Archive for May, 2015
I am about to open a can of worms. Heated arguments over what can and cannot be copyrighted abound. But for my purpose I’d like to concentrate on Section 102 part b of the law which states:
In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship
extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept,
principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained,
illustrated, or embodied in such work.
A disturbing new trend is arising in the knitting world. Limit the amount of information given to the knitter who pays for your pattern and try to hog tie the person who paid for the pattern by preventing any transmission in writing or speaking about anything in the pattern.
I think some of the new “designers” out there need to get a grip on themselves. One trend I am seeing more and more are designers who no longer allow knitters to purchase patterns that have size ranges. What the knitter gets when he / she buys the pattern is information to make only one size, thus preventing the knitter from making a second garment for a friend or relative who may be a size larger or smaller than the knitter. If the knitter wants to make any size other than her own she needs to pay a second time for the same pattern in the other size.
I refuse to tech edit the patterns for these “designers”. I refuse to test knit their patterns. They are in direct violation of the copyright law. They cannot, in good faith, charge the knitter twice or more for the same pattern with different numbers. They do not own body measurements. Here’s a little surprise I’d like to share: Body Measurements are public domain information. Any knitter out there who pays money to find out body measurements has just thrown away their money. The information is all over the place free of charge.
The second disturbing trend tries to copyright idea, procedure, process, and system for knitting methods that cannot be copyrighted in this way. The “designer” in this case claims ownership of short row techniques. The knitter pays for a pattern filled with all types of warning that the information contained within cannot be shared in writing or speech with another person. Frankly, I think the CIA has less stringent rules covering the conversations of spies. Short rows are a procedure, a process, a system. They’ve been around forever. They cannot be copyrighted. No matter how you use short rows, whether you knit them while standing on your head, they are not subject to copyright laws.
Knowledge is power. It is the ultimate in power, even beyond money. I am greatly disturbed by the amount of knowledge some people try to prevent other people from getting. It is not a sign of a healthy, thriving civilization or culture. Do you ever wonder how all those rulers in the Dark Ages and Medieval times ruled so many people over vast expanses of land? The rulers kept the people ignorant. Ignorant people are easy to rule, and are easy to lie to. In short, they are easy to herd which ever way you want them to go because they know nothing different except what the rulers tell them. Knitting has never been based on keeping secrets. In order for the craft to flourish it needs open and honest sharing.
Historically, knitting knowledge was not something you paid for. It was freely given. Passed down from great grandmother to grandmother, to mother to daughter. This movement to restrict knitting knowledge stands in direct opposition to how the craft has developed and survived. In restricting the knowledge you can effectively kill the craft. I sincerely hope this is not the way we are heading.
To paraphrase John Lennon: Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. And so it has been this way for me these last two weeks. While everyone came through the latest hospital stint okay, I nevertheless feel like I am on the Titanic knowing the iceberg is coming. One of these times it’s going to be full on disaster.
Dad was the sick one this time. Four hours in the emergency room sans knitting was a little rough on my nerves. Dad is stoic. Mom is high maintenance. My role is to portray calm, patience and acceptance in order to keep her from spinning out of control. The more anxious she becomes, the more calm I need to be.
Knitting helps me get to those states and stay there for long periods of time when things are unsettled and people around me are wired up. It is a meditative craft. Repetitive motions, recurring mantras of knit 2, yo, slip, slip knit. Easy words that become comforting sounds inside my head. Knitting is a powerful soothing process.
So when I realized I had left my knitting back at the house, the hair on the back of my neck rose briefly and I almost felt panic. Instantly I decided to knit in my mind. My fingers made small knitting motions while I recited the movements in my head. My heart rate lowered, my breath moved in and out calmly. I was able to carry on normal conversation with my parents, doctors and nurses, gathering the medical information I needed as we steered by the passing iceberg.
Another plus for mind knitting? No ripping back.
To find the number of stitches for the heel turn divide the number of heel flap stitches by 2. The equation looks like this: _______ heel flap stitches divided by 2 = __________ number of stitches in the heel turn. The first decrease of the heel turn begins 2 stitches past the center of the heel. For example, I have 28 heel flap stitches. Divided by 2 that gives me 14 stitches and I am at the center of the heel. I then add 2 stitches to the 14 for 16 sts. This means I knit 16 stitches before beginning the first heel turn decrease by making an ssk, k1, turn work.
The next row is a WS row and worked thus: Slip 1 purlwise, p5, p2tog, p1, turn work. The purl 5 is a fairly standard number for a heel. The ssk in the previous row and the purl 5 in this row set up the heel cup. The number can be changed, but when doing so be sure the number of stitches on each side of the heel cup are equal.
The next RS row is worked by slipping 1 purlwise, knitting to 1 stitch before the gap made on the previous row, performing an ssk, knitting 1 and then turning the work.
On the WS row, slip the first stitch purlwise, purl to 1 stitch before the gap from the previous row, p2tog, p1, then turn work.
Repeat the last two rows until half the number of heel stitches you began with remain. For example, I began with 28. At the end of the heel turn I should have 14 stitches remaining.
Heel Turn When You’ve Added Stitches for a High Arch
Omit the added stitches from the equation for the heel turn. Work the equation as is with the original stitch number. The two or four extra stitches remain outside the working heel turn area. They will be decreased early in the gusset work.
