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If you want to find posts on a specific topic, I’d suggest using categories, as linked below.

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A Study in Socks: Contrast Commercial Heel

Start of contrast heel

Start of contrast heel

So, the commercial heel I talked about before has a minor issue – there are two rows that go across the front of the foot. Perfectly fine in a heel that is in the same yarn as the rest of the foot. Slightly weird if you’re trying to do a contrast heel.

I tried omitting those rows. Eh. It’s really hard to pull a doubled stitch tight enough as is; pulling on it when the stitch below is also a doubled stitch? Eh.

In my pursuit of maximum fiddliness, I decided to try intarsia in the round.

Yes I know it’s supposed to be impossible.

It’s actually quite simple. One yarn stays in the heel part of the sock, one yarn stays in the front. They’re basically knit back and forth and intertwine at the joining point. The way I did it basically was:

Knit both yarns to the join point, one on the right side, one on the wrong side. Intertwine them. Knit them back. Intertwine them. Repeat. Remember to pull everything tight when intertwining.

And for the heel itself, for an 80 stitch sock:

Knit across the front of the sock with your Main Color (MC). Using contrast color (CC), short row in 10 stitches. (or 1/8 of the total number of stitches)

Knit back across the front of the sock with MC (yes, you’re working on the wrong side.) Knit CC to meet MC. Intertwine. Pull tight. Purl back CC to far side join point. Knit MC to far side join point. Intertwine.

Using CC, knit out to the end of the left side short rows, short row out three stitches and short row back in three stitches (or ~1/3*1/8 of total number of stitches). Knit back across the front of the sock with MC again. Knit CC to meet MC. Again. Intertwine. Pull tight. Knit CC and MC back to far side join point, working CC on wrong side. Intertwine.

Using CC, knit out to the end of the short rows, short row out ten stitches. End with a wrong-side row, intertwine, cut CC, finish sock with MC.

A Study In Socks: “Commercial Heel”

Recently, I’ve started to try sock heels that aren’t a very traditional flap-and-gusset heel. Now, I have a fairly high instep (and have to adjust flap-and-gusset heels accordingly) so naturally I was pretty skeptical that a short row heel was going to fit at all.

It's almost like I spend a lot of time imitating store-bought socks!

It’s almost like I bought this from a store, but not really

I didn’t particularly want to extend the heel over the top of the sock, because then it’d interfere with the pattern and I’d have to figure out how to make that work. Then I came across this. German short rows, a little more room.

This sock is 80 stitches around. So, short rows in for 10 stitches (on each side). Knit all the way around. Short rows out four stitches (Stitches 10 through 7 counting from the outside of the heel). Short rows in for those four stitches. Knit all the way around. Short rows out for 10 stitches.

And a roomier heel.

Next: Commercial Heel….in contrast yarn.

A Study In Socks: Arch Support?

I’ve recently noticed that one of my favorite pair of running socks has this interesting feature on the sole that I think is for arch support. It’s all two-tone and looks exceptionally complicated, but it’s fundamentally just a trapezoid of slipped stitches.

This is my rendition of it:


Knitting instructions after the break. Meant for a sock in the round.

Continue reading

Medications Questions Checklist

Questions I find useful to have answers to, whenever I have to take medications. For any type of medication. If I’m not sure, well, asking a doctor or a pharmacist doesn’t hurt.

  • How is this medication supposed to work? Is there a theoretical basis for this medication? There are some medications that don’t have a theoretical basis *cough* lithium *cough* but having a theoretical basis is reassuring and useful in helping me predict how I might react.
  • What should I expect from this medication? What side effects am I likely to get? What rare side effects should I be aware of and look out for? Are there side effects that, if they appear, mean that I should proceed directly to the hospital, not passing go and not collecting two hundred dollars? (Example – the Lamictal Rash)
  • What should I do if I accidentally miss a dose? With some medications, the dose is just skipped. In others, you can make up for it. Additionally – what does “missed” mean? How big of a window do I have? Some birth controls have very small windows.
  • Does this come in generic? Generics are in general cheaper. This isn’t just “does this specific med come in generic”, it’s also “does something in this class come in generic?” If you get a branded combo med, can you take the two parts separately, as generics, and is that cheaper?
  • How is this metabolized? Is it primarily hepatic, renal, or something different? If hepatic, what liver enzymes does it rely on? There are quite a bit of variation to liver enyzmes; if you happened to get a less effective variant (or maybe even a super effective variant), asking your doctor about adjusting medication dosage may help.
  • Does this medication have any special instructions? Do I have to take it with food? Or drink a certain amount of water with it? Must I avoid grapefruit? Stand on my head?
  • Corollary: Does this medication interact with any other medication I’m taking, or any of the supplements? I don’t supplement much – multivitamin, D3 (for which I am borderline deficient in), fish oil (which has pretty good evidence), B-complex, and caffeine, so in general I don’t have many issues with supplement-med reactions. Some medications react badly with supplements or generic medications: St. John’s Wort makes birth control less useful, for example, and some cold medications raise serotonin levels, which is dangerous if you’re on a SSRI.
  • If I discontinue this medication, what should I be aware of? What are the chances I’ll be able to discontinue? When can I discontinue? Am I looking for a specific outcome, or will I be done with this medication after a certain amount of time, or do I have to take it forever? What are the chances that I’ll be forced to discontinue, especially forced to discontinue quickly?