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It grows and grows and keeps growing!!! This wrap has been such a pleasure to make, I will have to make Sangria when this is done. I can seriously see myself making every project in this book. This is odd for me, usually I get a pattern book and make one thing. This puts this book in the same pile as Kathleen Griffin Grimes' French Girl Knits, Doris Chan's Everyday Crochet, and both of Jane Snedden Peever's Aran Crochet Sweater books.

These are the books that I would pack to go live in Mongolia, should I ever be faced with that "Whatever Shall I Take With Me To Ulaanbaatar" decision. πŸ˜€


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It is another July and my parents have graciously offered to take The Child away for a little while. While cleaning out the void from hell that is my buffet, I came across a lovely hank of Malabrigo lace weight yarn and got to thinking. It's been two years since I put Foo Foo out to the universe, surely it is time for another hugely impractical pair of stockings made in this gushy awesome yarn. And, I haven't shared anything in a long time. Then I started crocheting and changed my mind again. That happens. Frequently. Those close to me refer to it as "annoying" while I like to think of it as the "creative process".

The first Foo Foo was gushy and soft and I still love those stockings, but you know what? I've been working out a lot and I have these muscles now making an appearance underneath all this cutesy mom chub that I have accumulated over the years. This makes it difficult to wear fishnets made from gushy, soft, but not quite stretchy yarn. I got the first sock up to my calf and that was it. No amount of gauge switching or increasing was going to make this sock go over my abundant calf muscle. So, it dawned on me halfway through Bad Teacher on Saturday night, that I had this ball of bright smashing red Lana Grossa stretchy cotton sock yarn that was also purchased at about the same time that the original Foo Foo socks were made, but it had never been touched. For shame!!!! I had this vision of myself wearing adorably somewhat sexy vintage socks with my lacy slip skirt while I fussed over baguettes, fresh herbs, and Merlot at le marchΓ©, while La Bolduc played merrily in the background. No such place exists in Winnipeg, though, so I will have to be happy with the bakery at Safeway and the Manitoba Liquor Commission next door to it.

In my fantasy I was also wearing an excellent little cardigan, the likes of which I will have to conjure in another pattern. And a fingerwave. I need to find a hairstylist that can give me a fingerwave.

Apparently it is also considered bad form to pull out your phone and start making pattern adjustments in the middle of a movie.....but again, I see if differently. I like to think of this as "multi-tasking during the boring scenes" not "poor smart phone etiquette" Mental note to me: from now on, always sit in the farthest corner of the back row, just in case inspiration strikes again πŸ˜€

I did actually see most of Bad Teacher and it was really funny.

The second Foo Foo is a little different this time around. She is still a fishnet stocking, but I am not in a Ford pick-up truck being the navigator over cruddy rotten roads. I'm at home in my dining room where I have time to count and spend a little more time fussing. This is still a simple pattern, though, and despite the stopping and starting to scribble notes and eat a surprise lunch brought home by The Man, I was done the body of the foot this afternoon at 13:30 and I only started at 12:00. Foo Foo Two may be a little more interesting to look at, but she is still quick. After all, The Child is only gone for a limited time and in the spirit of all things foo-foo, there is love to be made in every room of the house yet again πŸ˜€

And bonus, because this sock is done in a stronger yarn, you could wear this out to do your running around. In fact, I have plans that do involve baguettes and roast chicken, and these socks will be on my feet:)

Supplies:
1skein of Lana Grossa Meilenweit Cotton stretchy sock yarn, any colour. I have a great love of "drop dead red"
3.50mm hook
Stitch markers for the cautious, or, in the spirit of Foo Foo, throw caution to the wind!!!
Darning needle
A glass of red wine from somewhere sexy....France, Chile, or Argentina come to mind. I'm enjoying a nice Argentinian Cabernet:)

Gauge: beginning motif without extra increase rounds is 2 3/4" across

Note:
This hook in this pattern with a stretchy sock yarn will produce a very stretchy fishnet stocking. You may not need to size up in hook, but you may want to size down if you have skinny little legs.

Toe:
The toe is worked as a motif. Small sizes stop at round 3 of the motif as published in "Beyond the square: Crochet Motifs", by Edie Eckman. The motif is on pg 91 and the schematic is pictured below. All of Edie's motifs begin with a sliding loop, or you can chain 2, and begin working into the 2nd chain from the hook. Small sizes should work one round of sc as an extra round 4, increasing by 2 sts for a total of 44 sts. Join rnd with ss and proceed to netting.

