The boy has socks.

Jerry's New Socks

I am seriously on fire with the socks. To be honest, I have been watching seasons 1-3 of Fringe on my computer (bought the instant videos on Amazon) and that leaves me with a lot of time for knitting that I can put on autopilot.

Do I even need to tell you what pattern I’m using? It is, again, Judy Gibson’s You’re Putting Me On Toe Up Sock pattern. And since I have a certain way that I do all the things in the pattern, I thought I’d give you some more details.

Jerry's New Socks

The Toe

I use a figure-8 cast on for the toe. It’s a little tricky when you first learn it, but it’s also really cool. I learned it first when I knit HelloYarn’s Top Down Bonnet for Maggie way back when (Oh my, that link has a picture of Maggie from 2007! You must click it!).

I’ve refined the way I knit the cast on. Here’s what I do. I loop the yarn around the needles (using two needles). Then I knit across each needle (now I’m using three needles). Most instructions will have you begin the increases on the next round, while also dividing the stitches between four needles. I do those things on separate rounds. First, I knit one round and divide the stitches evenly between four needles (so I am actually using five needles). Then on the next round I begin the increases. I find the work is less fiddly when I do it this way, and that makes me a happier knitter.

For the toe, I use a KFB increase. When the work is so tiny and fiddly at the beginning, the KFB is the easiest for me to handle, and it’s relatively quick. Here’s how I do it:

Needle 1: KFB, k to end of needle.
Needle 2: K to last 2 sts, KFB, K1.
Needle 3: Same as Needle 1.
Needle 4: Same as Needle 2.

The Bind Off

Getting a loose bind off at the top edge of a toe-up sock is crucial. I use the same one every time, and like Grumperina, the first time I used it was on the cast off edge of my Leaf Lace Shawl (again with the old knits! 2007!).  I don’t know what Evelyn Clark calls this bind off, but I’ve seen something called a Russian Bind Off that is very similar.  What I do differently is that I don’t slip stitches back to the left hand needle.

I described the bind off like this in the pattern for my toe up Celery Socks:

K1, *K1, insert L needle tip into the front of the 2 sts from left to right and knit them together from this position.* Repeat between *s until 1 st remains. Cut yarn and fasten off.

It is easy and effective. You need not change to a larger needle, either. If anything, you work this cast off just as tight as any other stitch. It’s naturally Very Stretchy!

Jerry's New Socks

The yarn I used for these socks is Cascade Heritage 150 and I loooooove it. It’s technically sport weight, but it’s on the thin side if you ask me. But the socks are cushy. I went back to the yarn store where I bought the yarn, to buy more, and they didn’t have any. And instead of the yarn being sold out because it was super popular, I think they didn’t restock it because nobody was really crazy about it. Oh, well.

Best part of these socks? Jerry loves them! He’s been wearing them around the house, and that makes this knitter very happy, indeed.

More info about pattern and yarn for these socks on Ravelry.

Since I wasn’t finished with Fringe when I finished these socks, I started another pair. Trekking XXL (one of my favorite sock yarns!) in pumpkiny colors!

Socktober

plain socks

I’m in the home stretch on a pair of toe-up, plain socks.

current wipmost of sock#2

I find plenty of beautiful, intricate sock patterns that I’d love to make, but I always fall back on my old standby. The pattern is You’re Putting Me On by Judy Gibson.

Generally, I start a sock without even thinking much about the numbers or the eventual size.  I start with what I like to call a “10-minute Swatch” just to be sure my needles and yarn are happy together. Then I cast on using the sort-of tricky, but ultimately kick ass Figure-8 Cast On. The toe increases are accomplished with a kfb or sometimes a m1, whatever I’m feeling in the moment.  It’s before I complete the toe increases that I locate my scribble laden copy of the pattern and make sure I match one of the numbers given.

The Generic version of the pattern lets you choose from a slew of foot stitches (from 32 to 80 foot sts, depending on your yarn, gauge, and desired finished size) and gives you all the numbers to plug in for your size. These particular socks started with 12 sts on each needle at the toe, and I increased to 64 using kfb. I’m knitting them on 1.5 (2.5mm) needles.

Socks, to me, are what I knit when I have nothing else to knit. Or when I need a small something in my bag. I don’t love knitting socks like I love knitting other things, but I do love wearing them. I also have a very important person in my life who wants for nothing…but handknit socks.

It’s just coincidence that these will be ready by Mother’s Day, but I couldn’t have planned it any better!

All I can hope for now is that I didn’t just curse myself by saying “these will be ready.”  Now something crazy will happen like I sit on a needle and break it. Oh, why did I just say that?

current wipall of sock #1

socks

socks on the ground

These are a pair of socks I just finished a week or so ago, using Socks That Rock Mediumweight in an enchanting and bloody shade of red they call Brick. This was my first time using this yarn, and I think I’ll be back for more. Here it is shortly after I bought it, from Knitch in Atlanta.

Socks that Rock Mediumweight

The pattern, Double-Quick Toe Up Socks, is something I co-designed with my friend Cindy. She was very generous to call me co-designer, since the concept of the pattern was well established when I came aboard. Nonetheless, it’s an honor to call this design partially my own. There’s not too many ways to knit a handknit sock that haven’t been thought up, but the pattern has some unique construction to it and the result is very wearable. Heck, it’s practically 90 degrees HOT outside and I’ve got these suckers on my feet.

This picture better shows the construction of the sock, with the garter stitch toe and heel flap, leading up to a short garter stitch cuff.

Talk about double quick.  I just started these!

The pattern includes two versions of the same short-cuffed sock. I knit the Garter Stitch Heels and Toes version; the other is the Eye of Partridge Cuff version. If you are so inclined, the pattern is available as a $5.00 download on Ravelry.

I wish I had  modeled pictures of my bloody socks, but gosh, it is so damn hard for me to take pictures of my own feet and make them look good. I would call that, hands down, one of the worst parts of having a knitting blog: Taking crappy pictures of your own feet in an attempt to show off a great hand knitted sock. FAIL every time.