Works Like a Charm

I have a handful of finished projects to share here, but thought I would start with my newest pair of socks.

cakewalk_socks_medium2Knit with a beautiful merino/cashmere/nylon blend from the now closed Cakewalk Yarns shop on Etsy, they socks are far & away the most luxurious that I own. As soft and cozy as they are a lovely colorway, these have quickly become favorites & inspired what might end up being a small obsession with sock knitting in the near future.

As you can see from the photo, I knit these socks with a ribbed cuff and ribbing along the top of the foot. While I know knitting with ribbing is often viewed as a pain by many knitters, I have a really excellent reason for ribbing my socks: my feet and calves are different sizes! While I certainly can wear stockinette socks and have plans to knit some non-ribbed socks in the near future, when I knit a ‘vanilla’ pair of socks for myself they always have ribbing. My ‘bad’ hip has resulted in a overall diminished leg on the left side, which means all the muscles are smidge smaller and the foot is slightly shorter & narrower. While I certainly could knit a custom left and right sock for each pair & mark them accordingly, or I could just deal with one sock being slightly too big (really the difference isn’t so great), at the end of the day ribbing has become a good compromise for me. With each wash they rebound back to their wonderfully stretchy & accommodating selves and are ready for either of my mismatched feet.

detail_finished_medium2Plus, I think they look pretty.

For my vanilla socks, I’ve taken to using Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Basic Sock pattern. It is a top-down sock pattern that is both clear & concise and I appreciate that. When I am making a vanilla sock I am not looking for plot twists and surprises. I just want to knit the darn socks with minimal pattern referencing so they travel well while knitting & can be on my feet asap. I want the heel turn to be easy to follow & the gusset decreases to to be simple. This pattern delivers. Perfect for first-time sock knitters as well as experienced knitters who want just a good ‘ol vanilla pattern, the folks at Churchmouse can’t be beat on this one.

I also LOVE that this pattern offers instructions for both fingering weight & sport/dk weight yarns. If you love a nice, lighweight sock and don’t mind investing some time, the fingering is certainly for you. For first-time sock knitters that dk weight sock is a must. It works up so much faster than the fingering! For Christmas sock knitting, too,  those dk socks fly off the needles. Or, of course, if you just want quick, warm socks that still comfortably fit in your shoes the dk weight does the trick. For my husband who has really weird inflexible ankles and kind of big feet (sorry, dear, but it’s true), I knit the fingering weight instructions with dk weight yarn & needles. Works. Like. A. Charm.

The only modification I make to this pattern when I knit it for myself is that knit the first inch or so of the cuff with a 1×1 rib and then switch to a 2×2 rib for the rest of the sock’s ribbing. It may be all in my head, but that little bit of an extra snugness seems to keep the socks in place a little better for me. Usually I use a loose long-tail cast-on for these socks, but I have plans to give the German twisted cast-on a try since I’ve heard it has a little extra stretch to it. I will give it a try & report back.

In the mean time, I’m going to wear the heck out of these socks.

For my notes on this project, see my Ravelry project page.

11 responses to “Works Like a Charm

  1. Those look so soft and luxurious! and I’m really sad to hear about Cakewalk yarns 😦 I have a sock in that yarn on the needles right now, and I love the colors!

  2. Love your socks! I use the German Twisted cast-on for just about everything. It’s especially nice for socks 🙂 I think you’ll like it, once you get the hang of it.

  3. I use the German twisted stitch on all my socks. I like your suggestion for ribbing; going to try the 1×1, 2×2 the very next time I cast on for socks. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Oh, I’m so glad to hear there are others out there who use the German twisted cast-on – I should’ve known this would be a great place to gather info on it! Yes! I swear by the ribbons! Like I said, I’m not sure how effective it *really* is, but it works for me.

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