Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pittsburgh, PA Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hello from Pittsburgh!

I am in Pittsburgh, picking up my son, Luke, from his summer dance intensive with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School

Yesterday, they had a student choreographed performance which he was NOT in.  His dance was canceled.  But we (my friend MG and I) were able to sit with Luke and watch the other students dance.  A really wonderful show.  The dancing was excellent, and the choreography, the first piece ever for many of the 10 student choreographers featured, really nice.

But before the show...

MG and I had a day in Pittsburgh.  Since he is not particularly interested in yarn (RATZ) and it was hot, humid and overcast, we spent the day at the National Aviary.

First we tried to go to the St. Anthony's Chapel

But if you look closely at the sign MG's pointing to, it was closed!

Oh, well.

We had a lovely afternoon at the National Aviary.  I'm only posting 2 photos of birds. 

I could have taken/posted a gazillion photos of the birds.  They were spectacular.  But, since I don't want this blog to be just "Travels with Carol,"  or "Birds Birds Birds," AND since most of the rooms were open flight areas and those birds are much too fast to photograph clearly, I'll just post these 2.

In spite of my bird and dance watching, I was able to get in some serious knitting while relaxing in the hotel before and after.

I have finished the heel cups and heels of Zach's Red Hot Socks!

Here is one heel cup:

The finished heel:

And a view of what the socks look like right now, side and top views:

I have discovered that I totally did the heels cups wrong for Allie's Rain Socks!  I am going to just have to take those socks apart and remake them.  The yarn is simply too nice to waste.

What I did wrong:  When you make a heel cup, you knit 1/4 of the way across the sole, place a marker, then knit across to the 3/4 stitch, place another marker, and then purl back, knit back, and so on, back and forth between those markers each time, wrapping the last stitch,  smaller and smaller until you have built up a small "cup."  So, these directions call for decreasing by 2 stitches each row.  So you knit (or purl) to 2 stitches before the spot where you last wrapped, slip the stitch and wrap it, turn and repeat.  I don't know why I was just sure that EVERY stitched had to  be wrapped.  If  I actually followed the directions, every OTHER stitch would be wrapped.  So on Allie's Rain Socks, I wrapped every stitch, which made for a very defined heel cup:

These are unblocked, but you can see how the heels bulge out.  They are twice as round as they should be!

Oh, well,  I am learning.  And boy am I learning.

So, all I need to do now on Zach's Red Hot Socks is the legs.  I need to simply knit my 4x2 ribbing until they are a decent height, then I think I will knit an inch or so of 1x1 ribbing, and they will be finished.  In time for his birthday, I might add.

C. A. Losi

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Going Out of Town Wednedsay, July 27, 2011

I am going to Pittsburgh, PA tomorrow to watch my son dance in the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School's Summer Intensive school performance.  I will arrive in Pittsburgh Thursday afternoon, the first performance is Friday.  That one is a student choreographed show.  The actual school performance is Saturday.  After that, we will leave for Chicago early Sunday morning.   We will spend 2 days in Chicago doing a sort of Ferris Bueller's Day Off tour.  Then fly home Monday night.

This type of trip is so much fun for me.  I have missed my son so much, though I know he has been having a blast at the ballet program.

This is his audition photo this year.  He was 15, and is now 16.  I am so proud of him.  There is nothing more fun for me than watching my kids do anything, but mostly dancing.  So I get to see my son and watch him dance.  2 wonderful things.   Also, I don't know anyone in Pittsburgh, so it is always fun for me to visit a new city.  If I were going all by myself, I would spend my free time visiting yarn shops!  I am actually going with a family friend, who I am picking up in Chicago, and who will be our tour guide for the Ferris Bueller Tour.  Here he is modeling the Dr. Who scarf I knitted last Fall:

Since he will be with us, I will still have a good time, but less yarn shops.  I'm not sure what we will do when Luke is still in class... We will have to figure that out.  I do know that we will see the Chicago Art Institute, and Sears Tower, and eat some amazing Pizza in Chicago!

