The top-down, heel-flap pattern is Eple (Rav Link.) This is a wonderful training wheel project for first-time stranded color knitting and duplicating stitch work. Stranding is when I carry the colors along, the entire time, with frequent changes. Some folks experience their stitches tightening up with their work–stranded knitting versus one color–this is a terrific knit to improve your stranded, color work skills.
No modification as designer wished. But, wait…I am sneaky (rather clever, I feel.) I did play with needle sizes to get the tailor-fit result I desire and knit 2 rounds (instead of 1) between first 4 toe-shaping decrease rounds.
- Estonian cast-on with 1.75mm
- Switch to 2.0 mm for 4 rounds past ribbing.
- Switch to 2.25 mm for 14 stockinette rounds
- Switch to 2.50 mm for fairisle work
- Switch back to 2.25 mm for 50 stockinette rounds before heel flap.
- Knit 38 rounds for foot length before toe shaping.
I love this yarn–it’s really squishy, it’s incredibly bright. Even though it’s a fingering weight and small needles, it knit up rather quickly, two-at-a-time with two circular needles.
A couple of tips on stranded color knitting…Once you get it down, evaluate your system of switching. Which hand you employed to hold your yarns in depends on which color is used more frequently. Too often, we hold each color at different tensions and, over a sweater project, switching may lead to uneven results. It’s better to continue holding the same color in the same hand throughout. If colors change through the pattern, then adopt the pattern color in the left hand and background in the right as most often that results in the pattern color being the dominant color, i.e., shows a tad more than the background color due to the relative positions of those colors during the stranding process.
It isn’t always necessary to wrap, weave, trap the carried color frequently. But I do…a personal choice. Weaving on a frequent basis results in a denser fabric which may be an advantage in some cases, disadvantage in others. Doing shorter floats takes more time; over an entire sweater, it does make the going slower. (Click on image below–link to my flickr page–for yarn and dimension details.)
Another reason to think about its use is that the trapped yarn often shows through–sometimes no problem at all when the colors are close in value, but, other times really shows up to the point of distraction. The pattern (and yarns) are wonderful. Buy the pattern just for the golden tips on producing stranding work smooth and beautiful.
My ability doesn’t do them justice. What is your favorite fair-isle knits? Here’s a boy knitting in the round, in rib, but flat (which I don’t do.) Children knit their bit as part of the wartime effort. That’s some advanced knitting for such a little one…and a boy to boot! Inspired?? I sure am.
Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!
(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)