Sunday, November 16, 2014

Better, Neater, Faster, Easier.

My friend Linda W., up there on Tug Hill, offered me some sound critique on the hem-top socks.  She told me that her husband would find the hem messy.  She wants to make something with a neater top.  Well, Linda was right.  I was immediately not happy with the hem.  I had used the eon e-wrap for the hem for maximum elasticity.  But that leaves really big floppy loops of yarn on the inside of the hem.  I know they feel okay, but it looked crappy.
On the next pair of socks, I did my knitted e-wrap cast-on on every needle.
When I hung the hem, I still only hung every other bar (the bars between the e-wraps).  The hem is just as elastic as the eon cast-on, and looks so much better.  That aside, the every-needle cast-on solved a couple problems I didn't know I had.  Let me count them out for you.
1. Your waste yarn cast-on can be full-needle, instead of 1x1-  Simply set up your rib pattern on both beds, set the beds to 1/2 pitch (needles staggered), rack 1 (left or right) to get your zigzag row, and after you have done 2 circular passes, set to full pitch (needles opposite) and rack back 1 so your back bed needles face your front bed needles.  You are now done fiddling with needle setup.
2.  The knitted on e-wrap may be a bit snugger on every needle than on eon.  If so, then manually raise the needles on the first bed to knit, and knit them back with the carriage, then do the same on the 2nd bed  to knit.  Nicer cast on row.
3.  The bars, when you hang the hem are still easy to see, and no big loops in your way when you knit the first row after the hem.
4.  This cast-on is faster to do than the old one.  Mostly, I think, because it does not combine changing to  the rib pattern while doing the cast on rows.

I made a couple pairs, and played around with different mock-rib intervals.  I got a little obsessive-compulsive over having my rib pattern be symmetrical, and centered front and back, and having a rib on each side to bridge between front and back beds.  I also obsessed over sock size as it is affected by the ratio between the total needles for the pattern and the net number of needles that actually are in work.  omg!
Turns out, you have to worry about that if your princess can feel the pea under the mattress.

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