Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pattern Notes- Simple Stripes Fair Isle Socks

I'm almost finished with the Simple Stripes Fair Isle socks. It's a Knitpicks pattern that doesn't appear to be on their site anymore. The Simple Stripes yarn doesn't appear to be on their site anymore either.
I like the finished product, but I have a few issues with the pattern. Mostly I found the short row heel instructions to be confusing. I'm still not sure exactly what method for closing gaps was intended, but I used the knit and purl encroachment techniques from the Sherman heel.
On the first sock, I redid the heel several times because I had trouble getting it centered. I hadn't discovered this chart yet. I finally just decided that if I had 10 gappy stitches on each side and 10 normal looking stitches in the middle, then it should work out. And that's exactly what's shown in this example!
The only thing I didn't do was the wrapping of the first stitch on either side to prevent ankle gaps. After tightening up the stitches at the ankle, I don't have gaps, but they still aren't as pretty as my heel-flap sock ankles.
In general, I'm not sure if I like short-row heels. It's quick, there's no picking up stitches, and it works well with certain kinds of patterns. On the other hand, I'll have to practice more to get the short-row execution to look as good as my heel-flap technique.
I also discovered that there's lots of ways to work short rows. Nona compared a few different techniques on her blog, but not in the context of sock heels. There's also a comparison of disembodied (disemsocked?) short row heels from Yarmando.
And a huge collection of short-row links here. It seems that a lot of people out there have issues with short-row heels!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is there a way to get this simple stripes fair isle pattern?
thanks
b. mulligan

SpinalCat said...

Um. It appears that Knitpicks doesn't sell it anymore. You could try emailing them or the designer (I don't have the name in front of me right now). You might be able to talk someone into giving her copy to you. The pattern isn't really that well-written, so you might be better off just doing your own version. The only thing I really used the pattern for was the fair-isle charts, and I changed some of those around. You could reconstruct the original motifs from pictures or make up some of your own. It's a top-down sock with a short-row heel. There are plenty of tutorials out there for short-row heels. I used a tutorial for the Sherman heel cause the heel instructions in the original pattern were confusing. Hope that helps!
-Amy