Manly Socks (free pattern)

My gift to you: A free sock pattern. Why? Because I feel guilty for spending so much time on Ravelry lately that I’ve totally ignored my blog. (Sorry.)

These socks have a long history.

We ordered a Christmas gift for my step-father, Walter, last December. The person selling the product (son of the artist) said he was out of town but would send the gift when he got home. We were fine with that–my family is perpetually late with Christmas gifts anyway. After a month, however, Walter had still not received it.

Bonnie (my mom) and Walter (my step-dad) at a pretty Italian restaurant on a scorching hot day.

This went on and on. We contacted the guy, who said he sent it but would look into the matter. We contacted him again and he said we needed to deal with the post office, not with him (he hadn’t even insured it!). Well, that didn’t go over too well with us. To be honest, I wonder whether the gift was ever sent at all. We firmly requested our money back and eventually received it.

So now it was April, and I felt guilty. So I called Walter and asked him what he’d like “for Christmas.” I had a feeling he’d like something handmade, and it turned out I was right…he said he’d love a pair of socks. Thus began the great sock hunt: right pattern, right yarn, right color.

Manly Socks

Overwhelmed by perfectionism, I cast on and frogged a few socks, bought a few different types of yarn, and generally drove myself nuts trying to make everything just right. Finally, feeling frustrated and even more guilty about how much time had passed, I decided to “just knit,” rather than follow someone else’s pattern.

I pulled three skeins of Koigu (purchased about a year earlier) out of my stash and cast on, designing as I went along. One-by-one ribbing at the top to hold the socks up; a slipped-stitch rib from the More Sensational Knitted Socks stitch dictionary that looked about right; an eye-of-partridge heel just for fun; my usual purl row before starting the toe decreases…

And suddenly they were done! Just in time, too, as I was one day away from boarding a plane to visit my parents in Sacramento. Yes, that’s right. Walter finally got his gift for Christmas 2006–in August 2007. But he was pleased as punch, and that made it all worthwhile. I hope to get a photo of him wearing the socks soon :-)

These socks are great. They’re warm as can be (I wore one on my arm for several minutes and noticed that it really trapped my body heat. That’s because the stitch makes a lofty fabric with lots of air pockets. So they’re perfect for winter or for people whose feet are always cold (like me).

This is the most detailed pattern I’ve written to date, so if you find any errors in the pattern, please let me know. Also, I’d love to see photos of your Manly socks if you decide to knit a pair!

(Note: The pattern appears below; if you’d like me to send it to you a PDF, just e-mail me at KnitSix@gmail.com)

Well, there you go. Walter’s Manly Socks. Finis!

Now, how many knitting days left before Christmas 2007?

The lovely Tower Cafe, in Sacramento

MANLY SOCKS

Yarn: Koigu KPPPM, 3 skeins, color P304
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm) — I used a 32” needle from Knit Picks, and the Magic Loop method
Notions: 2 stitch markers (optional), tapestry needle
Gauge: 28 stitches x 40 rows = 4 in.

Slipped-Stitch Rib (SSR)
Multiple of 6 stitches
Row 1: *K3, P3; repeat from *
Row 2: *K1, Slip 1 WYIB, K1, P1, Slip 1 WYIF, P1; repeat from *
Row 3: *K3, P3; repeat from *
Repeat Rows 1 – 3 for pattern

Cuff
Cast on 78 stitches using the Old Norwegian method, and arrange with 39 stitches on each needle.
Work 11 rows of K1, P1 rib.

Leg
Switch to SSR pattern as described above and continue in pattern until piece measures 9” from cast on edge, ending with Row 3.

Eye-of-Partridge Heel Flap
Important: To prepare for heel flap: Knit across 18 stitches; turn, and knit across 39 stitches; this should “center” the heel flap so that it begins and ends with “P3.” The instep stitches should begin and end with “K3.”

