Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Basic Sock Pattern - Free

There are just about as many sock patterns as there are socks. And there are just about as many ways to knit socks as there are sock patterns. I use double pointed needles and knit one sock at a time. There is the danger of SSS (Second Sock Syndrome), which is not doing the second sock, but I switch between socks so I don't have that much of a problem. Other ways to knit socks include using two circular needles and the magic loop method which uses one very long needle.You can even knit socks on two needles and sew up the seams on the sides or the back. I have tried these, but I really loved my double pointed needles, so this old dog don't want to learn this new trick.

I usually don't use a pattern because I have made so many socks. However, I have been asked for my pattern enough times that it is time to write it down. Here it is:

My Basic Sock


100 g of sock yarn – I used Plymouth Yarn Diversity (Love it!)
2.75mm set of double pointed needles
tapestry needle

k - knit
p - purl
k2tog - knit 2 sts together
ssk - slip, slip, knit together
p2tog - purl 2 sts together
sl 1 - slip 1 stitch
st - stitch
dpn – double pointed needles


Cast on 60 sts. Divide over 3 or 4 needles, whichever you prefer. Join, being careful not to twist the stitches. (I use 3 needles divided as 15, 15, and 30, with the joining in the center of the 30 stitch needle. Then I am set to work on the heel flap. If you prefer to work with four needles, divide needle 2 into two needles with 15 sts each)
Work 1 inch of k3, p2 rib.

Next row: Knit around.  Continue knitting every sts until you have reached 6½”, or however long you want the leg part of your sock.

Heel Flap

Using only the needle containing the 30 sts, work the following pattern:

Row 1: Sl1, k1, (sl 1, k1, across to last three sts), k3, turn
Row 2: Sl 1, p to the end of the row, turn
Row 3: Sl1, k2, (sl 1, k1, across to last two sts), k2, turn
Row 4: Sl 1, p to the end of the row, turn

Rep these four rows a total of 8 times (32 rows), ending with row 4.
Turn Heel:

Row 1: K17, k2tog, k1, turn
Row 2: Sl 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn
Row 3: sl 1, k6, k2tog, k1, turn
Row 4: sl 1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn
Row 5: sl 1, k8, k2tog, k1, turn
Row 6: sl 1, p9, p2tog, p1, turn
Row 7: sl 1, k10, k2tog, k1, turn
Row 8: sl 1, p11, p2tog, p1, turn
Row 9: sl 1, k12, k2tog, k1, turn
Row 10: sl 1, p13, p2tog, p1, turn
Row 11: sl 1, k14, k2tog, k1, turn
Row 12: p16, p2tog, p1 (18 sts)
Row 13: Knit across.


Needle 1: Using the same needle, pick up and knit 16 sts along side of heel flap.
Needle 2: K30 sts, 15 sts from the next two needles.
Needle 3: Pick up and knit 16 sts along side of heel flap and with the same needle, k9 across the first needle.

Your set-up should be:
Needle 1: 26 sts
Needle 2: 30 sts,
Needle 3: 26

K 2 rounds (starting and ending at the centre bottom of sock).

Gusset Decreases:

Round 1: Needle 1: K to 3 sts before end of needle 1, k2tog, k 1.
  Needle 2: K30 sts across
  Needle 3: K1, ssk, k to end of needle 2.
Round 2: k

Rep these rounds until there are 15 sts left on Needles 1 and 3.


Continue to knit all sts on the three needles until your measures 6” along the bottom of the sock or the desired length.  A good guideline is to measure your foot from heel to toe and subtract two inches.


Round 1: Needle 1: k to 3 sts before end of needle 1, k2tog, k 1
  Needle 2: k 1, ssk, k to 3 sts before end of needle 2, k2tog, k 1
  Needle 3: k1, ssk, k to end of needle 3.
Round 2: k across all three needles.

Continue working rows 1 and 2 until there are 20 sts left: Needle 1: 5 sts; needle 2: 10 sts: needle 3: 5 sts.


Cut yarn, leaving a 12" (30 cm) tail. Thread the tail onto the tapestry needle and remove all the stitches using the Kitchener Stitch. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

If you don’t know how to do the Kitchener Stitch, has very good step-by-step instructions for you at

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Deer Boys

Bet you thought I was talking about my sons, right? They would be my dear boys. These are my deer boys. I looked out our front door and saw two bucks through the side glass. What a nice visit!

I wonder if anyone is home.
Wait! Come back! I think I heard someone inside!

Yes, I'm sticking my tongue out at you.

Are you looking at me??

I said, Are you looking at me?

Come on. Let's blow this Popsicle stand. 
The end
¯Doot! Doot! Doot! Looking out my front door. ¯

Friday, August 23, 2013

Basic Socks - Wild Yarns

I love self-striping yarn. I especially love it in socks. I change colors without having to carry several strands of yarn or weaving in ends along the sides of the sock. I have also fallen in love with this yarn.  It is Diversity from Plymouth Yarn and it comes in wonderful colors. I usually don't go for acrylic yarns, but I had to make an exception for this one. The feel is super soft and the colors are vibrant.  This color is called Violets, but I also purchased the yarn in Denim and Zebra.  I am working on the Zebra now, which is gray, white and black.

I decided not to match up the stripes from one sock to the other which is why you see two different socks of the same colors. But because with these bright colors, it just didn't seem to matter.

