I present to you, pairs 115 and 116, both for my beloved Brian. (Pair 117 I already showed to you on June 16, Pair 118 is finished but the photo is not web-ready yet.)
Pair 115 (green solid) has what I think is an interesting story of evolution. It occurs to me that some of you might be curious how I made decisions along the way, to create the socks as they turned out in the end.
They were for his birthday, and I always wait too long to get started. Therefore I chose fatter yarn than usual (washable 100% wool rather than “sockyarn”) since I was on a deadline. I had used this yarn once for myself and loved it, so it was a good bet for Brian.
I decided to do the C-wrapped cast on that I use in my Turkish-Style Toe-Up sox, because I can get the fussiest part of the knitting done faster than if I used the stockinette-square toe in First-Time Toe-Up socks.
In my “Turkish” pattern, I do the increases in four equal parts for a “swirl” toe. This time I chose to increase in a more standard wedge shape. I do like how this toe looks, and with yarn that I think looks somewhat dressy I was satisfied with the look of those features.
I was knitting a lot when Brian was not there to try on the project. I know his shoe size so looked it up in a chart. Well, I forgot that the shoe size is the *length* of the foot, and he has thinner feet than a standard chart would show.
Needless to say, I got knitting them and it just seemed after a while that they were wrong. They seemed too big. I went on far too long, really, after doubting myself. And since I had a deadline, I didn’t want to rip out, when after all they might really fit!
Finally I checked with Brian. We determined they fit, but more loosely than would be ideal. I decided to keep going, with Brian’s OK.
And then I couldn’t live with it. At the point of no return, where I was going to put waste yarn for inserting the afterthought heel (we both really like the fit of that heel), I thought better of this idea to keep on going. I decided to make a retrofitted K3P1 rib, by dropping every 4th stitch, running the stitch down to the toe, and then latch hooking it up with a crochet hook from the inside to create a purl column.
This actually was just the answer to the slightly-too-loose problem. I did the rib just on the instep, and inserted the waste yarn in the heel area to add the heel later. The retro-rib pulled the fabric in just enough to be a more comfortable fit.
I continued up, again knitting stockinette in a tube. I knit a lot faster when I knit all knit stitches and no purls, and since I’d made the foot purl columns by running them down, I decided to do the whole cuff that way when I reached the top. Retro-ribbing is a little looser than purling as you go. I wanted the cuff and foot to match.
I had purchased two 50g balls of the fat yarn for this, and had chosen toe up so that I could just knit till I ran out of yarn. When I got to where I ran out for the first sock, Brian tried it on again. He said the length was OK but a little short. He could live with it either way. Since the sock was fatter yarn, it seemed smart to go ahead and make them taller for colder weather.
So off I went to Threadbear and bought another ball of yarn. And I added to the top of both socks, retro-ribbed the entire circumference of the cuff (not just the instep as I had on the foot), bound off, and voila! They look great, fit very well, and Brian really likes them.
And that’s the story of LynnH Pair 115.
I’m sorry to say the other pair is less interesting. I started them last year and put them away when I went to Africa for the holidays. I forgot all about these, until I was cleaning up my stash boxes and found them. Top down, afterthought heel socks finished except for the heels.
So I added heels really quickly, and Brian got 2 pair in a week. Never mind it turns out last year I didn’t knit him any! (Whoops.) He has plenty in his sock drawer, don’t worry about him too much.