Socks, footlets, and slippers

Posts about crocheting for feet:

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2014

Evolution of a sock pattern


Modified Joan Hamer socks
I tell folks I use Joan Hamer’s sock pattern a lot, but there have been changes.  That sock, available for free, is a good starter pattern:  following the traditional structure but using a bulky or double strand of worsted weight yarn and size 8 needles, it goes really fast and is a great way to start knitting socks.  But over the years, there have been modifications:

1. I prefer to knit both socks on a long circular needle, which has an impact on how I interpret the pattern.

2. Using a double strand of worsted weight, I never did bother with the smaller needle for the top ribbing – I knit tightly enough that going smaller than an 8 (5mm) for such a thick yarn just seemed like overkill.  The original pattern calls for a double strand of Lion Brand Wool Ease, which is a light worsted weight.  If I am using Red Heart Super Saver, which also calls itself a worsted weight, I use a single strand -- but I don't normally use that for socks because I found that acrylic wears out pretty quickly.  These socks were made with a double strand of blue/green thin worsted weight wool (from a cone of yarn I got somewhere) held together with a single strand of 100% nylon brown sock yarn (ancient stuff I got somewhere else).

3. I like using a 3x1 rib for socks:  Ribbing for the whole leg of the sock makes it hug the leg more, which I like.  Plus, it looks different on the two sides so I can tell where I am easily (especially near the beginning, in case the knitting gets turned inside out for some reason.  I may or may not switch to stockinette for the foot.

4. After discovering that my sweetie generally wears holes in the heel, I switched to the afterthought heel from the standard heel flap/turn/gusset structure of the original pattern.  There are a number of tutorials online for afterthought heels.  I learned this from reading Elizabeth Zimmermann.  It is easy to forget to switch to stockinette at this point, so sometimes the whole thing is ribbed, as I did here.  If I remember, I switch to stockinette about an inch before the heel placement (working from the top down).

When I compared my foot to his, and my foot is 9" long, I saw that his foot is about 2" longer than mine - easy to remember:  When the foot is 7" long (I will be adding 2" for the heel later), it is time to start the toe shaping.  Starting with 32 stitches around, I decrease down to 6 stitches on each side, then graft / Kitchener the toe to finish.

5.  For the afterthought heel:  Pick up the stitches that were on the waste yarn (that would be 16 on each side).  To prevent a gap, pick up one more stitch on each side, in the corners.  That way, there are 34 stitches around.  Stitch 1 round even before starting the toe shaping for the heel decreases.  On the toe of the sock, there is always an even number (starting with 32 stitches around).  On the heel, starting with 34 stitches around (17 on each side), there are always an odd number of stitches on each side.  Decrease down to 5 stitches on each side, then graft / Kitchener the remaining stitches to finish.  Speaking of gaps, leave about 4 inches of tail to have some yarn for finishing, at the beginning, end of toe, and at the heels.

6. Sometimes, when it is time to replace the heel, I crochet the new heel, using a single strand of worsted weight and whatever hook comes to hand, which is more likely to get done.

Other than that, the pattern is just the same.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 23, 2014

Pixie slippers morph into socklets

After making a bunch of pixie slippers for gifts (they are really quick to make), I found myself wondering if the basic concept couldn't be modified to make a little sock.  After all, I don't really need the flap at the top (which is just about a quarter of the square), and it would be nice to avoid the pointy toe for everyday use.  And it would be nice to use different pattern stitches, something smoother, more sock-like than garter or ridged single crochet.

And if you can get a real sock from one 50-gram ball of sock yarn, you'd get a pair of footlets out of the same amount of yarn, if you had a pattern that worked.

So that was the challenge.  First question:  What shape would I be making?  Well, if you make one pixie slipper,

Here's the basic pattern -- This doesn't look like a square!

But with a loose gauge it can stretch
Fold in a triangle, ws facing, stitch along the
bottom and halfway up a side ..




Turn outside out, fold down the top, and here you have a pixie slipper, with loose ends that need to be tucked in.
cut off the pointy toe and the flap at the top,
OMG! She cut the fabric!
Actually, it is starting to look like a bootie/socklet thing


and then take out the seam that held it all together, here's the shape that comes out:
And here is the shape to make ..

Second question:  What is the easiest way to make this shape?

