Ooooh, two posts in one day!!

As promised, here is the setup bonnet in action. Basically, I took the loops of yarn between the picots and hooked them over every other needle.

Setup bonnet in place

From that point, I put on some scrap yarn, then the actual yarn for the sock. If you put the sock yarn directly on the setup bonnet, you can’t get it apart without cutting one or the other.

I made a basic hung hem, then cranked a tube.  You may notice I have a new yarn carrier, the slotted version from Roxana Baechle, who also made the instructional DVD’s that I have.  It’s much nicer than the yarn carrier with the little hole you have to thread the yarn through, especially when I’ve made a mistake and had to frog – with the slotted carrier I don’t have to cut the yarn when I make a mistake. 

Set up for the heel

After knitting a length of tube, I set up for the heel by raising half of the needles to take them out of knitting. Then I knit back and forth, raising 2 needles at the beginning of the first 2 rows to minimize the holes, then 1 needle at the beginning of every row after that. It’s basically the equivalent of a short-row heel on a handknit sock. Then at the midpoint of the heel, I push 1 needle back in to knit at the beginning of every row, until it’s back to half of the needles again. It’s important to keep tension on the lengtening heel, or the machine will drop stitches. For this purpose I bought fork weights, which are just bent forks with weights attached to them. This is how I attach them.

Heel fork weights

After getting all of the heel stitches back into knit, I push the other half of the needles back in and continue to crank tube for the foot. Then I knit another “heel” for the toe to be closed by Kitchener stitch. Here’s how the heel turned out.

A heel!

Nice, huh? It’s still too loose for my foot, even with fine acrylic baby yarn and pretty tight tension on the 72-slot cylinder. I will try the mock rib, and I am still awaiting my replacement 54-slot cylinder. Can’t wait to play some more!