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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hot Rod Socks AKA Olympic Flame Socks

HOT ROD SOCKS or OLYMPIC FLAME SOCKS designed by Melanie Gibbons

This pattern is available as a pdf download at the Pink Lemon Knits Yahoo Group. It's in the group's "File" section, but is only accessable by group members.

Just a note: This sock pattern is not exactly the way I knit these socks. This sock pattern is the way I would have knit these socks if I had known what I know now.


1 50 g ball each of Dale Baby Ull Black (color 90), Yellow (color 2015), Orange (color 2908), and Red (color 4227) - If you are knitting these socks for a man or a larger woman's foot size (I have a size 8), you might need more black and red. I did have some left over but I'm not sure how much farther it could have gone.

1 set of 5 size 1 US (2.25mm) DPN's or size needed to get the sock the correct size.

Gauge: 8 stitches per inch. If your feet are bigger than 8 inches around at the ball of the foot, go up a needle size. See the end of the pattern for suggestions for size variations. Check your gauge!

Using Black yarn, Cast on 64 Stitches. With 16 stitches on each of 4 needles, (plus one working needle), join, being careful not to twist and work in K2, P2 rib for 1-1/4 inches or desired depth of ribbing.

Switch to stockinette stitch (knit every round) and work even for 2-1/2 inches.

Beginning at top of flame chart (the yellow end) begin working chart. Note that the white squares are the background color and should be knitted in black (for ease of reading the chart, I left them in white).

After the final row of the chart is worked (the red end), work in stockinette stitch in the red yarn for 1 inch.

Heel Flap: Knit 32 stitches, turn and work back and forth in rows as follows:

Row 1 (WS): sl 1, P to end.

Row 2: sl 1, *K1, sl 1, rep from *, end K1.

Row 3: sl 1, P to end.

Row 4: sl 1, *sl 1, K1, rep from *, end K2.

Work Rows 1-4 a total of 8 times - 32 rows- ending with a RS row.

Turn work, sl 1, P 16, P2tog, P1, turn. Next Row: sl 1, K3, ssk, K1, turn.

Continue turning heel as follows: WS ROW: sl 1, P to one stitch before gap, P2tog, P1, turn. RS ROW: sl 1, K to one stitch before gap, ssk, K1, turn. Repeat these two rows until all stitches in heel flap have been worked (18 stitches in heel flap).

Divide these stitches onto two needles again (9 stitches each). The working yarn is at the left end of needle two (for the purposes of these directions, rounds will begin on Needle One which is the first part of the heel.

With needle 2 and working yarn, pick up and knit 18 stitches along side of heel flap for gusset(27 stitches on needle.) Work needles 3 and 4 as established (16 stitches each). Pick up and knit 18 stitches along other side of heel flap for gusset, work 9 stitches on needle 1 (27 stitches)

Work needles 2,3, and 4 as established so you are ready to start a new round.

Gusset decreases: Rnd 1-K1, ssk, knit to end of needle 1, knit to last 3 stitches of needle 2, K2tog, K1, work even on needles 3 and 4. Rnd 2- Work even.

Repeat these two rounds until all gusset stitches have been decreased and you have 16 stitches on each needle again - 64 stitches.

Work even for 1 inch in the red yarn.

Start flame chart again, this time working from the red end to the yellow end (you will be reversing the chart from the direction worked on the leg).

Work even in black yarn until sock is approximately 2 inches shorter than desired total length, then begin toe decreases as follows:

Rnd 1-Needle 1:K1, ssk, knit to end of needle. Needle 2:Knit to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1. Needle 3: K1, ssk, knit to end of needle. Needle 4: Knit to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1.

Rnd 2 - work even.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 above until 32 stitches remain, then work Round 1 only until 16 stitches remain.

Graft toe closed. Repeat for second sock!

Options: This chart can be plugged into any sock pattern that is divisible by 16 so if you have a favorite sock pattern, feel free to use it. If you are knitting for a man or a child, you can vary the number of repeats to make the socks larger or smaller. There's no reason the socks have to have red flames - why not try blue flames or another color? You could also only put the flames on either the leg or the foot, not both. If you only do one set of flames, you will definitely need more than one ball of your main background color.

