Thursday Sock-Along: An FO and a Smooth Operator Snag

I finished my In Search of Vanilla socks! Since I’ve covered them here in detail already, I won’t go too crazy with my rundown. The basic idea is that I used the free Petty Harbour sock pattern by Rayna Curtis. I made the 72 stitch version, but as I got over 9.5 sts/”, they didn’t turn out the size large that I had anticipated! They’re closer to a medium and I’m hoping they’ll fit my mom. I used 372 yards of ONline Supersocke 100 Savanne Color that I got from my freecycle score. So, the only cost for this project was the time I put in!

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This was a cuff-down pattern that I knit on US1 dpns (apparently very tightly). There’s a subtle broken rib-type pattern that gives the socks some interest and breaks up the colors a little bit. The heel is a standard heel flap style and the toe is standard, as well. I used Tillybuddy’s very stretchy cast on to start and Kitchener stitch to finish. The only modification I made to the pattern was to pick up one extra stitch per heel flap edge and then add one extra decrease round. I found that made for a much nicer and hole-free gusset.

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The socks aren’t exactly identical, but they’re close. That’s just sheer chance, really–I wasn’t going for matching. These are definitely my best socks so far. I didn’t think I wanted to do another pair of cuff-down heel-flap socks, but I’m glad that I did! I still haven’t found the right pattern and gauge to make a pair that will actually fit me well, but I have some more ideas percolating.

So next up: new socks! Like Paula and Carol and many others, I’m making a pair of Smooth Operators by Susan B. Anderson. If you want to make some too, be sure to hop over to her ravelry group, itty bitty knits. There’s going to be an informal KAL! There’s no thread set up yet, but there isn’t an official start date or anything. So, cast on and join up! I poked through my sock yarn and decided to use these two skeins of Regia, also from my freecycle score:

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Since the pattern is written specifically to accommodate self-striping yarn, I figured I’d try to make them identical. I actually quite like fraternal twin socks, but it’s also nice to learn new things! Since I always seem to need to do things a bit differently, I decided to do these toe-up instead of cuff-down. I cast on a couple of days ago and got going. I chose to use left and right raised increases for the toes. Well, I got almost all the way through the toe increases and then decided to rip them out and start over. I think some combination of my magic loop technique (still in its infancy) and the raised increases led to holes on one edge of each sock.

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good edge

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bad edge

It wasn’t awful, but I could tell it was going to bother me. So, I ripped back and started over. I’m only a few rows in now, but I’m using m1r and m1l instead. So far, so good!

One mini rant: I tend to knit pretty tightly anyway, and with these I’m trying to keep the joins snug. So, doing a m1r one stitch in tends to be pretty tricky. I find it really hard to get the tip of the needle cleanly into the new stitch as it’s really tight, even with my Addi Sock Rockets! Anyone else have this problem? Anyone have a favorite increase to use for toe-up socks?

So far I love how the colorway is working up! I’m definitely sensing a theme: every pair of socks I’ve made so far has had either yellow or orange or both. I guess I like bright socks!

How are your sock explorations coming? Feel free to post about them on Thursdays and link up with the group! Also, you can share your projects on Instagram with the tag #thursdaysockalong. Check out my fellow Thursday sock knitters here:

Happy sock knitting!

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16 comments

  1. The finished socks look great! And I love the new yarn you’re using. I tend to be a loose knitter and typically do M1R and M1L for my toe increases. I have a vague memory of doing knit in the front and back for my first pair of toe ups, but I’m not positive … could always give that a try?

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · July 16, 2016

      Thanks! I restarted and used m1r and m1l, and they turned out much better. I’m done the toes now and am working on the foot!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jennifer · July 14, 2016

    I love the ribbed pattern on the finished socks. They turned out really great!

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. Paula @ Spin a Yarn · July 14, 2016

    I love, love, love the new finished socks, as well as the yarn for the second pair. I’ve only made a hat out of Regia, although it was a Sockhead Hat, so you’ll have to let me know how it goes. I had the same problem as you with my last pair of socks. I kept getting that darn hole when doing the M1R. Somehow, I figured out the tension issues and it worked out in the end. In my limited sock experience, my favorite toe ups were done with a provisional cast on and german short rows. They were my very first pair of socks (listed as such on my Ravelry page) and so far it was the easiest toe…plus the heel was done the exact same way as the toe 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · July 16, 2016

      Thanks 🙂 I think short row toes might be my next challenge. I ended up doing m1r and m1l on the new pair, and it turned out well. I wasn’t getting holes on the m1r; it was just hard to k the new stitch through the front loop because everything was so tight. I made it through, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Stefanie · July 14, 2016

    I really like how the pair of socks came out with that colorway. Susan’s KAL should be fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carol · July 17, 2016

    I’m going to double-dip with my Smooth Operator Socks and knit them for both Susan’s KAL and the Ravellenic Games. So you are way ahead of me on the pattern, but I think it’s going to be great. And I’ll be looking at your project notes for tips!

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · July 17, 2016

      Great idea! It’ll be a quick knit because of the super simple heel. Have you picked out your yarn yet? Can’t wait to see them!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carol · July 17, 2016

        Yes! I’m going to use Knitted Wit Victory Sock in the PDX Carpet colorway. I can’t wait to see how that works up!

        Liked by 1 person

      • alexand knits · July 17, 2016

        Oh, you did tell me that–sorry! They’re going to look awesome!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Carol · July 18, 2016

        No worries! 🙂 I am glad to have found the perfect pattern for that yarn.

        Liked by 1 person

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