Well, "easiest" can mean different things to different people.  For me, an intuitive shape is to stitch in the round (a coil) starting at the ankle, increase out to the toe, then join a little seam for the toe and along the bottom edge.  This photo shows a cut edge (bottom of photo) that is the top of the sock.  The two short straight sides going out on each side join to be the center back. The two long straight sides coming in are the center bottom.  The little dip at the top is going to get joined for a toe seam.  Should work.  Here's how:

1.  Choose a pattern stitch.  I chose chain-1 net stitch:  Setup row:  on a chain stitch foundation (even # of sts) the desired length, sc in the 2nd ch from the hook.  *ch1, sk1 ch, sc in next st.  Repeat from * across.  End the row with a sc.  To continue in a round, ch1, insert hook in the first ch sp of the row - that joins it in a round and starts the coil - and sc1.  There is a jog where the first row starts.  In finishing, use the starting tail to make a neat join and smooth that point.  Then, *ch1, sc in next ch space.  Repeat from * around.

Note:  the size I am describing here is to fit my foot, which is 9 ( ___ ) inches long.  Half that is 4.5 ( ___ ) inches, a relevant piece of information later on.  If the size you want to make is bigger or smaller, substitute your numbers in the ( ___ ) so the statements are true for you.

2. Start at the top of the sock, with a foundation row that is as long as my instep - because it has to slide over it.  The point where the end of the foundation row joins the beginning - to make a round - is the middle of the top front of the sock.

3.  Before continuing in a coil, take a moment to place a marker in the 2nd sc of the row just finished.  Increase 1 pattern stitch on either side of the marker in each round.  Each time you reach the marker, move it to the stitch above it in each round - it will alternate between a sc and a ch. To increase 1 pattern stitch:  (sc, ch1, sc) in the closest ch space on either side of the marker. In one row there will be just a ch1 between the increases.  In the next round there will be a (ch1, sc, ch1) between the increases.  Keep the increases close together at the center top of the piece.

4.  Continue in the pattern as set until the piece is as long as the foot.  By that, I mean that the measurement of the last round completed, when the piece is laid flat (2 layers), is as long as the foot.  So I stop increasing when the long edge is 9 ( ___ ) inches long.  Finish with a sc in the ch sp just before the next increase.

5.  From here on, continue in rows.  Ch2, turn.  Sc in next ch sp.  (ch1, sc in next ch sp) across, ending with a sc in the ch sp just before the next increase.

6.  Ch2, turn.  Sc in next ch sp.  (ch1, sc in next ch sp) across, ending with a sc in the ch2 turning chain at the beginning of the previous row.  Repeat this row until the piece measures 4.5 ( ___ ) inches from the foundation edge to the last finished row.  Remove marker.

The row ends make the toe. The last worked row will be joined as the bottom seam.  Here's how:

7.  (WS facing) After the last row, sl st to the ch2 at the beginning of the last row, joining the short toe end into a round.  Ch1.  Stitching across the row ends and point at the toe, sc in the same ch sp.  *ch 1, sk 1 row end, sc in next ch space. Repeat from * around, keeping in patt across the stitches at the toe point all the way across the other row ends, ending with sc in the sl st space where the toe end was joined into a round.  Fasten yarn, but do not cut.

8.  Lay the piece flat to join the toe seam, with the long open edge centered on top, looking at the two layers of the toe next to each other.

9.  Lay yarn along toe edge over to right side to start joining the short seam.  Draw up a loop in a ch sp at the corner.  Enclosing the yarn along the edge when convenient, sl st in the ch sp on one side then on the other, zigzagging across.  At the left edge of the toe, fasten yarn, but do not cut.

10.  To join the bottom seam:  Place marker in a sc on one side of long open edge, about 2/3 of the way to the heel (this does not have to be exact).  Insert hook in ch2 sp at the beginning of that last row, at the toe.  Draw up a loop, making sure the excess yarn is not held too tightly.  Since this excess yarn is short, on the inside of the toe, there's really no point in dealing with tucking it in or fussing with it -- it would take more trouble and fuss to cut it, start new, and have to tuck in both loose ends.  *Ch1.  Sl st in corresponding ch sp on opposite side.  Repeat from * back and forth, joining the seam, ending with a sl st in the ch just before the marker, with about 1/3 of the seam left open.  Move the marker to the last sl st made. Continue with the heel shaping.

Bottom seam including heel shaping
11.  The heel whorl:  Decreasing and continuing in a coil, *sc in next 2 sts.  Sk next st.  Rep from * around the remaining opening one time, ending with sc around the marked slip stitch .  Then, (sk next sc, sc in next sc) around and around until 6 sts remain.  Lay the piece flat, and slip st the remaining seam together, inserting hook through both layers.  Fasten off.