If you have trouble printing this pattern directly from the blog, try copying and pasting the whole thing into a blank word processor document.

Copyright 2006. All rights are reserved.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Knitting Olympics Closing Ceremonies - A Parade Of Socks

Today the Olympics are over which means the Knitting Olympics are also finished. I knit 4 pairs of socks over the last 16 days and here they are all nice and blocked.Merino Lace Socks from Interweave Knits Summer 2003. Knit in KnitPicks Color Your Own Fingering Weight.

River Rapids Socks from Sockbug. Also knit in KnitPicks Color Your Own, Fingering Weight.

Generic Sock Pattern. Knit in Spurs and Petticoats colorway of Painted Toes Sock Yarn by The Knotty Sheep.

Olympic Flame Socks AKA Hot Rod Socks. My own design, knit in Dale Baby Ull. I'm aiming for Tuesday to post this pattern!

This was so much fun, I hate to wait for 2 more years for another Olympics! And just in case you're wondering, no, I'm not burned out on socks. I cast on for a pair for Caleb yesterday afternoon!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Knitting Olympics Day 15 - Come On Baby, Light My Fire!

Closing Ceremonies are on Sunday, and it looks like I'm going to make it! I'm hoping to finish the second flame sock today so I can block them tonight. Either Saturday or Sunday (depending on when I block them and how long they take to dry), there will be a parade of socks here on Pink Lemon Twist!

All of these socks have been really fun to knit and I've learned a few things about socks by doing them. I definitely have a better feel for how the top down socks are made and they don't confuse me as much anymore. I learned that you still have to pay attention to gauge as compared to your own personal measurements (64 stitches at 7.5 stitches an inch is going to be too big for a foot that's 8 inches around). I learned that when you didn't pay attention to gauge as it applies to personal measurements, you can always go down a needle size when you start the heel flap and foot of the sock and just call the loose cuff a design feature. I learned that alternating rows as you slip the stitch on the heel flap makes a neat little checkerboard design that really fascinates me (I could stare at it for hours, but I have to finish the last sock first). I learned that taking 3 weeks to knit one pair of socks is really slacking off. And I've learned that picking up gusset stitches, like picking up stitches for a neckband or buttonband, doesn't always work out exactly as the pattern is written, but as long as you pick up as many as you can plus one at the joint of the gusset with the top of the foot, you shouldn't have any gaps and everything should work out fine in the end. Tune in sometime this weekend to see the Parade of Socks!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Knitting Olympics Day 14 - One Down in a Blaze of Glory

Sock number 7 is essentially done. I say "essentially" because I still have to weave in all of the ends with the flames, but I will do that today so I can see what I'm doing. I also will start the 8th and final sock for the Knitting Olympics and hope to make it past the leg flames before bedtime tonight. Actually, I should say that I hope to make it past the leg flames before the Figure Skating Long Program tonight, since I probably won't be knitting too much during that. I can't wait to finish these so I can block them. I don't think they look too bad right now, but I can't wait to see them all blocked. You guys are cracking me up with all the comments on these socks - I can't believe there are that many people out there who ALSO think flame socks are a good idea!

With all of the socks I've done in the last 2 weeks, there is a dent in my sock yarn stash. I will be adding to the stash again soon, but I thought I'd ask you guys: What is your favorite sock yarn and why? I'm allergic to acrylic so even if it gives free foot massages all day, if it has acrylic, it can't come home with me. Leave your sock yarn suggestions in the comments!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Knitting Olympics Day 13 - The Flame Burns On

This is still the first sock of the final pair. I'm really happy with how they are looking, but looking at the flame chart and knitting the stranded colorwork makes watching figure skaters difficult, so I have definitely slowed down on these. I'm about halfway through the flame chart for the foot of the sock and I should be able to finish this sock today. I did sit down yesterday and make some notes and I think I'll be able to write up the pattern for these. I wasn't going to sell the pattern, just give it as a blog entry. It should be easy to print up from there. I think. We'll see how it goes! I hope to finish knitting these socks on Friday or Saturday at the latest. It will take a while to get all the ends woven in and I want to get everything blocked before the Closing Ceremonies Parade of Socks.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Knitting Olympics Day 12 - The beginning of the final pair!

