Wednesday, March 12, 2008



My first Knitty pattern! You can find them here, and if you're interested you can queue them here on Ravelry.


This is the pattern that I submitted to IK in December of '06, which they lost, which I then submitted to Knitty for the Winter issue, which didn't make it there because the email was eaten by gremlins. So, uh, if you knit these socks, be warned that you should do so with caution. A tornado might hit your house, or the earth may be swallowed by a black hole. Did I mention that I fell down the stairs right before I took a bunch of photos of the socks for Knitty? Though I wasn't hurt (aside from soreness and a bruise), so maybe that's when the socks' luck changed. It could be safe to knit them, after all. But I'm not guaranteeing a thing. Knit at your own risk. And wear a helmet.


I used Harrisville New England Knitters' Shetland yarn for these socks. Harrisville Designs is relatively local to me, and the color selections are stunning. Their New England Shetland yarn is similar to Jamieson and Smith yarn (for those of you colorwork fans), and spun in a old mill in New Hampshire. Now, I admit that this yarn may not be the ideal sock yarn for everybody. It is not merino soft, and it is not a tightly spun and plied sock yarn, like many of the sock yarns out there. I chose it because I couldn't resist the colors, because I really wanted to design with something local to me, and because I absolutely adore the way this yarn shows off cables. The cables have nice definition, but they are also soft, and not too popping. Perfect for socks, in my opinion.

If you are looking for softer and/or more durable socks, you may want to go with a more traditional sock yarn. Really, any fingering weight that you like should do. I knit these at 9 stitches per inch, and they can easily be up-sized by knitting them at 8 - 8.5 stitches per inch, and/or by using a larger needle for the leg of the sock.

One of my favorite things about these socks is that there is a subtle degree of calf shaping built in. They start off rather generous in size to begin with, at 72 stitches around. As the shaping on the leg of the sock increases in frequency, it also slightly decreases the circumference. This means that the circumference decreases ever so slightly as you get lower on the leg, down to the ankle, which is how many legs are shaped. I have to admit that this wasn't my original intention when I thought of this type of shaping. I just wanted to play with the cable placement. But it turned out to be a very nice, and flattering, side effect.


One of the things I'm proud of in this design is that it's all my own. Not that a simple braided cable (what runs along the leg of the sock) is innovative or unique, but I didn't consult a stitch dictionary for any part of this sock. I really love the cable I designed for the foot of the sock. It's inspired me to play more with cable design, because I found it really easy to do. I don't know if cable design is easier than lace design, or if it just comes more easily to me than lace. I designed it just by doing it. I knew I wanted the braided cables to entangle and become one on the foot of the sock, so I kept on swatching until I got the transition just right. I designed the foot cable as I knit it, keeping careful notes as I went along. It was a very organic process, which I think comes through in the look of the cable.


Those of you who have looked at my 1989 hat pattern and/or my Francie sock pattern will notice a trend that extends to the Salto socks. Actually, it started with the Salto socks. It's just a shame that it took me so long to get them published! The design trend is how I use increases and decreases to move stitches around in fun ways, not just increases and decreases for the sake of increasing and decreasing. And all 3 patterns use the increases I love -- lifted increases. I don't know if this design trend will continue, but I do like that I stumbled my way into a theme, at least for a little while.


It took me a long time to think of a name for these socks. I finally settled on Salto (somersault), because I'm a huge gymnastics fan, and these socks do a bit of textural gymnastics. The cables flip from the side to the front, then tumble in a new fashion down the instep. A bit of fibery acrobatics.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the pattern, or any trouble following it. I'm super excited to have a pattern in Knitty, and am even more excited that it's such a great issue. I have beautiful company there this Spring!

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Blogger Dave said...

Gorgeous socks -- congratulations!

3/12/2008 6:59 AM  
Blogger Kelley said...

I love them. Congratulations for finally publishing them.

3/12/2008 7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so excited when I saw your pattern in Knitty! Congrats! They're definitely going in my (way-too-long) queue.

3/12/2008 8:22 AM  
Blogger Pumpkinmama said...

Congrats - they are really lovely.

3/12/2008 8:25 AM  
Blogger trainlady said...

When I saw them on Knitty, I *knew* they had to be yours, but the first thing I did was scroll down to see your mug shot.

3/12/2008 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor socks, what a long strange trip they've had! :-) But I'm so pleased that they finally saw the light of day. I think the entire pattern is fascinating!

