Rhymes With Fuchsia

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mary's Socks

A couple of months ago I was invited to join a small sock swap, and I happily accepted. I made a pair of socks for Mary; my original design was based on the facts that 1) her favorite colors are black and red 2) she admired the Sunday Brunch stitch pattern while I was working on Grant's earwarmer.

(Photo shamelessly pilfered from Julie.)

I thought about writing out the pattern for you exactly as I worked it, but I quickly realized that practically no one else on the planet is going to need 84 stitches for a sock leg worked in elann Esprit, even on size-3 needles in a cable pattern. Therefore I will give you the basic method, and you get to plug in the numbers.

Basic Method for Mary's Socks
  1. Choose your main and contrast colors. If using Esprit you will need less than one ball per sock (probably less than one ball total) of the contrast color (CC), one full ball per sock of the main color (MC).
  2. Determine your st st gauge in your chosen yarn (A) and the circumference of the relevant foot (B). Make a toe by whatever method you wish, using A x B sts adjusted to a multiple of 6. (I started with 66 sts.)
  3. You will be using half the sts for the instep, half for the sole. Put the sts on two circs or one long circ for magic loop or dpn's in whatever arrangement is comfortable for you. Work one round st st in MC.
  4. Increase round: On the instep sts, p3, *k1, p into front and back of next st, k1, end p3. (I now had 42 instep sts.) Work sole sts in st st on this and all subsequent foot rounds. You now have more instep sts than sole sts; this is as it should be.
  5. Foot: on instep sts, p3, work row 1 of Sunday Brunch stitch pattern: *p into back of second st on left needle, k first st, slip both sts from needle together for a left twist (LT), k second st on left needle, p first st, slip both sts from needle together for a right twist (RT), end p3, work sole sts. Work 3 rounds even. Next round: on instep sts, p3, work row 5 of Sunday Brunch stitch pattern: *RT, LT, end p3, work sole sts. Work next 3 rounds even, completing one repeat of Sunday Brunch. Continue to work foot pattern as established until sock measures about 2 inches shorter than the relevant foot, leaving room for stretch if working with stretchy yarn. (I can't tell you how much exactly; about an inch seems to work for me in Esprit.) End with a row 2 on instep sts.
  6. In CC, work a heel by whatever method you wish. I made a short-row heel with 2 instep sts "borrowed" on each side.
  7. In MC, work 1 round in pattern as established. On next round, set up Sunday Brunch pattern on back of leg as in step 4. (I now had 84 sts.) Work 2 rounds in pattern.
  8. You will have 6 purl sts on each side of the foot (3 on the front needle(s), 3 on the back). On the next round, k the middle 2 of these sts (1 on each needle, or you can move them both to the same needle if this is easier) in CC on each side.
  9. Continue in pattern as established until leg measures 3 inches from top of heel, ending with a row 2 or 6. On next round, on the front of the leg work the first 3 sts k1 in CC, p2 in MC, work the first Sunday Brunch st, then *work 2 together (k2tog or p2tog, as the case may be), work 2, last 3 sts p2 in MC, k1 in CC. Do the same for the back of the leg. You should be back to your original number of sts (66 in my case).
  10. Work 3 rounds in 1x1 rib in MC, knitting all CC sts on the first round.
  11. Bind off (I used my favorite 1x1 tubular bind-off).

Obviously you can make the leg as long as you wish or have yarn for. Luckily for me, as I finished barely in time, Mary likes short socks. I actually worked both socks at once on two circs, separating them to work the heels and then putting them back together for the legs, but no law says you have to do it that way.


  • Very clever, you! Love the socks, and the plug in your own numbers pattern. Thanks!

    By Anonymous Chris, at 7:13 AM  

  • Nice socks! It's hard to get a good photo of black (says the owner of a black dog).

    By Blogger Alwen, at 8:15 AM  

  • Clever girl! They look lovely. Good job!

    By Blogger Roxie, at 9:53 AM  

  • I do love that stitch pattern.

    By Blogger Laurie, at 7:02 AM  

  • Lucia, they're FAB! You do such amazing work.

    By Anonymous norma, at 8:55 AM  

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