I've started my final pair of Olympic socks. They were originally designed as Hot Rod socks (Caleb even mentioned that they looked like race cars), but they also fit nicely with the Olympic Flame don't you think? I'm knitting them in Dale Baby Ull which is the first yarn I ever used for socks and I had forgotten how much I like this yarn. The flame design is my own and if I take good enough notes on how I'm knitting these, I might try to write up the pattern and post it on the blog next week. I will work the heel and gusset in the red, then the flame pattern will get reversed and the toe will be black. At least that's the plan for right now.

There have been some questions as to whether or not I have been sleeping during the Knitting Olympics and if my whole house has fallen into disrepair. Fear not, I'm sleeping at night (although I've been dreaming about sock yarn. A lot.), the dishes are done, the kitchen is clean, I did all the laundry in the house Sunday and Caleb is clean and fed. I must give credit to Mickael, who has been so amazing and supportive of my Olympic efforts though. He actually ran the vacuum cleaner the other day and keeps telling me I need to get knitting! I'm not sure if he thinks its actually a competition or what is going on in his head, but he's being really sweet and encouraging despite the fact that he is starting to fear a possible sock avalanche. I think I'll have to knit him a pair of socks when the Olympics are over and of course Caleb has noticed that none of the recent socks seem to be for him...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Knitting Olympics Day 11 - Pair 3 Continues

This weekend I got a lot done on my third pair of socks. The yarn is Spurs and Petticoats from the Knotty Sheep. The color repeats are so short that there is no pooling and as you can see, I decided to let the yarn be the main design feature and just made them in plain stockinette stitch. I have planned on a fourth pair of socks for the Knitting Olympics which are more involved than these, but I thought these simple socks would be fun after all the charts on the first two pairs and what I have in mind for the fourth pair. I'm not going to get into details about the fourth pair, but I will tell you it involves stranded color work!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Knitting Olympics Day 8 - I've Got the Blues - Almost!

Blue socks that is! I am 8 rounds short of where I will start the toe decreases. Needless to say, I will finish these socks today and probably cast on for my third pair! 2 PM this afternoon is the conclusion of the first week of Olympic Knitting Events. I'm in shock that I have knit almost two pairs of socks in that time! Just to let you all know, the family still recognizes me, Ramius has been fed and I just put away the clean dishes, so its not all knitting all the time here at Chez Pink Lemon. I'm 99% sure I've settled on the next sock yarn and pattern, but you'll have to wait until Monday to see them! Have a great weekend, and don't try Skeleton without a helmet!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Knitting Olympics Day 7 - 3 socks done!

I've finished the First Pair of Socks! AND...I've finished the first of the second pair! (I'll post photos of all the finished socks - blocked and beautiful - at the end of the Olympics. A Parade of Socks for Closing Ceremonies!) These are the River Rapid Socks from Sockbug. Her patterns are all listed in the sidebar of the blog. I'm knitting these in more of the Knitpicks Dye Your Own sockweight yarn. I started the socks on size 2 needles as the pattern calls for, but I realized that they were a little loose, so when I started the heel flap I switched to size 1's. This way the foot will be snug the way I like and the leg of the sock will be looser, which doesn't bother me (a loose foot would bother me though). As you can see, I barely started the second sock of the pair last night. This is a great pattern and I cannot really explain how much I love this heel flap. Instead of slipping stitches in rows, you alternate rows for the slipped stitches and you get this wonderful checked design on the heel flap!

Thanks for all the comments about my Mom's socks and her furr babies! I'm sure she got a kick out of them.

