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!