It feels like so long ago that I photographed these, and even longer since I finished them, but I’m happy to finally present one of my favorite FOs yet, yellow knee socks:
Pattern: Evening Stockings for a Young Lady (Ravelry link) by Nancy Bush, from the book Knitting Vintage Socks
Size: lady’s US size 9 with 9-inch foot circumference and 9.5-inch foot length
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette 4-ply fingering weight, color 6240 Semolina, 100% wool; I used 2.14 skeins, which was 107 grams/3.76 oz or 494.3 yards/452 meters.
Needles: Knit Picks 6″ nickel-plated double-pointed needles, set of 5 size 1.5 (2.50 mm)
Modifications: Added 10 lace repeats after calf decreases to lengthen leg; used toe from Hedera instead of star toe in pattern
Started: September 1, 2009
Finished: September 27, 2009
These were my first knee socks, and I actually followed the pattern, despite my general reluctance (should I call it extreme aversion?) to knitting socks from the top-down. That Nancy Bush, man. She can write a pattern!
Usually when I knit socks, I take the lace or stitch pattern and plug it into my preferred method of toe-up sock knitting. I was really tempted to do that with these socks as well, but when I started reading all of the calf-shaping instructions, I realized that these were a totally different game, and if I wanted socks that would fit, I should do them the way Nancy wrote them. I’m so glad I did!
The calf shaping is wonderful. It was written to transition smoothly within the lace pattern, so there was no tricky math or problematic recalculation of where in the lace to work increases or decreases. The lace pattern itself was wonderfully intuitive, and I memorized it in the first repeat. Because it was so easy and logical, these socks literally flew by, and I loved every minute of them.
I was iffy about the star toe in the pattern, since I was definitely planning to wear these socks with shoes and I wanted something that would lay as flat as possible. I opted for the toe from the Hedera pattern, which was one of the only top-down toes I’d done before, but which I noted fit my toes very comfortably and worked unobtrusively in shoes.
And I have to admit that while I wasn’t a fan of working the heel and gusset (the pattern was very clear, easy to follow etc – it’s just a personal thing), it looks pretty lovely and it fits very comfortably into my shoes. Shockingly, these socks actually stay up while I walk too, which is a major bonus for any knee socks.
I knit these socks as part of the September Sock Knitters Anonymous Sockdown challenge, where one of the options was knitting yellow socks. I was surprised at how many people started out hating on yellow, since I adore it. I had been dreaming about yellow lace knee socks for a while (perhaps I have a bit of Malvolio in me), so I found this a perfect occasion.
The yarn was a pleasure, as I expected. While not as soft as some of the pricier sock yarns I’ve used, I found Palette to be a really good yarn for this project. The socks didn’t stretch out with wearing, they didn’t felt or pill at all, and they seemed comfortable and durable, yet soft. For the price, I don’t think you can find a better value in fingering-weight wool, and I genuinely adore its color.
If it’s not overly obvious, I love these socks and I’m thrilled with this project. I wore these to work and my labmates were all coveting them like crazy, asking where they could buy a similar pair. I love having something so unique and so specifically suited to my personality, which I enjoy wearing as much as I enjoyed making them!