In other family news, I just found out that Mindy (sister in Law Extraordinaire) is doing MADD Strides For Change. She works for MADD and goes around to the schools and colleges in the Dallas area educating kids about alcohol, its effects on your mind, and the damage that drinking and driving can do. The amount of miles she puts on her car every week driving all over the Metroplex area is huge. If you go to the link above you can see a picture of Mindy, my brother -Rick (he's not dancing this time), and their beautiful boys Jack and Stephen. There's a link on the page if you want to support her in this walk. I know she would just love it, even if you only donate $5! She doesn't know I'm putting her site on the blog today so let's completely surprise her and blow her goal out of the water! This is going to a great cause and one that often gets overlooked.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Knitting Olympics Day 6 - Good News and Bad News

First the Good News: I thought that 16 days of looking at 2 pairs of socks being knitted (possibly 3 pairs now) might wear on the nerves of even the most diehard knitter and I might drive away all of my blog readership. So, I asked my Mom - who is also doing the Knitting Olympics - to send me photos of her project. Just something to break up the monotony a little.

The Bad News: She's doing socks too! Here are the details: She's using Trekking XXL (color 28), size 1 needles, and she's using the same pattern I used for the Minkey/Tigger socks (Sensational Knitted Socks, 4 stitch repeat, Double Seed Stitch). She likes to use wooly nylon on the heel and foot of her socks to add strength to the sock. Also, I had given her a head's up that one skein of Trekking might not have enough yarn for a pair of socks for her since I only had a small bit left. (I have size 8 feet, her's are size 11 AAAA - long and narrow). She decided to make the toe and heel in a contrasting color and I think its going to look really great. Bonus Points: The colors in her yarn are the same colors as the Olympic Rings! Woo Hoo!Since we are getting blog fodder from outside sources today, here are some gratuitous pet photos from outside sources too! This is Barclay (AKA Broccoli) the dog and Shadow the Wool Eating Cat. They own my parents. Aren't they cute?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Knitting Olympics Day 5 AKA Red Socky Love

I made it past the heel turn and the gusset and I now have only 26 rounds until I start toe shaping! I really hope to finish these socks today! That would put me at 5 days for a pair of socks which is definitely a personal best.

In Non Olympic Sock Knitting News, I have been thinking about what I want to knit for my Sockapaloooza Secret Sock Pal. I know I'm not going to start until after the Olympics (we don't even mail the socks until May 2), but I've just been letting some ideas bounce around in my head. According to her knitblog, she likes the Harry Potter Books and she also has a cat (yeah, that really narrows it down doesn't it) so I'm kind of letting those ideas just sit in my brain and we'll see what they give me. One thing I had thought about is making a pair of socks inspired by this scarf, and in another colorway. Its the Fair Isle Jazz scarf from Scarf Style, and I fell in love with it the first time I saw it. I would put a Fair Isle band at the top of the sock and then go to cables for the rest of the sock. I think it would translate pretty well into socks. What do you guys think?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Knitting Olympics Day 4

As the sun rises over Torino, I mean Virginia, on Day 4 of the Knitting Olympics, we see a completed sock and most of the leg of the second sock. But wait! Wasn't the plan to knit a sock every 4 days? How is this possible? Its an Olympic Miracle!

Yes, that's right, I knit a sock in 2 days and the leg you see above is what I did yesterday. I think it was a combination of being snowed in and Mickael having the weekend off (he was able to corral the wee one so I could knit). I'd be very surprised if I can continue to knit a sock every 2 days, but hey, its the Olympics, anything can happen. The sock hasn't been blocked yet (I like to block them as a pair) and red seems to be a difficult color to photograph - I'll work on that. In the meantime, I have tentatively selected a third sock yarn and pattern for a third pair, if I do in fact keep knitting as quickly as I started out. Go USA!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Knitting Olympics Opening Ceremonies

