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sock techniques

  • Summer of Sock Techniques: Stretchy Bind Off

    Post by Gretchen, Lion Brand Yarn Studio Education Director

    This week we had a toe up sock knitter finishing off her first sock, so I showed her how to work Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off – frequently abbreviated as “JSSBO”. Many knitters find their bind off becoming tight, which is undesirable in the top of your socks, and this bind off bends with the ribbing whether it’s k1, p1 (as in the photos) or k2, p2. It really is quite stretchy, and uses up more yarn than a standard bind off, so be sure to leave a longer tail than you usually would to bind off – about twice as much.

    To work this bind off, you will add a yarn over before each stitch you are binding off. Before KNITS you’ll add a BACKWARDS yarn over. Before PURLS you’ll add a REGULAR yarn over. Once you create the yarn over, simply bind it off with the stitch behind it:

    bind off

    1: Backwards yarn over before first knit stitch.

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  • Summer of Sock Techniques: Increasing and Decreasing

    Post by Gretchen, Lion Brand Yarn Studio Education Director

    This week we had some people working through their gussets, and others beginning at the toe of another sock. There was some confusion about the best way to work increases and/or decreases. Cuff down socks begin with a full complement of stitches to fit your calf with decreases worked at the gusset and toe. Toe up socks begin with just a few stitches and begin increasing right away to shape the toe. Today I’m going to discuss perhaps the most frequently misunderstood decrease (ssk) and a new way to work an easy increase that looks even better than the old way.

    SSK (slip, Slip, Knit)

    The two most commonly used decreases mirror each other: ‘K2tog’ (knit 2 together) leans to the right & ‘ssk’ (slip, slip, knit) leans to the left. ‘K2tog’ is pretty self-explanatory for most knitters, but ‘ssk’ is frequently misunderstood.

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  • LBY Summer of Sock Techniques: The Gusset

    Post by Gretchen, Lion Brand Yarn Studio Education Director

    This week in our Sock Along we were talking about gussets.

    A gusset is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
    1. a usually diamond-shaped or triangular insert in a seam (as of a sleeve, pocketbook, or shoe upper) to provide expansion or reinforcement
    2. a plate or bracket for strengthening an angle in framework (as in a building or bridge).

    sock gusset

    I love this illustration from Merriam-Webster.com of the second type of gusset because it looks so much like a sock gusset!

    However, sock gussets actually serve the first purpose: they are groups of stitches inserted between the heel flap and the instep to allow the sock to expand around the wide part of the heel and ankle.

    In classic cuff-down socks with a heel flap, the gusset is the last part of the heel turn worked and shaped by the line of decreases that return you to your original stitch count. If you are working from the toe-up, the gusset is worked first and is shaped by a line of increases.

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