Scroll Lace Sock Pattern
This weekend marked the second annual "Drop precious, blood-and-sweat-soaked (figuratively) hand-knitted items off at county fair, cross fingers, and hope that none of them get trampled by goats or covered in award winning jam" Day. I'll find out this coming weekend not only if they survived the goats and jams and other mysterious, sticky county fair dangers, but also if they won me any ribbons. And of course there is the potential monetary windfall. Last year's winnings were enough to buy me one whole issue if Interweave Knits! Oh boy! (I poke fun at the minuscule amount of prize money given out, but in reality, I think they should give no money at all. I have a gut feeling that the prize money may be one of the barriers to getting them to revamp and massively expand the shamefully small number of categories for needlework. I don't need the money; I only need fame and glory and goat-free mittens!)
I submitted, as planned, my Komi Mittens, and decided at the very last minute to submit the Vertical Stripes Fair Isle, since I long ago gave up on the insanity of trying to finish the Autumn Color Cardigan in time for the fair.
Speaking of the Autumn Color Cardigan... no, don't get too excited. I'm not working on it again just quite yet. I have two designing projects to get out of the way first. (And wasn't that a lovely way for me to put it. "Get out of the way." I really do like both projects quite a lot, but both have been simmering for way too long, and it's time to eat the soup, already.) The second of the projects is an expanded version of my Komi bag, which will be appearing in the Stitch and Bitch calendar, whenever that comes out. (I thought it was June, but that's come and gone.) It will have more complete instructions, as well as 3 or 4 additional colorwork options. I just need to swatch up those other colorwork option samples and flesh out the pattern instructions.
The first project I'll be working on, which I just cast on for the other day, is a fabulous pair of socks. The good is they were rejected by IK. No, really! It's good because they considered them for a while, which to me is almost as good as being published there. It means they liked my pattern idea. The bad is that I've been trying to get my swatch back from them since May, it sounds like maybe they lost it, and are no longer even answering my emails. I think I'll be sticking to self-publishing and maybe submitting to Knitty from now on, because I do not appreciate being treated like that. (The first thing I did before submitting it was make sure they return swatches, which they do. I've been counting on that to help in the design/redesign process. I put a ton of work into it, and having to make the sock without it has been more difficult than it needed to be, even with my photographs and notes. And also, my time and energy is worth more than lost property without a reply or apology.)
And now that the venting portion of this entry is over (with apologies to the friends who have heard this venting before), how about a sock pattern that isn't tainted by anger and frustration? It's not as fancy or new as the one I have on the needles, but it's pretty and elegant, and I know a few of you have been waiting for it. I apologize that I don't have it in PDF format (I don't have a place online to store such things). If you have trouble printing it, or copying and pasting it into a Word document for easier printing, email me (bowerbirdknits AT gmail DOT com), and I'll try to get a Word document to you as soon as I can.
(Additional photos of the socks can be found in previous posts, or by clicking here.)
100 grams of a thin fingering weight yarn, set of five 1.75mm (US size 00) doublepointed needles, yarn needle for grafting and finishing
gauge (in stockinette in the round)
11 stitches per inch (44 stitches per 4 inches / 10 centimeters)
Note On Sizing, Fit, and Gauge (read this!): I have relatively small feet and relatively skinny ankles. The stitch pattern I used in this sock does not have a lot of give to it. These socks fit me perfectly, but I do have to tug to get them on. Many (heck, most) of you have knit Jaywalkers -- it's the same kind of deal. My recommendation is that if you have ever had trouble with any socks ever being difficult (or impossible) to get over your heel, go up one needle size for the leg of this sock. If you have started them and are unsure about whether you'll be able to get them on, put them on scrap yarn and try them on now. If you have large, or maybe even medium sized ankles and feet, consider dropping to 9 or 10 stitches per inch for the entire sock. I think these are great socks, but they can only be great if you can wear them. Knit with these sizing and gauge issues in mind, please!
(Click here for a downloadable version of the chart.)
casting on and hem
Loosely cast on 80 stitches (20 per needle). I prefer the Twisted German Cast On, but your preferred stretchy sock cast on will do.
