Classic crochet stitches are great to know, and the linen stitch is by far a favorite of mine. It makes such a wonderful fabric and you can do so much with it by playing with color changes. The way I have used it in the October section of the Janet’s Garden CAL, it makes cute little dots!
Our recent collection of patterns by designer Vanessa Ewing includes two sock patterns: Footloose and Fancy Free and Kiss My Feet. Two common reasons we hear from knitters about why they don’t care to knit socks include hesitation about heel turns and grafting the toe. Learning these methods will make you a more confident knitter! Today we’re helping you take things one step and one stitch at a time.
A note: While both patterns incorporate this technique, the Footloose and Fancy Free pattern in Saucon Sock is photographed here. In addition, the sock is knit using one long circular needle, magic loop style. The method is the same for two circulars or four double pointed needles.
The sock begins with a ribbed cuff and patterning on the leg.
There are two set-up rows where you begin knitting back and forth on a smaller number of stitches, instead of working the full number of stitches in the round. The next two rows of the heel flap are worked back and forth to create a small flap extending from the leg. The first stitch of each of these rows is slipped purlwise, a method that will make picking up stitches later on easier! This part of the heel wraps around the back of your ankle and heel.
Now, at the bottom of the heel flap you’ve just knit, you will work a series of short rows. These short rows are incomplete rows of knitting, where you will turn your work before reaching the end of the row. These short rows create the curved shape that will ultimately cup your heel.
When you work the gusset, you’ll be starting at the center of the heel and picking up stitches on one side of the heel flap.
Now you’re back at the instep, the top of your foot, and you’ll continue to work in pattern across these stitches. Then, pick up stitches along the other side of the heel flap, working your way back to the center of the heel to complete your round.
Now you’re ready to work in the round again. You’ll be working decreases on the sides on alternating rounds to get the total stitch count back to the correct count. It’s important to note that the decreases will only be worked on the sides, not on the instep stitches. Once you have completed all the decreases as instructed, you’ll continue in pattern as established - the lace pattern on the instep and stockinette stitch on the sole of the foot.
Continue to follow the pattern as instructed through the length of the foot and the toe decreases. To close up the toe, you’ll be grafting the stitches together with the Kitchener Stitch. As before, it’s not hard but does require some attention! Watch this video to see:
If you need a bit more assistance to get a leg up when knitting socks, check out our short How-To videos covering cast-ons, bind-offs, increases, decreases and more!
A sock with a heel flap and gusset as shown here shapes the sock so it fits your foot snugly. Share your cozy toes with us and tag us when you post your completed Footloose and Fancy Free or Kiss My Feet socks! Kraemer Yarns is active on Ravelry, Facebook, and Instagram.
Wavy crochet fun is what I have in store for you with this month’s Janet’s Garden CAL section. This part makes some slightly popped waves that I enjoyed designing. This is another section that will need a good bit of blocking. If it’s still a little wavy after blocking, don’t fret; October’s section will get it in shape and you can block again then.
Online yarn shopping can be a bit of a mine field. It’s so hard to choose yarn just based on a picture. When the description says that the yarn is “super soft” what does that actuallymean?How can you tell without holding the skein, squishing it and examining it in hand. I always order yarn online with a healthy dose of caution!
Having said that, I recently received a lovely package fromKraemer Yarnswith a selection of colors from their Tatamy Tweed Worsted range, and I have to say that I am so impressed with this yarn! The colors are just gorgeous and have a very natural and luxe feel to them, which is right up my alley. You can have a look at all the colors availablehere. They have a lovely range of neutral and naturals as well as playful and bright, all with that lovely tweed feel to them. SEE MORE
Crochet heart stitch? Crochet rose stitch? That’s right, summer’s coming to a close and so we’re remembering the warmth with roses and hearts. These two stitch patterns are very sweet and can be incorporated into so many other projects. They are also fun to make.
The crochet heart stitches are made by working over shell stitches. The roses are made with popcorn stitches, which are one of the few stitches that require you to remove your crochet hook from your stitches. They also use dc cluster stitches for the leaves.
Review: Garter Stitch Shawl Kit from Kraemer Yarns
I love garter stitch for a lot of reasons; besides being easy-peasy, it's always squishy and lays nice and flat without the edges curling. When you combine that with the effect created by knitting each row in a different color, a simple project is transformed into something that's extra special!
