I finished my socks! I started these January 26th and finished them last night. These worked up surprisingly fast… I think it felt that way because Nate’s socks were larger and longer and plainer and seemed to go on for miles, so in comparison, these were short and sweet.
Due to the sizing issues I had with the very first socks I made for my best friend, I don’t trust pattern sizing. I improvised these socks to obtain the perfect fit. Overall, I was successful.
Express Lane by Diane Mulholland
This is the basic pattern I started with. I liked the lace repeat and wanted to use that, but didn’t like the toe or heel on this pattern, and the gauge required is looser than I wanted to knit these socks. Since the yarn I used is 100% wool, a tighter gauge would help the socks wear better. I basically only used the lace chart from this pattern.
And, I even altered that. The original lace repeat is 14 stitches and 8 rounds. I added 2 rounds to the top of the chart which made it a 16 stitch and 10 round repeat. I worked my socks over a total of 64 stitches and worked the 16 stitch lace repeat over the center of the top of the foot and the center back of the leg. I altered the calf-shaping chart to reflect my changes in the basic chart.
For the toe, I used the Square Toe because my toes don’t make a nice point. They are stubby and require a more rounded toe. I’m very happy with this toe because it fits and is stretchy, so will fit just about any toe shape.
For the gusset and heel, I used Fleegle’s Toe-Up Sock Instructions. This is the same gusset/heel I used for Nate’s Socks. Those turned out so nicely, I used Fleegle’s gusset/heel again. I’m very happy with this style of heel because it is easy to do and fits very well. I have learned through the few socks I’ve made that gussets are essential for a great fit.
Knit Picks Palette
I like this yarn. There is a huge color selection, and I don’t think the price can be beat for 100% wool. The wool is soft, not scratchy, and feels nice on my feet. It’ll be interesting to see how it wears. I used non-superwash wool for Nate’s socks because I think they wick moisture better, and Nate would be wearing his socks in rubber boots during wet weather. I used it for my socks because of the price difference–superwash is a tad more expensive.
I am a little worried by the comments on the yarn page for this yarn on Ravelry about felting. This IS feltable wool. I purposely knit these at a very tight gauge (8 stitches/inch versus the 9 that I think is average) to combat felting. It will be interesting to see how they hold up.
- Color – I adore the bright, vibrant green. They reminded me of spring while knitting them.
- Fit – Overall, they fit wonderfully, especially in the feet. They are the perfect length and the perfect circumference.
- Pattern – I think my pattern choices/manipulations were a success this time.
- Fit – The calf-shaping is not quite right. I needed to do more increasing than just 4 stitches every pattern repeat. My calves are kind of bulky and steeper than average, maybe. I think I should have increased an extra 4 stitches at the beginning/middle/end of the 5th round of the lace repeat during the calf-shaping. Then, I would have increased 8 stitches every pattern repeat and formed a steeper shaping. As they are, they do fit, but they slip down a bit when I walk because they are little too tight on the calves.
- Ribbing – I ended up with a stitch count that is not divisible by 4 which means that my 2×2 ribbing was a little off. At the beginning of the round on the first socks, I have 4 knits in a row. I intended to mirror that on the second sock and begin with 2 purls and work those 4 knits on the other side of the sock, but forgot when the time came. So my socks are mirrored, which is a little annoying. I doubt anyone else will notice or be bothered by it, so I didn’t tink back and redo it.
And now for photos! Aren’t you excited? I took a lot of pictures because these are the first socks I’ve knit for myself, so be patient. The color is spot on the pictures, though, so you can get a feel for how cheery it is. Click a photo to enlarge it.