This week, I chat with Laura Nelkin and share a new pair of socks: Moss and Diamonds Socks.
Moss and Diamonds Socks
These were my first all-over pattern socks and I wanted to add a little something special in the afterthought heel.
I started with one of the patterns I used for Gina's Afghan. This was one of my favorites to work, and looked so nice on the afghan, I thought it would be fun to try it on a sock. The central motif was, originally, 13 stitches across. This didn't work so well for my project sock stitch count of 72 stitches around (36 stitches for the front of the foot, and 36 for the sole). Thirteen times three was just too large, at 39 stitches, to fit. But, I didn't want a small panel of diamonds surrounded by a lot of stockinette stitch. So, I made the motif two stitches narrower and added a column of purl stitches on the left side of the chart.
This made the chart 12 stitches wide, but also presented a small challenge. The motif wouldn't look centered on the sock if there wasn't a column of purls on the far right side, before the first repeat of the chart was worked. So, I simply made the last stitch in every round a purl stitch. In effect, stealing a stitch from the (plain) sole side of the sock to use in the (patterned) top of the sock. I think it worked very well. I considered making a right and left sock that were different, but moving just one stitch from the sole to the front of the foot wasn't visible, I think.
After the yarn was left in for the heel, the leg of the sock was ready to be knit. I wanted to continue the diamond and moss stitch motif, so I simply changed the purled in-between diamonds into ribbed in-between diamonds, and worked the chart 6 times to wrap all of the way around the leg. I think it looks really fantastic, if I do say so myself. The top of the sock is simply an inch of 1 by 1 ribbing.
The pattern instructions are designed to be knit at 72 stitches around for the foot and the leg. Length is up to you, and instructions are given that would work no matter where on the first chart you decide to switch to the leg chart. The heel could really be any kind of heel. I made an afterthought heel. The pattern will need some adjustments if you want to use a gusset.
I wanted a heel that would echo the diamond shapes in the stitch pattern, so I made what I'm calling a 12-stitch vertical strap heel. It's very similar to some of the other afterthought heels I have made, but it keeps a strap of unchanged stitches running down the heel as the other stitches are decreased. Most afterthought heels that create a strap of unchanged stitches run in the horizontal direction. I like it, but I do wish that my SSK decreases were more neat-looking. The heel instructions are written out, not charted, and rely on stitch markers to keep the decreases in the proper places.
This was the first time I have used Simply Socks Yarn, but it won't be the last. I loved the way it knit up, how well it held the stitch definition, and the color depth. All of that, and it's machine washable. Plus, it comes put up in relatively small skeins, so I didn't have to spend as much to get two colors into a sock. I had a lot of yarn left over, in both colors. I know I'm making relatively small socks, but I was still very impressed with the yardage on this yarn. The pair of socks used about 1.5 skeins of slate and hardly used any of the maroon yarn. Expect to see a lot more of this in my designs.
I had a great time talking with Laura. We chatted about yarn barf, a wastepaper basket analogy and glass blowing, among other things.
I couldn't find a Yarn Barf group, but I did find Knot A Problem on Ravelry. There are over 1200 members! You have to login to see it, but Ravelry is free.
I had the quote wrong, but I had the right idea.