12.  Weave in the loose ends.
Finished socklet




This was made using Cascade Sateen worsted weight, for a quick bedsock, stitching with a 4.5mm hook.  This made a slightly loose gauge so the sock stretches to fit my foot neatly.  Normally, I would look at the recommended knitting needle size on the yarn label, and use that size hook.  If I didn't like how that gauge works out, I adjust the hook size to something I do like.

Next, the same thing in sock yarn, so I can wear it with real shoes.  Onward.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 4, 2014

Revisiting the Slam Dunk Pixie slipper

Here is a pattern originally posted 12/19/07 - golly, ages ago!  Thanks to a visitor comment, I'm thinking it might be relevant to revisit:  




And speaking of gifts and last minutes, here is an idea for a little bootie that you can work in a lot of different ways. It works great in knitting (just plain old garter stitch, knit every row). I have done it a lot in crochet, too, using single crochet in the back loop only.

Basically, you make a square, but don't cut the yarn when you're done. To make the square easier to stitch together, knit as many ridges (on one side) as there are stitches. If you crochet, single crochet (in the back loop only) as many rows as you have stitches. The gauge will work out.

Then, fold the square so it is a triangle, so the yarn is hanging down at one end of the fold.


From that corner, stitch two folded sides together -- that is the sole of the bootie. Then turn the corner and stitch about a third or halfway up the other side. The point where the crochet hook goes through the edge in the photo is about how far up to stitch. Now fasten off and tuck in the loose ends.

Fold down the top flap that didn't get stitched, and you've got a cool goofy Pixie Bootie.

If you stitch tightly, it makes more of a slipper and doesn't stretch much. This is good with very sensible sturdy yarns.

If you stitch loosely, it is really stretchy and is more of a bedsock, for those of us with cold feet. This is nice for soft cozy yarns, even chenille (which was never made for the ages)

About sizing: Everyone is different, but here is a general guideline of how many stitches to start with, whether you knit or crochet:


3 sts/inch
4 sts/inch
5 sts/inch
6 sts/inch
3” square – ornament, good for holding little gifts, too
9
12
15
18
5” square – baby bootie
15
20
25
30
7” square – kid size
21
28
35
42
9” square – lady’s medium
27
36
45
54
11” square – large
33
44
55
66

(Thank you to Susie in Phx for the editing suggestion - I didn't know how to include a table when this post first published.)

It is always safer to make it a bit bigger than not big enough. If it turns out that the square is a tad too small, consider single crocheting around the square one time to add just a bit more before stitching the seams.

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012

Thinking about crocheted socks a little more


Recently, Interweave Crochet has featured crocheted socks, especially a design very similar to the Better Mousetrap Sock that was in their Knits magazine a few years ago. That pattern intrigued me when it came out, and not long ago, I made one sock each out of the same yarn using the Better Mousetrap concept and my own toe-up standard pattern. I rather like the look of the vertical one better. While I prefer the look of the vertical sock, I do not like the process of making it so much -- I had to restart the sock three times before getting the gauge right. Working a sock vertically requires having the gauge right, from the start, or the heel won’t be in the right place. Working the sock from the toe up is much more forgiving because you simply measure and make the hole for the afterthought heel when you get there. Both socks are made with a chain-2 net stitch, using a 3mm hook and Patons sock yarn. On the toe-up sock, I use a more solid stitch for the heel and toe: alternating single and double crochets, working the single into the double of the previous round, and the double into the single. The fabric for the two socks looks different because the toe-up is worked in rounds, and the vertical sock is worked in rows.

SUNDAY, MAY 30, 2010

Sock Oops!

When I posted an update to the sock pattern with a new heel, I included notes for using a ch-2 net stitch instead of the sc/dc (brick) stitch pattern of the original sock published on the South Bay Crochet website ages ago.

Unfortunately, the instructions for the afterthought heel in net stitch makes a huge heel that is not appropriate. It is just plain wrong. Each ch2 space should be worked as 1sc for a heel the right size.

I am reworking the toe, too, so will post a new, shorter pattern. With any luck, it will work just fine.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2010

More on Socks

Socks are a great portable project, and they have long tracts of knitting (or crocheting) in which their maker doesn't have to pay too close attention to the project. Both features make the lowly sock a perennial favorite. However, their overall simplicity and the fact that you have to make two of them can lead to project boredom. Luckily, there are many, many different sock patterns available for different yarns, purposes, pattern stitches, and shapes.

