This week, I chat with Donna Druchunas and continue my obsession with Dragon Skin stitch with a pair of socks.
Little Dragon Socks
Dragon Skin, as presented in Barbara Walker's Knitter's Guide to the Galaxy, er, A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, is 26 stitches wide. That is just too large for most socks, in my opinion, so I scaled it down, and added lifted increases that slant to the left and the right.
The original pattern doesn't make a distinction between two kinds of lifted increases, but I do. I actually flip back and forth on which one I think works for any given situation, but I do like to use one kind of lifted increase on one side of a pattern and another one on the other.
For one increase, I lift the running thread between the stitch just worked and the next stitch on the needle, from the back of the work, then knit into the front of that thread.
For the other increase, I lift the running thread between the stitch just worked and the next stitch on the needle, from the front of the work, then knit into the back of that thread.
Both of these methods create very tight, nearly invisible increases. When lined up, especially across from each other, they make a neat, striking line. When working with sock yarn, it can sometimes be kind of hard to make one of the increases. So, I have a spare needle, of the same size or smaller than the working needles, handy for those harder-to-make lifts. Sometimes it gives me just a little more leverage, and I don't have to worry or curse as much.
Speaking of yarn, I LOVE this one. It's Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in charcoal. It might just look black, depending on your screen, but it's actually a dark grey, with beautiful stitch definition and a very round, springy texture.
It was so nice to talk with Donna. We talked about really expensive yarn, Fair Isle knitting, and Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel Sock Book, among other things.
Donna lists many more sources here. Lithuanian Knitting Alice Starmore Sheila McGregor's Books Fair Isle Knitting Sweet Tomato Heel Sock Book by Cat Bordhi Successful Lace Knitting (celebrates Dorothy Reade)