Friday, February 4, 2011

Knit a Perfect Fitting Sock

One of the workshops at the upcoming Okanagan Knitting Retreat is "Knit a Perfect Fitting Sock" with Paulette Lane of Vancouver. Sign up for the retreat at

How do your socks fit? Do they bag around the ankles? Do they wrinkle up uncomfortably when you put your shoes on? Do you always cast on the same number of stitches and then wonder why the socks are not quite right?

The goal is a snug fit on the foot without any excess fabric that bunches up in your shoes. Some critical measurements of the foot are key to knitting the ideal socks for YOUR feet. Most sock patterns have you decrease at the heel gusset to the number of stitches cast on. Well, if your arch measurement is smaller (or larger) than your calf, you will need fewer (or more) stitches for the foot. Knitting the right shape of toe for the shape of YOUR toes is also important—are your toes short and angled like a wedge, or are they long? Are they square? Paulette will review some different options for wedge toes and wide toes.

In this workshop, Paulette will guide you through the measuring process, how to knit a quickie flat tension swatch and how to choose the right yarn and needles. By the end of the workshop, you will have the perfect fitting sock, and will be able to adapt any sock pattern so that it will fit you perfectly. And because you’ve now invested all that time and money in perfect socks, Paulette will also review how to keep them from wearing out so that you don’t have to darn them.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Kimiko's Stole...the designing continues

Thanks for the comments about the stole designs. Kimiko "waffled" between #2 and #4 so I've developed a couple more sketches based on her comments about what she liked about each of the designs. Here are designs # 5 and #6.
I went into my inventory of neckties (I have way too many!) and found some suitable greens, browns and blue-greens to augment Kimiko's collection. Most of the neckties are still from her father, and the brown and blue silk kimonos are from her mother's family. The cords that you see spiralling on top of the materials are from another family member and I think they're the cording--kumihimo--used in tying an obi.
Another design element in this stole will be the crane at centre back. This wonderful piece of metallic thread embroidery is on one of the kimono.
I had hoped to have this stole finished by the time I leave for Vancouver next Tuesday, however I don't want to rush--I have a myriad of other projects and volunteer commitments on my plate.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Okanagan Knitting Retreat...optional Friday workshops

New this year is a day of workshops prior to the retreat. Paulette Lane (of PLANE Images) will be leading "It's all in the details", a reprise of a workshop from the retreat of 2009. The orange eyelet strip is a photo of an eyelet cast-on
which is a great way of starting a feather and fan pattern

Next is the Punta cast-on which comes to us from Peru. Another great way of casting on!
And finally, a picot cast-off with a garter stitch edge. All of these treatments are applicable to garments, whether it be a sweater, socks, vest or....

It's the details which can catapult a garment from the "home made with loving hands" category to the "designer" category! Simply changing a pattern from a ribbing to one of these edges and you've become a designer. Join us at the 13th annual Okanagan Knitting Retreat--download the brochure on my website at