Turn work (You will work the heel flap back and forth on one needle; ignore the stitches on your other needle—these will become the instep stitches after the heel is turned)

Work heel flap as follows for 40 rows:
Row 1 & 3 (WS): K3, Purl to end
Row 2 (RS): P3; *K1, Slip 1; repeat from * to last 4 stitches; K4
Row 4 (RS): P3; *Slip 1, K1; repeat from * to last 4 stitches; Slip 1, K3

Turn Heel
Next Row: Slip 1 as if to purl, purl 23 stitches, P2Tog, P1, turn
Next Row: Slip 1 as if to purl, knit 10 stitches, K2Tog TBL, K1, turn

Row 1: Slip 1, purl to one stitch before gap, P2Tog, P1, turn
Row 2: Slip 1, knit to one stitch before gap, K2Tog TBL, K1, turn
Repeat these two rows until all heel stitches have been worked, ending with a RS row (If, for some mysterious reason, you finish the heel stitches on a WS row, you can fudge here by working a RS row without decreasing at end.)

Pick up gusset stitches
Using needle holding heel flap stitches, pick up and knit one stitch in each garter stitch bump (a total of 20 gusset stitches); place marker if desired; pick up and PURL the stitch below the first instep stitch; transfer this stitch to the instep-stitch needle

Using needle holding instep stitches, work across instep stitches in pattern (you should be on Row 1 of SSR chart); pick up and PURL the stitch below the first stitch on the other side of the gusset gap; place marker if desired; pick up and knit one stitch in each garter stitch bump (a total of 20 gusset stitches)

You should now have 41 instep stitches; from here on, always purl the first and last stitch on the instep-stitch needle, forming a column of purl stitches that sets off the edge of the instep pattern.

Heel-stitch needle: Knit across heel stitches; next, knit each gusset stitch you picked up through the back loop.
Instep-stitch needle: Purl 1; work instep stitches in pattern; Purl 1; next, knit each gusset stitch you picked up through the back loop.

Decrease gusset stitches
Round 1: Heel-stitch needle—Knit to 3 stitches before instep; K2tog, K1; Instep-stitch needle—P1, work instep stitches in pattern, P1; K1, K2Tog TBL; knit to end.

Round 2: Knit to instep stitches; work instep stitches in pattern (including the P1 you’ve established at either side); knit to end.
Repeat these two rounds until 78 stitches remain (37 on the sole, 41 on the instep).

Foot
Continue working sole and instep stitches in pattern as established until piece measures 10” (or desired length)

Next row:
– Knit sole stitches AND the purl stitch at edge of instep; transfer this stitch to needle holding heel stitches
– Purl across 39 instep stitches; knit the purl stitch at end of instep stitches and transfer this stitch to needle holding sole stitches.

Toe
Decrease row: Knit to last three stitches on Needle 1, K2Tog, K1; K1, K2tog TBL, Knit to last three stitches on Needle 2, K2Tog, K1; K1, K2tog TBL, Knit to end of round.
Next row: Knit to end.

Repeat these two rows until 38 stitches remain
Work decrease row only until 11 stitches remain on each needle.
Using tapestry needle, graft stitches remaining on Needle 1 and Needle 2 together with Kitchener stitch.

NOTE: These socks are very lofty and springy, so blocking is not necessary. If you do wish to block them, lay them on a towel and spray with water until damp; pat into shape and allow the socks to dry thoroughly. Enjoy!

For a PDF version, click here.

© 2007, Hannah Six. All rights reserved.
For more information or permission to reprint, e-mail me at knitSix@gmail.com or visit http://www.knitsix.blogspot.com

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Far, far away…

Hi, folks!

Please excuse my absence. Both my mom AND my step-dad have been suffering from heart disease, with various operations and “procedures” happening during the past few weeks.

Thus my lack of writing.

At this moment, I am far away from home, in Sacramento, Calif., helping them out at home, going to doctor’s appointments, and offering unoffical medical advice (I’m a medical writer) and very official emotional support. They seem to feel better having me here, which was the point of my trip, so that’s good.

