Sunday, September 30, 2012

FO: Rainy Weekend in September Socks

Finished!  My September Sockdown socks are completed within the month - amazing!
I joined the Sock Knitters Anonymous Group on Ravelry just in time to start the 2012 Sockdown challenge.  Every month for a year, the Group offers its members a choice of themes for their sock-knitting.  It is a great way to discover new designers / techniques, smash the stash, and generally get yourself fired up about sock-knitting.

For my first challenge, I chose to go with a pattern from one of the featured designers for September, Ingrid Hiddessen.
This pattern, the Rainy Weekend Socks, was only available in German, but right on time, a couple of other Group members decided to work up an English translation, and formed a sub-group to test out their instructions, including me.
However, my socks were complicated by my choice of size.  I wanted to knit a pair of man-socks for FL's Christmas (ssssh!  Don't tell!) so I opted for the "Size 45" variation, which even the original German pattern was a bit vague about.  Really, it is more of a "sock recipe" for the non-standard sizes.
Being toe-up, everyone starts off with a narrow toe-point and increases up to their chosen foot-width before commencing the cable chart.  I went for 72 stitches.
Then it is straightforward knitting until you reach the gusset section, where you increase to accommodate the instep.  My method of making stitches resulted in an attractive row of lacey holes either side of the cabled section.  I suspect that this was not supposed to happen.  Shrug. 

When I reached the point where there were 19 purl stitches either side of the cabled section, I worked the heel turn, as per the instructions.
The original pattern then has the knitter decrease the purls from the heel-flap edge, knitting it together with the instep, row by row - very clever!
However, I needed to preserve my 72 stitch girth, so stopped decreasing while there were still 9 purl stitches either side of the cable, instead of a single stitch as written for the 56-stitch pattern.  This means my ribbing begins quite abruptly at the ankle, rather than appearing as a smooth transition.  I also had to change the width of the ribs to accommodate the extra 8 stitches on either side.  A bit of a bodge-job, to be honest!
The next picture demonstrates "the whole truth"!
It looks as if I have monster toenails!
But don't forget that these socks will be worn by a man with much longer and wider feet, who is not in the habit of showing off his gussets... at least I do hope he isn't!


blue hands said...

Well done, sock woman! I hate making mods to patterns, they never seem to work for me.

daisydonut said...

Your socks are lovely I'm sure FL will love them. I'm so impressed that you modified the pattern as I don't attempt modifications. I've only knitted one pair of socks and stuggled, now I'm trying to knit a pair of gloves which is even fiddlier.

Gail said...

Hehehe - that last picture is funny. I love your description of it. Reminds me of the Grinch!

These are so pretty, and it sounds like you got to learn some cool techniques along the way!

Lynne said...

Your socks are great! I LOVE the cables, they are cable heaven! I hope FL loves them, and I would call the increase lacey holes a design feature...

Snickerdoodle Smith said...

Amazing socks Roo! Your FL is a lucky man!

LinB said...

Have downloaded this pattern, to try if/when life slows down a bit, by inspiration of your witch-toed version (how funny it feels to try on too-large clothing -- like being a little girl again). I love the color of these socks as much as the patterning. Plain old socks are so soothing and mindless to knit that I rely on them for waiting room and staff meeting diversions. It takes real thought to use a new technique. Good on you!

velosewer said...

How cosy and stylish. You've done a great job on these socks.

Alessa said...

What a lovely pattern! I really need to try cable socks sometime soon, instead of the boring old version... ;) Hehe, witchy toenails. About the lace stitches, did you try twisting them/stitching in the back loop?