All XtopherCB, All The Time


i started a blog thread. not because i’m terribly clever or have so much wisdom to pass on, yet, but because sometimes i just need a spot to express random knitting-related frustrations, elations and notes from the underbelly.


…starting with:

WHO had the brilliant idea to make a pom-pom yarn scarf, in order to avoid socks for a few days? not me, i’m sure… had i known that i’d have to enter the endless maze of youtube to learn how to knit with this stuff, i may have turned back…

as it is, i’ve cast on and knit about 5 rows, all about 5 times, trying to find the right needle size. i’ve settled on US 11s (8mm) so i can get 2 stitches per strand (between poms) with just barely a little wiggle room.

even broke out my new needle stoppers/point protectors so i could turn my DPNs into single-points. (after the circular needles didn’t work, since the smaller cable caused the already-made stitches to jumble up into a mess).

ok, yes, it was ME. i had the brilliant idea. it’s for my aunt, i’m making a scarf. it’s crazy, like fuzzy noodles. we shall see…


has anyone used the banded basket stitch ( on socks? i like the look, on the ‘manly’ side of gender-neutral, to my eye/sensibility.

but i’m wondering if it would have enough stretch for the leg/cuff portion, since it’s a mix of knits/purls, or because it’s repeated groupings (3-6) of knits and repeated groupings of purls (6-3) it loses its stretchy capabilities?

anyway, thanks i advance for any personal experience with it. - X :wink:


i think 3 stitches per string would be better. after about 10 rows, i can tell 2 stitches per string is leaving big enough spaces that the fuzzy poms/loops can sneak through… so back to the beginning. thankfully it’s polyester - holding up surprisingly well for so much frogging.


Cool stitch pattern, thanks for posting it. I’ve got the video on and started watching it. I’ve paused it so I can pester you before I watch the rest of it. :mrgreen:

I think this would be good on socks. It seems the big question is, how stretchy is it? Here’s what I’d do. I’d knit a sample and see how it stretches. I’d write out the in-the-round conversion which shouldn’t be difficult and see if I could come up with a multiple that would make a cup cozy or wristband or something and see how it stretches. You might need to adjust your stitch count or change to different size needles to get what you want for a sock top and accommodate the multiple but IMO it should work fine. I look forward to you reporting back on your lab test. Meanwhile, I might take a break from sox and give it a test drive too.

Ah, baloney. I just read what I wrote and no, I wouldn’t do that. You can if you want to, so I’ll leave it stand. I do sock tops in stockinette and finish off with rib. This is a mix of knits and purls so will be somewhat stretchier and maybe looser than plain stockinette. Go for it. It should work out nicely. I do think it would be best in a solid color, but that’s me. I find that stitch patterns and changing colors fight for dominance and the battle usually ends in a stalemate and neither is displayed to best advantage. If you see it differently, that’s totally cool and you should do what you want.

Pom pom yarn. Thus far I’ve managed to avoid succumbing to its siren call. It sounds like you’re having fun with it. That’s good. :thumbsup:


thanks GG… i think a cup cozy for a stitch sample sounds like a great idea… and somebody else can have it… i’ll knit them, but won’t use them. for yarn i was already thinking a solid, heathered, maybe a tonal ombre, but nothing crazy, i’d want the pattern to stand out on that one. it’s on my to-do list now, so i’ll update if/when there’s anything… :wink:

ETA - keep laughing at the video, she knits almost as slow as i do! makes it easier to follow along, tho…:wink:


When I actually have solid sock yarn again I think I’ll use that pattern too. I’ve lots of self-striping and self-patterning yarn to use up. I am managing to avoid buying more sock yarn. So far.


ok, looked at the decreases here (free videos, decreases, nice chart amy did)…

but… i have 26 stitches, i need to get to 25. i’ve already decreased evenly on both sides (down from 50 to 26), so this one more decrease i was thinking could be in the middle of my stitches, but is there a ‘neutral’ decrease? that is, one that’s neither right- or left-leaning, or much less right-/left-leaning than the other options?


Is this one decrease on your sock heel? If so, just pick a spot and do a k2tog is what I suggest. I kind of like the center of the back decrease. When it’s just one decrease the slant isn’t so obvious.

