Well, I am pleased as punch with these! I’ll knit another inch or so, add 3/4″ of 1×1 ribbing, then finish with Elizabeth Zimmermann’s famous Stretchy Sewn Bind-Off from “Knitting Without Tears”. (For the world’s most boring YouTube video on how to do this, click here.)
Without a word of exaggeration, this is the easiest and fastest sock I’ve ever knit. It represents my first attempt at toe-up socks, so I cast about a bit (pun intended) for the perfect template. There are several ways to work the short-row heel and toe. After ripping out the heel about 4 times, I finally settled on Priscilla Wild’s version as presented by Charisa Martin Cairn. Honestly…no muss, no fuss, no wrapping, no yarn overs, no problem. The heel is knit in one step as opposed to the traditional three. No flap, no instep. And, the heel and toe are knit in exactly the same manner on the same number of stitches. Toe-up construction means the leg can be knit as long as you’d like without fear of running out of yarn and, the best part: NO Kitchener stitch to close the toe!
My quest for the perfect sock pattern began when Carl found that the traditional model tended to slide down inside of his snow boots. I suspected that the ribbed heel flap I had been knitting was catching on the woolen Sorel boot liners. (Plus I was in love with that pretty diagonal heel mitre!) I just knew there had to be a better fitting sock that was easier to knit. So, I jumped on the toe-up method, then worked the entire sock (excluding toe and heel) in 3×1 ribbing. Now that I’ve knit them once, my mind fairly reels with the possibilities! It will be sooooo easy to incorporate cables, eyelets, colorwork into this template for some really knock-out socks.
I must say, I’m rather surprised, pleasantly so, with the behavior of the Malabrigo sock yarn. I didn’t think I’d like it at first – very tightly spun with very little loft. Honestly, I thought I was buying it for its magnificent kettle-dyeing. (I’ve used #858 Arbol). Once knit, this yarn takes on a softly ruddy texture that sort of expands into your stitches. That combined with its extraordinary coloration makes this a must-try yarn, though I feel it’s a trifle spendy at $25.95 per 440 yards.
I first saw them around Christmas time at my LYS and instantly thought “Gimmick”. Wrong. I love ‘em for a whole bunch of reasons. First of all, they’re pretty. The square shape fits beautifully into my hands. They don’t roll away when you put them down. Most importantly, they resist warping. I’d always used bamboo double points which I like because they’re furry enough to keep stitches from dropping off the back end. Problem was I’d use them once and they’d start to curve. Not these. The square shape keeps that from happening. They stay nice and straight and super pointy.
Can’t wait to post about the finished pair and to finally log some mileage on my KnitMeter!