Woodsmoke & Ash Blog Tour Stop
We are thrilled to host the next stop on the blog tour for Andrea Rangel's new book Woodsmoke & Ash. Andrea has designed a beautiful collection of patterns specifically with men in mind. The collection contains seven patterns for sweaters and accessories, including three that were designed in Hazel Knits yarn. The collection is currently available in hard copy and electronic formats through Andrea's website and electronically through Ravelry. Each individual pattern is also available to purchase as a PDF download.
For our stop on Andrea's blog tour she has put together a tutorial explaining the Whip Stitch Hem she uses for the Resin socks included in the collection.
I'll turn the blog over to her now, but make sure you read through to the bottom of this post for an opportunity to win your own copy of Woodsmoke & Ash.
The book features three patterns worked in Hazel Knits yarn, and you'll be able to see all three samples at Vogue Knitting Live Seattle in the Hazel Knits booth next month.
One of the patterns that I worked in Hazel Knits is Resin, a toe-up sock with a strong, geometric stitch pattern. I wanted a super tough, super warm sock that would have enough interest to keep the knitter excited, but not so much as to be overly decorative. Resin works up quickly in DK Lively, and is finished with a beautiful hemmed cuff. I'm a huge fan of hemmed edges because they just look so beautiful and clean - such a crisp finish. Working toe-up is handy, but ending with the cuff means that you have to pay special attention to how you finish the top. A sock's cuff has to be very stretchy so that a foot (much wider than an ankle) can get through it. Because of that, I chose to avoid binding off altogether, and instead whip stitched my live stitches to the inside of the hem. I have a hard time sewing in a straight line no matter what the situation, so I love using life lines to help guide me. I've created a tutorial that shows you how to place a lifeline, and how to use it to help you whip stitch your cuff. (The sock featured is size XS worked in Jay Blue. It fits me perfectly & I can't wait to knit up the second one.)
1. Arrange the all the stitches so that they are on the cord, not on the needles.
(You can do this on double pointed needles if you wish, but it will be more difficult to insert the tapestry needle to place the lifeline. Consider switching to a circular needle at least for placing the lifeline.)
2. Thread your tapestry needle with smooth, contrasting color waste yarn.
(In this example, my sock is worked with Hazel Knits DK Lively in Jay Blue, and my waste yarn is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Nekkid.)
3. Leaving the stitches on the cord, thread the tapestry needle through a number of them. I'm usually comfortable with about five.
4. Draw your yarn through.
Repeat steps 3-4 until all stitches have waste yarn in them.
Here's what it looks like with waste yarn trailing out both ends of the round.
I recommend cutting your waste yarn, leaving a 6 in/15 cm tail. Leaving it attached to a ball of yarn can lead to lots of unfortunate tangles.
To continue working, just insert your needle and work as usual, ignoring the waste yarn.
Here's what it looks like after you've worked a bunch of stitches.
Once you've completed your hem, you should be able to see your lifeline and your hem, split in the middle by a purl turning round.
Now, turn the sock or other project inside out (or, if working flat, just turn to the wrong side.)
Turn cuff/hem in at turning round.
Cut working yarn, leaving a 24 in/61 cm tail and thread through a tapestry needle.
Insert tapestry needle into first stitch on the needle as if to purl and draw through, being careful not to pull too tightly.
To help you see where the beginning of the round is, you may want to use your tapestry needle to draw one end of the waste yarn through to the wrong wide of the work, as shown.
Insert tapestry needle into the first stitch with waste yarn in it and draw through, being careful not to pull too tightly.
To make it go more quickly, I often insert the tapestry needle into both the stitch on the needle and the stitch with the waste yarn before drawing the yarn through.
Repeat the last two steps until all live stitches have been whip stitched down.
Here's what it looks like when a bunch of stitches have been whip stitched.
And what it looks like from the wrong side when it's all completed.
And what it looks like from the right side after it's all completed.
At this point, you can simply firmly take hold of one end of your waste yarn and draw it out of all of the stitches.
Weave in your ends and block.
Now you have a beautiful, finished cuff.
Thanks so much for that awesome tutorial, Andrea. There is nothing worse than getting to the end of a project and finding the bind off/cuff too tight. A little extra effort along the way can save a lot of heartache.
And now, one of our lucky readers can win a hard copy of Andrea's Woodsmoke & Ash collection. Just leave a comment on this post before midnight (Pacific Time) Tuesday, March 12, 2013, telling me what your preferred needles for sock knitting are: double points, magic loop, two circs, other or even if you refuse to knit socks at all. One comment per person. I'll randomly select a winner from the comments.
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