Will I achieve my 2008 Knitting Goal?

Yeah, back in Janurary…I opened my trap and made the statement:
MY 2008 KNITTING GOAL is: 1) learn to do entrelac, 2) learn to knit a sock.

Well, the meter is running! It is almost October!

I bit the bullet…and took a class last Saturday! Entrelac.
It was 3 hrs. I was a tad disappointed. The class scarf was “garterlac”. Yack.

I wanted to learn “entrelac”…you know…where the right side of the little squares and triangles is stocking stitch.

Well, I muddled along, trying to follow the pattern along using knits on the right side, and purls on the wrong side. Didn’t get too far. No one did.

I tore out my scarf when I got home.

Yesterday, I googled the word “entrelac”…and printed out 4 really great entrelac tutorials. I feel good about the visuals and photos.

The class was worth the effort. It did help me get over a few really mysterious points in transitioning from squares to triangles at the beginning and ends of rows. So I have plans for an entrelac scarf for my dear Granddaughter! Will cast on in October.

[COLOR=Blue][B]Now…about the socks:[/B][/COLOR]

I have not, as yet, mustered up the courage to try a sock.
I taught myself how to do magicloop technique!
Played Amy’s magicloop video about a hundred times! :eyes:

I hate working with dpn’s. Just hate it.

So, my sock endeavor will have to employ either [B]magicloop, or the 2-circulars method.[/B]

Can someone steer me? Which is easiest to apply to sock knitting…
and which one gives the nicest looking sock? I know it might be an opinion question, but I’d appreciate your input!

And, which lesson/tutorial would you recommend? A lot of people can knit well…but not a lot of people can TEACH well.

I really wanna achieve my 2008 Knitting Goal…and thereby join the rest of the world of knitters and make a gosh darn sock!

Interesting tidbit: one of my knitter magazines has a sock tutorial for ENTRELAC SOCKS! Teehee! :eyes:

Well personally I love Silver’s sock tutorial --> http://www.cometosilver.com/socks/SockClass_Intro.htm

I jumped straight in with the ‘One toe up sock on 2 circular needles’ one and did well with it :yay: I hope to try the ‘Two toe up socks on 1 circular needle’ lesson soon :slight_smile:

Personally, I prefer to use two circular needles rather than magicloop (I do not like the flappy cord); it is easier also for me to use when I am traveling on mass transit (bus and or train).

As for tutorials, I learned how to make socks from watching an episode of Knitty Gritty. But since that might not be an option for you, I have heard some positive things about the Lucy Neatby DVDs on sock knitting (the DVDs cost approx. $30 [shipping not included]). And I can vouch for her friendly-chatty manner in teaching, also I like that the shots of her knitting are over the shoulder close-ups. You can see a sample of both DVDs at this address:

Whatever manner you choose I think you will do a fine job, ArtLady. Sock knitting and enterlac at the sametime now that would be burning the candle at both ends. :wink:

I have heard good things about the Knitty Gritty tv series…but it doesn’t play in our town. Darn.

I learned how to ‘master stir-fry’ from a demo at our State Fair about 15 years ago! The little Asian lady was selling woks…but she taught us the basic principles of stir-fry art in the meantime! I was so inspired, and encouraged at the same time! I never knew it was so simple and easy! I never forgot her teachings and principles.

Sometimes those demos are just the thing! :thumbsup:

You have plenty of time to learn both!
I learned entrelac by doing the Danica scarf from Knitty. I just trusted the pattern and realized it really wasn’t hard at all. I know you can do it, I’ve seen all the amazing items you have knit!

I second or third Silver sock classes! I also prefer the 2 circ method. Magic Loop and I have just recently worked out our troubles:teehee:
Good luck!!

Good for you! I prefer two circulars myself. I actually took a sock class for two circs at my LYS last spring. Mine was top down, but learning Silver’s toe up method would be cool, too!

Here’s a few other links.

I learned how to do:[B] entrelac[/B] … by following the pattern for the Lady Elenanor (spelling?) scarf found in the book: [B][U]Scarf Style[/U][/B]

Easy… I think that I might have even posted a photo of it here about a year ago?

I learned entralac doing the garterlac dishcloth. Once the basics are there, it’s easy enough to switch to stockinette.

Socks - I prefer 2 cirs. There are several good on-line tuts.

“Yeah, back in Janurary…I opened my trap and made the statement:
MY 2008 KNITTING GOAL is: 1) learn to do entrelac, 2) learn to knit a sock.”


Those are GREAT goals, and very do-able considering the quality of your work (some of which I’ve seen in the photos you posted here!).

