Monday, August 25, 2014

Bootstrap Socks, Procrastinatrix Socks and Sidle Socks

Ok, guys, here are the last 5 Sock Architecture patterns!

The Bootstrap socks have a line of garter-stitch running down both sides of the leg that continues onto the heel. In my mind at least, they slightly mimic the most fun detail on a western-style boot — that little seam running down the outside of the leg. The sock ends with a wide toe that can be made short, medium or long.

Besides just looking cool, that little line of garter stitch seems to make the knitting go faster than plain stockinette. As a bonus, it makes counting rounds absurdly easy, so you don’t have to worry about losing your place when you make the second sock (or the heel flap).

It uses a Balbriggan heel, which takes just a small amount of grafting to finish. It’s well worth it, I promise. It looks and wears like a dream.

Why It's My Favorite: I wanted a sock that would coax knitters into trying the heel that has fallen out of favor, for some reason. It's completely unjust that every knitter who loves socks hasn't at least tried this heel. (I found it in Weldon’s Practical Stocking Knitter from 1885.) Maybe I just like the underdog, but it's my go-to heel for top-down socks. I hope everyone else loves it, too!

P.S. - Maybe I don't have a favorite favorite pair of socks from Sock Architecture, but the test knitters sure seemed to. They all clamored to try the Bootstrap Socks!

Sidle Socks, Top Down

"To sidle” means to walk up to someone, usually in a furtive or sneaky manner. These socks aren’t made in a sideways fashion, but the heel and toe are both 90 degrees from what you might expect, and they are pretty enough to surprise. The afterthought heel is worked in exactly the same way as the toe. There is no gusset for this sock.

Why It's My Favorite: Afterthought heels are great for when you just don't have the energy to worry about a heel at the moment but want to knit a sock, anyway. I love them for when I don't know the exact length of the wearer's foot, but know their general size enough to get the circumference right. If you don't plan out the position of the heel as you work, you can adjust the foot length, as needed, when you add the heel.

If you know the exact length of sock you want, you can avoid having to pick out tiny stitches later by using my Extra Needle technique. I explain it, in detail, in the book, and I've also made a video about it.

Sidle Socks, Toe Up

As with the top-down version of this sock, there is no gusset here, but the large heel will help it fit a variety of feet very well. It is possible to nearly completely avoid math in this toe-up version.

The fit of the toe is very similar to a medium wedge toe, and even begins in the same way.

Why It's My Favorite: Again, Extra Needle technique or sizing flexibility, plus the fun of working toe-up and having the sock look a little like a sock even when you've just started it. If you measure the toe after it is finished, you'll know how long your heel will be, which saves just a little math if you are working out your own sizing.

Procrastinatrix Socks, Top Down 

In this sock, the heel is knit last, so it hints at a slight proclivity to procrastination. Hence, Procrastinatrix. Spellcheck may not like the name, but I sure do.

Everything about this sock is entirely run-of-the-mill and familiar, except for the order in which it is made. Amaze your friends and companions by turning what looks like a very strange sock indeed into one with a French heel.

If you love top-down French heels, but hate picking up stitches along the side of the heel flap, this is the heel for you. Decreases, not picked-up stitches, connect the heel flap to the gusset.

I used a slipped-stitch heel flap, for strength.

Why It's My Favorite: This heel concept is a second look at the heel I created for my Tootsie Socks. It allows you to create a relatively common heel, which may already be your favorite, but work it as the last step to your sock, instead of halfway through.

It's either my masterwork or a method that about 5 other people on the planet will like. Time will tell.

Procrastinatrix Socks, Toe Up 

As you might guess, this is very similar to the Procrastinatrix Socks that are knit from the top down. I added a little color change into these: heels, toes and ribbing are in a contrasting color.

I’ve never managed to get grafted stitches at the top of a heel flap to look quite as nice as I would like, so even though this sock is knit from the toe up, the heel is knit from the top down. It’s a bit of a twist and is only really possible with this style of construction.

If you need any more convincing to try a toe-up sock, with this version you can avoid casting on gusset stitches. In many ways, it is the best of both worlds.

Why It's My Favorite: It's a toe-up sock with a top-down heel. The only grafting you have to work is hidden under the heel, so it doesn't matter if it isn't absolutely perfect.


Marianne said...

I would love to make socks for myself, the idea of them and all the wonderful yarns and patterns just really have me with my DPN's at the ready. However, every attempt I have made, the sock is way too wide for my foot. I wear a 4A with a 6A heel, in other words for the size of my body my feet are toothpicks! I have used the sock yarns that have the elasticity in the yarn and all other types of sock yarn but they are all way too wide to wear comfortably in a shoe. They do make wonderful house socks but I still yearn for a way to make a homemade sock that will actually fit my foot. It has been suggested that I make extra decreases and so on but I am not a designer, I can follow patterns but I am horrible at trying to "adjust" or alter a pattern. In other words I am math challenged, LOL. Are there ANY patterns out there that are for skinny feet? I have done the children sized and lengthened the foot, that doesn't work, followed any and all suggestions but they all are just too wide for my foot. I have so much sock yarn in my stash I have considered just donating it all and give up trying. Though my heart still yearns for a pattern for skinny feet, I feel it is out there somewhere or there is a designer that will take pity on those such as I and work their magic to give us the correct way to adjust patterns to fit those such as I with very skinny feet. I'd buy every book that has such adjustments, LOL.. I have 8 books in my library that are for socks, but they don't have the magic that I need. HELP!!!!!

math4knitters said...

Well, Marianne, in my book, I do have sized patterns, but I also tell you how to measure your own foot and work out custom sizing for yourself. It's easy, I promise!