Thursday, 1 April 2010

SOCK DRAGON! Part 2 - The Wiggling

So, yesterday I started on my sock dragon, and it's been not that long and he's already a foot long. Wow! The wool is so much fun, and the DPNs are easy to work with because it divides the knitting into nice chunks, so I've been going really fast. The downside is I'm definitely going to need more wool - I've used 2 1/2 balls out of my 4 already and he's only half-done.

I didn't bother to draw a pattern for Socky, because it would be too complicated, but I can and will talk you through the process I'm using. With the sock tutorial as a basis, I started by casting on 40 stitches and dividing them between my needles as suggested. I did about 4 inches of stocking stitch in the round, just to get used to using the needles - I wasn't going to compound my problems by trying to do ribbing, and it might have looked weird for his neck to have columns on it.

The above picture is Socky: The Vision, clumsily completed in MS Paint. Look the colours! shiny shiny! Because of how his body relates to his head, I had to start at his shoulders rather than his nose, so the 40 stitches formed the first section just above his front legs. When I got bored of going round and round and wanted to do the first wiggle, I followed the sock tutorial right up to the end of the 'gusset' section.

My formula for creating Socky's wiggles is as follows:
  • 'Ribbing' section; 20-ish rows of stocking stitch.
  • Heel flap 1, using 20 stitches.
  • Turn Heel 1.
  • Pick up 10 sts on each side of Heel 1 to begin Gusset 1, which when knitting is re-divided will have 16 sts per side.
  • Knit one round on these stitches, and then decrease according to tutorial on even rows until there are once more 10 sts per gusset-needle.
  • On the next round, instead of starting the next section of the tutorial, KNIT TWO TOGETHER. Then knit 9 sts, and then knit two together again. Count 9, knit 2 tog, count 9 and knit two together; knit any remaining sts. That's 4 decreases quite evenly spaced around the knitting.
  • You should now have 36 sts in total, and 18 on one needle, which will be opposite the turned heel you just did. On the next round, knit the 9 sts on the first needle, and then on the second needle, begin the SECOND HEEL FLAP opposite the first.
  • Heel 2 will begin with 18 sts. Your gussets will therefore have 15 sts each, decreasing down to 9 again. Once you have got to 9, go round once more putting in evenly-spaced k2togs every 8 sts. Knit the 8 sts on the first needle, and then begin HEEL 3 with 16 sts.
Keep going indefinitely! I am currently on Gusset 5, working up to Heel 6 which will have 10 sts to start with. I'm anticipating a point when it'll be too silly to actually turn the heel, and i'll just decrease his tail every 10 rows or so until it gets to a point. I'm not sure what point this will happen. Hopefully soon, given the wool situation.

I wanted to distinguish between Socky's spiky back and his voolnerable underbelly, so on every even heel I am using stocking stitch rather than the slip-one-knit-one recommended by the tutorial. The slip stitch makes ribs and changes the gague and tension completely, so it looks quite like a lizardy roughness, sort of.

The legs will be separate tubes, and for his head I will probably do a breastplate-piece on 2 needles which will develop into a proper sock-shape on 4 needles. Crossing that bridge when I come to it....

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