I made a sock

Stepping Stones hand-knit sock

I swore I was going to knit a sock this summer, right? Which to me means by Labor Day. After that Starter Socks post awhile back, I exchanged a few tweets with Clara Parkes and decided my first socks would be her Stepping Stones, seen in that post — a free pattern, in worsted-weight yarn, and Clara knows from socks. When Sarah Hurwitz recently announced her “sockalong,” I almost wavered and cast on Hermione’s Everyday Socks with her instead (the other contender from my Starter Socks post). But 1) fingering, not so compatible with my self-imposed deadline, and 2) I don’t even own any sock-appropriate fingering. What I did have in my stash, when the mood hit me last Saturday night, was this variegated Malabrigo Rios, which was sure to obscure the nice stitch pattern on the leg, but which happens to be superwash. Since warm feet are the objective, and a little rim of blue-green sticking out of my boot tops will suit me just fine, the decision was made.

What I hadn’t noticed is that even though it’s a worsted-weight pattern, it’s knit on US2 needles, 54 stitches per round. Hermione is 64 stitches on US1 needles, so not as big of a difference as I might have assumed. But I’m glad I stuck with Clara’s pattern, and I especially love the way the heel flap is done. It’s knit with alternating strands of the same yarn — stranded knitting! — and the tension and double-density of those floats make for what seems like a pretty bomb-proof heel. (I won’t even try to describe how slowly I knitted the wrong-side rows of that stranded section. Thank god it’s only a two-inch square!) End result: super dense sock, sure to keep my toes warm in the studio this winter and survive repeat washings. But if anyone has thoughts on sock-worthy, worsted-weight, wool yarns that don’t have that unfortunate squeakiness of superwash — the earthier the better — please voice them! Meanwhile, I’ll be doing my research. Because there are more sweater-weight socks in my future.

So I made a sock this summer. Now the question is, how long before it has a mate? Feel free to wager and/or tell me about what you’re working on! And have a lovely weekend, whether it’s a holiday for you or not.


32 thoughts on “I made a sock

  1. Have you tried knitting with Cascade 220 Superwash. It is an inexpensive 100% wool option. I just ordered a bunch to knit a sweater. Cascade’s yarns are super durable and surprisingly soft for as cheap as they are.

    The socks are beautiful! I haven’t ever knit worsted weight socks but I might have to give this a try before NYC Winter takes over my life…

  2. You really knit worsted on US2? You ARE fearless! And the ridiculousness of how my mind brings fear to knitting is always an amazement (crazy mind.) I guess I really REALLY could just cast on with some worsted and NOT DIE. What a concept. I love your blog.

    • They are definitely some tight stitches — and mine weren’t even as tight as the pattern gauge. I kept thinking I’d break at least one skinny little DPN (or the yarn) before I’d worked the last of the SSKs, but in the end, no harm came to me, the yarn or the needles!

  3. What a lovely lonely sock! That color is great. I’ve always loved the idea of knitting my socks two at a time to avoid sock fatigue, but have been too lazy to teach myself how. Maybe this winter I’ll finally give it a go.

    • I’m determined not to leave this one mateless. Although I am having conversations with myself about whether the mate needs to be a perfect match or whether I could play around with the stitch patterns, etc. I.e, would my feet know the difference?

  4. The second sock always seems to knit-up twice as fast! I don’t know of any worsted weight, non superwash yarns appropriate for all the wear socks take, but I would think something with a wee bit of nylon will help its durability.

  5. Nice sock! You make the second fingerless mitt all the time…just tell yourself your knitting a mitt while knitting that sock…no second-sock-syndrome! I like jarbo garn raggi for a worsted sock yarn…70%wool, 30%nylon. See if a shop near you carries it so you could feel it.

  6. How did the worsted weight yarn work out on such small needles? Is the fabric stiff? I’m super excited you’re making socks! Socks for all!

    • After knitting the leg, which has a pretty dense stitch pattern, I honestly thought the socks might stand up on their own. But in the end it’s really not that stiff. Just durable-seeming. But my gauge was also a tiny bit looser than the pattern called for.

  7. LOL, that poor sock-less foot looks left out (pun intended).

    Full disclosure: I have yet to knit socks. ;-)

  8. I’ve made this pattern a couple of times and I love them! Yours look great :)

    For non-squeaky but still superwash, I like Jill Draper Makes Stuff’s Hudson and SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted. Clara also recommends Socks That Rock in heavyweight. I’ve never used it, but I’ve used STR Lightweight, and it’s very nice, so I’d guess the heavyweight is good too.

    Yay for first socks!

  9. i don’t understand these words: “I don’t even own any sock-appropriate fingering”…
    and yes, you will LOVE Jill’s Hudson (and all of her other wondrous yarns) if you haven’t tried it! she’s my BFF but i’m not at all biased… people go crazy for her yarn.

    • Cal, ha! And this avatar pic of you is the best. I’ve been looking for an excuse to order some Jill yarn for ages, so I’m sure there’s some in my near-ish future.

  10. Hi! when I did my first worsted weight sock it also ended up alone forever. Since then I have done something to avoid this, when I’m half way trough the first, I start the second one, that way both are on needles at the same time. I keep one in my bag and one laying around in the house, so I pick one up wherever I am whenever I have time. It’s funny how the second one seems to be the one that is finished first :)

    Also I did try to make two at once but to me they are less portable that way and is a real mess for the few first rounds. For now I love my DPNs too.

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