But though I won't be visiting yarn shops this trip, I will be knitting.  I am bringing the Red Hot Socks that I am making for my Great Nephew Zach.  I have finished the toes - to - gusset  (toes and foot), and am ready to start knitting the gusset increases.

I am not sure if I will have time to work on the gussets before I leave or not.  I enjoy public transportation because it gives me a lot of time to knit.  My plane leaves at 6 am, and frankly, I am just not sure if I will be awake enough to knit without mistakes.  But, wow, I should be able to get a TON done if I can stay awake to do it. 

I will also bring yarn for a 2nd pair of socks for Allie.  I just might finish up the Red Hot Socks.  I hope so.  I would love to actually mail them in time for Zach's birthday.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Someone is Watching... Sunday, July 24, 2011

OK, I'm curious.  Someone is reading this blog.  And by that I mean usually some ONE.  Would you leave me a comment?  I would love to know who reads this (besides me)...

C. A. Losi

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Red Hot Socks Saturday, July 23, 2011

I have started the socks for my Great Nephew Zach.  I am using Red Hots Sock Yarn from Sock-Ease yarn from Lion Brand Yarns.  This yarn is not very soft.  I hope the socks aren't too itchy for little Zach.  But they look terrific.  So far I have finished the toes:

A bit more "orange hot" than really red, but I wanted orange yarn anyway.  I love the self striping colors, too.  You can't see them very well in this bad photo, but I'm in a rush and wanted to post SOMETHING.

I am doing my own "pattern."  My niece says that Zach wears size 2.5 which seems HUGE for a 5 year old.  She says, yes, he has monster feet. 

Here is my "Knitting Math" for these socks:

Size:   2.5 
8 2/3  inches foot length
7 1/4 in  width around cuff

8 stitches/in   
10 rows /in

Circumference 7.25 in x 8 st/in = 58  so
100% = 58 I'm going with 56 It's easier if there are even numbers on the needles and when you divide 58 by 2 you get 29.

50% (stitches on each needle) = 28
75% = 42
25% = 14

X = desired total sock length = 8 2/3  8.67 in
Y = # rows in gusset and heel cup (75% circumference-1)= 41
Z = rows per inch = 10

X - (Y/Z) = TGL
8.67 - (41 / 10) = 4.57 inches
4.57 in x 10 rows/in = 45.7 in  rounded up to 46 rows from tip of toe to gusset.

the toes will increase each row so casting on 8 on each needle
12 rows of toes (11 increases + 1 row of just K)
34 rows of foot

This last part in bold is new.   I have discovered a potentially fatal flaw in the socks I made for Allie.  The formula given in Toe-Up 2 at a Time Socks  give a Toe to Gusset  length.  I was thinking:  End of the toe section to gusset!  But on re-reading the book, it is from the tip of the toe to the beginning of the gusset!!!!  O! no!  I believe the socks for Allie are about 1 1/2 inches too long.  Exactly the length of the toe section =(  I will have her try them on after they are blocked (still waiting for my new blocking toys ... I mean tools), and then if they are uncomfortably long, we can decide if I should just remake them.  The pattern is easy, and it took me about 2 weeks of knitting.  I won't mind taking them apart and remaking them.  Or I can donate them to charity, and some person with long skinny feet can have a pair of hand knitted socks!

I tried to check for some rule of thumb for how quickly/slowly to increase the sides of the toes and couldn't really find a nice formula.  One blog I found said that if you increase every row, you will get wider toes, if you do an increase row followed by a straight knit row, the toes will be longer and more narrow.  Also, there was no real formula saying how many stitches to cast on.  So I decided to just cast on  8 stitches on each side.  Then I increased each row until I had 28 stitches on each side.
I figured out how many rows of toe increases I was going to use from 8 stitches to 28 is 11 rows (I did one straight row) then added one more straight row, so 12 rows of toes, then subtracted those rows from the total Toe-to-Gusset number.  46 - 12 = 34.  The foot of the sock will be 34 rows.