The kind folks from Kraemer Yarns sent me a Garter Stitch Shawl Kit from their Festival Wear Collection, which features knitted and crocheted garments and accessories using their Tatamy base, a cotton/acrylic blend that is available two weights (DK and Worsted) and a palette of solid and tweed colors. I tend to avoid working with cotton yarns because they are less pliable than wool and wool blends, which translates into hand pain while I knit, but I'm pleased to report that the Tatamy was nice and pliable. I was able to knit without any hand pain!
V-Stitch crochet is one of my favorite crochet techniques. It’s fast and so easy to make, plus it looks really nice. In July the Janet’s Garden CAL will grow using the double crochet v-stitch. If you are playing around with colors, then this is the perfect month to have some fun with color changes.
Kraemer Yarns was kind enough to send Anne two balls of their Tatamy Tweed DK, a lovely cotton and acrylic blend that is machine washable and dryable. Their Festival Wear pattern line is full of summery projects for knitters and crocheters! Anne knit the Summer Treasure Bag to give the yarn a test drive and was happy with both the pattern and the yarn! A complete review is available in the episode!
I’ve teamed up with 28 other bloggers for the 2019 Christmas in July Make Along! We’re bringing you a month full of free patterns to kick start the handmade holiday season — including crochet, knitting, and sewing projects. There’s something new to make every day in July, and you can also enter to win great prizes from some of our favorite companies!
Kraemer Yarns is providing two winners with three skeins of Perfection, a worsted weight blend of U.S. merino and acrylic yarn, in holiday colors: Crimson, Holly, and Snowflake. Show your support by following Kraemer Yarns on Website | Facebook | Instagram.
The Catherine’s Wheel crochet stitch is featured in the June section of the Janet’s Garden CAL. It’s actually super easy and fun to make. I’ve wanted to learn this stitch for a while, and I finally had chance. I see more Catherine’s Wheel crochet stitch patterns in my future!
Find all the details and additional links about Janet’s CALHERE.
Tips for swatching hand-dyed yarn from Kraemer Yarns
A hand-dyed yarn is a thing of beauty! Did you know that Kraemer Yarns carries a wide variety of natural, undyed yarns that can be hand-dyed? Shown above is a skein of Lesley, dyed by Sharon Ivy, in her “African Parrot” colorway. You could jump right in and cast on your next project, but if you take the time to swatch you will learn a lot about the yarn including your gauge and how the colorway works up.
Washing and blocking the swatch the way you intend to care for the final garment or accessory is an important step to determine an accurate gauge! This is true for both knitters and crocheters! Today we’re focusing on knitting. Many knitters will find that their gauge is different in a piece knit flat versus in the round. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s simply that by making a knit or purl stitch, the yarn is held slightly differently. In a flat stockinette piece, one row is knit, the next is purled. Stockinette in the round only involves knitting the stitches. So, what if your item is to be knit in the round for a sweater, hat, cowl, or socks? You could cast on and begin knitting a tube as your swatch, but there is a shortcut for swatching in the round!
Shortcut for swatching in the round
Cast on your stitches using a long circular needle.
At the end of the row, do not turn the work, rather slide the stitches back to the beginning of the needle.
Carry the working yarn behind your row of cast on stitches, and begin knitting across the row.
At the end of this row, do not turn your work, slide the stitches back to the beginning and carry the yarn behind.
If you keep your fingers holding the needle in between the needle and the yarn carried behind, that should help avoid pulling that carried yarn too tightly in back!
If you’ve ever made an i-cord, this will feel familiar! Continue on until you have a sizeable swatch and do not worry about those loose side stitches.
Treat this the way you would a flat swatch - wash and block! Everything flattens out! If your yarns across the back get twisted as shown above, that is ok.
Compare a swatch knit flat and knit in the round
Both stockinette swatches were knit using a US2 fixed circular needle. The flat swatch has a gauge measurement of 8 stitches/inch where the circular swatch checks in at 8.75 stitches/inch. You can also see the swatch knit flat shows a simple stripe while the one knit “in the round” shows a simple stripe with subtle flashing. In our opinion, that’s a good gauge and style for socks! We’ll be casting on a pair of summer shorty style socks. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram feeds for the result!
Would you like to win a skein of this beautiful hand-dyed yarn to practice this new technique? Leave a comment below letting us know if you always swatch or never swatch! We will draw two winners on July 8, 2019.