Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Feather Fantastic Socks

I wanted to make another pair of socks for my beloved Aunt Hedy (waves!  Hi!) but I wanted them to be, well, special.  She shares the curse of the big feet many of my cousins and I have (well my feet are actually quite short, but extraordinarily wide), and I just couldn't find a proper pattern for making a nice, feminine sock to properly fit a women's size 13WWW more or less, especially to fit well while I'm knitting on the other side of the country from where she lives, and I can't fit them right to her foot daily while I work.
So I made up a pattern, and I might as well share it.  Please note this isn't written as a beginner's full instruction pattern, but should be clear and complete for anyone who wants to knit a large, pretty sock and has worked socks before.  It can easily be shortened to make a sock to fit someone like me who often finds WWW shoes too narrow but doesn't have a long foot, too.
for shorter length socks (women's 6-9 more or less), 4oz/100grms of fingering weight sock yarn (I used Rock Creek Yarns Cable-icious in "Raiment")
for longer length socks add 2oz/50grams of identical or contrasting yarn in fingering or sport weight to be used at the cuff, heel, and/or toe (I used Frog Tree Yarns Pediboo in pink)
a note regarding the need for extra yarn:  I was very nervous about having enough of the hand-dyed, but in the end I had plenty left over, enough that I could have knit either the cuffs or the toes of both socks in the hand-dyed if I had wanted to.  Your yardage may vary.

1 long circular needle in size 1.5 or size needed to get gauge of 8 st/1" in stockinette stitch
1 tapestry needle for weaving in the yarn ends

Feather and Fan stitch instructions:
Rounds 1,2, and 4: knit all stitches
Round 3:  (K2tog) 3 times, (YO, K1) 6 times, (K2tog) 3 times, repeat this pattern 3 more times around


Cast on 68 stitches, join and work in the round.  Half the stitches go on each half of the needle. Work 13 rounds or the desired length in K1, P1 ribbing.  Next round, work (K17,M1) 4 times, to finish with 72 stitches.  If you want to switch to main color yarn, do so at the end of this round, as you begin working Feather and Fan.

Work Feather and Fan stitch pattern 17 times, finishing after round 4 (or work until the sock leg is the length you wish).  Now begin working the heel.  Switch to your contrast yarn at this point if you wish to work the heel in the alternate yarn.  DO NOT cut the main color yarn--you will use it to pick up gusset stitches.

Work the heel on the first half of the stitches, the first 36 stitches.  Work it as:
Row 1:  Slip 1, Knit to the end, turn work
Row 2:  Slip 1, Purl to the end, turn work
Work these two rows 18 times, 36 heel rows worked.  Now turn the heel:
Slip 1, Knit 19, SSK, K1, turn work
Slip 1, Purl 5, P2tog, P1, turn work
Slip 1, Knit 6, SSK, K1, turn work
Slip 1, Purl 7, P2tog, P1, turn work
continue in this manner, working short rows and increasing stitches worked by one stitch each row, until you end working the last two rows as 
Slip 1, Knit to last 2 stitches, SSK, turn
Slip 1, Purl to last 2 stitches, P2tog
If you have been using contrast yarn for the heel, cut the contrast yarn at this point.

Using your main color yarn still attached to the leg of the sock, pick up 19 stitches along the right side of the heel.  Knit across the heel stitches.  Pick up 19 stitches across the left side of the heel.  For the rest of the sock, you are going to begin counting your rounds at the beginning of the foot top, still in Feather and Fan pattern.
To work the gusset decreases, work the following two rounds alternatively:
Round 1:  Work Feather and Fan across the top half of the sock.  For the bottom half of the sock, K1, SSK, knit to the last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1
Round 2:  Work Feather and Fan across top half of the sock.  Knit across bottom half of the sock.

Alternate these two rounds until you have decreased back to only 36 stitches on the bottom half of the sock.  Then just continue working as round 2, working in pattern on the instep and working in stockinette on the bottom of the foot.  Continue this for 22 complete pattern repeats, or until you are about 2" shorter than your desired finished foot length.  Now begin toe decreases alternating the following 2 rounds, and changing now to your contrast yarn if you wish to do so:
Round 1:  (K1, SSK, knit to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1) twice
Round 2: Knit all stitches
Alternate these two rounds until you have only 24 stitches on each needle half, then work only the decrease round, round 1, continually, until you have decreased to 10 stitches on each needle half.
Cut yarn, and work Kitchener stitch to close the toe.

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