Once one has made a few socks, it becomes fairly easy to free oneself from the pattern. The parts where one has to think (heel and toe) are proportional to the original cast on number and very predictable. Good thing, too, because what if you want to make a pair of women's socks from a man's sock pattern, or vice versa? What if you like the pattern stitch on a pair made from DK, but want to use it with fingering weight sock yarn?

I'm currently working on just such a project. I'm making a pair of socks for my husband, and I know from previous experience how many stitches around his socks need to be at the gauge I want to use. However, the pattern stitch I want is in this pattern (a lovely free pattern I found throughRavelry). It's for a different sized person and a different gauge. I also want to use a different kind of heel and include a short cuff at the top of the sock to give the top a more finished look. Since socks all follow a similar formula, it is very easy for me to take just the elements of the pattern that I like and apply them to my project.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2010

Quick Sock Tip

Just a quick post (because I don't feel like getting out my camera).

If you are making socks (knitted or crocheted) and want to reinforce the heel and toe, try using matching polyester sewing thread. It comes in far more colors than reinforcing thread and won't change your gauge.

But when you do use that sewing thread, you will need to keep it contained in order to prevent nasty tangles with your yarn! Seal the spool in a zip lock bag and feed the thread out of a hole snipped in a bottom corner.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2010

Revisiting a Basic Crocheted Sock

Almost ten years ago, I wrote a basic sock pattern that got published on the South Bay Crochet siteand was also a free pattern at The Knitting Room in San Jose. The pattern below starts with that pattern and uses a much easier heel construction so the whole pattern is easier.


At the same time, as much as I like to crochet socks and wear the ones I make, I need to point out that crocheted socks are not the same as knitted socks -- they are not for everyone. Knitting makes a lightweight, elastic fabric; crochet makes a sturdy, textured fabric. This makes a difference in socks. In addition, wool (even machine washable wool) does shrink a bit. So if you crochet socks from traditional sock yarn (70-80% wool, and the rest is nylon), you may find that they shrink a bit after a few wearings. I have several pairs of socks that look fine, but they shrank just a little over time so they don’t fit any more. In response to this, I have changed my new favorite stitch for crocheting socks, which I address at the end of the pattern with a note on adjusting the pattern for this other stitch.

If you make these socks with yarn that does not shrink (a cotton/elastic blend is good, or acrylic), you will not run into the shrinking problem. Unfortunately, other fibers may not wear as well as the wool/nylon blend and may get holes in them more quickly in spots (like the heel and toe).

Materials:
fingering or sport weight yarn, 100 grams/size E hook, or size needed for gauge: 5.5 sts/inch in patt,
OR
DK or light worsted weight yarn, 100-200 grams/size G hook, or size needed for gauge: 4.5 sts/inch in patt,
OR
heavy worsted or bulky weight yarn, 200 grams/size I hook, or size needed for gauge: 3.5 sts/inch in patt.
The gauges given here are suggested gauges to give you a sense of scale.

Note: The amounts of yarn given are for ankle socks to fit medium adult feet. For knee socks, you will need up to twice as much yarn. Also, socks for smaller feet will use less yarn than socks for larger feet.

2 markers

Instructions are given for fingering weight yarn, with changes for sport and worsted in ().

For better fit, measure:
length of the foot from toe to heel: _____, and
the size around at the instep/arch: _____.

Abbreviations (American):
Ch: Chain stitch
Sc: Single crochet
Dc: Double crochet
Sl OR sl st: slip stitch
Inc: Increase
Patt: Pattern stitch (as defined)
Sk: skip
Coil: work in rounds, but do not finish it at the end of each round, just continue on.

Pattern Stitch (worked in a coil, over an odd number of stitches): *Sc1, dc1. Repeat from * around.

Toe Increase: (dc1, sc1, dc1) all in next stitch.

To Begin: Starting at the toe, ch 10 (8, 6). Working into the bottom bump of each stitch, slip stitch in the 3rd chain from the hook and in each chain across, making the last sl st into the first chain. This reinforces the chain row at the beginning, giving a little extra strength. From here on, insert hook under both top loops of each stitch, as usual in crochet.

