Lesson 3: The Leg

Page 2 of the sock pattern is a chart. Today, we will start at the star and knit up to the dotted line. If you’ve reached this point, you have the knitting skills for today’s portion — knit, purl and knit in the back of the stitch — so today’s post will be help for reading the chart starting with the key.

chart_key.jpg You see that kb (knit in the back of the loop creating a twisted stitch) is a twisted loop in a square; a purl is a dot in a square; and a knit it an empty square. These symbols are used so the chart looks similar to the texture you are knitting. As you read the chart, skip over the empty background. it is there to accomodate the shaping in the rows above.

Start reading at the star. Read right to left, bottom to top which is the direction that you knit. You start with a kb — this is the center back of the sock. So, the first round is kb, p51. The second round is kb, p1, k49, p1. The third round is kb, p1, k1, p2, k2, p2, k2, p3, k1, p2, k1, p1, k7, p1 (this is the center front of the sock), k7, p1, k1, p2, k1, p3, k2, p2, k2, p2, k1, p1. Continue in this manner always returning to the kb column and reading the next row up.

Some knitters use a metal backing and strip magnents to keep track of where they are on their pattern. Others use a highlighter. Once you have knit a few rounds, you will see the pattern starting to grow. The leg spans 2 1/2 diamonds. If you are a beginning knitter, study the difference in effect between a purl bump and a knit sitich. Learning to “read your knitting” is one of the best skills to learn. Experienced knitters will be able to knit the leg without referring to the chart except for reassurance that they are on the right track.

Tomorrow we will work the heel gusset. Don’t worry if you don’t get that far. The lessons will be right here on my blog when you are ready for the next step.

1 thought on “Lesson 3: The Leg”

  1. Thanks for this class. I also got the pattern off the 2007 calendar. One problem I found was the chart was so small and offered no details on the techniques. I did an internet search looking for Gansey knitting techniques and came up with book reviews. It wasn’t until I put in a search for knitted sweater gusset that I found your site. I am very thankful as I was to the point of the heel and needed help.

    One thing I discovered was I used a small flip chart to “translate” the graph to the written pattern so I could keep up with it easier. My socks travel everywhere with me and I find it difficult to keep my place on the graph. I flip the page when I finish the row and it is easily tucked into my bag when I need to move.


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