I haven’t tried entrelac yet but there’s a gorgeous shawl pattern and very clear instructions in Donna Kooler’s “Encyclopedia of Knitting” that had me putting that on my goals list as soon as I saw it.

I read through the instructions and one thing I decided would make the whole process so much easier was to learn to knit backwards. Yes! Backwards! No turning the piece all the time, just knit the row backwards, and Amy (bless her!) has a wonderful video to show just how that’s done. With some practice I know I could master it!

Socks…Well, don’t I know how you feel about that! When I first approached sock making I just sat there with needles and yarn and froze like a rabbit in the headlights! Geez!

It IS rocket science! :slight_smile: At least it is until you make your first sock and see how easy it is. There’s a thrill like no other in turning the heel and actually seeing the cup shape form! It’s almost mystical!

The book that was most helpful to me was “Getting Started Knitting Socks” by Ann Budd. She does her demonstration on double points but the basic information and pictures are wonderful!

I wanted to learn as many different ways to knit socks as I could so after the first pair on double points I tried a pair with magic loop. This works well if you’ve got really flexible cables (I love the ones in my Options set). Stiff cables are HORRIBLE to work with.

Then I tried working two at a time on two cable needles and it was OK, if a little cumbersome. I’ll try two at a time on one long cable next and I think once I understand it that’ll be the one for me.

Once you get the hang of basic sock construction, you might want to look at doing two at a time. I started learning that because, no matter how carefully I counted the rows (which is a pain!) on the first sock, the second one always came out either shorter or longer. Two at a time, on either one or two cables, eliminates all that counting and guesswork and you don’t have “Mutt and Jeff” socks!

If you do get to the two at a time, I posted a Tip on handling two balls of yarn in sock knitting towards the end of the Knit Tips and Tricks thread. It might be helpful to you.

Good luck with your goals, and don’t be surprised if you fall headlong into love with Socks! They’re magical!


First, I just have to say, “Wow!” As is “wow, I’ve done something ArtLady hasn’t done.” :smiley: Of course that’s ALL I’ve done, but still…:teehee:

With your knitting skill, you’ll be fine with the entrelac…it’s just a matter of keeping your place, really. (And if you can figure how to knit backwards, that keeps you from all that turning on the purl rows!

I, too, used the Lady Eleanor pattern–it really clearly spells out what you’re doing. I’m sure others do as well, but I appreciated the visuals that it offered.

As to socks, I’m totally sold on the two circular methods. I only know enough Magic Loop to have a fair concept of how it works…but it frustrates me, so I haven’t really pursued it.

Socks are a BREEZE on two circulars. I got a bit confused on the gusset part (having a tendency to start picking up my stitches on the wrong side first and being all backwards…but that’s easily overcome, and probably even easier for you since you have a much better understanding of how knitting works in general, than I do).

And if you do it on two circs, it’s an easy step to doing two at once on two circs, thus eliminating Second Sock Syndrome! :slight_smile:

Now…if only I could work up the gumption to try a sweater! :teehee:

Artlady, you have created the most gorgeous sweaters I have ever seen and you are intimidated by socks?!

Funnily enough, my goal this year was to learn socks too and I am working on my 7th pair. They are not at all hard and are quite fun and addictive once you get going.

I will second Silver’s Sock class, but if you want to go the book method, I just bought 2-at-a Time Socks, which looks really neat.

Hi ArtLady…it’s your Daughter-Wanna-Be speaking.

Learning how to make socks is not hard…certainly not as difficult as making those gorgeous sweaters that you seem to put out regularly.

My first foray into sock knitting involved dpns. I used Silver’s tutorial for that and produced wearable socks.

Last year, I decided I wanted to learn alternative methods. I bought this book (click on the picture to go to the link in Amazon),

and this book:

I tackled the two at a time, magic loop method first. It was confusing at first (it’s disconcerting to have cable loops hanging out of both sides of your knitting project), but I finally got the hang of it and completed a pair. This is NOT what I recommend that you start with, but as you gain confidence with your sock knitting (and I’m sure it won’t take you long), I would advise that you try it. I found it very pleasing to have a completed pair (as opposed to doing one at a time) with this book.

My favorite method, thus far, is using two circs, using Cat Bordhi’s book (above). Her instructions are pretty clear, although the book is in black and white (a bit disappointing). I guess it doesn’t really matter though. The point is that IMHO, this is the easiest way to make socks.

Basically, all you need to do, though, is learn how the different parts of the sock fit together. Once you get down the structure, you should be able to knit a sock in whatever way you want.

Good luck, and post with questions. You know we’ll be here to help every step of the way!


