Looky what this lucky girl got in the mail last night:
My very own pair of (modified) RPM socks, knit for me by Ariel/Stariel, my friend from BMFA Sock Camp. She is a Sock Knitter with a capital S & a capital K. And a published knitting author — with two patterns in Shannon Okey‘s new book, “How to Knit in the Woods“! At camp, I was feeling sad that I had few (like, two pairs) hand-knit socks because the only socks I made for myself (until the Springtime in Sherwood Socks, granted, but they weren’t done then) were my practice socks as I learned how to turn heels, etc. Otherwise, I have too much knitting for other people to do, to ever seem to build up a drawerful for myself! (Not that I don’t start things for myself, but they get pushed to the back of the queue.) And everyone at Sock Camp was wearing their hand knit socks, you can bet.
Well, we worked out a deal, since Ariel says she knit socks, socks, nothing but socks pretty much ALL the time and would be willing to knit me a pair. I traded a skein of lovely, hard-to-get Twisted yarn in her favorite blues, for a pair of custom-knit socks, made from a skein of Rare Gems Socks that Rock that I bought at Sock Camp on the first night — so these are my souvenir Camp Socks! What a deal I got, and what a lucky girl I am, eh?
Here, you have to look again because they’re so pretty (with bonus tattoo flash)
They fit like a glove for my feet, and they are just beautiful. Tsarina, they feel very nice on, too. The yarn’s a bit sturdy for your artistic expression in designing, I’m sure, but a comfortable fabric knitted up.
THANK YOU, ARIEL!
I think with that, and speaking of Springtime in Sherwood (which I was, up above),
I should share the love/pass on the good karma a little more.
I was asked on Ravelry to share the pattern for these socks. It’s very straightforward, just staggered eyelets with a picot edge, but here goes. I think the only thing that might be a bit different from published patterns is that most eyelet patterns in stitch dictionaries have you do the yarnovers on ‘right side’ rows, then purl back on ‘wrong side’ rows. Because most stitch dictionaries are not written purely for working in the round, of course. Well, as Elizabeth Zimmermann pointed out (when discussing sleeve increasing, as I recall), when knitting in the round, one is not bound by such constraints (every round is a right side round!). Therefore, I chose to make the eyelets every 5th row on purpose for more even diamond shapes to the eyelets, and I like the way it looks.
First of all, I knit the patterning only on the cuff. Mostly because this was a ‘walking sock’ that I was knitting on the go for most of the sock, so I kept it in stockinette till I couldn’t stand it any more. Of course you can put eyelets on the top of the foot if you wish. As far as directions, I assume you know how to knit socks, so you are on your own for the foot of the sock and the heel! The good news is that you can knit this any way you want — toe up or cuff down, any heel you prefer. I happened to knit this toe up, short row heel, but the instructions address both. Pattern stitch requires a multiple of 4 stitches.
Once completing the heel, knit about an inch (2.5 cm) in plain stockinette. Mark beginning of round as you prefer, and begin pattern stitch:
Round 1: *k2, yo, k2 tog*, repeat to end of round
Rounds 2 – 5: K
Round 6: *yo, k2tog, k2*, repeat to end of round
Rounds 7 – 10: K
Knit to desired length of cuff (I knit 3 repeats for this anklet cuff).
Knit an additional 4 rounds plain.
*yo, k2tog* around for one round.
Knit one round.
Knit five rounds in k1 p1 ribbing (one can switch to one size smaller needle if you’re not already on 0s, also).
Now, one may finish in one of two ways. Either bind off l-o-o-s-e-l-y in pattern, and cut the yarn, leaving a long tail, (a couple times the circumference of the sock?) then fold the cuff on the yo round and carefully use the long tail threaded on a tapestry needle to sew down the cast-off edge loosely to the corresponding row on the inside of the sock (taking care to stay on the same row of purl bumps, and making sure that you’re at the right level, so that the picot edge does not do strange things). Loose is your friend here, or the hem won’t stretch as you put the sock on. Alternatively, one can sew the live stitches directly from the needle (break the yarn, leaving a long length as above to sew with) to the appropriate row of purl bumps on the inside). This is even stretchier but slightly more fussy to do. Very elegant, however. Weave in ends, etc.
Start with the picot edge:
Cast on stretchily, for example with the long tail cast on. Look ahead, and if you’re planning Option B for the picot hem, leave a LONG tail — perhaps 16 inches at least?
K1 P1 ribbing for six rounds (one can consider one size smaller needle if you’re not already on 0s, but not critical). Change to larger needle after these six rounds, however.
*yo, k2tog* around for 1 round.
K six rows in plain stockinette (k every round).
Here again, options: Most elegant: Now knit the live stitches on the needles together with the cast-on stitches (possibly even über-elegant: do a provisional cast on to begin with). Place the right-hand needle through the first stitch as you normally would as if to knit, then go get the first cast-on stitch with the right-hand needle as well and knit them together. Carry on around the round. Alternatively: knit a plain stockinette round and skip ahead. At the end, use the long tail to sew in the cast-on edge loosely on the inside as in the toe-up version.
K 2 more rounds.
Now do the pattern stitch, as described under toe-up version, to desired length of cuff.
Knit one more inch in stockinette (if desired) and begin heel.
There you have it! Short and sweet! (The sock, I mean, not the directions.) Enjoy!