Sunday, April 6, 2008

Leafling Modifications

Honestly I have made entirely too many projects that don’t fit me. I refuse to settle for knitting this one by the books, when I know from my own math (8.57” is too big for my foot) and from others’ posts on fit that even the size small is not going to work.

For the record I am getting 7 sts/in with 2.5mm addi circulars.

  1. The recommended gauge is 7.5 sts/in.
  2. I like my fabric now, so I must compensate with stitch count for my different gauge.

Now that I’ve admitted what has led to this road I’ll give you the not-so specifics about my modifications.

I’ve reduced my cast on / working stitches from 60 to 54.

So for you playing at home that changes my instructions for starting the leg, and actually makes them a bit simpler. See, I have 27 stitches per needle… think about it and you’ll see that it works, and that it’s gonna be good.

When I got to the leg I have changed up the instructions. I omitted the knit X that started it and just knit across N1, all the way. The instead of PM I switched to N2 and did the pattern instructions. When you hit the second PM you’re at the end of the needle, and there’s no need to continue with knit to end of row, because you’re at the end of the row. Nice huh?

Rounds 1-5 went just like anyone else’s except that I knit N1 and pattern N2. No fiddly-diddly there, easy as pie. (I call these the setup rounds in my head.)

On page 4 if you read carefully you’ll see (knit to end of round, remove beginning-of-round marker, kX, pm to indicate new beginning of rounds at start of instep sts.) This becomes important when you try to decipher what you’re going to do with the heel. If you are following my mod then read this as

pattern sts needle becomes N1 and knit needle is N2

Since there’s no marker movement, it’s more of a mental note kind of change, and it doesn’t much matter until you hit the gusset.

I failed to notice that I had hit the recommend 5 inch mark for the leg, because I was having so much fun with the leg. I have the setup section and then 5 full repeats (I’m pretty sure) and it measures 6 1/4”.

Gusset: the first round of the gusset =
(N1) k3, inc, sm, do pattern, sm, inc, k3
(N2) |Sl1,K1| 13 times, Sl1
Increases up to 84 sts total. N1:57,N2:27

Heel turn:
Row1) K to marker, sm, patt to marker, sm, knit to heel stitches, sl 1, k1 10 times, w&t.
Row2) P13, w&t (heel will be worked on N2 only)
Row3) work in establish sl,k pattern to the wrapped st, K1, w&t
Row4) purl to wrapped st, P1, w&t
Work rows 3 & 4 a total of 6 times - the 1st and last heel sts should be wrapped

Rearrange sts by moving the 1st and last 15 sts from N1 (wing sts) to the ends of N2. This way they are in position to easily work the decreases.

Keeping with the established slip stitch pattern on knit rows, and purling purl rows, work back and forth over the gaps. (SSK on knit rows and P2Tog purl rows) Work down to 29 sts on N2 in this manner, the final 2 decreases happen as you resume working in the round.
N2: work slip st/k st to last two sts, SSK
N1: k3, patt, k3
N2: k2tog, k26
Heel is officially done, and you should be down to 54 sts total again, with 27 on each needle.

Knit the foot just like anybody else. For me, with my personal length of foot I did 4 repeats of the pattern and then knit 6 plain rows before starting the toes.

I did the right / left shaping directions, because that seemed like fun. I recognize that I now have to pay attention to which sock goes on which foot, but that’s my issue not yours. :) And it really does look nice on, so you may want to also.

I followed the toe directions almost as written. I did the first 18 rounds exactly as written, only each time I got to a stated stitch count I have 6 less than the small. (This should not surprise you, since I used 6 less stitches to start with and did the same number of decreases.) The only change that I made was that I stopped decreases when I got down to 16 sts.

If I was going to do exactly the same number of decrease rows as the pattern I would have gone down to 12. I elected to stop at 16 because I was concerned that 12 would make the sock too long and too pointy. This should be pretty easy for you to tweek so that it fits well and looks good on whatever set of toes you were born with.

If you used this set of modifications I’d love to hear how it worked out for you. I hope that I’ve been clear enough, but of course I had to be careful not to give away any of the actual pattern details.

Either way, enjoy your Leaflings, and be sure to thank the designer (JC Briar) for such a cute little sock to knit.

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