Continue in a coil (right side facing): Ch1. Sc1 into the first chain. Dc1 in next stitch. Continue in pattern stitch to end of side, ending with sc1. Make a toe increase in the next stitch to turn corner. Place 1st marker in the middle sc of the increase. Continue in patt st to end of side, ending with dc1 in last slip st. Sc1 in the ch1 that started this round. Make a toe increase in the next sc. Place 2nd marker in the middle sc of the increase.

*Continue in patt to next marker. Inc. Move marker to middle sc of new inc just made.

Find your instep size on this chart, and repeat from * for a total of this many stitches:
Instep
size Total # of sts
5” 25 (19, 15) stitches around
6” 29 (23, 17)
7” 35 (27, 21)
8” 39 (31, 23)
9” 45 (35, 27)
10” 49 (39, 29)

Remove markers and set aside.

(If you are working the OTHER PATTERN STITCH -- see below -- start that stitch here.)

Continue in patt, without any more increases, until the piece measures about 2/3 the desired foot length. Lay the piece flat (even though you are working in the round, when you lay the piece with the starting toe edge flat, there will be two side edges/corners). Place a marker in the sc at each side corner. Continue in patt to first marker, ending with a dc in the marked stitch. Count how many stitches are between where you are and the next marker: _____ (Hint: this should be an odd number).

Afterthought Heel: This is an idea I first heard about from the knitter Elizabeth Zimmermann. She didn’t care much for crocheting, but that is ok. She still had a lot of great ideas.

Remove marker. Chain as many stitches as you counted.

Dc in the sc of the remaining marker. Remove that marker.

That is all for the heel right now. You will return to it later. Now, continue with the leg:

For a straight leg: Continue in patt in a coil until leg measures desired length (from the chain row that made the hole for the heel, about 2-3” for baby, 4-5” for child, or 6-7” for adult). After last stitch, finish off like this: Slip stitch in next 2 sts. Fasten off, tuck in loose ends. Make 2nd sock to match.

For a bit of character at the top edge: When the leg measures as long as you want, consider finishing the top edge with a little something. For an easy edge, (sc1, ch1) in each stitch around one time, then finish off.

Knee Sock Option (requires more yarn):
More measurements:
Calf at the biggest size around: _____
Length of leg from the floor to just under the knee (length of sock): _____

After making the heel opening, continue in patt for the ankle (1” for baby, 2” for child, 4” for adult size). Place marker in center back dc.

*Continue in patt to marked stitch. (sc1, ch1, sc1) all in marked st, to increase 2 stitches. Move marker to ch. Continue in patt for 2 more rounds with no increase. When you get to the ch in the next round, sc in it. Move marker to current stitch each time you make a stitch in the marked stitch.

Notice that if you increase in a dc, it takes 2 more rounds to have a dc in the same stitch again, so the increases are on a 3-round repeat.
Repeat from * until the sock measures desired size around. Note: It would be good if you ended with a total number of stitches close to a multiple of 6 if you want to make the Chevron Ribbing.
Continue in patt without any more increases until the sock measures desired length.

Chevron Ribbing for knee sock: End sock body with sc1. Work 1 round in shell stitch, like this: *Sk 2, 5dc in next st, sk 2, sc1 in next st. Repeat from * around one time. Since you aren’t starting with a multiple of 6 stitches, you will have to fudge a little, by skipping only 1 stitch instead of 2, just a few times. End with 1sc in first sc of round. Mark this sc.
Next round: *Sc1 in next 2 dc. (Sc1, ch1, sc1) all in next dc. Sc1 in next 2 dc. Skip next sc. Repeat from * around once.
Next round: *Sc1 in next 2 sc. (Sc1, ch1, sc1) all in next ch1 space. Sc1 in next 2 sc. Skip next 2 sc. Repeat from * around for a total of 6 rounds, or desired length of cuff. Slip stitch in next 2 sts. Fasten off.

Now, back to the Heel:
This is a mirror image of the toe shaping: DEcreasing at each side a lot like how you INcreased at the beginning of the toe.

Setup round: With the right side of the fabric facing, rejoin the yarn with a slip stitch in the side of the last dc before the chain stitches you made for the heel opening. Starting with sc in the next st, continue in pattern across the last row of the foot to the other side of the hole, ending with a sc in the last dc. Dc in the side of the next dc to turn so you can continue around. Place marker on this dc just made. Working into the spare loop on the underside of all those chain stitches, establish the pattern stitch along the bottom of the leg edge, ending up with a sc in the last chain. Notice how many stitches there are on each side: _____.