I am just using a simple 4x2 ribbing for the top.  Because the 28 stitches to a needle is a bit of a weird number for dividing, the actual sock ribbing for the leg, will not be completely even.  

The top (or instep, or front) of the leg ribbing will be:

K K K K X X K K K K X X K K K K X X K K K K X X K K K K  

and the back will start with a K then repeat the pattern 4x2 , ending with an extra K:


 So there will be 5 knits at the sides, but this will center the ribbing a bit more.

For the foot part, I will do the instep ribbing and just knit the sole.  I think a ribbed sole can feel lumpy.

I am excited.

C. A. Losi

Thursday, July 21, 2011

ABB (All But Blocking) Thursday, July 21, 2011

I finished Allie's "Rain" socks yesterday, well everything but weaving in and blocking.  I am not sure I like the casting off method I used.  Casting off Toes-up Socks can be a bit of a challenge, because the cast off must be very loose so the top of the sock is stretchy.  The book by Melissa Morgan-Oakes (Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks) recommends 3 different methods.  I chose the method where you add an extra stitch between each stitch on the last row, then bind of a double wide top.  It makes a kind of "frill" around the top of the sock that is supposed to disappear when worn.  We shall see.

These socks look so lumpy unblocked and unworn.  I have ordered some blocking tools from, specifically:  Sock Blockers.  Ok, I know I can make my own from some wire... and possibly just block with pins...  But well, I want official blockers!  So I will wait to get my new toys to block these socks.

Samantha wants a pair in the same yarn, but I have a birthday coming up for my great-nephew Zack, so I am going to make a quick pair of socks for him first.  He will be 5, and they should be pretty small, so a quick knit.  It took me 2 weeks to make Allie's, so Zack's should be really fast.  I'm not going to do any pattern, just knit them toes up with probably a 2x2 ribbing.  I got some nice orange striping yarn from Lion Brand Yarn Red Hots.  It's not the softest yarn, but it looks like it will knit up in a nice stripe.  And it is a fun collection of colors that a 5 year old boy should like.  Don't worry, I will buy him a dinosaur, too.  So far, I am working on the swatch.  It looks right now like 8 stitches, 11 rows, but I need to knit a bit more to be sure.  I want these to fit =)

About Life:

I have walked just around the block (1/2 mile) now Mon. and Wed.  On Wed., I was thinking that I would walk the other block (we live on a corner) and make it 1 mile, but as I left the house, my left sock traveled under my foot, and wadded up there.  I don't know about you, but I HATE THAT.  I kept telling myself that it wasn't that annoying, and that I could just keep walking.  But, I knew that I was walking just slightly weirdly because of the extra bump under that foot, and that I would ache in strange places because of that.  So I just did the 1/2 mile.  Excuses?  Reality?  IDK.  Well, I hope to do the mile today.  Of course, I didn't go right away.  I sat down to knit and write in this blog.  Excuses?  Reality?  It is gray but not raining...  I will walk the full mile today...

And on Buffy:  She has been raised from the dead.   This is such an interesting story-line.  I love that they returned her from Heaven, and that she now thinks of Earth as Hell.  Also, I'm on the episodes with the 3 "evil geniuses:  Andrew, Jonathon, and Warren.  Andrew is one of my absolute favorite characters in this wonderful show.  And I'm doing a quote from Spike (who is also sooo wonderfully written and acted), where he saves Mr. Giles, then says, " Did your life flash before your eyes?  Cuppa tea, cuppa tea, cuppa tea, almost got shagged, cuppa tea."  I so love Spike.

C. A. Losi

Monday, July 18, 2011

Morning List 7.18.11

To do list:

1. walk - write
2. laundry
3. checkbook
4. knit
5. grocery store (CAT FOOD!)

