Mirkwood Clue 4

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We have come to the edge of the forest and there is light ahead of us and whilst we wandered, we did not get lost!  Are you ready to complete this journey and knit some toes onto your Mirkwood sock?  This is your last clue.  I hope you have enjoyed this knit-a-long with me because I really have.

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Mirkwood Clue 4

(Errata:  If you are knitting the smaller size then please tick back 2-3 rows until your foot is desired foot length minus 1-3/4” instead of 2”)

The TOE

Beginning of rnd starts from middle of heel with instep sts on needle 2.

Needle 1:  14(16,18) sts

Needle 2:  28(32,36) sts

Needle 3:  14(16,18) sts

Rnd 1

Needle 1:  Knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.

Needle 2:  K1, ssk, work to last 3 sts, k2tog.

Needle 3:  K1, ssk, knit to end.

Rnd 2

Needle 1:  Knit

Needle 2:  Knit

Needle 3:  Knit

Repeat Rnds 1 and 2 until 28(32, 36) sts remain.

Repeat Rnd 1 only until 8(12, 12)  total sts remain.

Continue knitting across needle 1 so that those sts are now on needle 3 – there will be 4(6,6) sts on each of two needles.

Cut yarn, leaving a 12” (30cm) tail.  Thread onto a tapestry needle and use the Kitchener st to graft the sts.  Weave in ends.

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Happy Knitting!

Mirkwood Clue 3

Our wondering through Mirkwood will get very exciting now as we slip down the heel flap, turn the heel, pick up stitches and work that gusset!  When we are working the heel flap we will not need to keep track of where we are on our cable pattern but just as soon as we start picking up stitches for the gusset we pick up right where we left off on the pattern.  This is when things get a little more adventurous because we will need to keep track of our cable row and the decreases at the same time.  But knowing you have the courage of Bilbo Baggins, I have utmost confidence that you can accomplish this clue with no detours!

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Mirkwood

HEEL

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My absolute favorite heel is called the Eye-of-partridge Heel.  The Mirkwood sock that I am knitting is using that heel.  I think it is so pretty with its little diamonds and it is nice and cushy.  It is similar to a standard slip stitch heel except the ‘slips’ are offset every other row.  Some may not want to venture (or wander) too far off the path of familiarity though, so for those, I am giving you a simple slip stitch heel with a 3-st garter along the sides.  The 3-st garter makes it a little easier to pick up stitches for the gusset.  But, for the adventurous amongst us, skip over the simple heel directions and give the Eye-of-partridge heel a try.

SIMPLE HEEL FLAP

Row 1 (WS):  K3, purl to end.

Row 2 (RS):   P3, *K1, sl 1, rep from * to last 4 sts, k4.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you have 24 (32, 40) heel-flap rows.

Repeat row 1 one more time so that you will be ready to start a right-side row when it is finished.

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EYE OF PARTRIDGE HEEL FLAP

Row 1 (WS):  K1, p1, k1, purl to last 3 sts, k1, p1, k1.

Row 2 (RS):  K1, p1, k1, *K1, sl 1, rep from * to last 3 sts, k1, p1, k1.

Row 3:  K1, p1, k1, purl to last 3 sts, k1, p1, k1.

Row 4:  K1, p1, k1, *sl 1, k1, rep from * to last 3 sts, k1, p1, k1.

Repeat rows 1-4 until you have 24 (32, 40) heel-flap rows.

Repeat row 3 one more time so that you will be ready to start a right-side row when it is finished.

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TRAPEZOID HEEL TURN 

The heel turn in Mirkwood is the pointy trapezoid heel.  I like this type of heel turn because it fits nice and tight around the back of my heel. As you navigate through the heel turn, slip all stitches purl-wise except when you work a  decrease (ssk), slip the decrease sts knit-wise.  Work across all sts removing st markers as you come to them because you will now incorporate the 3-st garter edges into your sock.

Row 1 (RS): Sl 1, k 16 (18, 20), ssk, k1, turn.

Row 2 (WS):  Sl 1, p 7 (7, 7), p2tog, p1, turn.

Row 3:  Sl 1, knit to 1 st before gap, ssk to close gap ( 1 st on each side of gap), k1, turn.

Row 4:  Sl 1, purl to 1 st before gap, p2tog (1 st on each side of gap), p1, turn.

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until all sts have been worked and you have 18 (20, 22) sts remaining.

Knit 9(10,11) sts across heel.  Beginning of the round now starts here, place a marker so you will remember.

GUSSET

For years picking up stitches along the heel flap used to discombobulate me because I was confused on where to pick them up and I always ran short of how many the pattern told me to pick up.  And then, there was the dreaded gusset hole that always seemed to happen.  Fortunately, I soon discovered the garter stitch edge along the heel flap and learned Charlene Schurch’s gusset hole tip and my sock fears were alleviated.

Here are a couple pictures that I hope will help you.  The first picture shows where to pick up the stitches between the purl bumps on the heel flap.

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The second shows you which two stitches to pick up in addition to your others to eliminate the gusset hole.  You basically find the ‘ladder’ that runs between the heel flap and the instep and pick up the legs on either side of it.

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And for those of you who need the added reinforcement of a video here is a video demonstrating this technique.


Okay, are you ready?  Let’s go!

Needle 1:

With RS facing you and needle 1, knit across remaining heel sts, pick up and knit 14(16,18) sts between purl bumps on garter edge.  Pick up and knit 2 sts at top of gusset to prevent gusset hole.

Needle 2:

Work across instep resuming cable pattern at row 1.

Needle 3:

With third needle, pick up 2 sts at top of gusset and continue to pick up and knit 14(16,18) sts between purl bumps on garter edge.  Knit across remaining heel sts.

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GUSSET DECREASES

First round only:

Needle 1:  Knit to last 2 sts, ssk.

Needle 2:  Knit in established cable pattern (row 2).

Needle 3:  K2tog, knit to end.

All other rounds:

Rnd 1

Needle 1:  Knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.

Needle 2:  Knit in established cable pattern.

Needle 3:  K1, ssk, knit to end.

Rnd 2

Needle 1:  Knit.

Needle 2:  Knit in established cable pattern.

Needle 3:  Knit

Repeat these two rnds until 56(64,72) sts remain.

FOOT

To measure my foot, I stand on a piece of paper and with a pencil mark the end of my toe and my heel.

Continue knitting stockinette stitch on sole of foot (Needles 1 & 3) and established cable pattern on instep (Needle 2) until you are 2” short of your actual foot length.

Next week we will finish up our toe and kitchener it closed!

Tips for Those Who Wander are Not Lost

Here are finished Clue 1 pictures of the Mirkwood Socks.

Mirkwood Clue 1 Left Sock

The Left Sock.

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The Right Sock.

A Tip to Help You Along Your Journey –

When I moved into the stockinette portion of the sock I placed stitch markers on each side of the cable.  At that point you can just concentrate on following the chart for some mindless knitting.  The cable twist is worked on row 3 and row 8 .

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Don’t be too concerned if you miscount those rows for all those who wander on paths sometimes stray a little.  Your socks will still be beautiful and whenever you wear them they will remind you of short little hobbits and slightly taller dwarves.

There is still time to join us on our journey.  You can download Clue 1 here.