My knitter pen-pal friend in Poland likes wearing funky handknit socks. But she doesn’t like knitting socks. She says they take too long. She also likes to tease about how fast I knit.
I love knitting socks. However, I already have several pairs, so can’t justify the cost of the sock yarn with just the entertainment value of the knitting.
Cue the conversation where she commissioned me to knit her a pair of socks. I thought she was joking at first. But she ordered the yarn and had it sent directly to me. And she chose the pattern. And I got to knit these super fun cute socks I would have never chosen for myself. 😀
She sent me measurements for her feet, but I was still so worried they wouldn’t fit. I waited to blog about them until I got the good news. I’m happy to report they do fit, very nicely!
I was given this sock yarn as part of a 2018 holiday swap. I was excited because I haven’t been buying sock yarn for myself lately, but have missed knitting socks. This gave me a great excuse — especially because this color wouldn’t be appropriate anywhere else on me (as a shawl, for example)!
Progression Info Started – December 19 Completed – January 11
I have some interesting statistics for this pair of socks. I’ve wondered for a long time how much knitting time a pair of socks actually requires. When I knit the second sock for this pair, I decided to find out for sure. This sock pattern is mildly patterned, which serves as a good middle-ground for timing. I timed myself knitting the second sock, and here’s what I found:
Total Time: about 7.5 hours toe – 17 mins; foot – 2 hrs; gusset – 1.5 hrs; heel – 55 mins; leg – 2.25 hrs; cuff – 25 mins; bind off – 8 mins; finishing – 4 mins
I was most intrigued that the foot, gusset, and leg all take nearly the same amount of time. I expected the heel to be less time than it was, as it always feels like it works up quickly.
So, it appears I can knit a pair of socks in roughly 15 hours. 🙂 That’s definitely manageable over a long three-day weekend, if I don’t have anything else happening. But is more realistically about a week of knitting time for me, if I knit exclusively on that one pattern.
Pattern Info Speckled Space Socks by Amanda Stephens Ravelry
As promised, this is a great pattern for speckled sock yarns like this one. The design is interesting and still shows through all the color variegation, but is also easy to memorize.
These socks fit better than any other pair I’ve knit myself. 🙂 That’s very exciting to me! I knit it at a tighter gauge than called for in the pattern (the foot of my socks are 9 stitches per inch; the pattern is written for 8). In the pattern notes, the designer mentions that some of her test knitters found the leg too tight because of the cables reaching all the way around versus on the foot where the cables are only on the instep. Her suggestion was to increase needle size for just the leg. I took the advice and used a bigger needle on the leg, which gave me 8 stitches per inch. The gauge difference isn’t very noticeable by sight, but the fit is much better this way.
The only thing that could make them fit absolutely perfectly would be about 2 more gusset rounds. I need just a bit more width around the widest point of my foot. But I don’t think I need a taller heel flap. So I would need to decrease out those extra gusset stitches somewhere. That’s the piece I haven’t figured out — maybe at the top center of the heel flap/back of the heel? Or somewhere in the heel turn? I’m not sure.
As I mentioned, this yarn was given to me as part of a swap I participated in recently. It is so bright! and cheerful! and fun! But it definitely needed to be socks.
The yarn bled quite a lot in the wash and rinse, but the color didn’t fade noticeably, so I think it was just excess dye. That’s not a problem for a one-skein/one-color project, but could be an issue if I paired this with a really light color in a two-color project. I’m only noting it so that I remember to not wash these socks alongside something white or pale!
I knit this pattern once before and the socks became my favorite pair. They fit the best of all the socks I’ve made. I was given this yarn and decided to make another pair of socks, tweaking the fit enough to have a perfect pair.
Progression Info Started – May 17
Completed – July 5
Duration – 49 days = 7 weeks
I took several breaks from knitting these to work on other projects. Also, canning season happened, and though it was short-lived for us, I didn’t knit much, if at all, for 2-3 weeks.
This is a good pattern, although I think the heel instructions could be improved. The flap portion has some slipped stitches at the edges that don’t look very tidy when done. I noticed it the last time I knit this pattern, but forgot to do anything different on the first sock. So I made the second sock to match the first, even though I don’t like how it looks.
The change I made was to knit these socks at a much firmer gauge than previously — 9.5 stitches per inch this time. I’m not sure what my gauge was on the previous pair, but I would guess in the 7-8 stitches per inch range. I much prefer this firmer fabric for socks. Last time, I knit the size Medium, and this time, I knit the size Large, which fits even better. I knit the leg a bit longer — 10 repeats instead of just 5.
I’m very, very pleased with the fit this time. These are the best-fitting socks I’ve ever knit, hands (feet?) down.
Yarn Info Knit Picks Stroll
75% superwash wool, 25% nylon
1.38 skeins = 318.8 yds used
I have enough of this yarn left to make Sprout a matching pair — I’m not sure if I’m up for scaling down this pattern, but I’m going to work on other things first, and may be willing to do the work later.
I have wanted to knit color work socks for a long time. After tackling various other stranded projects (the Clayoquot set for JB, for example), I decided it was time to try socks.
Progression Info Started – October 2
Completed – November 14
Duration – 43 days = 6.1 weeks
Pattern Info Garland Socks by Lesley Melliship Ravelry
I had this pattern in my favorites for a long time. I made a few modifications.
I knit one plain round before starting the ribbing I like how the edge looks even done this way. I knit 1×1 twisted rib instead of the 2×2 plain ribbing instructed. I made the toe more rounded by doing the first 20 decreases as described, but then the last 10 by decreasing every round.
The second sock accidentally finished bigger than the first. I think I just knit the foot more loosely the second time. I was more comfortable with the pattern and working with two colors by that point. The socks don’t have a snug fit anyway and will be cozy cuddle-up-by-the-fire socks, so I’m not worried enough about the difference to fix it.
Yarn Info Valley Yarns Huntington
75% merino wool, 25% nylon
Colorways – light grey heather, arctic
1.74 skeins = 379.32 yds used
These colors do not have as high of contrast as is usually found in stranded color work. I did this on purpose, for two reasons. First, lower contrast between the colors hides mistakes. Second, I am not one to wear very bright colors or patterns, and low contrast makes a more subtle color work design.
I never blogged about these because I was glad to get them off the needles, and wasn’t pleased with how they turned out. I am still not very happy with them, as indicated by the ends I haven’t woven in yet, and the fact I haven’t even washed them yet. But, here they are, at any rate.
Progression Info Started – March 9
Completed – April 10
Duration – 32 days = 4.2 weeks
The knitting duration on these should tell you how much I liked them. I can usually knit a plain pair of socks in a week, if not less than that.
Pattern Info Day Off Socks by Jessica Gore Ravelry
I want to be very clear that my disdain for these socks has nothing to do with the pattern itself. Mostly, I don’t like how the cuff fits — the top edge is really tight. It would not surprise me at all if I broke a stitch putting these on or off one day. That’s my own fault; I should have bound off more loosely or with a stretchier bind-off technique.
I modified the pattern by lengthening the cuff and adding a 4×2 rib to the instep.
Yarn Info Knit Picks Palette
Colorways – finnley heather, victorian
0.96 skeins = 221 yds used
I chose this toe-up sock pattern so that I could use up all of the Victorian colorway (the dusty red color). I was successful, there. I still have some of the gray left, but only enough for sock toes, maybe.
Apologies for the poor quality phone-pictures. I had to dig these socks out of hiding.