featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, July 7, 2014

CRAFTS WITH ANASTASIA--GUEST AUTHOR AND KNITTR CORI LYNN ARNOLD

Cori Lynn Arnold writes police procedurals. She’s also worked as a hotel housekeeper, handywoman, laundry attendant, radio disc jockey, library clerk, historical photographic archivist, mathematics tutor, teaching assistant, artwork framer, photo lab junky, portrait and wedding photographer, high school algebra teacher, Internet security researcher, security analyst, computer programmer and ethical hacker. (With a background like that, she’s got plenty of fodder for many books!) Learn more about Cori and her books here. 

I love to knit - and quilt, and refinish furniture, and throw pottery and … you name it. I’m a sucker for crafty things. I like to tell people that I have enough hobbies for all my characters to live well-rounded lives outside of the pages of my manuscripts.

One of my favorite characters from Scalding Deceit is Assistant District Attorney Kristine Rocha. In one of the opening chapters she’s left waiting outside the Coroner’s office. Waiting isn’t her strong suit, and she’s already angry for being called down to his office. The email she received said that the Coroner was planning on changing his testimony in a murder trail she’d been working on for over a year. She can’t sit still, so she pulls out her needles and yarn to work on a small project that fits in a little pocket inside her briefcase: socks for her nephew Bryan.

Kristine has been knitting since she was five, but she quit the hobby during law school. She picked it up again when she found she needed a way to relax her mind.

Unlike Kristine, I didn’t learn to knit until I was thirty. My grandma owned a knitting shop for forty years and taught knitting for a living. My grandfather was a yarn salesman. So naturally I resisted anything to do with the hobby. My main hobby was quilting, but quilting projects are a little difficult to travel with.

About ten years ago, my grandparents asked me to join them on a fourteen-day cruise to celebrate my grandpa’s recovery (he’d been sick the winter before) and their anniversary. For the first few sea days I occupied myself with reading, but I was itching to do something with my hands. My grandma is always knitting, and watching her always mesmerized me. On about the fifth day I asked her if she had any spare knitting, and if she could teach me to knit. I’ve been knitting ever since.

I started with a dozen scarves, moved on to basic hats, then fancier hats and then I started making mittens, and socks. I’ve knit exactly one sweater. The sweater took me forever, but my husband wears it every winter even though his cheeks turn red and beads of sweat form on his forehead from the thick wool.

One thing my grandma doesn’t like to do is knit in the round on four needles. She’d rather knit flat in stockinette stitch and crochet the seam. I had already knit socks the hard way once when she taught me to knit socks with just two needles. The process is a lot more fun than gussets. When you are putting these socks together it feels a lot like the magic of origami. Only intermediary knitting skills are required: short row shaping using wrap and turn, and Kitchener’s stitch to graft the active stitches on the back of the heel together. You can choose whether to crochet or sew the seams, although my grandma says single crochet is the best way. The best part is this little project tucks away neatly in your briefcase if you ever get stuck outside the Coroner’s office waiting for him to tell you bad news about your case.

Kristine Rocha’s Two Needle Socks
Size: Child’s size for a 4 to 6 year old

Materials:
One skein of sock yarn, super fine weight. (I used “Bernat sox”)
One set of straight US #2 needles or size needed to obtain gauge.
Two small stitch holders
US D (or #3) crochet hook

Gauge:
28 stitches X 36 rows = 4 inches square

Cuff:
Cast on 40 stitches using long tail method. (Feel free to use a really long tail it’ll be useful later)

Row 1: K1, P1 across
Repeat Row 1 for 15 rows.

Ankle:
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Repeat these rows for 24 total rows, ending with a Purl Row.

Knit the first thirty stitches and stop. Place the first ten stitches from this row on a stitch holder. Place the last ten stitches from your left hand needle onto another stitch holder.

You now have twenty total working stitches on your needle. Purl these stitches across.

