Saturday, December 5, 2009

A new way to graft...

I was in San Francisco last month to teach a workshop - we all had a great time. I felt like a rock star - no, really - Betty rigged me up with a cordless headset microphone and it was wonderful. Usually at the end of 2 days of talking to a large group, my voice is stretched to the limit, but this was a piece of cake. Met some great people, had some great food, the weather was wonderful - a girl from Thunder Bay in the winter, can’t ask for much more than that!
We also did a one day hands-on ribber workshop, just making samples and learning cast-ons and stuff, finishing off with the making of my circular socks because it is a great way to learn a lot about your ribber. So in preparation for this, I had made a couple of pairs, to be ready to show the finishing, seaming the ribbed cuff and grafting the toe. Of course, in a one day workshop, things never get finished off anyway and I came home with 5 socks that needed grafting.
The sock is started off with 2X2 (2X1) ribbing that makes a nice stretchy, comfortable cuff. Then the stitches have to be re-hung for the circular portion of the heel and foot of the sock, ending with the toe being shaped with full fashioned decreases on each bed, to the point where 10 sts on each bed remain. This is taken off on waste yarn and hand grafted. The small opening and the multi-coloured sock yarn make it hard to find the edge stitches to begin the grating and I had missed the edge stitches on a couple, which you don’t see until the waste yarn is removed and leaves holes at the edges - not good... So after rehanging, fixing and reknitting a couple of times, I thought, there’s got to be a better way of doing, I figured out how to do the grafting on the machine, without the waste yarn in the way to obscure the edge stitches. I think it works great - I wouldn’t want to do more that a small section like the toe, because usually hand grafting from waste yarn works well for me, but this method is foolproof, I think.
So, my sock pattern is in No 39 - try it out and then try this method of grafting:
Waste yarn, K16R. Release from machine. Sock will be right side out.
To graft on machine: turn sock inside out and bring tail of MC to this side. On main bed, hang one side and then hang second side on top of the other, right sides together, with tail of MC at right side. Remove the waste yarn.
Leaving sts on n’s, with tail of MC threaded in a darning needle, go through first front stitch (closest to you) from back to front.
Go though both sts on first needle back to front.
*Go front to back through front stitch on second needle and back stitch on first needle.
Then, back to front through both sts on second needle*.
Repeat * to * across, making each stitch snug but not too tight.
The spacing of the needles will help to keep sts even.
At left, go front to back on back stitch of last needle. Pull off and darn in end.
Ha! 2 Christmas presents down...

1 comment:

Linda said...

You can do the Kitchner while the sock is on both beds and be done with it. No waste yarn mess or flipping, or anything. I knit toe up so I don't have to mess with that, though.