Set up one decrease point: Yarnover, draw up a loop in side of the dc you joined the yarn in. Yarnover, draw through 2 loops (2 loops remain on hook). Yarnover, draw up a loop in next sc, Yarnover, pull through 2 loops (3 loops remain on hook). Yarnover, pull through all 3 loops to decrease 1 stitch. Put marker on this stitch to mark one decrease point.

**Continue in patt to stitch before next marker.
Heel Decrease: (Yarnover, insert hook in next stitch, yarn over, draw up a loop, yarn over, pull through 2 loops) 3 times. Yarnover, pull through all 4 loops to decrease 2 stitches. The middle part of this decrease should be the marked stitch. Move marker to decrease just made.
Repeat from ** until only about 2/3 of the stitches have been decreased, and only 1/3 are left.
Fasten off, allowing a tail about 5 inches long to sew a seam. And that is the heel
Tuck in loose ends. Make 2nd sock to match.

About that other pattern stitch:
Start the sock as usual.
(The bit about reinforcing the starting chain is not absolutely necessary. I usually start with Foundation stitches, making a row about 1/6 as long as I want around. That means that for a sock 9-inch around, I make a foundation row that is about 1-1/2inches long, ending with a starting toe increase. If this is confusing, skip it.)

When the toe is the right size (the same instructions as before), switch to a ch-2 net stitch: Ending with a sc in a dc, (ch2, skip the next sc, sc in the next dc) around. From here on, (ch2, sc in next ch-2 space) around. That is the pattern stitch. This makes a slightly lacy fabric that has some ’give’ either long or wide, as needed. The over-all sock will have a baggier look, but I think it fits better over time.

To make the heel opening, chain and skip the same number of stitches. To set up the pattern stitch for the leg, work (sc, ch 2, skip 2) across the chain stitches.

Yes, you are replacing each dc with two ch sts. So where the pattern refers to a DC, read ‘ch-2 space.’

When you come back to make the heel, treat each ch-2 as one stitch. Work the heel in the sc/dc pattern stitch because it is sturdy, just like the toe. That means, to set up the heel, do (sc, dc) in each ch-2 space, and just skip the sc's.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 10, 2009

The paradox of crocheted socks

Knitting makes a lightweight and elastic fabric, compared to crocheting. Crocheting makes a textured and sturdy fabric, compared to knitting.

Given such a cut and dry comparison, it seems a no-brainer that socks are generally knitted, and not crocheted.

As true as this comparison may be, it is not complete. There is a lot of overlap between what knitting can do and what crocheting can do. Theoretically, then, if you can knit socks, you should be able to crochet them. So there’s the puzzle. Where in the intersection of knitting and crocheting can socks fit?

Socks need to be thin enough to wear with shoes -- though I know people who buy a size bigger shoe to wear with handmade socks. The fabric needs to conform to the leg and not be too baggy. The sock needs to be easy to put on and take off. And the pattern to crochet the socks needs to be easy enough that it can become a fairly brainless project -- just as basic knit sock patterns are. And like a basic knit sock pattern, a pattern for crocheted socks needs to work with different gauges and be fairly universal -- it certainly cannot be tied to a specific brand of yarn.

I crochet socks from the toe up because I don’t want to run out of yarn, but I also don’t want the socks to be too short and have leftover yarn. This means I don’t have yarn set aside for mending, but that hasn’t been an issue. For sensible socks, I'm not willing to go smaller than fingering/sock weight yarn. DK weight yarn works up quickly and is only a bit thicker. Worsted weight socks are good for around the house or wearing with boots.

Knee highs often have leg shaping, but shorter socks usually do not. Shaping means more instructions. I want to make the shorter kind for a basic pattern, so I want a stitch that can be pulled in different directions.

The challenge is to find the right stitch: Knit socks often have one pattern for the toe, another for the heel, plain stockinette for the foot, and perhaps a decorative stitch for the leg. So I'm allowed to use different stitches for different parts of the sock. But each stitch has to make sense for where it is.
Originally, I worked the heel in, but now I do an ‘afterthought heel’ (term coined by Elizabeth Zimmerman), which makes life much easier but has the drawback of being a bit less fitted than the heel flap construction -- this problem is in knitting, too, so it’s not just a crochet thing.
Because it is still an evolving meditation, I crochet socks mainly for myself, not for others -- although I did crochet a pair of bed socks out of a dk alpaca/silk blend for my mother once. When they wore out, I knitted a replacement pair -- She appreciated both pairs.
So, how is the pattern evolving?

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