Top of foot:
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Repeat these rows until you have 25 rows from the point you put the 20 sts on hold.

(Okay, this next part is a little tough, but it goes really fast. If you need a refresher on wrap and turn I recommend you search for YouTube videos or the very helpful tutorial from Purl Bee: http://bit.ly/1o4wHrR)

Turn the toe:
Row 1: Knit 19 wrap and turn
Row 2: Purl 18 wrap and turn
Row 3: Knit 17 wrap and turn
Row 4: Purl 16 wrap and turn
Row 5: Knit 15 wrap and turn
Row 6: Purl 14 wrap and turn
Row 7: Knit 13 wrap and turn
Row 8: Purl 12 wrap and turn
Row 9: Knit 11 wrap and turn
Row 10: Purl 10 wrap and turn
Row 11: Knit 11, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 12: Purl 12, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 13: Knit 13, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 14: Purl 14, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 15: Knit 15, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 16: Purl 16, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 17: Knit 17, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 18: Purl 18, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 19: Knit 19, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 20: Purl 20, picking up the wrapped stitch

Bottom of the foot:
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Repeat these rows until you have 25 rows from the point you finished turning the toe.

Turn the heel (Note: this is exactly what you did for the toe):
Row 1: Knit 19 wrap and turn
Row 2: Purl 18 wrap and turn
Row 3: Knit 17 wrap and turn
Row 4: Purl 16 wrap and turn
Row 5: Knit 15 wrap and turn
Row 6: Purl 14 wrap and turn
Row 7: Knit 13 wrap and turn
Row 8: Purl 12 wrap and turn
Row 9: Knit 11 wrap and turn
Row 10: Purl 10 wrap and turn
Row 11: Knit 11, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 12: Purl 12, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 13: Knit 13, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 14: Purl 14, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 15: Knit 15, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 16: Purl 16, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 17: Knit 17, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 18: Purl 18, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 19: Knit 19, picking up the wrapped stitch
Row 20: Purl 20, picking up the wrapped stitch

Congratulations! You now how a wild looking origami project that looks just like this:
Believe it or not, you are almost there!

Pick up the twenty stitches from the stitch holder onto your second knitting needle Be careful to pick them up in the right order! The stockinette from the ankle section should meet together with the purl on the inside of the tube:
Use Kitchener’s stitch to graft the bottom of the ankle section to the back of the heel.

Finish by single crocheting the back of the ankle and the two sides of the sock together. And now all you have to do is make another one!

Scalding Deceit
A string of overdoses in Rochester, New York's bedroom suburbs has Detective Louis Baker and her partner Robert Hicks wondering if the only survivor, a wealthy pharmaceutical manufacturer, is the mastermind behind the tragedies, or the man who can lead them to the devious poisoner.

When botched DNA evidence poisons a rape and murder trial Kristine Rocha, assistant district attorney is struck with a personal crisis. Kristine must navigate the investigation to keep her job, while struggling to hold things in her family together.

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8 comments:

Angela Adams said...

Cool lookin' socks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the sock pattern and knitting is a great way to relax! You were so lucky to have someone close who could teach you!
Lynn/MI

Barbara Monajem said...

What a cool sock pattern. I usually use four needles, and I haven't yet managed to make a sock with a heel (tube socks only, so far). I still use a You Tube video to remind me how to join in the round. I bought a whole book of sock patterns and will add this to my collection. :)

GRANDMA MANN said...

posted a comment yesterday, but it didn't work

I'M THE GRANDMA IN THE BLOG. BOY, WHEN THIS YOUNG LADY STOPPED WORKING FOR SYMANTEC, SHE TOOK OFF KNITTING & WRITING LIKE A TRUE CRAFTER.

Susan D said...

Hey Cori, looks god. Both the socks and the books.

Susan D said...

No no no. Looks GOOD.

ELENA said...

Adorei! Obrigada pela receita!

Stella Viuf said...

Lovely pattern!!
How would you calculate other sizes?