Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Favourite socks

I really ought to think of a classier name for this - but this is indeed my favourite sock pattern, arrived at by trial and error over numerous pairs of socks, and it is the pattern that I invariably use for my husband's socks. It fits me too, if I change the needle size, which is very convenient.

We all have our own sock patterns, I am sure. With regard to mine, I don't think I've ever actually written it all out before. In my knitting notebook it is a few lines and some numbers, with a fair amount of crossing out and different things put instead. Anyway, here it is. It works for me.

You need 100 grams of sock yarn - Opal, Regia, Trekking XXL (shown above) or possibly Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. Below you can see these socks made in Opal Hundertwasser, Meilenweit Cotton Fantasy, Regia's Kaffe Fassett design line, and finally Regia Banner.

Something like Cherry Tree Hill Supersock is rather thicker, as is Koigu, and you'd need to adjust the stitch count and/or the needle size, depending on your tension.

To fit womens UK shoe size 6 (men's UK shoe size 9) - easily adjusted for women's size 5 or 7, or for men's size 8 or 10.

Needle size 2.25mm (2.5mm) - dpns, two circs, or magic loop as you please. I like dpns, but if you don't, that's fine too.

Tension 8sts and 11 rds = 1" (7.5sts and 10 rds). Do check this - if your tension is different, then the finished sock won't be the same size as mine.

For instructions on working in the round - look here - small diameter circular knitting is what you want. And for instructions on grafting, aka Kitchener stitch - look here. For weaving in ends - this is what you want.

Cast on 64 sts. Join for working in the round, taking care not to twist the cast-on. I use a set of 5 dpns, with 16 sts on each of 4 needles.
Work 20 rounds k1 p1 rib.
Work 60 rounds stocking stitch.

Work a heel flap over the first 32 stitches - that would be the first two needles - using heel stitch.
Row 1: (slip1, knit 1) across. Turn.
Row 2: slip 1, purl to end. Turn.
Repeat these two rows until you have worked 32 rows in the heel flap.

Turn the heel in whatever way you like best - or use this method -
Slip1, k17, ssk, k1, turn
Slip 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn
Slip 1, k across to one stitch before the gap, ssk using the next stitch and the first stitch on the other side of the gap, k1, turn
Slip 1, p across to one stitch before the gap, p2tog with the next stitch and the first stitch on the other side of the gap, p1, turn
Continue like this until you have used up all the stitches across the top of the heel flap. On the last two rows you will not have enough stitches to work one stitch plain after the decrease - finish the k row with k2tog (not ssk) and finish the purl row with p2tog tbl.
Turn so that the right side of the work is facing ready for the next row - 18 sts left across the top of the heel flap.

Slip 1, knit all the way across the heel flap.
Pick up one stitch in each slipped stitch along the left hand side of the heel flap, and work these stitches through the back loop to twist them - 16 sts. I pick up the back loop of the slipped stitch, you may like to pick up the front loop, or both loops. In my opinion, picking up the back loop is preferable as it gives a smooth finish on the inside of the sock, with no ridge. But whatever suits you is fine, of course.
I always seem to want to pick up an extra stitch at the bottom as well, so that would make 17.
At the beginning of the instep stitches pick up one stitch right in the corner between the heel flap and the instep stitches - again, work this through the back loop - and then carry on across the 32 instep stitches. Pick up another stitch in the corner on the other side, work it thru the back loop as before.
Now pick up one stitch in each slipped stitch along the right hand edge of the heel flap, working them thru the back loop as before - I always pick up another one at the top - and continue to the middle of the heel - 9 more stitches.
This point - the middle of the heel flap - is now the beginning of the round.

Work one round to confirm the stitches. Lose the extra corner stitches on this round - I work k2tog at the beginning of the instep stitches, and ssk at the end, taking together the corner stitch and the end stitch of the instep each time. This bring the instep stitches back to 32.

Now work the gusset.
On the next round, work to three stitches from the end of the first needle, and then k2tog, k1.
Work straight across the 32 instep stitches and then work k1, ssk at the beginning of the fourth needle.
Work one round plain.
Alternate these two rounds until your stitch count is back to 64 again.

Now work the foot - plain stocking stitch, until a total of 68 rounds have been worked since the pick-up along the side of the heel flap. This fits the sizes given above - you can adjust for a women's size 5 or 7 by working 4 rounds less or 4 rounds more, and for a men's size 8 or 10 in the same way.

Now shape the toe - this is a graduated wedge toe.

Round 1: This is the decrease round. Work to three stitches before the end of needle 1 then k2tog, k1
At the beginning of needle 2, work k1, ssk.
Work to three stitches before the end of needle 3, k2tog, k1.
At the beginning of needle 4, work k1, ssk.
Rounds 2, 3, & 4: work plain. 15 sts on each needle, 60 in total.

Round 5: as Round 1
Rounds 6 & 7: work plain. 14 sts on each needle, 56 in total.

Round 8: as Round 1
Rounds 9 & 10: work plain. 13 sts on each needle, 52 in total.

Round 11: as Round 1
Round 12: work plain. 12 sts on each needle, 48 in total.

Alternate these two rows until you have 10 stitches on each needle - 40 in total. Work one more round plain - 16 rounds since you started the toe shaping.

Now work every round as Round 1 until there are just 2 sts left on each needle - 8 in total. 24 rounds since you started the toe shaping.

Slip the sts from needles 1 and 2 onto the same needle, and the sts from needles 3 and 4 onto another.

Graft these stitches together - 4 from each side of the sock, so that it looks as if there is a continuous band of 4 stitches running all the way around the sides of the toe shaping. Note that many sock patterns graft stitches from the top of the foot to stitches from the sole of the foot - this is different. You want side-to-side here. I know it sounds unlikely, but it works really well.

Weave in ends - and you're done.


Queen of the froggers said...

Great socks! My standard pattern is my Regia leaflet.

Jessica Pollitt said...

Oooo! Love these! Thanks, Fiona...
The Bath SnB group will next be meeting in the cafe on the 25th Nov, if you're free for a latte?

Fiona said...

I think that looks distinctly possible, Jess! :)

R said...

Thank you very much. Just made my first sock with your instructions. Very pleased.