Posts tagged ‘tutorials’

Gusset magic

I’ve recently pushed myself out of my bootie designing comfort zone and I’m starting to design some accessory patterns. I’m particularly excited about working on some sock patterns as I love to knit socks and typically knit about a dozen pairs each year. Look for my Wavelength Socks pattern coming out in September 2022!

This new pattern has options for working cuff-down or toe-up. I really wanted the two styles to mirror each other pretty closely, so I opted for gussets and a flap heel for the toe-up version to match the cuff-down version. Magic loop is my preferred method for anything worked in the round, but sometimes there can be a few awkward sections where you feel like you have too many stitches on one needle to work comfortably. In the toe-up version of the pattern, when you reach the Heel Turn section, you have your heel stitches and all your gusset stitches on needle 2 (N2) which can make turning the heel hard to do. Here’s how I (temporarily) rearrange the gusset stitches to make it easier!

Step 1: Heel Turn Setup Round, part 1:

  • N1: work across (in pattern if applicable)
  • N2: knit your right hand (RH) gusset sts1 (the stitches increased on each side of your heel stitches)
  • Clip a lockable stitch marker onto the RH cable
Step 1

Step 2: Heel Turn Setup Round, part 2:

  • Slide the RH gusset stitches back down the RH needle to the cable
  • Pull the RH needle through, so the gusset stitches slip back onto the cable next to the instep stitches, separated by the stitch marker
Step 2

Step 3: Heel Turn Row 1

  • N2: knit across heel stitches (half your original total foot stitches)
  • Clip a lockable stitch marker onto the left hand (LH) cable
Step 3

Step 4: end of Heel Turn Row 1:

  • Slide the LH gusset stitches back down the LH needle to the cable
  • Pull the LH needle through, so the gusset stitches slip back onto the cable next to the instep stitches, separated by the stitch marker
  • Turn your work, ready to work flat doing German short rows for turning the heel
Step 4

The Step 4 picture above shows the instep (patterned) stitches with the gusset stitches either side, sitting on the cable, waiting while you work the Heel Turn as directed. Once it’s completed, rearrange your stitches again as follows:

Step 5: Heel Flap Row 1:

  • Make Double Stitch (DS) (this is the last one to even out the DS on each side of the center heel stitches), knit to last DS (making sure to work the DS through both legs as one stitch as you come to them)
Step 5

Step 6: end of Heel Flap Row 1:

  • Use your lockable stitch marker to gently pull the LH cable out between the instep stitches and the gusset stitches
Step 6

Step 7: end of Heel Flap Row 1:

  • Slide the gusset stitches back onto the LH needle
  • Complete Row 1 by working an ssk (with the last DS and the first gusset stitch)
  • Turn your work, ready for Row 2 of the Heel Flap
Step 7

Step 8: Heel Flap Row 2:

  • Slip 1, purl to last DS
Step 8

Step 9: end of Heel Flap Row 2:

  • Use your lockable stitch marker to gently pull the LH cable out between the instep stitches and the gusset stitches
  • Slide the gusset stitches back onto the LH needle
  • Complete Row 2 by working a p2tog (with the last DS and the first gusset stitch)
  • Turn your work, ready for Row 3 of the Heel Flap
Step 9

Now you should be all set to continue working the Heel Flap as the pattern directs, decreasing away one gusset stitch at the end of each row.

This sock in progress is in Republica Unicornia Merino Sock Superwash, in colourway Just a Jump to the Left.

1If this isn’t specified in your pattern, the formula to work it out is: (total # of sts after gusset increases minus original number of foot stitches) divided by 2

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flower power

So, sometimes I design slightly wacky things. Sometimes the things I design are a bit wacky to actually knit. My Flower Shop Booties have a few *really* fiddly sections which can be a little awkward to work. Let me show you how I tackle some of these sections …

Final round of the cuff: this is where you’re attaching the top of the cuff to the base of the cuff after folding it over halfway. I strongly recommend using dpns for this section, even if you’re a diehard magic loop fan like me. Below, you can see 5 stitches already picked up on one dpn and the tip of that needle is inserted up and through the next CC1 (purple) stitch from the first (purl) round of the cuff:

I’ll then knit the next stitch on the left-hand needle (which has the remaining stitches from the final seed stitch round of the cuff), and pass the picked-up stitch over that stitch. This method joins the top of the cuff neatly to the bottom of the cuff, ready to work your Petal Base.