Work 8 rounds of plain stockinette (knit every stitch)
Next round create the picot edge by work [yo, k2tog] around
Work 8 rounds of plain stockinette
On the next round knit the cast on edge together with your live stitches. I do this by taking a loop from the cast on edge, placing it on the left needle, and knitting it with the next live stitch on the needle as if I were doing a k2tog. Simply proceed around the cast on edge, picking up a loop from the next cast on stitch each time.
Work 2 rounds of plain stockinette
Note: If you are knitting the leg on larger needles, but are worried about droop, consider enclosing a band of elastic inside the picot hem. I've never actually tried this, but I bet it would help with droopiness.
Work the chart (18 row repeat) 5 times, or to length desired. Each row of the chart will be repeated 8 times around the circumference of the sock leg.
After completing the desired number of leg repeats, turn the sock, slip 1, and purl 39. There will now be 40 pattern stitches being held on 2 needles, and 40 heel flap stitches on one needle.
Turn, [slip 1, knit 1] across the heel flap
Repeat the above two rows (1. slip 1, purl 39; 2. [slip 1, knit 1] across) 22 more times, for a total of 23 repeats of the heel pattern (46 rows total)
Slip 1, purl 22, p2tog, purl 1, turn
slip 1, knit 7, ssk, k1, turn
Continue in pattern, always decreasing (p2tog or ssk) across the gap and working one plain stitch (purl or knit) after the decrease, so that you incorporate 2 more stitches into the heel cup with each short row worked. You will end on a knit row, and should have 24 stitches on the needle.
Continuing in a clockwise manner, pick up 25 stitches along one side of the gusset -- one stitch per every 2 rows of the heel flap, plus 2 extras before the instep, to avoid holes. This will be needle 1
Work across the instep in the chart pattern, starting on row 1. There will be 4 repeats of the chart pattern across every row of instep. These needles will be needles 2 and 3.
Pick up 25 stitches for the other side of the gusset. This will be needle 4.
Knit across the heel flap, and arrange the stitches so that half (12) are on needle 4 and half are on needle 1.
On the next round, knit across needle 1, twisting the gusset stitches as you knit them (this is done by knitting through the back loop, if you knit the traditional way), continue the instep pattern on needles 2 and 3 with row 2 of the chart, knit across needle 4, twisting the second half of the gusset stitches as you knit them.
(On all following rounds, the gusset and heel/sole stitches on needles 1 and 4 will all be knit plain, and all of the instep stitches on needles 2 and 3 will be knit according to the chart, as you have been doing.)
On the next round, start the gusset decreases. Knit to 3 stitches from the end of needle 1, k2tog, k1, work the instep stitches across needles 2 and 3, k1, ssk, and knit to the end of the needle 4.
Work the next round "plain" - stockinette with no decreases for the gusset stitches (needles 1 and 4), and the next round of the chart as written for the instep stitches (needles 2 and 3).
Alternate decrease and "plain" rounds until there are 20 stitches on needle 4 and 20 stitches on needle 1, for a total of 80 stitches around all 4 needles.
Continue work in pattern until the sock is about 2" shorter than your foot. For me that was 5 pattern repeats. My feet are slightly smaller than average, so you may need more repeats than that. Try to end on a full or half repeat -- on row 9 or 18 of the chart pattern.
Knit one round (including the instep stitches) in stockinette.
Work one decrease round: Knit to the last three stitches on needle 1, k2tog, knit 1; start needle 2 with knit 1, ssk, knit to the end of needle 2; knit to the last three stitches on needle 3, k2tog, knit 1, start needle 4 with knit 1, ssk, knit to the end of needle 4 (round completed)
Work one plain stockinette round (all knit)
Alternate decrease and plain stockinette rounds 6 times more (7 times total), until there are 13 stitches left on each needle.
Work the decrease round 7 times more, with no intervening plain stockinette rounds, until there are 6 stitches left on each needle.
Knit the stitches from needle 1 onto needle 4. Slip the stitches from needle 3 onto needle 2.
Cut the working yarn, and graft the toe closed with kitchener stitch.
Weave in ends and block as desired.
The original line by line instructions for this stitch pattern can be found in Barbara Walker's 2nd Treasury. Please let me know if you catch any errors or typos in the pattern. Happy Knitting!
Next time: Tales from sock designing? Teaser photos? More handspun? Colorwork bag swatches? I honestly don't know. Any requests?