Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Perfecting Ribbed Hand-knit Socks

Here's a little Christmas in July.

I actually took these photos a few months ago, setting a theme for my latest sock pattern, the one with the princess foot. My inspiration for this pattern started with a pair of socks I was knitting as a Christmas present. The giftee required princess-soled socks, ones with the knit side turned inside. I didn't like knitting the first pair; hated having to purl the sole. When I had to knit a second pair with princess soles for the next Christmas, I devised a method of avoiding the purling.

Last fall, I found that the purl bumps on the soles of my socks were making my feet sore. Suddenly, I was motivated to perfect my method and write a pattern. Actually, I've written two patterns. I think they will make great gift socks.

Cuff Down

Uses Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock, Patons Kroy FX, any similar weight yarn.

Toe Up
The cuff down version has a heel flap and gusset. The toe up version has the boomerang short row heel that I used for my Burning Stripes socks pattern--minus the colorwork.Both patterns explain how I turn the sock to the other side to avoid purling.

There you have it, Christmas in July. Super-comfy socks for your friends and family, or if you are like me, for yourself. Free on Ravelry, click the link below.

 Daylong Socks

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Knitting Shopping Socks

No, not shopping for knitted socks, knitting socks to wear while shopping! Really comfortable hand-knitted socks, socks that keep my feet from hurting (much) after a full day of walking--that's my goal. Towards that goal, I knit a pair of socks from a plain, durable yarn. 

I hope no one was expecting something spectacular. Even so, there is something about these socks that marks a new level of knitting success for me. The stripes match--almost perfectly. It wasn't easy, either. I had to cut the second skein of yarn into three pieces to get the repeats in the right place. I also fussed a good deal with the fit of these socks, changing the pattern of the ribbing to adjust the fit, wider at the top, narrow at the ankle and tapering at the toes. Since the number of stitches is the same throughout, they slip on very easily. I have other socks that I knit to fit my ankle tightly--those are a little hard to pull on over my heel. Not so with these. Besides the shaping, there's another feature that makes this pair of socks perfectly comfortable. Much of the foot is purl-side out. That means sensitive soles and toes are soothed by the smooth knit side of the stockinette. Although I have knit socks with Princess soles before, I found purling the entire sole much harder than just knitting the foot. I constructed these socks to avoid a lot of the purling. With so few knit stitches in the foot, it was easy to knit these socks inside-out after the heel flap. Besides the smooth, ready-for-shopping foot, and the ribbed shaping, I also like the tubular cast on I used for the 1x1 ribbed cuff. Absolutely perfect. I'm thinking of writing a pattern, but doubt it will be very popular at this point. These plain socks aren't attracting any attention. Instead, I'll just keep knitting all my socks with inside-out feet. They feel wonderful. 

If you would like to try a Princess soled sock, click the link below for my free pattern.

Daylong Socks