Last week was all about finishing FL’s birthday socks, and I am pleased to say they are done, with plenty of time to spare.
The yarn is “Goth Socks”, colourway “Night”, from the Dead Poets Club series. I would definitely recommend this yarn. It is a familiar firm base – rather like Claudia Handpaint or Cherry Tree Hill - and the dye-job is great. It is a really “good” black and the striping is even and crisp. The dark blue / purple sections are gorgeous, with little stars of white here and there. There is plenty of yardage. These are long, wide socks, and I still had a golfball-sized portion leftover.
I used the “Dead Simple Lace” pattern from Wendy’s new book, but upped the needle size from 2mm to 2.5mm because this yarn seemed too thick for Size 0’s. I appear to have “got gauge” but I felt like I was knitting Big Socks from the start as they are 8 ½ inches wide unstretched for a size “medium”. Wendy’s patterns tend to have a wide wedge toe, which is great for men’s socks but I am less sure for myself or my daughter.
I found it hard to judge when to start the heel shaping. This is only my second pair of toe-up socks and I was trying to measure them against finished top-down socks. I ended up making cardboard sock-blockers using a pair of my son’s handknitted socks as a template, and trying the sock on there. The sock foot has turned out longer than the blocker… but maybe FL has bigger feet than my son? Oh dear. So there is still an element of doubt about the fit. And they look blinking weird on those blockers!
Would I knit this pattern again? Almost certainly, because it flatters a self-striping yarn and kept me interested. But I would use a thinner yarn and smaller needles for a woman’s sock.
I think what I have learned most from this project is that I need to get some properly-sized sock blockers if I am going to knit toe-up socks without trying them on the recipient’s foot as I go. I am thinking of getting some funky recycled plastic ones from Finland called “Succaplokki”. Isn’t that a great word?! The Etsy seller also makes cool hand-shaped needle-gauges which I have my eye on!