Falling Down MKAL - Week 1 - Casting On, Cuff and Start of Leg

Ok - lemme just start out by saying I'm SO FREAKIN' EXCITED to be knitting with you all again! I feel like it's been AGES since we did the Turn It Up To 11 MKAL and I've missed the interactions. I hope you are all as excited as I am to get to these socks which will, with any luck, be your new favorite fall socks.

First and foremost - didja get your pattern? If not, go get it here:

OK, now that THAT's outta the way, let's talk about one sock vs. two. Well, I mean by the time you're done you're gonna have two socks. Its not like I tell you to make one and than vamoose, right? Right! It's more a question of whether your'e going to knit 1aat (one at a time) or 2aat (two at a time). 

If you joined us for the Turn It Up to 11 MKAL where we learned all about how to knit 2aat, toe-up socks then you're probably like me and kind of addicted to 2aat so you don't end up with second sock syndrome. In this MKAL, we're gonna have info for both: 1aat and 2aat socks. 

Small, eensy weensy caveat for 2aat addicts: 2aat top-down socks ROCK! But fair warning, the heel is a bit fussy. Nothing that can't be managed, especially by all you sock-knitting gurus, but there will be some fiddly bits. The rest is easy as pie! So don't let that discourage you - I just believe in transparency of what we're embarking on. 

With that caveat out of the way, I'll be knitting my socks two at a time cuz Mama likes a challenge!

So let's get down to it. First step, obvi, is winding up your skein of yarn into a cake (or a ball for those of you with the patience to do it by hand rather than a winder). Here's a shameless sharing of a corner of my craft room since I like pictures in blog posts and so far we're picture-less:

I need some color on these walls, eh?!

If you have NOT yet done your gauge swatch, don't split the yarn yet. Knit from one ball before splitting the skein.

If you are choosing to knit your socks 1aat, please don't split your skein. 
You'll be SO mad at me (and yourself) if you do!

Now to split this sucker once it's wound. Using a scale, set to 'grams' if possible, find out how much your wound skein weighs. If you've done your gauge swatch like good little sock knitters, you'll likely have between 95 and 97 grams left. I have the distinct advantage of having had used this yarn a bajillion times before so I know my gauge so I don't have to do a gauge swatch so I still have a whole skein left (and then some apparently). 

Pretty easy math follows - 103g divided by two balls is 51.5g per ball. Obviously I'm not going to get half a gram so I'm going to have one ball that is 52 grams and one ball that is 51 grams.  THE HORROR!

Next you'll wanna keep your original ball on the scale and start winding directly from the scale onto the winder (or a new ball if you're doing it by hand). 

Once the ball on the scale gets down to half of the original weight of the wound skein, cut the yarn. I always re-wind the second ball since the original gets all wonky and loosey goosey on me but that's my OCD talking.

You now have two balls of yarn (or 1 if you're going that way). Grab your needle and let's cast these babies on!

IF you are working 1aat, you're going to cast-on your multiple of 8 sts according to your gauge. If you're not sure how to get gauge, or how to measure for your own gauge, see pages 4-7 of this weeks' clue. I've got detailed How-To instructions from a previous MKAL. 

IF you are working 2aat, you get to have some casting-on FUN! I've included a link to a video tutorial by the esteemed Knit Purl Hunter if the following photos don't make sense. Basically you'll cast on the first half of the first sock with Ball 1. Then you'll cast on ALL the sts for the second sock with Ball 2. And then you'll cast on the second half of the sts for your first sock with Ball 1. 

Clear as mud, right? OK, photo tutorial time. 

Using Ball 1 and using the long-tail cast-on method (or your preferred stretchy cast on), cast on the first half of your sts for sock 1. In my case, because I'm knitting over 56 sts, I'll be casting on 28 sts. 

In life, a little yarn barf must happen *grumble grumble*

Next, using Ball 2, I'm going to cast on the entire number of sts for my second sock. So, in my case I'll be casting on 56 sts adjacent to the first 28 sts I already cast on, but using the OTHER ball. 

LOL - OMG - do you just LOVE my giant, dodgy-looking pixelated parentheses? I'm not even close to a graphic person... sorry 'bout that. 

Here's where we divide this second set of sts, the 56 sts, in half and fold our needle in half, adjusting the sts around so that we can knit in the round. You'll see in this photo below that there are 28 sts from the First sts cast on at the end of the needle, next to that are 28 sts of the Middle sts cast on, then we've folded the needle and we have the remaining 28 Middle sts cast on, on the "other" needle (same needle in the long run, just the other end of the cable). 

Lastly, we cast on the remaining 28 sts for sock 1, using Ball 1. This can be a bit fidgety as the needle with the first sts on it tends to want to get in the way, but as long as the first st cast on is nice and snug you shouldn't have any gaping. 

Et voila! You now have all the sts needed to begin your sock. No increasing, no decreasing. Just start working your cuff and leg per the pattern you downloaded this morning and you're off to the races! Well, sorta... sock knitting isn't a fast thing, is it?

Maybe not, but dude, it's SO worth it!

Thanks for checking in for week 1. I am SO pumped to start knitting my cuff and leg. I can't wait to see how yours all knit up so please, please PRETTY please, share photos with me. 

How, you ask?

Tag me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/socalmeaghan and use #fallingdownmkal, #unapologeticknitter and/or #tuksockmkal

And by all means, if you have questions, email me at meaghan@unapologeticknitter.com or message me on Rav (http://www.ravelry.com/people/SoCalMeaghan), leave a comment here, or leave questions in the Discussion board for the MKAL on Ravelry (http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/the-unapologetic-knitter/3013583/1-25#23). 

There have been issues with me seeing questions on Ravelry in the past because, despite me being the owner of the discussion board, I don't get notified when people comment; I'm only notified if I'm tagged. So,  if it's urgent, please be sure to ear burn me. 

To do this enter my username in square brackets and follow it by tying the word "person" in parenthesis: 

Lastly, a friendly reminder about our prizes. To be entered to win one of our fabulous prizes, please submit your photos to me via email, Instagram (being sure to tag @socalmeaghan) or in our Ravelry MKAL discussion NO LATER than 11:59pm PST on Thursday, October 30th.

Happy Knitting!!!