7.27.2008

Workshop: MUMTU Socks Pt1:
Intro, Items Needed, Sts Used


The Mash-Up Magic Toe-Up Socks recipe is a customizable pattern that will help you make custom-fit, toe-up socks for any size foot and with any weight yarn.

I had long been looking for this kind of generic, customizable pattern, but I had a particular criteria I wanted for the construction and pattern. I wanted it to be written for
  • knitting two socks at a once
  • toe-up
  • using Magic Loop technique
  • with a gusset and heel flap, like this:
Even with the breadth of resources offered by Ravelry, I didn't find exactly what I wanted. I did notice that other people were interested in finding the same kind of thing as me—so I wrote up my own recipe. This is not an original pattern. I combined all my favorite bits from several freely available patterns and re-wrote them into one, comprehensive, recipe oriented for Magic Loop construction. I draw most heavily on two patterns: Barbara Tolleson’s “Knitting Basic Toe-Up Socks Using the ‘Magic Loop’ Circular Method” and Judy Gibson’s “You’re Putting Me On” Socks.

Last month, I published a condensed version of this pattern—one that assumes the user already has experience with magic-loop and/or the basic techniques of toe-up socks. But once I made the Mash-Up Magic Toe-Up Socks recipe (MUMTU Socks for short!) available, several people requested a pictorial to accompany it. As a result, I put together this workshop, which offers expanded instructions and a step-by-step visual guide to making these great socks.

This pattern requires you to make a gauge swatch and to complete some simple calculations for your customized fit. Please don't fret the math! The calculations are easy. More important, they are necessary in order to determine your Primary Stitch Count—the number upon which your entire project depends.

You will notice that the pattern contains a number of "blanks" where you are asked to fill in your own numbers. To get these numbers, refer to the column corresponding to your Primary Stitch Count located on the pattern's reference charts.

I've broken down the workshop into a whopping 11 parts:
This workshop should be more than enough to help even a new sock-knitter have success and fun knitting these socks.

I wish you inspiration and much happy sock knitting!

-Zhenya


ITEMS NEEDED:

Yarn: For the longest-wear socks, select a multi-plied machine-washable wool.
Fingering and sport weight = warm, lightweight socks
Worsted or heavy weight = better for sandal or boot socks

Quantity:
  • 100g will make a pair of child’s socks or ankle- to mid-calf length socks (depending on yardage) for a woman. For larger feet, men’s socks, or calf-length socks, you may find that 150 grams is best.
  • Either buy two 50g balls (wound for center pull) or divide your 100g ball in half and wind the two halves into center-pull balls.
  • You may appreciate this data of Approximate Yardage Required for a Pair of Socks:
    Child (Small): Fingering 275, Sport 215, DK 200, Worsted 185
    Child (Medium):
    Fingering 340, Sport 275, DK 250, Worsted 215
    Women:
    Fingering 430, Sport 370, DK 340, Worsted 310
    Men:
    Fingering 525, Sport 430, DK 400, Worsted 370
    (No guarantees here, since everyone knits differently, but these estimates are a good starting point.)
Reinforcing thread: You’ll encounter much debate about the necessity of reinforcing thread for heels and toes. Some say you don’t need it if your sock yarn contains some nylon. Others say you don’t need to reinforce if you’re using one of the thicker heel-stitch patterns (such as Eye of Partridge, used in this pattern). There are many arguments on both sides. I tend to reinforce everything, even when I use the thicker heel stitches, unless I’m making a decorative sock that will not get heavy wear and that I think would be diminished aesthetically by the addition of a reinforcing thread. To be honest, you can use any thin thread or yarn to reinforce your heels and toes, as long as you're attentive to how that yarn will wear in relation to your main yarn—a nylon thread might be too harsh against a soft alpaca wool and actually speed-up wear—so just think wisely about what you're putting together. (I like to reinforce my socks with a fine, gray laceweight wool that I have in abundance, rather than buying the cards, which can get rather pricey.)

Needles: For this pattern, your needle size will be determined by your yarn selection and gauge swatch (see below). Yes, you must make a gauge swatch to knit these socks—the whole point is a customized fit. Magic-loop knitting requires a circular needle with a long, flexible cable and a smooth join between the cable and the needle. Two very popular brands for Magic Loop knitting include Addi Turbos and KnitPics Options (interchangeables of fixed). I've used and can recommend both.
  • To knit two socks at once on magic loop, select a cable length of 40” or 47.”
  • To knit one sock on magic loop, select a cable length of 32” or 40.”
I've found that the 40" length works well for both purposes, so that's what I buy.

Here are some Suggestions for Needle Size Relative to Stitch Gauge:
  • Fingering 8-1/2 to 10 sts/inch = US 0 (2.0mm) or 1 (2.25mm)
  • Sport 7-1/2 to 9 sts/inch = US 2 (2.5 mm)
  • DK 6-1/2 to 8 sts/inch = US 3 (3.25 mm)
  • Worsted 6 to 7 sts/inch = US 4 (3.5mm)

Other Items:
  • Tape measure
  • Tapestry needle
  • OPTIONAL: 1 stitch marker (open-ended… or use a small safety pin) to mark the beginning of the round.
  • OPTIONAL: 2 additional stitch markers (normal, closed variety work well) if you choose not to reinforce the heels.
  • OPTIONAL: quart-sized bag to pack your sock project kit

STITCHES USED:
  • Knit
  • Purl
  • SSK: slip two stitches (as if to knit). Insert left needle through the front loops of these stitches, left to right, and knit them together.
  • K2tog
  • P2tog
  • M1R (Make 1 Right): Insert left needle, back to front, under the horizontal strand between the last stitch worked and the first stitch on the left needle. This forms a loop on the needle. Knit through the front of this loop. (If you have trouble inserting the needle into the loop, try lifting the stitch with your right needle to loosen it, then hold the back against the left needle while inserting the right needle.)
  • M1L (Make 1 Left): Insert the left needle, front to back, under the horizontal strand between last stitch worked and first stitch on left needle. Knit through the back of this loop. (Again, use your right needle to life the strand onto the left needle if you like.)

7 comments:

Virtuous said...

:o) Getting excited!!!

It really is a great compilation!

Sandy said...

Really, this is the most wonderful tutorial on 2-at-a-time-magic-loop that I've ever come across! Thanks so much for all the time and effort it took to put this together!

Sandy

Knitter Girl 39 said...

This is GREAT!!! Very Helpful!

tessamac said...

Thank you for such a great tutorial. This is a best tutorial that I've come across so far. I've used it for my first socks.

Teresa

Laurie said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I am just finishing up my first pair of socks using your tutorial (and an 80/20 Merino/Cashmere blend, with bamboo reinforcement thread)... they came out PERFECTLY!! They feel & fit great! Kudos & many thanks!! Who needs blocking?!? These are going on my feet as soon as they are off my needles!!! Guess what my family is receiving as Christmas gifts this year... ;-)

justus said...

Thank you so much for sharing your blog. I found you through Ravelry's YOSS group. I plan on doing all my socks this way from now on!

Quiltersammy said...

Having made plenty of cuff down socks, I decided it was time to try toe-up sox. Your excellent tutorial was exactly what I was seeking. I've been a fan of 'eye of partridge' heel flaps since my first try at them and the other toe-up sox patterns didn't have them. I fretted about going in reverse (from what I was used to doing) but finally just said to myself: FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS! Thanx a bunch!

quiltersammy