Welcome to the “How to Make Double Increases in the Stripodot Socks” tutorial! And also to the first ever English-language page of this blog.
And thank you for your interest in the Stripodot socks, I had a lot of fun knitting them, and even more fun working on the pattern for Knitty and this “how-to” here. Hope that you find this tutorial helpful.
I knit continental, as most Russian knitters do, and I use a thimble for stranded knitting – that red plastic thing on my left index finger. You absolutely do not have to use it, most people do not need any additional devices when knitting with only two colours. My personal feeling is that with the thimble my yarn tension is much more even, the yarn strands do not get tangled, and it makes the process much easier for me. Feel free to ignore it.
And now to the actual tutorial for the double increases in the Stripodots. This is a double increase which means that we will be making three stitches out of one. The increases go outwards from the center stitch of the back of the leg. The Stripodots are two-coloured socks, the purple yarn is the Main Colour, MC, and the light-grey is the Contrast Colour, CC. The grey colour forms an outside border of the heel part.
This increase is a cross between the “knit one below” stitch in brioche knitting, where you work the stitch that you have on the needle and the stitch below it together, and between one of the techniques for making nupps in lace shawls. The method where you *k1, yo* times X, and then once more k1 in the same stitch. The difference is that in nupps, you work all those increased stitches as one in the next row to make a nupp, and we are going to keep the increases stitches to make a nice-looking heel flap.
Let me show you what I mean. So, the grey stitch, the first one on the left needle, is the stitch from which our increases will start, aka the central stitch. I put a marker before it to mark it.
Work up to the center stitch and insert the right needle in the stitch below the stitch on the left needle.
Put both strands of yarn on the left needle. We are going to work both strands as one stitch. The marker was getting in the way, I removed it for a while.
We need to twist this stitch to avoid the hole in the fabric. One way to do it is to work the stitch through back loop, like here:
In the back loop, knit both strands of yarn with CC, then, without dropping the stitch off the needle, make a YO with MC, …
And finally, knit once again with CC.
Drop the original stitch off the left needle. First increase and set-up for the striped pattern in the heel completed.
I’ll put the markers back on the needle to separate the central striped part from the dotted part of the sock.
After the first increase, work 3 rows even, without increases. In row 5, we need to do another central increase. All increases are done in the same manner, but here I used another way of twisting the original stitch. Use whichever one you prefer, they are totally interchangeable.
So, as before, work up to the center stitch, here it is, the purple one, first stitch on the left needle.
Insert the needle in the stitch below it.
Put both strands of yarn on the left needle.
And twist them.
And now, because we want to continue in the striped pattern, knit this twisted doubled stitch with MC, do not drop it off the needle.
Do a YO with CC, still not dropping the original stitch off the needle. Note that depending on how your yarns are arranged, you may need to pull the yarn for the YO from under the other yarn strand. You’ll see it as you go.
And finally, knit the stitch with MC.
Drop the stitch off the left needle and continue in striped pattern till marker, and in dotted pattern the rest of the row.
There you have it, the double increase. Work up to the center stitch, insert the needle in the stitch below the one on the needle, twist it or through back loop, without dropping the original stitch off the needle:
in rows 1, 9, 17, 25, and 33 of the top part of the heel, k1 with CC, YO with MC, k1 with CC, drop stitch.
in rows 5, 13, 21, 29, and 37, k1 with MC, YO with CC, k1 with MC, drop stitch.
You will end up with a beautiful striped heel.
Thank you, and happy knitting!
P.S. the sample above was made under strict supervision from my cat who thinks he is an expert in all things yarn and likes to keep an eye on my knitting so that I pay attention and do not get distracted by the voyages of the star ship Enterprise.