1. Walk - Write:

I took a walk around the block.  It is about 1/2 mile.  It took at least 20 min.  Maybe 30.  I am not kidding.  In my defense, I haven't been able to walk for 3 weeks because of some minor surgery on my right calf.  The doctor expressly said, "NO Walking."  And also, we live on a very steep hill.  Also, I have bad knees... wow I'm slow and out of shape.  I get my stitches out tomorrow, but I absolutely have to start walking again.  I love such sedentary activities, video/computer games, knitting/crocheting, cooking, reading, movies, etc.  My body is atrophying. Every Day.  Every Day I will walk and then write briefly.  I get good ideas for poetry and so on while I walk.  When I have completed a poem, I will post here.  I will also log my walks so I can't cheat.

2. Laundry:

On the 4th load, but I need to fold and put away.  That will happen as soon as I save/log off this blog.  Back... I did 6 loads, folded and put away.

3. Checkbook:

Organized April =)  Ok, I didn't balance... A bit every day because it is so boring.

4.  Knit:

I have finished 2 repeats of the vertical pattern on Allie's socks.  She wants 3 repeats, and each repeat is 20 rows.  I am on row 3 of the last repeat.  Then there will be about 1 inch of ribbing, and done!

5. Grocery Store:

Ok, I didn't do this.  Samantha and I went to the movies and saw, Horrible Bosses.  Really funny.  Then we bought cat food at Petco, which was the most important thing anyway.  I made up some tuna salad for dinner.

Tomorrow I get my stitches out and Allie wants me to check out some apartments with her.  I hope I can get in my walk before everything starts.

And, since I didn't go to the store today... my list tomorrow will be:

Laundry (2 loads left)

In not necessarily that order.

C. A. Losi

Saturday, July 16, 2011

OUCH! 7.16.11

The final Harry Potter movie (The Deathly Hallows Part 2) opened Thursday night (Friday morning really... 12:01 am).  Why is this being reported in a knitting blog?  Other than it marks the end of my kids' childhood?  The end of our family's greatest common obsession?  The end of the phenomenon that encouraged a love of reading in millions of kids of this generation? 

Why, sitting in line for the movie for 4 1/2 hours gave me ample time to knit of course! 

Since my 2 youngest sons are out of town (James is visiting his good friend Olivier in France, and Luke is dancing at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School's Summer Intensive), I went to the opening with Allie and Samantha.  Allie brought crocheting, and I brought my socks.  Samantha brought the book and reread most of the 2nd half of it AGAIN.

I was able to finish the heel cups and both heels.

Why the ouch?  if you look closely at the photos, I am using new needles.  Why?  I really loved those beautiful rosewood Knit Picks needles.  However, in an effort to knit a bit tighter, I BROKE them!

Honestly, I almost cried.  First of all I dropped some stitches, then I had to transfer the ones on the broken part to a holding needle... o so carefully.  Then I had to find another size 0 circular.  Michael's?  nope.  JoAnn's?  Nope!  Pacific Fabrics?  thank goodness, Yes!  They were the only store with size 0, period, much less in circular.  But I had to go with metal needles.  I stopped using metal knitting needles when my good friend and fellow ballet mom, Maggie, got me restarted knitting.  I was amazed at how much nicer wooden needles feel.  But, all they had in size 0 circular were some 40" Addi Turbo Circular Knitting Needles.  I was nervous, but, wow, I love them!  I can knit super tightly, also, because I don't have to worry that I am going to break them.  They are a bit more slippery, but I am getting used to their "feel."  I think I will order some more in even smaller sizes.

So my OUCH! and some fabulous Harry Potter 3-D (yes, I got a pair of the commemorative 3-D HP glasses), has brought me this far with the Allie Socks:

 This shows the one finished heel and the other with the heel cup.  Can't wait to start the legs.

Maybe I will knit while I re-watch the Deathly Hallows part 1.  I totally feel the need to see that movie again. 


