High knitalong, and we hope you've chosen to join us! If you haven't cast on yet, don't worry. We are all at different knitting levels and speeds so we'll be continuing the discussion for a while over in the Anzula group on Ravelry.

Sylvia's Chiva sock is off to a great start!

Sylvia's Chiva sock is off to a great start!

The Purl Bee's pattern is written for double pointed needles. Most of us here use circular needles, so a few stitch markers are helpful for following the pattern to mark where Needle 1, Needle 2, and Needle 3 start.

Becca chose to start her sock like she starts hexipuffs!

Becca chose to start her sock like she starts hexipuffs!

This sock pattern starts with a provisional cast on. On this count, we were divided. Some chose to do this, starting with a crochet chain as explained here on the Purl Bee, or shown in a video here at New Stitch a Day. This method from Knitty was also used. Some chose to do Judy's Magic cast on instead of a provisional.

Meg used the provisional cast on technique from Knitty to start her sock.

Meg used the provisional cast on technique from Knitty to start her sock.

One of the most important things to do before you get too far into the sock is to make sure that your gauge is correct. If you aren't sure, you can measure your gauge to make sure that it is the recommended 8 1/2 stitches per inch. Here's a little guide to measuring gauge from the Purl Bee.

Rather than make a swatch for these socks, we all jumped in and started knitting the pattern. More than one of us had to frog and restart to get the proper gauge. Gauge will vary a little when knitting in the round rather than knitting flat, so make sure that if you decide to swatch, to do so in the round.

Or just try the socks on. As you knit, the socks feel so luscious that it's hard to resist trying them on, anyway. Charlie made several modifications to her sock by trying it on frequently and adjusting as she went, so it is a perfect fit!

Charlie used the provisional cast on for her Petunia sock.

Charlie used the provisional cast on for her Petunia sock.

Have any other questions about knitting these socks, or any observations or tricks? Come join our thread on the Ravelry group.