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Posts Tagged ‘personal footprints’

My first sock from Cat Bordhi’s new book, Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters, has been an exercise in frustration, humilty, and perseverance. I have only myself to blame; I tried to do too many things at once, blithely confident that this would be no big deal. After all, this book is the antithesis of her previous book (New Pathways For Sock Knitters) which relied heavily on math, charts, and calculations. By contrast, Footprints has you cut out a cardboard tracing of your footprint, mark a few lines as you try on the sock-in-progress, and do not a jot of math. It’s meant to be easy!

Except when it’s really, really not.

The do’s and don’ts, if the whole saga of this sock is tl;dr:
DO use your sock, smoothed flat, to mark the leg line on the cardboard footprint. DON’T mark on your footprint where the middle of your leg actually is, anatomically speaking. (The book says this, but as I missed it, I figured it was worth repeating.)

DO remember that once you knit past the leg opening, the “top” of the sock is the back of the leg, and the “bottom” of the sock is the sole. For a contrasting heel, attach yarn at the center top (the back of the leg). DON’T attach at the center of the sole, or the working yarn from your foot will get trapped and would have to traverse the side of your sock to get up to the leg where you’re going to want to knit with it.

DON’T use a large skein (the 400yd ones that make a pair of socks) if you plan to work a contrast heel while saving the foot yarn for a continuous look up the leg. The skein needs to fit inside the foot as you knit the heel.

DON’T use the three needle bind-off at the heel if you have narrow heels. Or possibly, ever. Work an extra row of k2tog around, then draw the tail through the live stitches and pull to tighten. Otherwise the extra fabric is worse than the ‘ears’ you get at the sides of a Kitchener toe.

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Slept badly, woke too early, but I wasn’t the one driving and I wasn’t the one who flew in from Vancouver last night, so I really have no excuse to be as wiped out as I am.

We made it to 8 stores today though! I took pictures at some, forgot to at others. I petted a St. Bernard and a big black tomcat, and failed utterly to attract the interest of some alpacas who were six hours into being the featured attraction and were totally over the whole ‘being petted by people’ scene. We passed an exotic wildlife ranch with some sort of cervidae that had big racks but the spotted coat of fawns. We also passed a wake of turkey buzzards, and I was again glad to not be driving, because my car and I both have shaky nerves still, from the Great Turkey Buzzard Incident of ’08.

The only reason I dragged myself to the computer tonight instead of handwaving the whole thing until Monday is to enthuse about Cat Bordhi’s Personal Footprints book, which I picked up today. So far I’ve only looked at the pretty pictures, not read the guts of how to make them work, but I love this book already! I’m a big fan of the gusset technique from her New Pathways book, but with a few exceptions I wasn’t interested in making any of the socks in the book; I just adapted the technique to other sock patterns instead. This new book is full of awesome socks! I can’t wait to make the Chain Mail, and the Stained Glass, and the one with a symmetrical lace ‘seam’ down the front of the sock. There’s even an adorable ankle sock, and I never like those.

So yes. If you knit socks, go get this book. If you know how to knit, purl, increase, and decrease, go get this book and learn to knit socks. It’s the construction equivalent of skipping straight to Magic Loop instead of learning on fiddly DPNs. Heel flap? Pick up extra stitches at the corners to avoid making a hole? Wrap and turn? Ur doin it wrong.

One shorter road trip tomorrow to another store or possibly two. Bed now.

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Book Trailer

Cat Bordhi just Tweeted a video trailer for her new sock book. This is the one where you knit a tube for the foot, closed at both ends, and then open up a row of live stitches to become the leg. Funky stuff, but an absolute 180 from her last sock book, which was very mathy.

Something I read months ago led me to believe that each foot is just plain stockinette, so all the socks in the book would only have pattern on the leg. I’m happy to see that’s not true! And also happy to see some bits of what seems to be colorwork in the socks. Having just made two types of heel myself, I’m really impressed by the close-ups of her arches and heels and how well they seem to fit.

I’m a big fan of Cat’s New Pathways book so I was planning to buy Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters regardless, but it’s nice to know that I’ll actually be interested in the content. In this video she says she’ll be making others to support the book, including one on cutting the foot open to make the leg. I just hope she explains how the heck you’d make a sock for a foot you don’t have right there available to be measured at every step of building the foot template.

In other news, I may possibly have ordered this Jordana Paige knitting bag. Oh, okay, I totally ordered it. Now I can tell Mom she’s off the hook for supporting me through a dreaded purse-shopping expedition next time she’s in town. Clothes shopping sometimes makes me cranky, shoe shopping usually does, but purse shopping? Worse than a root canal. At least the dentist gives you the happy gas.

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