Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Top-down short-row socks

(Pictures forthcoming!)

Back from New York (with the bride cross-stitch not yet finished...), and we went to a yarn shop in Tarrytown:  Flying Fingers

Got some nifty sock yarn and a teensy 8" Addi Turbo needle (I've been converted... there's a real reason they're more expensive; unlike Lantern Moon where I feel you're just paying for pretty, Addi's quality is worth it), and, as I have what I've recently seen described as "startitis," I just had to start my socks right away. 

Problem is, I didn't have a pattern.  I looked in one of the books they had for sale to get a concept of gauge (I don't know off-hand the circumference of your average sock), and I cast on 64 sts on my little size 1 needles, ribbed 1x1 for a while, then realized I didn't want to do any of the patterns I had in my own sock book (using to make something fancy for the kid brother) when I got back to the hotel.  I'm not a huge fan of heel-flap socks, and I agree with Himself that short-row socks "look like real socks," so I had to use my memory for a short-row pattern.  I really do prefer toe-up (use 2 balls, stop when you're finished, and you don't have to worry about running out of yarn -- if you've got too little yarn, you've got short socks!  Rather than having to have a different-colored toe...), but I'd already started, so had to go on from there (hate frogging unless something's become unusable).

So, here is a very generic short-row sock pattern, designed for the experienced knitter who understands the concepts of sock knitting:

co 64, join.

Ribbing: rib 1x1 for as long as you like ribbing.

Top of sock: stocking stitch for as long as you want the top of the sock. 

Short-row heel: k 1/2 a round (32 sts), turn; sl 1, p to 1 stitch short of the beginning of the round, turn; sl 1, k to 1 stitch short of the previous last knit stitch, turn; sl 1, p to 1 stitch short of the previous last purl stitch, turn; continue until there's 16 sts left on what you're working through.  Now do it in reverse: k to the first slipped stitch, k it, sl 1, turn, p through what you just did to the next slipped stitch, p it, sl 1, turn; repeat until you've worked across all 32 sts.

Body of sock: k around until your foot starts to taper.  (I never do the "2 inches before desired end of sock" thing -- it never works for me.)

Toe:  k until 3 sts before halfway around (29 sts at first), k2 tog, k 2, ssk, k until 3 sts before you reach the beginning of round, k2 tog, k1 (end of round), k1, ssk; continue, either alternating with k-all rounds or just repeating this decrease-four round (depending on how quickly your foot tapers!) until 6 sts remain.

Cast off with kitchener stitch. 

Wear your sock!

(Or, if you're not me, weave in ends and make the sock look pretty first, then wear it!)

One nice thing about top-down socks: they're easier to try on mid-sock than toe-up socks!

1 comment:

  1. Par excellence! Being inventive is what it's all about, I think. :)