Saturday, July 21, 2007

Irish Forest Socks

Do they have forests in Ireland? Perhaps not. But the color of the socks I am knitting is a lovely forest green, and the cable pattern feels Irish to me. I want to try to write the whole thing out here, for posterity.
Size 3 US circular needle (30" or so)

Cast on 65 stitches, join. Divide 30 stitches on one needle, 35 on the other. (Stitches can be added or subtracted in sets of 5, if needed to change size.)

Knit 4 rounds of K4 P1 ribbing.
Row 5 =Cable Round: Slip 2 stitches onto cable needle and hold to back. K2, K2 from cable needle, P1. Repeat across entire round.

Repeat rounds 1-5 until you have 55 rounds, or until leg is the desired length.

Make heel flap on 30 stitches. Leave other 35 stitches on the resting needle. Working back and forth, begin with right side facing:

Slip 1 knitwise, K1. Repeat slip 1 K1 across row. Turn
Slip 1 purlwise only once, purl all remaining stitches across row. Turn.

Continue these 2 rows until you have 14 rows of each.

Turn heel, working only on heel flap. (The following instructions are from Knitting Rules by Stephenie Pearl-McPhee more or less verbatim. They work. I have no idea why or how.)

With RS (right side) facing, Slip 1 K17 ssk K1 Turn.(ssk =slip a stitch to the right side, slip another, now knit into them on the front.) It's ok that there are stitches leftover. Just turn.

Slip 1 P5 P2tog P1 turn
Slip 1 K6 ssk K1 turn
Slip 1 P7 P2tog P1 turn.
(See what's happening? Each row has a gap. You work 2 stitches together over the gap and then knit or purl one more stitch. Keep doing this until you have no more stitches left.

Knit across the heel one more time. Then pick up 16 stitches down the side of the heel. (I don't know if this is the right way or not, but I use a small crochet hook, stick it through the largish loops along the side one by one and pull a loop of yarn through, then deposit that loop onto the needle.)

Knit across the 35 stitches on the needle. Pick up 16 more stitches on the other side of heel flap. Now you have your sock back into a circle, but you have too many stitches, so you will work decreases each round, as follows.

Place marker at point where top of foot and picked up stitches meet on each side. Slide all stitches onto the cord and re-divide so that each needle has one half of top of foot, 1 side and one half of the heel.

Knit around, and as you approach each marker, look to see whether the leg of the sock is hanging down on the left side or right side.

When leg is on the right, pass marker, K2tog
When the leg is on the left, ssk the last 2 stitches before the marker.

(If this is working correctly, all the decreases should be done on the picked-up-stitch portion.)

Continue knitting around and decreasing until you are have 68 (or 64 or 66, your call) stitches left. Knit a half round so that the working yarn is at the division between top and bottom of sock. Slide all stitches back onto the cord again and re-divide so that the top half of the sock is on one needle and the bottom half is on the other needle.

Knit plain stockinette (k every round every stitch) until foot is 5 " long or comes to the base of your big toe. Begin decreases for toes:
Odd rows:
First needle: K1 ssk knit across K2tog K1

Second needle:same as above. (K1 ssk knit across K2tog K1)
Even rows= st st around
Continue decreasing in this manner on every other round until you have 16 stitches remaining (8 per needle.) Graft ends, per kitchener instructions.) I'll post kitchener instructions later.

That's it. Now do it again! A pair of socks!

The basic template for socks is derived from Knitting Rules. The concept for the cable pattern is from's Fetching, but I just kept going every 5th round all the way down the leg. Smart people could continue the pattern on the top of the foot, but I wasn't sure how or if I'd like the feel.

Some day there may be a photo or two added to this post. Don't hold your breath though.

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