Other Advice for High Arches
While I have not worked nor read the Arch-Shaped Stockings pattern by Meg Swanson it presents an entirely different way of dealing with high arches and sock construction. If your arch is very high, it may help you get to a better way of constructing socks that fit. For the sake of transparency, I do not know Ms. Swanson, nor am I employed by her. The suggestion to look at her pattern is just that, a suggestion.
I know people hate the g word in knitting but knowing your stitch and row gauge is crucial for a sock that fits. If you are guessing your gauge or assuming it is the same simply because you are using the same needles and yarn cited in the pattern, you aren’t getting a well fitting sock at the end of your efforts. Further, if the yarn you are using is familiar to you because you’ve knit with it before, still check your gauge. Depending on the dying process, yarns that are dark in color tend to use more stitches per inch than lighter colored yarns. The lighter colored the yarn, the more rounded and loftier the yarn. The darker the color, the more brittle, squashed and dense. Same yarn, different colors, different gauges. Knowing your stitch and row gauge guarantees socks that fit.
Once you know how many stitches per inch you are knitting, then you can figure out how many stitches you need in the total sock. To make this sock easy, let’s knit it using stockinette stitch only, meaning we’re knitting all rows.
Cuff Down Socks
The number of stitches per inch times the adjusted circumference equals the total stitches in your sock. For example, a gauge of 8 sts per inch times my 7” circumference equals 56 sts. The calculation looks like this. Go ahead and fill in your numbers.
________number of stitches I’m knitting per inch times _______my adjusted circumference number = _______the total number of stitches I need to cast on.
Because the sock begins at the cuff, work a 1 x 1 rib as follows: K1, p1. Repeat to end of round. Make the ribbing at least 1” (2.5) cm long. Then begin knitting all stitches on all rounds until the leg of the sock reaches the top of the heel flap.
Heel Flap: To Fit or Not
The typical heel flap is 2” (5) cm less than the total leg length of the sock. If you have average feet the calculation looks like this:
___________total leg length of sock minus 2″ (5) cm for heel flap = ____________length at which I switch from knitting the leg to knitting the heel flap.
The length of the heel flap is an important measurement that can make a sock fit or not fit. You have some decisions to make if your foot is not the average foot. If your Achilles Tendon area is longer than 2″ by 1″ or more, the heel flap needs to be longer too. If you have a high arch, you want the heel flap longer to accommodate it. In both cases, the length of your heel flap would no longer be 2″.
How To Find Your Heel Flap Length
The heel flap is where the sock is divided in half. One half of all the leg stitches become the top or instep of the sock, the other half the sole or heel flap. Divide the total number of stitches originally cast on by 2. For example: 56 sts / 2 = 28. I would have 28 instep stitches and 28 sole stitches. Go ahead an fill in your numbers.
_____total cast on stitches divided by 2 = _____ number of stitches for the heel flap and number for instep.
If you have a high arch, the number of stitches for the heel flap is going to be greater than the number of instep stitches. For high arches it is suggested 2 or 4 stitches be added to the last row of the leg of the sock. The only way to find out what number works here is by trying. Add an even number of stitches, work the heel flap and try on the sock to see how it all fits and make adjustments up or down in the stitch count accordingly.
The math for dividing the sock into instep and heel flap stays the same even though you have added stitches because your are dividing the original cast on number by two. Precisely half the number of original cast on stitches are instep stitches. The rest of the stitches, the heel flap, will be either 2 or 4 stitches greater than the instep. The number of heel flap stitches also signals the number of rows you need to work. Extra stitches make the heel flap longer. This gives the sock more stretch to navigate the heel-ankle-instep-ankle-heel area.
Here’s Where Row Gauge Matters
At this point, check your row gauge. Measure the sock over a 4″ (10) cm length and count the rows. Divide the total number of rows by 4. This is the number of rows you are getting per inch. Take the number of rows per inch and divide it into the number of heel flap stitches. The answer is the length of the heel flap.
__________number of heel flap stitches divided by ________number of rows per inch = ________length of heel flap. Does the length equal what you need in order to make the sock fit? Try on the sock. If you find the fit too large, reduce the number of added stitches. If the fit is too tight, increase the number by twos to keep it even.
Go back to the equation that tells you when to stop working on the leg and begin the heel flap. Substitute your heel flap length in place of the 2″ (5) cm.
Set-Up The Heel Flap
Place the instep stitches on holders, or if you prefer, leave them on your dpns and just ignore them. I leave them on the needles and place 3 stitches from each side onto locking stitch markers. This helps prevent holes from forming between the stitches I’m working for the heel flap and the stitches on hold. It eases the amount of stress placed on the running thread between the working stitches and the stitches on hold. The more stress placed on the running thread the more gruesome the hole.
To set up the heel flap for working, divide the number of heel flap stitches in half. For example, my heel flap is 28 stitches / 2 = 14. I’d knit 14 stitches, stop, turn work then purl across 28 sts.
______heel flap stitches divided by 2 = _______ number of stitches to knit across. Turn work around and purl across all heel flap stitches.
Heel flaps are worked back and forth in rows as follows.
Row 1 (RS): *Slip first st purlwise with yarn in back, k1. Repeat across row. Turn work.
Row 2: Slip first st purlwise with yarn in front, purl to end of row. Turn work.
Repeat these two rows until you have worked the number of rows designated by the number of your heel flap stitches. For example, my number of heel flap stitches is 28. I would work 28 heel flap rows.
Next we’ll begin the heel turn.