C. A. Losi

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Confessions of a Blockhead 7.14.11

Last night, I made a quick post because I was so excited that I had blocked my Summer Mystery Shawlette and matching socks.

Part of the reason I was so excited was, drum roll.... I HAVE NEVER BEFORE BLOCKED ANYTHING.  Ok, I mostly crocheted afghans or knitted socks, and really why block socks?  Just wear them...

But, wow, you can see the lace pattern so much better now that it's blocked.  I posted this before, but here is the shawlette and socks unblocked:

Here is a close up of the Blocked Shawlette:

The color washed out a bit, but you can see the pattern pretty well. And here is a close up of the unblocked shawlette:

 Wow, what a difference.  I am sold on blocking (lace at least), and am now an official BlockHead.

On to other projects.

I am still knitting the gussets on the socks for Allie.  It's been pretty busy around here... I'm not sure with what, probably playing computer games.  She came over to try them on and said they felt loose... ouch.  I shall continue on with them anyway.  When I get the gussets finished (today!!!), I will take a photo, then another with completed "heel cups,"  and then heels.  I love being able to document every bit of progress in my knitting projects.

I just received an invitation to my Great Nephew's 5th birthday party, and my niece's baby shower.  Not sure I will make something for Zach (maybe some quick socks, but then I'll have to buy him a toy, too...), but I would love to actually make something for Katie, or her new baby.  Why do my nieces keep having boys?

O, speaking of boys, I posted a photo of the Poet Shirts I made for my sons for their ballet performance, but I also wanted to post a photo of them in the shirts.  They HATED them.  LOL.  They both complained that the shirts were too puffy.  Decide for yourself:

Enough blogging for the day.  I need to increase some gussets!

C. A. Losi

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Super Quick Entry 7.13.11

Just a quick note to say that I have blocked/am blocking (they are still pinned and wet) the shawlette and socks.  My niece's birthday is in August... I'm still not sure I will send them.  I might hold on to them for Christmas instead.  But I will post a photo of them pinned to the cutting board and towel.  The shawlette is really pretty, and you can really see the pattern.  Of course, blocked it is a bit bigger.  I will have to decide if it is appropriate for a 6 year old.  At least she will get the super soft socks. 

Decisions decisions...

C. A. Losi

P. S. So now I can say really truly totally FINISHED with both projects.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sock Progress/Great Blog/Inspiration 7.10.11

Wow, by my title, I obviously can't come to a decision on what to write this blog entry about.  FOCUS.

So, I will just take it piece by piece.

Sock Progress
I am making such great progress on the socks for my daughter, Allie.  I needed 31 rows for the foot (toe - to - gusset), and decided that if I could accomplish 15 rows a day, it would take me 2 days (ok, 15 the first day, 16 the second...).  Then the first day I only finished 5 rows.  LOL.  So then I down-graded it to 5 rows a day, taking 6 days?  The second day, I got to 17 completed rows, and when I got up this morning at 5 am I thought, ok, lets try 10 rows.  But I got  into a Buffy groove (Harmony's Gang, Xander Double, Dracula) and finished all 31 rows.  I need Allie to come home to try the socks on just to be sure they are "gusset ready." 

I am not sure why all these photos are blurry.  I think I need more light, maybe.  Anyway,
aren't they beautiful?  There is not much of a pattern so far.  Toes, and a simple 1k1p ribbing for the feet.  Once I get through the heels, the pattern will start.

The worst thing about the blur is you can't see how beautiful the yarn is.  Cascade Heritage Paints Sock Yarn - Isle of Skye #9825 And wow!  what a dream to knit.  It is super stretchy.  I have never used real sock yarn before.  I always made my "socks" with sport weight before now, because it knits up so fast, and well, I'm a slow knitter.  I never realized how cool real sock yarn is.  How nice it is to work with. 

And I love my needles.  I'm using Harmony circular needles from Knitpicks.  They are beautiful.  At first I had a little trouble with the circular part being so circular.  I really should have put it in some hot water to relax it a bit, but with all the knitting, it has relaxed enough now that it isn't getting quite so tangled.

