Fall is coming. That statement might not have the power behind in like “winter is coming” (you are caught up on Game of Thrones right?) but fall is chilly enough to put me in mind of socks and sock making. There is a coolness in the air every morning that has me opening up my sock drawer and counting up how many pairs of knit socks, the kind with actual wool in them, that I own. Guess what? Its not enough.
So while I’m knitting on my Trickery… and I am… I’m thinking socks.
A Short List of my Favorite Knit Socks
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka The Yarn Harlot, has a Sock Recipe that can’t be beat.
Its a great basic sock and just the thing you should try if you’ve never knit socks before. Trust me on this. Her Sock Recipe has helped thousands of knitters get through their first sock experience on on their way to making any kind of sock they like. Its not a pattern per se and you buy her book Knitting Rules! to get the recipe. But her books are awesome. After you buy that book just for the sock wisdom (which is what I did), you’ll read the whole book and love it (like I did) and then buy all her other books (yep, did that too) and recommend them to every knitter you know.
Then there is Monkey by Cookie A.
Love that pattern. Everyone loves that pattern. The basic Monkey was published in Knitty back in 2006 and helped make that site a super success. You can still find the pattern, for free, over there. Since then, Cookie has tweaked it some and added sizes and help and you can buy that version over on Ravelry. It is worth it? Well, this is the go-to pattern for Stephanie, the one who helped all us knitting hordes make socks in the first place. Its lace-y enough to be pretty but not so lace-y that its doesn’t hug your foot. Also, its a pattern that looks great in a variegated yarn!
Sometimes I make my socks with after thought heels.
That kind of construction has its advantages. This style of knit socks is also more of a recipe than a pattern. You simply make your sock like a tube, either toe up or cuff-down, while leaving a bit of waste yarn where the heel will be. Then you pull the waste yarn out and add your heel last, like its a after thought. The big advantage of this is when your heel wears out (mine always do) you unravel the heel and knit in a new one. Back when ladies had to knit socks for their entire family this was how they did it. Its the best way to keep an old sock going! If you want to give it a try, check out Leslie’s free video tutorial for making that style of heel. Or go to the back of pretty much any Elizabeth Zimmerman book and get the instructions for adding an after thought anything (heel, pocket, button hole) to your knitting.
One more sock making method that I’ve tried and loved, is Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel.
Its a short row-heel that feels great and hugs the curve of your heel. This will make your feet very happy. Its also the short-row heel that kicked off a series of trendy short-row heel styles by other designers. I’ve tried a few of those but I still like Cat’s best. Her seventeen Sweet Tomato Heel patterns are all found in her ebook and that’s $20. But before you make up your mind about that, watch her free demonstration video. Not only is it very helpful but you’ll get a small taste of just how quirky and unique Cat is! (She’s one of my favorite designers btw.)
Two Socks I’ve Haven’t Made but They Tempt Me!
All that above ramble advice is based on experience. I’ve knit those socks. But here are two I haven’t knit yet and that may need to change very soon!
There is Skew by Lana Holden. How wild is that?
The pattern is a freebie and its available in six languages. You can visit the designer’s web site for tweaks and mods. These have been made by over 5000 ravelry’ers. Yes I may need a pair of those babies for my feet.
But then there are Grumperina’s Jaywalker.
The designer’s pair shown here have that annoying knit in the round color jog in them, but I can fix that. And its a freebie pattern. And it has stripes. And I have lots and LOTS of sock yarn in all sorts of colors.
Can you see now why I’m thinking about knit socks?