I have been knitting, and finished Walter’s “Christmas” socks–the brown Koigu slip-stitch ribbed ones. He liked them very much, indeed. I’ve also finished my Online cotton socks, which I started in June, and cast on the second Waving Lace sock. Also, I bought some kind of incredibly soft, self-patterning cotton sock yarn (I’ll post the name when I can remember it!) and started a pair of simple stockinette socks on the flight out here.

Speaking of flights…If you ever have the choice of flying on Alaska Airlines, I HIGHLY recommend it. What a wonderful experience. Every employee I encountered was friendly and helpful, the planes were clean, and they were ON TIME! No small achievement in this day and age.

Tuesday, when I flew from D.C., the weather was spectacular all the way, and I got some gorgeous photos from the plane. It’s so nice to see REAL mountains again…the soaring, awe-inspiring kind. The mountains back east are ancient, so they’re subtler and gentler. Sometimes I miss the West Coast scenery.

Today, though, I’m missing my beloved husband, who had to stay in D.C. due to work. I hated to leave him alone… He just got digital cable, though–so maybe access to lots of soccer (REAL football) and good (non-NASCAR) auto racing is helping take the edge off of being alone ;-)

Well, until I can post again, I wish you all cool weather (or warm, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere) and happy knitting!

Spicy Podcast and Mild Socks

More lovely 18th century Chinese porcelains to inspire you…
Aren’t they gorgeous? There are more photos below, but this is my favorite. That red looks as transluscent and luscious as a candy apple.

Isn’t it funny how candy apples always look much better than they taste? Caramel apples, too. Unless the apple is cut into wedges and dipped in a bowl of melted caramel. I had it that way in Lancaster County, PA one time. Leave it to those Pennsylvania Dutch to come up with a new sugar delivery system.

Sorry I was so grouchy last post! To be honest, I probably will hold true to my vow, but I thought Kristen made some good points in her comment. So, to follow up on my “when in Rome” title, here’s a new cliche for you: Variety is the spice of life…(Really, it is!)

So I guess my knitting life hasn’t been very spicy lately. No variety, at any rate. I’m still working on the slipped-stitch Koigu socks for my step father. One is finished and the other is about halfway done. When both socks are finished and blocked, I’ll post some more photos, but for now there’s nothing interesting to post about them. And that’s the extent of this week’s knitting! I’m on a mindless knitting kick, just wanting to relax and not have to think about pattern repeats, so that’s OK.

On the spicier side, however, is one of my new favorite podcasts: Knitters Uncensored. From the very first podcast I was drawn in by these three expats…funny (they always make me laugh out loud), friendly, interesting, crazy, sometimes a bit on the…um…”adult” side (which is very OK by me), and definitely about knitting.

Another plus, in my opinion, is that the podcast isn’t chock-full of music. I have my own music on my pod, and tend to avoid podcasts that include more than a couple of songs. (I prefer none, actually, but one or two are fine.) Also, Knitters Uncensored tends to run on the long side (an hour or more).

For some reason, podcasters worry about running too long. But I happen to enjoy long casts if they’re good: Like being in the middle of a great book and knowing you have a couple hundred pages yet to go. It’s satisfying, and gives me lots of guilt-free knitting time. Not that I ever feel guilty about it…but you know.

So give Knitters Uncensored a try…I think you’ll like them :-)

I also want to mention that Neighborhood Fiber Co. had a really successful trip to TNNA and The Knitter’s Connection in June. Karida got several orders from stores across the country, so you may see some great D.C. yarn turning up in your LYS. If not, you should go check out the Web site where you can drool over her pretty colors.

Until next time, then. Thanks for coming back, and happy knitting!

Frog, Monkey, Sock

This is the yarn I decided to use for the chevron scarf in June:I’d planned to make this my “vacation knit” when we went to Indy. But after about six inches, the blatant stripeyness started to make me crazy. So I decided to go for a more muted color palette and frogged it…Thank goodness I always pack several projects when I go on vacation!

