The Mouse pattern is finished, I have a horrible cold and I can’t stop reading the Hunger Games books. This sounds like a great time to knit socks.
I am knitting my way through the patterns in Sock Knitting Masterclass by Ann Budd. Initially I was interested in learning different construction techniques, but the first two pairs I knitted used the same construction. The top down, round heel, wedge toe combination is a classic and very satisfying to knit. I decided it was time to create a basic sock pattern just for my feet.
I really wanted to use the beautiful Felici Fingering self striping yarn from Knit Picks. I also wanted a plain stockinette stitch pattern. So I used the pattern Thigh High Stripes by Deborah Newton (from the Sock Knitting Masterclass book) as a basis for my experiments.
I am still experimenting!
My first challenge was getting the stripes to match. I had two balls of yarn and spent a long time lining up the changes in the color pattern. Then I snipped the yarn in the second ball so that it started at the same place in the pattern as the first ball. I kept the few yards I’d cut off and they came in useful later for the second pair of socks.
The first pair of socks I knitted were like the one on my right foot above. I knitted from top to bottom in the self striping yarn, although it was satisfyingly easy, it was also a little disappointing to see the stripes get out of order on the heel flap. This and the old “not quite enough yarn for a second pair” problem, made me try knitting the second pair with the top of the leg, heel and toe in Knit Picks Stroll Sock. As you can see, from the left foot above, I think this makes a better sock. I especially like that the Stroll Sock yarn is slightly denser than the Felici Fingering yarn, so it’s ideal for areas that get more wear.
For some reason, that I still cannot explain, I decided to knit a shorter toe on the first pair of socks. I stopped decreasing when there were 32 sts left on the needles and not 16 (like a standard wedge toe). They still fit, but the fabric is pulled too tightly across my big toe and will probably form a hole soon. When it does I’ll give it a longer toe in a different color. When I knitted the second pair I used the longer toe, but I also knitted too many rows in the foot, I was probably over compensating. Of course that means the second pair are slightly too long!
So now I know how to get two pairs of well fitting socks from two balls of yarn and I almost have a sock pattern for my feet. I still have no intention of publishing a sock pattern, but a stitch pattern that would work well in a sock? Now there’s a thought.