Today is Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics! This means that its also Opening Ceremonies for the Knitting Olympics. I have to double check, but I believe that Stephanie said we could all cast on at 2:00PM EST as this would be the same time as the beginning of the Opening Ceremonies in Torino. The idea of 3300 knitters all casting on at the same time seems amazing. 3300 is the latest number of Olympic Knitters. (2400 being the number of Olympic Athletes.) For my own attempt at greatness, I will be knitting two pairs of socks (4 socks total) over the next 16 days. Above you see my choices. The first pair will be from the red yarn, knitting the Merino Lace Socks from IK Summer 2003, the second pair will be in the blue yarn, knitting Sockbug's River Rapids Sock. Ironically, both patterns are written for knitting on two circular needles and I will be using 5 double points. I've looked over the directions and I don't think I'll have any trouble translating them into DPN's. Both patterns have patterned charts, but I hope to have those memorized quickly. The Merino Lace Socks have several charts while the River Rapids socks have only one chart. I have swatched and gotten gauge for both patterns. The sock yarn and patterns, needles, counters and all the other necessary sock gadgets are waiting for me in a knitting bag. Let the games begin!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Mama taught me not to spit!

Worms obviously aren't taught this important part of etiquette. I have been plying for 5 hours and I'm still not done! This was only about 2 ounces of silk. I am in awe of the spitting ability of the little worms. I am a little afraid of how many yards of silk laceweight yarn I'll have when I'm finished. I don't want to throw out my arm winding it all off on the niddy noddy later - I mean, the Olympics start tomorrow. I do plan to finish it today and I do plan to wind it off and set the twist (I'll update the blog with the exact yardage once I have it), but I will be careful. I have a plan for my Olympic knitting and if I get a silk related injury, it will throw the whole plan off. Yes, its a typed up plan with a goal for each day, complete with a place to check off if I finished that goal (obsessive compulsive - who, me?) On the plus side, I am loving that the plying isn't messing up the colors or making the yarn go blah. It has kept its personality and even looks like it will still be a bit stripey. This yarn reminds me of one of Kaffe Fasset's striped fabrics. I've got to get back to the wheel now and finish plying this. Check back later and I'll update with total yardage!

UPDATE: I got 724 yards of two ply from the 2 ounces of silk. I guess it took so long because I put so much twist in the singles, I had to put a lot of twist in the plying.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

200Sox - Second Pair Done!

I finished the Minkey/Tigger Socks last night. See the little ball of yarn above them? That's all the yarn I had left! I love the way these socks came out and can't wait to wear them, but they have to dry first. All the details: Trekking XXL yarn in color 106, size 0 (2.0 mm) needles, pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks, 4 stitch repeat - Double Seed Stitch. And, as the title says, this is my second pair of socks for the year!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Happy Birthday Mr. Kitten!

Today is Ramius' 11th birthday. He started off with a nap and is now watching a squirrel gorge himself on birdseed on our back deck. So far the day is looking pretty good. I'm sure there will be more napping later (no sense being tired on your birthday) and there will definitely be kitty yummies and some singing (after which, he'll probably need another nap). The sun is out so there will be some sunbathing (he likes to multitask and combine sunbathing with naps), and he'll probably finish the day with some senseless running up and down the stairs and attacking nothing at all. Happy Birthday Pouncer!

Monday, February 06, 2006

New Blue Singles

While I was waiting for the twist to set on the silk singles, I started spinning something else. This is from some batts I got from Spinner's Hill at MDS&W last year. I got enough of this and some teal green to make a sweater. There wasn't enough of either to make a whole sweater so I plan to ply them together. Once I finish spinning this bobbin (I should finish today), then I'll start plying the silk. I'm trying to spin at least 30 minutes a day, even if I only get to do it in 10 minute chunks. Hopefully, this will make it faster to get spinning done. I think I've figured out what socks and yarn I'll use for the Olympic Knitting, but you'll see those Friday. Have you heard? There are around 2500 Olympic Knitters and only 2400 Olympic Athletes. This really cracks me up for some reason. Maybe I need more caffeine.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Lady Fingers

When mittens and gloves get in the way of all the little things you use your fingers for everyday, fingerless mitts are the answer! Lady Fingers will keep your hands and wrists warm, but they allow you to use your fingers easily. This pattern is actually three patterns in one: A Basic Mitt, A Patterned Mitt, and a Lace Mitt. Each mitt has a different top style (ribbing, seed stitch, or a picot hem) that complements its design or can be mixed and matched with another mitt style. Directions are written for 7 inch, 7-1/2 inch, and 8 inch palm measurements with variations and adjustment instructions to fit shorter or longer hand lengths. There are also variations suggested for the patterning so you can really customize your mitts!