Now, allow me to introduce you to the socks I’m making for my stepfather (whose Christmas present was never mailed to him by the artist we ordered it from, remember?). After trying a few different patterns and yarns, I ended up back with the Koigu charcoal/brown colorway:
The pattern is a basic slip-stitch ribbing, with 1×1 rib at the top and an eye-of-partridge heel. I incorporated Charlene Schurch’s garter stitch edging along the heel, just for fun.

Also, instead of using the usual “K1” next to the gusset decreases, I decided to work a P1…it helps set off the trim little decreases and enhances the ribbing on the instep. These are some WARM socks! I stuck my hand inside to better see the pattern last night and was surprised at the insulating quality of this stitch…
Finally, I’ve found the right pattern for the right wool–You just can’t go wrong with Koigu. Sock #1 is almost done, so I’ll soon have an “on-the-foot” photo for you.

By the way, last weekend we went to an estate sale on Q Street near Dupont Circle…I’d been in the house before, when it was on the market (pale green marble wall in the hallway, gigantic old fireplace in the kitchen…lovely), and enjoyed this opportunity to show it to Chris. We picked up a handful of CDs, a pile of silk scarves, a long black wool coat with a black fur-trimmed hood/collar (for me–$12.00!), and a couple of little pictures…
“Monkey-on-a-feather,” from Costa Rica. Strangely intriguing…

PS. I have a question: Would anyone be interested in the patterns I’ve been “unventing”? Over the past several months I’ve racked up a few patterns for items I’ve designed on-the-needles: Fingerless gloves, camera sock, iPod case, various socks, neck warmer, etc. Just let me know if you’d like me to write up the patterns. I’ll be happy to share :-)

Formula One, Knitting, and a Fantastic Indy LYS

We’re home! Actually, we came back late Monday night. The race (F1 US Grand Prix) was a lot of fun–lots of good racing going on in the middle of the “pack,” and a winner who didn’t wear Ferrari red! I’m not Lewis Hamilton’s biggest fan, but it IS nice to have some variety now that the oh-so-perfect Michael Schumacher is retired ;-)

Whatever I was coming down with when we left Washington got worse while I was away, though, so I had to call my doctor and ask him to call in some antibiotics to a pharmacy in Indy. But I still have a lot of pressure in my left ear, which has continued to hurt since the flight out of D.C.; it’s really stopped up, so I’m going in for an office visit today. Have you ever heard of “airplane ear”? It’s a real malady. Ick.

Holding a REAL F1 tyre in front of the Super Aguri garage.

OK, so that’s enough of my old-lady-style bitching about health. Let’s talk knitting.

I worked on my Online sock a lot while I was gone. I also got through several inches of the chevron scarf, but hated the way it looked in the yarns I brought, so I frogged it. Instead, I cast on for a pair of socks for Chris with that charcoal-brown-ish Koigu.But I swear that yarn has BYK (bad yarn karma) for me, so I might just rip out the cuff I finished and give the yarn away or stick it in my stash for a few years to see if it sheds the BYK.

On our last day in Indy, while waiting for our limo, I decided to check out a LYS. I opened the local phone book and chose one of the two that were listed. It’s called “Stitches and Scones. The store’s name drew me in, since I figured there might be food involved for Chris, who always waits so patiently. As it turned out, he occupied his time by losing his debit card at an ATM down the street, so we never delved into the food issue. But they did offer us one of their free home-made scones when I was at the register :-)

Cell phone photo so thoughtfully taken by Chris (“For your blog,” he said!) while we waited for our taxi back to the hotel.

Well, let me tell you, that was one fabulous yarn store! Loved it, loved it, loved it. I’ve never seen so much gorgeous yarn from so many manufacturers (small and large) in one place. And an absolutely lovely place, at that. A small cottage-style building jam-packed with yarn, though it was very well organized. They also sold spinning wheels and a great variety of fiber for spinning. And the store’s book selection was terrific.