If you’re making booties with the Multi Petals, after you’ve worked the Petal Base, consider transferring your stitches, in pairs, from your needles onto lockable stitch markers. It will be much easier to wrangle each petal without dpns sticking out everywhere (and sticking into you, lol). You can just work the stitches straight off the stitch markers for each petal. I also like that I can easily see how many more petals I need to work, just by counting the remaining stitch markers. 🙂

If you’ve decided to make flower booties with the Multi Petals in two layers, you’ve probably chosen the fiddliest of the bunch! When you have finished that first layer, you have to pick up stitches for the second layer. You can see, on this Star Magnolia bootie, that I’m inserting the needle up and through the next MC (green) stitch from the last round of the instep section, directly below the first layer of petals:

Definitely use lockable stitch markers again to wrangle your stitches, if you found that this trick worked for you on the first layer!

Seven plastic locking stitch markers hold pairs of stitches for petals on a knitted baby bootie made to look like a flower.

All the petal types use the same edging format (the sl1 pwise wyif, yb …… k1 tbl). This creates a nice line of elongated chain-like stitches along each side of the petal. When you “puk” (pick up and knit) and CO down the side of each petal, you’re picking up into these elongated stitches and creating a matching edge over the top of those. Here’s what it looks like when I have one stitch left on the needle at the top of a petal and I’m about to pick up the first stitch along the side:

I hope these tips and tricks help you make your Flower Shop Booties! Aren’t you glad you persisted?

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Just “trust the pattern”

How many times have you had someone tell you to just “trust the pattern” about a particularly tricky or counter-intuitive section of a pattern you’re making? I know I’ve struggled with quite a few patterns that other people have breezed through (I’m looking at you Hitofude, for one) because I just couldn’t visualize what was supposed to (magically?) be happening.

Several of my patterns have directions for knitting the cuff with the bootie turned inside out. This is typically because they have an outside cuff which folds over an inner, ribbed cuff, and it’s easier to knit the cuff inside out, than purl it right way out. (Unless of course, you’re someone who prefers purling to knitting!)

When you’re doing this working in the round, the first step after turning the bootie inside out can be a bit confusing – especially the first time you do it! Here’s what it looks like when I do it:

I’ve just finished the last round of the instep and my yarn is at the back needle. Ordinarily, I’d start knitting into that front needle with the yarn from the back.

The bootie is now inside out so the yarn is hanging from the front needle instead.

Now I’ll knit into those stitches on the front needle. Because the yarn is at the front, and not being carried around from the back, there will be a slight gap at the beginning of this round. It will be hidden later by the outside cuff.

I hope this helps anyone who’s stuck on this bit of any of my patterns!

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Bootie Instep Tricks!

On most of my recent patterns, the booties are started like a toe-up sock and knitted in the round. I knit them using the magic loop method. When you get to the instep, you’re knitting most of it flat, and it can be very awkward to do with the way the stitches are normally divided (half and half from the back & front center) in magic loop. Here’s what I do:

  • Work in magic loop up to the instep section, as you normally would.
  • Check ahead in the pattern to the last or second last round of the instep section (this will be the one that starts with “working in the round again“) and note the first direction – it will be to knit X amount of stitches before doing a k2tog.
  • *Before* you start the first row of the instep, slide a stitch marker onto the right-hand (working) needle tip (or leave your beginning-of-round/end-of-round marker in place, if you’re using one):

  • Knit the number of stitches from the last row/rnd of the instep section that you noted in the second step:

  • Pull first the right-hand needle tip, then the left-hand needle tip, out – all your stitches are on the cable with your marker at center back:

  • Count off the same number of stitches to the left of the stitch marker and pull out a section of cable – you’ve effectively re-divided your stitches with the instep stitches on one section of cable and the remainder (the back of the sole & foot) on the other section:

  • Continue with that first row of the instep and work the instep rows back and forth on these stitches up until the 3rd last row of the instep section; you’ll have 1 stitch left either side of your 8 or 10 center (usually) instep stitches on one section of cable:

  • Start working that 3rd last row, but stop halfway through the instep stitches and, once again, pull first the right-hand needle tip, then the left-hand needle tip, out – all your stitches are on the cable with your marker at center back:

  • Pull the cable out at the center back, where your marker is – you’ve re-divided your stitches back to the original half & half division:

  • Finish working your bootie.

I hope this helps with one of the fiddlier bits of making my booties! Let me know if you’d like to see more photo tutorials?

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