3/12/2008 9:48 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

They're lovely - glad we finally have a chance to see the pattern.

3/12/2008 10:26 AM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Really great pattern. Congrats!

3/12/2008 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations...this is an awesome pattern. That's now 2 from you I can't wait to start....

3/12/2008 1:18 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Congratulations on publishing a unique, challenging pattern with beautiful results!

3/12/2008 1:29 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

As soon as I saw the picture, I knew they were yours, they just had to be. They're awesome.

3/12/2008 1:31 PM  
Blogger Beverly said...

My way of first reading Knitty patterns is to look at the pictures, what yarn is used, needles, etc. I don't pay attention to the designer until I get to the bottom of the pattern. When I saw your picture I was so happy for you! Congrats! This is a fabulous pattern.

3/12/2008 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


3/12/2008 1:52 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

congratulations! These socks are really terrific. The backside of the sock reminds me of the new Bunker Hill Bridge in Boston... super cool!

3/12/2008 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Your design is really pretty and unique - I really like it!

3/12/2008 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I should have looked at the name on the pattern when I saw it at Knitty. They're great socks, and now that I know a local knitter knit them with local yarn, I may have to cast-on for them at some point! I'll have to check out that yarn too.

3/12/2008 3:15 PM  
Blogger alligator said...

Congratulations on publishing your sock pattern!

I really enjoyed reading this post all about how you came up with the design, it made me want to knit these socks even more!!!

Thank you!

3/12/2008 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a gorgeous pattern. Truly beautiful. The funny thing is, last night, while thinking about a new sock, I was shifting my sock on its mannequin foot and saw that gussets can be placed on the upper part of the foot. Not only on the sides. And here you are making a sock like that. Now I have to figure out how to do them toe-up.

3/12/2008 3:46 PM  
Blogger Wool Enough said...

Gorgeous. They are in my Rav queue.

3/12/2008 4:51 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

congratulations! it was the best pattern of the issue i thought!

3/12/2008 7:25 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Fabulous pattern, well done! I love the pattern on the heel and the way the cable dgoes.

3/13/2008 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, interesting about the name--I thought it was because Salto is Spanish for "I jump".

3/13/2008 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a huge sock-knitter but those caught my eye in the issue. They're so cool!

3/14/2008 12:18 PM  
Blogger pamela wynne said...

I was SO excited to (finally) see your pattern in Knitty! You should be proud of both these new patterns -- it's always inspiring to see sock patterns that take more effort than plugging a stitch pattern into a heels+toes recipe. Go you. :)

3/21/2008 3:29 PM  
Blogger AnneB said...

Absolutely stunning socks. I'm not a real sock knitter but I HAVE to make these.

3/23/2008 6:32 PM  
Blogger Stell said...

you know I had spotted these at knitty, and cast on and started even before I read that these were yours on your blog, great socks. I am just now starting to move the cables forward, they were so tempting and are a gift for a knitting techie who will really appreciate that effect.

3/24/2008 11:33 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

I'm dying to cast on--you are making it very hard to finish some WIPs with your beautiful pattern!

4/02/2008 1:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sock is WONDERFUL. Congratulations! And you're making me miss New Hampshire--I used to stop by Harrisville Designs on my way to a friend's in Harrisville coming from Merrimack, and go through their barrels of wool and wish I still knitted... (Boy, did THAT change, but only after I moved away.) I did buy some yarn once anyway, at least.

4/06/2008 8:09 PM  
Blogger karina said...

I love these socks and as soon as I saw them I started to run around the house to find yarn and needles. am now halfway done with the first one.

4/08/2008 3:20 PM  
Blogger minxy said...

This beautiful pattern is actually what inspired me to try my hand at designing socks myself. I'm starting simply and hopefully I'll get to the point where I can design something as amazing as yours. And when I find the perfect yarn, I plan on making a pair of Salto's for myself.

4/22/2008 7:18 PM  
Blogger Marias garnhändelser said...

I”ve to start to say that yo’ve deigned the most beautiful things!
I’ve started with the Salto-socks from knitty and have a question about the Instep pattern. Shall there be a different amount of rows between cable row 10 & 14 than between 14 & 2. I’ve just finshed the heel and not tried which look the best (as the pattern is written or the same amount of rows). I hope you understand what I mean my english is not the best.

Best regards

6/18/2008 3:53 AM  

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