In the end I bought two multi-colored braids of Fleece Artist hand-dyed Blue Face Leicester (BFL) roving and a 400+ yard hank of Fleece Artist BFL DK-weight hand painted yarn. So beautiful. (They carry local products, too, but they’re more expensive and I hadn’t planned the LYS trip, so didn’t budget enough $.) I could have spent $1,000, no problem–I’ll come prepared for more purchases next year!

Wow. I could have spent an entire day in there. And the sweetest part? When the owner heard that we’d taken a taxi from our nearby hotel, she actually offered to drive us back! How nice is that? Fiber people are very, very kind. I strongly recommend stopping by Stitches & Scones if you’re in the Indianapolis area–you’re guaranteed to be overwhelmed and enchanted!

I don’t remember buying THIS fiber in Indy…

I’ll show more pictures in my next post so you can see what I bought. Meanwhile, have a great weekend!

Feeling Pretty

Mmmmmm. Pretty colors…


I promise to talk about something else after this, but I just had to share my recent sock yarn madness. This is the stash accumulated, mostly, during the past month…Largely rewards for meeting a goal I set for myself :-)

The two “cakes” are Lorna’s Laces Watercolors and Neighborhood Fiber Co. (NFC) Brightwood. The skeins, clockwise from the top are: Claudia Hand Painted Chocolate Cherry; Sundara Yarns’ Cherry Blossoms; NFC’s Brookland (teal and purple); a gorgeous cranberry-colored semi-solid from NFC (I forget the color’s name!); and Claudia’s Pink Dot.

And, to quote Basie, “once more once,” before they head to the post office today–the oh-so-pretty Orchid Socks (AKA Simply Lovely Lace Socks in Koigu KPPPM)…complete with sewn-down picot edge.

Please be advised: These socks are meant for far smaller feet than mine! (As you can tell.)

Finally, because Maggie’s been getting all the attention lately…

This is Katja, looking pretty and pensive. Despite her precious “Fancy Feast” appearance, she’s actually a hellion–a wannabe barn cat. We love that about her.

Orchid Socks: Finis!


I cast off on Sunday, and blocked them to make sewing the picot edge at the top a bit easier. Trying to wrestle a rolling edge into a nice, neat hem is a real pain. Sewing will probably happen today, but in my book this is now a finished project!
Pattern: Orchid Socks AKA Simply Lovely Lace Socks (IK Spring 06)
Yarn: Koigu (Can’t find the band, but I’ll try to remember to look up the color #)
Needles: Addi Turbo 32″ US #0 (magic loop method)
Mods: None! This was a simply lovely pattern, and came out perfectly!

I must say, I really enjoyed knitting these. The stitch pattern is SO easy to remember, so you can just relax and knit. They were a wonderful project for knitting in public, since I love people-watching and don’t like to have to watch my knitting instead. Of course, I keep a close eye on what I’m doing, too…Dropped stitches aren’t a disaster, but they slow you down!


Last Friday I found myself in Georgetown after a doctor’s appointment, waiting for my husband to meet me for dinner at Old Glory. BUT I’d forgotten to put my knitting in my purse! Oh, my God, what an emergency. And it was such a beautiful day. All I wanted to do was find a garden bench at the Old Stone House and knit in the sun. So…I made a quick trip to Stitch DC, spent money I couldn’t afford to spend, and emerged with two skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Watercolor and a rather cheap set of DPNs (US #1).

I cast on for the Waving Lace socks, which you can see on the cover of Favorite Socks. I chose to do a twisted 1×1 rib instead of the prettier pattern shown in the book’s photos. Ribbing is just more practical for me…I like pretty socks, but they have to stay up or I know I won’t wear them.

(Maggie’s feeling MUCH better–YAY!)

Waving Lace sock #1 is much farther along now, so I’ll take more photos today and get them up here. Meanwhile, you can also follow this project at the Favorite Socks KAL: Just click on the button in my sidebar.

Have a great day, everyone!