Another FO! I’m on a roll at the moment… These ones have been a loooong time coming though – I started them back in December as some cheerfully coloured socks to see me through the winter, and normally I would have them knocked out in a few weeks, but a couple of test knits have got in the way, so it’s taken a while to get back to them again.
The pattern is Nathan Taylor’s The Best Self Striping Ribbed Socks In The World, which is a lot longer pattern than you might imagine for what looks like a fairly basic pair of socks, but it includes all Nathan’s best tips for making your socks absolutely perfect – how to avoid the ‘blips’ on purls stitches where the colour changes, how to avoid little holes at the tops of the gusset/heel flap, how to make them absolutely identical and all sorts of other useful little titbits of advice. I shouldn’t have expected anything else really – he’s not called the Sockmatician for nothing.
Speaking of which, by the way, he has a rather marvellous podcast, which you should all watch, because he is interesting and funny and very talented. And he’s a singer/actor, so you get blasts of singing every now and again, which is always worth waiting for, in my opinion. I’ve met him a couple of times too, and he’s absolutely lovely and charming. And he was wearing his own version of this pattern at the time, apparently.
The yarn is every bit as bright as it looks in the pictures – it’s West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply in colourway 822 Rum Paradise, and knits up beautifully. It’s a fairly standard commercial yarn on a 75% wool, 25% nylon base, with 35% of the wool being Blue Faced Leicester, which is always good. I’ve made a few other pairs of socks from this yarn, and they’re wearing like iron with no colour bleeding, so fingers crossed these ones will continue in the same vein.
The way the pattern is written makes it easy to get absolutely identical socks, which actually caused me to come a cropper, which you can just about see in the photo above. If you look at the top corner of the heel flap, it looks as though there is one big purple stripe that looks like it wraps around the heel, all apart from one little blip of blue. The pattern has given me such identical socks that the same blip of blue also happened on the second one. Sigh. Never mind, you can’t really tell when they’re on anyway.
I knit the largest size sock (72 stitch) on a 2.25mm KnitPro Symfonie circular needle, as per my usual MO for socks, and they do fit beautifully. The ribbing all the way down will be helping with that, obviously, along with Nathan’s very precise advice on where to start the toe decreases. Which reminds me – as you can probably see from the pictures, they’re knit top down in ribbing, with a heel flap and ribbed gusset, rib on the top of the foot with a stocking stitch sole, and a wedge toe. The heel flap and toe are done in eye of partridge, which I always like to use wherever I can anyway, although I’ve never done it on the toe before. I will do more often going forward though, I like how it feels on. I haven’t bothered to block them – they’re socks, they’re going to get chucked in the washing machine anyway, and my feet don’t care, so what’s the point?
My only slight gripe with the pattern is that it’s soooo much ribbing, which I hate, because it slows me down. You’d think I would have figured this out before I made them, really, given the fairly major clue in the name of the pattern. I love how they look, and all the cool techniques and tips, but I’m not sure I’ll make another pair exactly like this, as I really dislike knitting rib. It’s brilliantly written though – Nathan goes into a lot of detail and explains why the various techniques are needed.
Overall though, I love these socks, they’re super comfy and cheerful and are brightening up some very dull weather that we’re having at the moment!