BTW Spike just kissed Buffy.  We are getting into my favorite episodes.  The last 3 seasons of this show were amazing.

Great Blog
For some reason, my Kindle hasn't been downloading new material.  I primarily use it to read  blogs, and by blogs, I mean knitting blogs.  I don't really like to read books on it, though I might download a few to read when I am traveling.  Anyway, it finally updated 2 of my favorite blogs, Wendy Knits and Knitting With Karma.  So I had a wonderful read, catching up with about 5 entries in both blogs. 

The Knitting With Karma July 4th entry was especially wonderful.  Liz Marino, the author, wrote a wonderful piece about how knitting has changed in the USA from the Revolutionary War to today.  Here's the link for that entry: Knitting with Karma: Independence Day.  It was so interesting.  I love this blog because Liz gives really good instruction (knitting Math), fiber information, LYS information, color ideas, etc.  But this particular entry was just inspiring!  It really made me think about how important home crafts have been through the ages.

[I'm happy that my daughter, Allie, enjoys crocheting.  I wish I could get Samantha to knit, crochet, and/or sew.  Particularly sew.  She has such a wonderful sense of style.  She would be able to create such cool pieces if she had the tools.  OK, I left out my sons.  The 2 youngest learned to knit years ago when they were performing in The Nutcracker.  All the boys in our cast learned.  It was a wonderful way to keep them occupied and quiet in the dressing room. But they haven't picked up needles since then.  Knitting is such a wonderful stress reliever.  I should try to encourage them to try it again.] This part is off topics... FOCUS

That leads me to the next idea I had for this post:

I have had many ideas for projects, especially since I started reading blogs by designers.  The Independence blog gave me inspiration for a writing idea.  I am continually amazed by knitting and crocheting.  I mean, who figured out how to do it?  How did it develop?  I want to do some research into the real history of knitting.  What are the earliest pieces?  And what/where are the earliest needles?  How long ago did people start?  Was it before or after weaving?  Anyway, this is really interesting to me.  I hope to research and report back.

C. A. Losi

Friday, July 8, 2011

Socks For Sissy! 7.8.11

I have begun some socks for my daughter, Allie.  Here is the info:
Pattern:  "Raindrops"  from  Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes
Yarn:   Cascade Yarns Heritage Hand Painted Sock Yarn Merino Superwash 25% Nylon Colorway 9825 Isle of Sky

Again, this information is from fibergypsy :
total foot length
Children/adult women:
2-3:  9 1/8 in
4-5: 9 5/8 in 
6-7: 10 1/4

from my gauge swatch:
gauge:  size 0 needles:  6 stitches /in horiz, 7 rows/in vert

for the small socks:
100% = 56 stitches
75% = 42
50% = 28

Toe - to - Gusset Length (TGL)

Size 6-7
X =  10 1/4 in
Y = 41
Z = 7
X - (Y / Z) = TGL
10.25 - (41/7) = 4.39 in

4.39 x 7 =  30.75 rows  rounded up to 31 rows

Allie texted me today that she wears a 7, so 31 rows it is!

BTW Toes are finished =)

 You can't really see the colors, but it has a wonderful subtle color change that should look really pretty in this pattern.  I have never knit anything in this yarn before and OH MY, it is a dream to knit.  I tend to knit loosely... I always have to go down 2 needle sizes for some reason to get the proper gauge, hence the size 0, but the yarn is just lovely.

Here is the Shawlette and finished matching socks:

Why aren't the ends woven in????  Well I can't find a tapestry needle!  I swear that I own a million of the things, but every time I finish up a project, they all disappear.  I need a small bag inside my big knitting bag with these needles and a crochet hook for repairs.  I will get on that today.  