In addition to the pattern directions, I've included a Techniques section for newer knitters or those who have never used double pointed needles. If you know how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off, you can knit these mitts. I explain (with words and pictures) increases, decreases, basic lace knitting, sewing down a hem, reading a chart, picking up stitches from a holder and all the other techniques you'll need to know to make these. Plus the pattern is divided to make it easy for you to carry with your knitting. Grab the directions for the specific type of mitt you're working on (just leave the other two sets of directions at home) and toss them in your knitting bag! If you're a beginning knitter you can keep the Techniques section with your working pattern, but intermediate and more advanced knitters can just refer to it as needed.

Made in DK weight yarn, these mitts will keep your hands warm during all your daily activities. You'll want several pairs for yourself, but don't forget that they make wonderful gifts too! Quick to knit and a great way to learn some new knitting techniques without committing yourself to a larger project, this is a great pattern for knitters of all levels!



Thursday, February 02, 2006

One Year of Twisting with the Pink Lemon

One year ago today, Pink Lemon Twist was born! Yep, today is my first blogiversary. I can't believe that people actually come here and read this - or maybe you don't - maybe someone pasted a link to the Pink Lemon Twist and said to click here to help the poor, crazy knit blogger think someone cares about her rants (you know, just like the "Help Feed the Animals" links). Well, whether you're here to read about my adventures, misadventures, or just curious how long anyone can take to spin 2 ounces of fiber, thanks for coming by the Pink Lemon Twist. Thanks for leaving comments, asking questions, and at least pretending to be interested in my finished projects! This has been more fun than I ever imagined and I've made friends who I would have never met if I hadn't started babbling on the blog (actually, I've never really met these friends, they might only exist in cyberspace for all I know, but most of them blog too, so that's got to mean they're real. Right?) So thanks to all of you for reading for the past year!

In the spirit of remembering the birth of my blog, I have (with the help of a highly scientific quiz from Quizilla) found out the method of my demise:Being sucked dry by leeches isn't so bad.
You will be sucked dry by a leech. I'd stay away

from swimming holes, and stick to good old

cement. Even if it does hurt like hell when

your toe scrapes the bottom.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sounds like fun doesn't it? I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday, and don't forget to hug a groundhog today. Then you should probably get a rabies shot.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Harvest Yarn

Once upon a time, back in November or so, the singles for this yarn were spun. They were living on bobbins, and placed delicately to the side while I spun silk. I spun silk and spun silk, and kept on spinning silk and these singles just waited quietly on their bobbins, in the basket next to the spinning wheel. Yesterday, they got plyed together! This is the yarn from my Harvest Roving from Linden Lane Farm that I got last summer. Its a wool mohair blend and is destined to be (Yeah, you guessed it) ...socks! I've got more than enough to do myself a pair and Caleb a pair. I love the way the colors came together on this and her roving was absolutely wonderful. There were maybe 3 pieces of VM in the whole batch of 8 ounces! You can see the shine from the mohair in the picture and besides adding shine and drape to a yarn, mohair will wear like iron - exactly what you want for sock yarn! I keep squeezing this yarn everytime I walk by (its drying right now after having the twist set) and its just so bouncy and soft! I don't think this will be part of my Olympic Knitting since its bigger than regular sock yarn and the gauge would be lower, I feel like that might be cheating. Next week I will finalize the yarn and patterns for Olympic Knitting. Since this will be the only thing I'll be working on, you guys might need to get prepared for 16 days of nothing but socks - there goes my blog readership! By the way, I'm loving all the comments you guys are leaving. Just remember that if you need a question answered, leave your email address with AT and DOT instead of @ and . its like a secret code the spammers can't hack (or they're too lazy to bother).