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Christmas Smock Top Socks

November 11

Just (barely) in time for Christmas knitting, I have finished designing the Christmas Smock Top Socks. This is what the Mystery Sock decided it wanted to become. I love the way the smocking stitch lends a quilted, cozy look to the sock’s cuff. It took some trail and error to come up with the right number of stitches and rows to form an appealing look once the cuff is stretched out over the leg. I’m happy with how the proportions turned out.

I chose Regia 4-ply sock yarn for its crisp stitch definition. In the pattern I call for 9 sts per inch rather than the 7.5 sts on the ball band. I just hate walking around on too-loose knitting. It feels like some kind of couture torture involving twine! At 9 sts per inch, the Regia make a smooth, kind-to-the-feet fabric.

The sock is knitted from the cuff down. An important design consideration was that the cuff must be knit flat so the smocking’s horizonal bars meet up properly. Trying to knit the cuff in the round wouldn’t work because the rounds are really spirals. The “rows” would never match up.

Once the cuff is completed, the yarn is joined and the rest of the sock is knitted in the round. I hid some ribbing under the cuff to make sure the sock stays up through all the Christmas day festivities.

If you like the way Christmas Smock Top Socks truned out, you may want to check out the Pattern Store.

 

Mystery Sock Goes Green

November 9

…and red. I just love Christmas, which may explain the Mystery Sock’s morphing into a holiday design. Jimmy the Vicious Attack Cat doesn’t care about seasonal matters. He’s just glad to have a project to curl up near.

Mystery Sock Changes Gauge

November 3

So I’m working on a new sock pattern. For now I’m just calling it the Mystery Sock, since it’s a mystery to me why I can’t get the design written faster.

I’m using Regia 4-Ply. I am SUCH a stickler for sock soles, I always end up knitting on a smaller needle than called for to get a tighter fabric. There’s nothing worse than taking the time to knit a sock, then have it feel like you’re walking around on twine when you wear it. 

The ball band for Regia 4-ply indicates 7.5 st per inch. But even at 8 st the weave seemed too loose for me. So I stuck a stitch marker in my work, reduced the needle size, and got 9 st per inch. You can see that the stitches to the right of the marker have that “stringy” look, while the fabric to the left looks nice and smooth, like something your feet will appreciate.

Knitters should be able to obtain this gauge on #1 needles. As I work through the design process, I hope that when people knit up my patterns their feet will be glad for the tighter gauge I suggest.

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