Artlady, don’t give up on DPN’s. It makes it fun! Now, I like four instead of five, but it doesn’t get boring with DPN’s. I used the Pure & Simple sock pattern. It was a size 6 and made it easier than using 2’s or 3’s. Now, I am working with a size 3 and it is a little more difficult, but the yarn is not as stretchy, so that might add to the difficulty, also. You are going to be so hooked on socks. You will be posting all kinds of sock pics before long. Have fun.

Hi, Lisa :waving:

There really IS a way to knit backwards - check this out! (from an earlier post)

"…one thing I decided would make the whole (entrelac) process so much easier was to learn to knit backwards. Yes! Backwards! No turning the piece all the time, just knit the row backwards, and Amy (bless her!) has a wonderful video to show just how that’s done. With some practice I know I could master it! "

This knitting backwards thing always reminds me of the saying about Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers. Fred was an awesome dancer, for sure, but Ginger did everything HE did, only backward and in high heels! :roflhard:

Although I don’t think you have to wear high heels to knit backward…:??

Have fun with it! :slight_smile:


[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=purple]I did DQ’s suggestion method of 2 toe up socks at once… I like that way cos’ you can make the cuff longer without worrying about running out of yarn…[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#800080]Entralac- I learned doing the garterlac dishcloth, too. ( Three guess what everyones getting with their Christmas presents this year.:teehee: )[/COLOR][/FONT]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=#800080]Magic loop- I taught myself when I did want to get up and go to the craft room when I started a round baby blanket…:teehee: [/COLOR][/FONT]

I thought I would throw something out here.

I think it’s a great idea to learn how to do magic loop in general (not necessarily trying w/socks the first go-round). This has helped me tremendously recently because I do not have 16" cables, and I’ve knit a few hats that I didn’t have the correct size dpns for either. Just understanding how to slide the cable back and forth and knit from one needle to the other is a huge eye-opener and allows you to adapt patterns if you don’t have the right tools.


My first stab at the entrelac concept was back in 2006 or 2007.
I tried that garterlac dishcloth! Oh aaargh. What a mess I made of it. The yarn was white cotton. By the time I gave up on it…the cotton was dingy from my frogging and re-trys! Garterlac kicked my butt!

Imagine my dismay when the class teacher handed us the pattern for a garterlac scarf. :pout: I wish she hadn’t taught us garterlac. The class said ENTRELAC, which to me means st st on the right side facing. Also…I noticed that the other 3 ladies were having a hard time with remembering which side they were on…because the garterlac looks the same on both sides. Anyway…

After taking the class last weekend…I now realize my main problem with my dishcloth of 2 years ago: I was picking up the stitches in the wrong locations…especially those picked up stitches for the triangles. The 2nd row increasing triangle that begins the 2nd row.

Anyway, I’m confusing myself in talking about it. :eyes:

Now, on to socks…

I made the Garterlac dishcloth in wool, felted it and use it as a potholder. :teehee:

I have to second the knitty Danica scarf for entrelac. It was super easy.
I hate DPNs, too, but i’ve learned how to use them, because sometimes 2 circs just won’t cut it. The book Sensational Knitted Socks has very clear charted directions for knitting socks on 4 dpns, 5 dpns, and 2 circs (all in the same pattern!) as well as some sock vocabulary and pictures showing you all the different parts. It’s my go-to sock book, but once you make a couple pairs and understand how the “formula” works, you’ll be able to do any pattern (knitty has a ton) using either of the 3 methods.

I can only answer about socks (would love to try entrelac eventually). Socks were my third knitting project :zombie:

I’ve done toe up and toe down. I’ve done short row heels and I’ve done the flap/gusset heel. I’ve done kitchener stitch and loose bind offs. I’ve done one sock at a time and am currently working on two socks on two circs. Silver’s sock tutorials have been favourites for a long time. This tutorial at socknitters is a toe up version that I have refered to with a few of my sock experiments.

One of my favourite things about knitting is to see the construction of the knitted piece. Socks definitely fall into that category. They’re small but have a lot of construction in them. One last link I’ll throw out to you, that I have yet to try and really want to, is a sock tutorial by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Our dearest gal, Amy, tried it out and has her thoughts and a picture posted here.

There are pros and cons to both types of socks depending on your own preferences. For toe up the big pro is that you get to try the sock on as you go. The biggest con is that it is harder to start (there is more than one way to start a toe up which may be intimidating). I think the big pro for top down socks is that it’s easier to knit all the way through than toe up (I also think there are more patterns that start from the top than the toe). The big con is that kitchener stitch is involved (I’ve never understood why people don’t like kitchener stitch).

Good luck with socks. They’re a small but mighty project. Because they’re small they are also fun and full of instant gratification :eyebrow: