Thursday, April 15, 2010

Big Girl Socks Attempt #2

My mom is a "Big Girl", as the phrase is used in the world of knitting patterns. My mom has also asked me to knit her socks ever since she saw me knit my own.  I did not want to disappoint her, but to me socks are straight tubes and even for me, the calves are usually tight & the ankles loose.

Last December I attempted one pair using US 3 for the calf and US 2 for the rest. Also used Steinbach Jumbo upon the recommendation of my LYS. Seemed more like sport weight, not  heavy fingering. Icky to work with, feels rubbery acrylic is spun  with the wool.

In any case I brought one half completed & one completed sock to xmas last December and what a disappointment.  Well the calf fit, but the rest was still way too loose.  Plus, they were super thick and the part knit with US 2 was stiff & lumpy.

btw. I know it was lame to bring half finished socks, but I already suspected they were a fail.  Beside there were many other xmas gifts! 

But now, armed with more info I've written out a test pattern, bought 2 skeins of Koigu in dark beige, my mom's favorite color, and will try again.  Below are the customizations I've made to a plain sock pattern.

CO 64
5" Leg, first 1 1/2 with k1, p1 ribbing, Using 3 needles sizes,

First 2" US 4 needle,
for next 1 1/4"  use US 3 needle
and last 1 3/4" of leg use US 2 needle.

Use US2 for remainder of sock.  Start heel flap 1/2 inch early, meanign before dividing (thanks Helen of Troy) as it gathers in the ankle area.

Regular heel flap (make it long enough for a chubby & non flexible senior citizen foot), Use favorite heel turn, gusset decrease to 64 (more or less depending if foot is wide or narrow).
Knit 2" short of total foot length, toe decreases & kitchner stitch and you are done.

In addition I'm using a gentle ribbed pattern (Sensational Knitted Socks) : 
Row1 K all
Row2 (P2, K2), repeat all around

My last attempt was a major ribbed pattern.  It stretched out at the calf, but the ankle was a big lump of unstretched bulky ribbing.  Trying for a sleeker, yet tiny bit stretchy sock this time.

Wish me luck!


  1. ribbing is good.. but there are a host of more interesting k/p patterns that function the same way..

    some (small) basket weaves.
    pattern called pennants, or flags, or sails or one called pleats..

    all of these patterns are an equal number of knits and purls (per round/row) but the numbers change.

    I like 1 X 1 cuffs, and 3 X 1 (or my new favorite, 5 X 1 ribbing.

    and a good stretchy cast on is a must! there are lots..
    russian/aka knotted single strand,
    channel island (with a pretty picot!)
    and tubular--my default for socks.
    (if i don't have something special planned.. tubular is what ends up happening!)

  2. All great suggestions Helen. For this pair of TEST socks I already used the german twisted CO which you taught me years ago.

    I'm sticking with my boring ribbing because it is fast to learn & knit and mindless. Don't want to put too much into a pair of socks I may end up frogging.

    If these modes create a decently fitted sock the third pair will be more elaborately patterned.