Oh! I just woke up enough to realize that you’ve finished a heel!!! WTG!!!
:yay: :yay: :yay:


that’s what i needed, the less obvious choice. and thanks :wink:


What stitch did you use on your heel? Inquiring minds want to know. I generally use the heel stitch that makes ridges. It’s a step up from stockinette but still fits my KISS criterion: Keep It Simple Sweetie. :mrgreen: I’m not asking if the second one is done yet. :teehee:


ok, so, yes, it was for my sock heel!

the info was great GG, and then i veered to the left and said, wait, if it’s all going to be rib from now on, i can just go down another few stitches so my count lines up… so now i have 26 sts front, and 22 sts back, for a total of 48 sts, which divides evenly into 16 sets of k2/p1 ribs the whole way around. problem solved, or so i thought…

but now for the upper heel/leg portion i’m paused…

magic looping with my beloved denise interchangeables was getting “interesting” with fewer stitches, like there was too much cord. so i tried less cord (i had 2 cords joined for each sock) but then it was too short, so then i put all that away and switched to DPNs, and i hate it. magic looping has spoiled me. so my choices are going back to the denises, and the size 6/5 combo i had been using (6 on working side, 5 on holding side), and toughing out the cord length, since there’s not that much left to knit… or i have 3 stand-alone circs in size 7… a 32", a 30" and a 24"… so, will the size 7s change my gauge to the point i should go down another 3 stitches, or are the denises my better option, or some other issue… anyway, that’s my conundrum to sleep on…


You’ve been using Denise needles for magic loop? :notworthy: I don’t know how you’ve managed. Have you tried using two needles for working in the round?


umm… yes, yes i have been? :wink:

i know there’s mention here and there of the denise needles not working as well for some people for some things, etc. but in general, i like them. and since i don’t have fancier circular options right now, i’m using what i have. also, the thicker (size 5) cord makes me slow down and really look at what i’m doing, which is good for me and for this project. i don’t feel like i’m fighting it, which i’ve seen people mention as an issue for some.

but, i hadn’t considered 2-circs as a method… i might as well try it, these socks have been all about learning/trying new-to-me techniques… thanks for the video link on that! was nice to see the presenter use the different needle sizes on each end, the way i’ve been doing with magic loop. i wonder if i used the 2 longer sizes, if i could just have both socks on the same cables, since the yarn is coming from 2 different spots (center-out and outer-in)… will be time for some experimentation this evening. :slight_smile:

ETA - i didn’t realize magic loop is considered the ‘advanced’ method of small-diam circular knitting. it was just the one that made sense in my head first. :slight_smile: so now i get to go back and learn the ‘intermediate’ version with 2 circs :slight_smile:


this is going to be one of those dumb questions with an obvious answer that i just can’t figure out…

my yarn is from the same skein, but one sock is from the outer yarn, and the other sock is from the inner yarn, so directions can be treated as if it’s 2 different skeins.

now i just need to figure out which way the socks actually sit or face on the needles/cords for 2@aT socks on circs with different needle tip sizes… both the same way, or one front and one back?

the video GG suggested earlier has the different needle sizes, but only for one item (a hat), and the other 2@aT on 2 circs videos i’m finding might be using interchangeable circulars, but not with different sized tips…


The arrangement is the same as for magic loop knitting except that you’re using two needles. You want both heels on the same needle, both insteps on the other. If you can, simply knit them off one needle with the new one, one heel side then the other or one instep side and then the other, then repeat for the other sides with the other needle. I think you might find what you need in one of the videos in this series. I would watch and try to find it for you but right now I have a horrible headache.

It’s not a dumb question though when you get it figured out you’ll smack yourself upside the head and say, “Wow. I could’ve had a V8.” I’ve had a heck of a time with the same thing and whenever I have to take one or both socks off the needles I’m right back to square 0.

On the plus side, your tips are easy to change out so if one of the smaller tips is on the business end you can switch it out before you do the half round.


thanks GG :wink:

i already had that video queued but hadn’t watched yet. good to know i was on the right track. going to take a stab at it in a little bit here… :slight_smile:

feel better soon!


80% of the yarn is gone (1+ oz left from a 5 oz skein) so i’m calling the project 80% done too… working on leg ribbing next. :wink:


and also too… DOH! i get it now. after some hilarity with my 2 circs in figure 8s and untangling yarns and somehow managing to get half an instep knitted onto the same circ as the 2 backs… lol… it was super fun/ny but it finally clicked. i will say… i don’t like 2 circs the way i like magic loop (hey magic loop, what’s up? lookin’ good there… you been working out?) but it’s still better than DPNs, for me. thanks for the continued help!


…and so I don’t use 2 needles for circular knitting. Been there, done that. Indeed, I think I’d prefer dpn and 1@time.

When you are ready to buy sock needles, either Knit Picks or WEBS has nice ones that are affordable. I personally find the cables on the WEBS needles to be just a bit nicer but that might depend upon the factory run they came from. Mine are all 47"ers. Now if I could only come up with a way to color code them for size they’d be perfect.