I've been pretty much confined to the house for the past several days since 1) it's been snowing off and on since Monday and 2) the nasty cough I've had turned into fever and deep fatigue which turned out to be pneumonia! My brave hubby took me to the doctor on Monday (over snow-packed streets that were pretty much a skating rink, but then he grew up in the Chicago area and knows about ice) where they did the chest X-ray and even I could see a slight woolly look in one lung. So I've been home, taking my antibiotics, drinking lots of juice, and breathing steam from a vaporizer at night.
I put my chemo cap project on hold until I stop coughing pneumococci all over everything. I'll have to thoroughly disinfect everything I've knitted for the project already. I wonder if you can autoclave Elann Elite?
One has to keep oneself occupied even when confined to bed or the couch, so out came the needles and some spare Lion Wool-Ease from the stash, and I set to work on a project I'd barely begun for the Jane Austen Book Club knit-along on Ravelry. We're in the middle of Sense and Sensibility, and I thought of the scene in the 1995 Emma Thompson movie, where the sisters and their mother move into Barton cottage, and on the first chilly night, Marianne and Elinor share a bedroom. Elinor gets into bed where Marianne is already curled up, and Marianne whines, "Your feet are cold." Elinor gets up again and struggles into a pair of woolly socks.
So for Elinor, here's a pair of warm woolly bedsocks, knitted in worsted-weight yarn and with a simple openwork pattern:
Elinor's "Your feet are cold" bedsocks
Lion Wool Ease or any other standard worsted-weight yarn, 1 skein MC, 1 skein CC. One pair of socks uses only a small amount from each skein -- you can probably get three or four out of two skeins.
5 DPN size 8
Gauge: 3.5 st/inch approximately
Size: These fit my size 9 1/2 wide feet a little loosely. I'll add a couple of changes in parentheses for people with more fashionably-sized feet. If you have narrow feet, try the smaller size and size 7 needles.
I borrowed the Easy Toe cast-on for toe-up socks from Knitty issue Winter 02 to begin these socks, so go and print a copy of that before you get started. The instructions come with clear illustrations, so better for you to go and get their instructions that for me to try to summarize -- that is, plagiarize -- them here.
With waste yarn and a large hook, crochet a chain of about 12 stitches. Tie a knot in the end you draw through so you can find it again and undo it easily. Use CC, cast on 8 stitches by knitting into the "bumps" on the underside of the crochet chain. Work in stockinette stitch for 4 rows. Undo the crochet chain and put the live sitches on another dpn.
Continue with the instructions for the Figure 8 cast-on from the phrase "Begin knitting circularly." You will divide the work onto 4 needles, and place a marker that marks the beginning of the round. Continue working until there are 10 stitches on each needle (stop at 9 stitches for smaller feet than mine). End with a non-increase round, and stop at the end of Needle 3. (Next needle begins stitches for the top of the foot.) Move all stitches for the top of the foot (needles 1 and 4) onto the same needle -- 20 (18) stitches. You will work the lace rib pattern on the top of the foot.
Tie on MC. Knit 1, PM, begin lace pattern on next 18 stitches, PM, K last stitch.
Lace rib pattern:
Round 1: K 5, P 1
Round 2: K 1, YO, sl 1, K2tog, psso, YO, K1 P1
Round 3: K5, P1
Round 4: K2, YO, ssk, K1, P1
Round 5: K5, P1
Round 6: K5, P1
When foot is long enough (5 lace pattern repeats for my size 9 foot), begin short-row heel. You now have 20 (18) stitches on one needle (pattern needle) and 10 (9) stitches on each of the other needles. Work the heel on these two needles only.
Tie on CC.
Row 1: K to last stitch, W&T
Row 2: P to last stitch, W&T
Row 3: K to last 2 stitches, W&T
Row 4: P to last 2 stitches, W&T
Row 5: K to last 3 stitches, W&T
Row 6: P to last 3 stitches, W&T
Row 7: K to last 4 stitches, W&T
Row 8: P to last 4 stitches, W&T
Row 9: K to last 5 stitches, W&T
Row 10: P to last 5 stitches, W&T (stop here and skip to row 13 if working the smaller size)
Row 11: K to last 6 stitches, W&T
Row 12: P to last 6 stitches, W&T
Row 13: K to first wrapped stitch, knit stitch & wrap together, turn
Row 14: Sl 1, P to first wrapped stitch, purl stitch & wrap together, turn
Row 15: Sl 1, K to first wrapped stitch, knit stitch & wrap together, turn
Repeat rows 14 and 15 until the last of the wrapped stitches have been used. End on a P row, on the side where the MC yarn was dropped.
Turn work. Pick up MC.
Across 2 needles at the back of the sock:
K 1, PM, begin lace pattern across needles (divide sts as needed to work lace pattern) until 1 st is on needles, PM, K1.
Continue around leg of the sock, knitting lace pattern between markers. Yes, there will be a K2 rib on each side between the lace panels. If this bothers you, leave the back of the sock plain and work the lace only in front. (If you stopped at 9 stitches at the toe, you won't have the K2 rib -- just lace pattern all the way around.)
Work two repeats of the lace pattern (12 rows) or longer if desired.
Switch to CC. Knit 1 inch of K2P2 ribbing (or longer if desired).
To bind off:
K 2 sts, slip sts back to left needle, knit them together through the back of the loop. Purl next stitch, slip both sts on right needle to left needle, purl together. Continue binding off in pattern, knitting (or purling) 1 stitch, moving both stitches from the right needle to the left, and knitting (or purling) them together in the back of the loop until all stitches have been bound off. Sew in ends.