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.

Make sure your comment includes a way to contact you -either by signing in or including an email address or ravname. Comments are moderated. It may take a while for your comment to appear.


Anonymous Peggy said...

I'm definitely a two circs convert, even though I still have a soft spot for good ol' dpns.

March 8, 2013 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

I use two circulars and knit socks two at a time. I've tried magic loop and double points and found them not as convenient to my life and my way of interacting with my knitting.

March 8, 2013 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger Gail said...

Addi Turbo circs are my favourite.... two of them so I can do my socks two-at-a-time and avoid "second sock syndrome"!

March 8, 2013 at 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've knit a few pair with DPs and also crocheted slipper socks. I really need to learn 2 circs!

March 8, 2013 at 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Tsbeard@earthlink.net said...

I learned with double points, used 2 circulars after a class with Cat Borhdi, but after trying the Signature double points with the Stiletto tips, I'll never use anything else. I do live in terror of loosing one or poking it through one of my leather sofas. Yikes!

March 8, 2013 at 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I love knitting socks with two circular needles. I usually work them two-at-a-time. I recently discovered Addi Lace needles.

March 8, 2013 at 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Christine Petterson said...

I learned to knit socks with 2 circs. My favorite used to be Addi Turbos, then, I liked the sharper tips from Knitpicks - Harmony and metals. Then, I found the Hiya Hiya Sharps. I couldn't handle the Addi Lace as much as I like the tips due to the brass smell. But I have since tried their new Turbo Sock Rockets, which are styled after their Lace needles, but with the Nickel finish. If I win, please contact me @ Rav: mapleweave. I have to have a google account to post on blogger, but I don't check my emails there.

March 8, 2013 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Two circs is my favorite way to knit socks....especially easier with toe-up designs.
Ravelry ID = Bodette

March 8, 2013 at 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Vasiliki Starborn said...

I guess I am old school, like to use DPNs.

March 8, 2013 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Mindy said...

That is a great tutorial! I like to use DPNs because it allows me to keep the sts arranged easier for the heel.

March 8, 2013 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Cecile said...

I love magic loop. I'm a big convert of 2 at the time and toe-up is my favorite (for some strange reason, it seems faster to me...).
Thanks for the opportunity to win this book: finding nice and wearable patterns for men can be tricky!

March 8, 2013 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Camanoah said...

I use magic loop, currently with Addi Turbos. I do have a Hiya Hiya in a size 1.5, but haven't needed that size needle for a project yet. I'd like to try some other kinds just to see if I like them.

March 8, 2013 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger sharon said...

I use DPN's, still have a hard time moving the circular cords when doing socks--DPN's are pretty easy for me to manage. Thanks for the great tutorial on the cuff, have to keep this one!

March 8, 2013 at 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

I am a convert to the magic loop technique. It's gotten to the point that I groan if I have to use DPNs.

March 8, 2013 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I always do socks TAAT usually magic loop... If all my longer breaks needles are occupied I use 2 circulars.

March 8, 2013 at 2:20 PM  
Anonymous nanasknittin (ravelry) said...

Two circs is my favorite way to make socks! Actually, any way is my favorite way to make socks :)

March 8, 2013 at 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Dorie said...

Magic loop! All those dpn points are too stabby...

March 8, 2013 at 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ughh - I am Anonymous! geri_barnes@comcast.net

March 8, 2013 at 4:57 PM  
Anonymous wildwoolly on Ravelry said...

Love dpns!

March 8, 2013 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger MonicaKnits said...

Magic loop most of the time, but 2 circs and dpns also. It usually depends on which needles are empty.

March 8, 2013 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger StL Mom said...

I started out with DPNs, but now I'm a complete convert to the magic loop. I still use DPNs if I'm doing fair isle.

March 8, 2013 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger Mimi F said...

I've been using 2 circs. It gives me some flexibility once I start the heel flaps and pick up gussets, I usually knit one at a time on each circular, then rearrange them back to the two circs for the feet.

March 8, 2013 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger Mama Peep said...

Sock knitting is my favorite knitting and two at a time from the toe up with two circular needles is the only way I knit them. :-D

March 9, 2013 at 12:34 AM  
Blogger b said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 9, 2013 at 1:12 AM  
Blogger Frankly Beka said...

I didn't used to have a favorite method for knitting socks. Probably because I didn't have favorite needles. Now I find myself adapting sock patterns to fit my square DPNs. Though for simpler socks I still like to work two-at-a-time on one long circular; usually toe-up.

March 9, 2013 at 3:14 AM  
Blogger Gail said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 9, 2013 at 4:48 AM  
Anonymous scienceknitster said...

Uh-oh! I committed to the Resin KAL on Ravelry before realizing (while reading this blog post) that the sock is toe-up. Toe-up and I haven't gotten along so well the few times I've tried it because I have problems with the short row heels. Hoping this one will make me learn to do it right! (and that Andrea will hold my hand through the process???)

March 9, 2013 at 5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I learned to knit socks on DPNs, but once I learned magic loop, I never went back! I usually do TAAT, too.

neneni on Ravelry

March 10, 2013 at 11:51 AM  

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