C. A. Losi

Friday, July 1, 2011

Heel Flaps 7.1.11

Just a quick addendum.  The heels of these socks are knit super loosely.  I don't like them.  I've noticed this on all the socks I knit.  I sometimes wonder if it is a blocking thing, or if I should use a smaller size needle just for the heel flaps.

C. A. Losi

Matching Socks Friday, July 1, 2011

I finished the Summer Mystery Shawlette and realized 2 things:  1. it is pretty tiny, indeed a "shawlette" and 2. I had 2 balls of the gorgeous purple yarn left.  Soooo I decided to make a pair of socks to match the shawlette.  This will make a great gift for one of my little nieces, Katerina and Martina. 
Sorry but this post will be a lot of numbers and math as I work my way through the basic sock pattern in Toe Up Socks 2-at-a-time.

First, what size/how big to make the socks...

For size 6 1/2-7 children's socks:
Width around the top of cuff: 5 7/8
Heal flap length: 1 1/8
Total Foot length 5 7/8

size 8 - 8 1/2
Width around top of cuff: 6 1/8
Heal Flap Length: 1 1/3
Total Foot Length: 6 1/4

My gauge:  
size 2 needles = 18 /4 stitches horiz, 5/1 rows vert
size 1 needles = 22/4 stitches horiz,  6/1 rows vert

I will make the size 8-8 1/2
so 5 1/2 stitches to inch horiz.   5 1/2x 6 1/8 = 11/2x49/8 = 539/16 = @33.67 stitches
I think i will do 32 inches.  I have to divide it onto 2 needles. Hope they aren't too small.

32 stitches = 100% of the sock
28 stitches = 75% of the sock
16 stitches = 50% of the sock
8 stitches = 25% of the sock

From Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes, the formula for the number of stitches from Toe-to-Gusset is:  X - (Y/Z) = TGL (Toe to Gusset Length)

where X = desired Total Sock Length (6 1/4 in or 6.25 in)
Y = Number of rows in Gusset and Heel Cup (75% - 1 stitch) 75% = 24 so 23!
Z = Rows per inch from gauge (6)

X    -   (Y / Z)  = TGL
6.25 - (23/6) = 2.316666666 inches

since my gauge is 6 stitches per inch i will need 6x2.31666= 14.5 rows
Melissa recommends rounding down, since socks stretch.  So my toe-to-gusset length is 14 rows!

I have knitted the toes, casting on 8 stitches per side per sock (I love 2 at a time).  I increased to 16 stitches per side. Now I have added the gussets.  I increased the sole side of the socks to 32 stitches by adding a stitch on each end every other row.

I love knitting for kids because it goes so quickly.  Now I am working on the heal cups.  So back to the math.  I find it really helpful to take these notes as I knit.  Reading, doing, writing helps me to get the formulas into my head.

First a HINT!  I put a removable marker at the far end of the circular needle, in the loop.  Sometimes when I'm knitting, the 2nd sock slips and becomes one circle, instead of staying divided.  This is no big deal since I know how many stitches belong on each side, but if I put a marker there, it helps.

Heal Cups:  (using of course my Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time guide)
total stitches on sole side = 32

knit 1/4 ( 1/4 of 32) and place a marker  (8 stitches for these socks)
knit 1/2 of 32 - 1 (16 - 1 = 15) and slip the 16th as to purl ( or whatever makes it 1/2 of the total stitches) bring the yarn to the front to "wrap" the slipped stitch, place 2nd marker on left hand needle and slip the stitch back onto the left needle.  Wow.  Seems complicated.  I have made heels with just knitting 1/2 of the stitches.  I think the slipping and wrapping adds strength?  We shall see.

Once I finished the heal cup, I knit the heel flap, always knitting (or purling depending on side) 15 stitches (1/2 of total shoe - 1) then either SSK or P2K. Each row is 16 total (1/2) until there are only 16 total stitches left on the heal side.

All that is left is to knit the leg =)

3 inches is recommended.  6 rows / inch so 6x3 = 18 rows.  I should finish up tomorrow!

C. A. Losi