With self-striping yarns, I usually don't do a lace or rib pattern. A pattern seems to take away from the stripes -- or the stripes seem to take away from the pattern -- I'm not sure which it is.  Besides, this is what I work on while I take the train to work. I don't have to think about the pattern; I just knit away. My train ride is about 35 minutes, so I can get quite a bit done on the way to and from work. So stay with the basics.

I have been knitting all my life (I learned when I was 4 or 5 years old), so I am very comfortable with double pointed needles. It makes my project more compact on the train as well. Can you imagine my circular needles flaying all over the place on the train? I could poke someone's eye out!

I am working on writing up my basic sock pattern and will be posting it tomorrow. I know there are about a thousand patterns for basic socks out there, so you can use any one you want. Because of that, my pattern will be free.

Back to the needles.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Call it Mellow Yellow

Yes, I finally finished my yellow socks and I love them. Remember, this was the pair that I frogged (July 30, 2013) last month. The lace ribbing makes them fit nicely, and I love the whispers of orange popping up throughout the pattern. (Yes, Amber, this is the yellow yarn you bought for me.) I just wish it was cold enough to wear socks again. I do wear socks all year round, but I spend most of the summer in sandals, looking longingly at the weather reports for the first sights of snow -- or even a good cold front.

So I wear yellow on my feet. I don't care if my calves look jaundice. The lace pattern is called Sweetie Pie (check it out on Ravelry). However, I didn't follow the pattern once I calculated the number of stitches involved in the pattern.

Truthfully, I haven't followed a sock pattern itself in years. I'll do the lace pattern and I will even chart it out. There seems to be a poll going on Ravelry or my Yahoo groups and chat rooms about whether written patterns or charts are better.  I have the answer: Both. It shouldn't even be a contest. If you like the pattern and it is not in the method you prefer, buck up and make it work. Although I like the visual simplicity of a chart better than the written word, I never shy away from a written pattern. I will create my own chart as I working on a written pattern if I need to.

Knitting is a zen experience. It is my method of meditation, a path to my happy place. Don't let the fact you can't read a chart or you can't knit continental stop you from enjoying it. I always have several projects going because sometimes I am in the mood to concentrate on a pattern and  learn something new, and other times, I just want to knit a mile a minute.

Meanwhile, I am working on my next pair of socks.  I love these colors!

Back to the needles.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Neko won't sing "Soft Kitty" to me

What? You're sick? You still can't have my couch.
I am home sick with some kind of sinus thing. I had a fever most of last night because it is normal this morning. Now I would have thought that Neko would have loved to cuddle up to me when my temperature is 100.6. It would be like sleeping in the sunshine, right? But no, Neko's campaign of ignoring me continues.

As he gets older, I seem to be less and less important in his life. He still sits on Ken's chest when Ken is in his easy chair and purrs and purrs. It's almost embarrassing. No -- it is embarrassing for both of them. Ken, who was never a fan of cats until I forced his to get Neko, coos at him and speaks sweet nothings into fuzzy little ears. Honestly, Ken, people are starting to talk.

I don't care how hot your finger is,
I still am not going to kiss it.
It's not like I want Neko to sing "Soft Kitty" to me (yes I am a fan of the Big Bang Theory), but I thought he would have some sympathy for me in my hours of sniffling, coughing, and sneezing, but it is more obvious than ever that my purpose in his life is to (1) keep his food dish happy and (2) keep his litter box clean.

It occurs to me that if Neko was a human male, I would never put up with this abuse. But he still has my heart. Alas.

Someday, I hope to get a cat.
Sick? Big deal. Where's my lunch?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

When the Horse Heads Back to the Stable

Now you are probably wondering what a horse heading back to the stable has to do with knitting, and in particular, knitting socks. Just hold on and you'll see my "logic."

Have you ever gone horseback riding? I talking about when you are on vacation and take the kids on the horseback riding experience. You are put on a lovely mare, usually named Misty or Betsy, who is 'very gentle.' The trail guide gives you some insight into her personality, saying things like, "She needs to know you are in control" or "Don't give her any extra rein or she'll take advantage of it." As you struggle up the trail, trying to keep the reins tight enough so Misty can't nibble the grass along the side, you wonder if this was a good idea.

Then you come to the end of the trail and it is time to turn around. Suddenly Misty is filled with energy. Her step is livelier and her head is higher. It takes half the time to get back to the stable because she just can't move fast enough. You try to slow her down a bit because you are afraid you might fall off her back. She can't wait to get back to her trough of oats. All too soon, the adventure is over.

As I was finishing my gray socks last night, I thought about Misty and her race back to the stable. That's kind of how I finish socks. I don't think I have ever not finished the toe of a sock in one sitting. Once I see the stable (or in my case, the end of the sock), I get my second wind and have to finish it then and there. I can't put those last rows down for any reason. If I can't finish the toe in one sitting, I don't even start.

By the way, the pattern is on Ravelry
So last night, it was 10:30 and I needed to decide if I wanted to complete the sock. However, I got a whiff of the stable and I had to go. My stitches were livelier and my head was high, and I can't move fast enough. I am afraid to slow down because I might fall off (hmm, maybe I am afraid my stitches would fall off instead).

I guess that would make the kitchener stitch my trough of oats.

Back to the needles.