Medium/Large women's sizes should add an extra increase round after round 3 of the motif:

Round 4: Chain 3 (counts as dc in between motif "petals" formed in round 3), dc in each of next 7 sts of motif petal, work dc in space between previous petal and next petal, work dc in each of 7 sts of next motif petal, carry on like this all the way around, thus increasing 6 sts evenly. Join rnd with ss and proceed to netting. 48 sts.

Begin working the netting:

Round 1: Chain 5, count 3 sts from first st in rnd, place sc in next st, skipping over the others, chain 5, count three sts, sc in the next one, repeat around. At the end of the round, don't place a sc in the last st, but instead ss into the the bottom of the first chain. (11, 12 ch-5 sp). Ss into the middle of this chain space and simply repeat the netting around and around. You can mark the first ch-5 space and move the marker up as you go. Work 12 rounds. These photos were shot with the original Malabrigo yarn that I started using Saturday afternoon, not the red Lana Grossa that I ended up making the socks with, but colour aside, this is what your sock should look like.

Ignoring the fact that I need a pedicure, this is how FF should fit after 12 rounds are worked. You will have to pull on it to open up the netting and stretch it around. It will look too big for your foot, but it'll fit

Heel:

Treat each chain space as being equal to 4 sts.

Row 1:With right side facing, work 4 sc in (6, 6) chain spaces for a total of (24, 24) sts. If you want a narrower heel, work into one fewer chain space or for a wider heel, work into one more chain space. Chain 1 and turn.

Row 2 (WS): Sc across, skipping last st. Ch 1 and turn. 23sc
Row 3: Sc across, skipping last st. Ch 1 and turn. 22sc

Carry on like this, building the first side of the heel, until you have 12 sts left on your last RS row.

Heel ready for turning
Sc2tog in side edge and st below

Turn the heel:

Ch 1, turn, work across the 12 sc, and, working into the side of this st, and into the next sc below, make a sc2tog. Work a ss into the next side edge below. 13 sc. Turn.

Skipping the ss, sc in the 13 sc, and work a sc2tog into the side edge of the 13th sc and the one below, then work a ss into the side edge below that. 14 sc. Turn.

Repeat this process until you have "picked up" your original 24 sts.

Heel finished!!! Yay!!!

Now the real fun begins!!! When you have picked up your last heel st, the right side should be facing and you will continue on working in netting across the chain spaces of the instep. If the right side is not facing then you made a boo boo in your foo foo. You have two options: either rip back the heel and try to figure out where you went wrong, or pour another glass of wine, shrug your shoulders and work another row on the heel to orient yourself to the correct position. Since it's a heel and not a blood transfusion, I choose option #2 every time, hahaha. If you have the right amount of sts, but are facing the wrong side, then you probably worked into a ss. No worries. The nice thing about heels is that no one will notice except perhaps, that really anal-compulsive yarn geek at the local yarn store.

πŸ˜€

Work one round of the ch-5 netting. If you want, just keep working in a straight netting tube all the way up the leg, just like the original Foo Foo.

Nice fans, just because
Fans stretched up the back of my heel

However, this is a good time to get whimsical. If you want to get whimsical in the way that I did, you need an even number of ch-5 netting spaces so do an increase in the round after the heel turning to rectify this. FYI, you are better off increasing than decreasing. If you are working on 11 chain spaces in your netting then just work two of these where you would normally work one to get to an even number.

And remember, there is nothing practical about something called Foo Foo. The more whimsical, the better. I mean, you're already making something that's a little bit frivolous to begin with, so you may as well jump right into the deep end. Just make sure that you write your frivolity down so that your socks match πŸ˜€

My frivolity consisted of isolating the central sc above my heel, and when I got close, I skipped the chain space before and after it and worked 8 tc into that central sc instead. I carried on making netting for the remainder of that round. The next round I worked even, working ch-5,sc up to the 8 tc fan. I worked ch-5 netting over the fan, placing sc sts between the 2nd and 3rd tc, between the 4th and 5th tc, and between the 6th and 7th tc. Had I not done that I would have been short by two netting spaces.

If that makes no sense, have another glass of wine. Eventually things will be clear and you will understand as I do, that yarn and glitter hold the universe together. Β 

I did this, alternating a fan round with a plain netting round, until I had 15 fans up the back of my leg. I worked one more plain netting round, working into my last chain space of that round. Then I slip stitched into the next ch-5 netting and drew up a long loop, about 2/3 the height of a dc, ch 1, and worked a dc (this is something I picked up in Couture Crochet by Lily Chin. It's a way of treating taller stitches like sc, so that there are no funny holes created by counting a turning chain as a stitch.) I worked 4 dc in each ch-5 netting space, joining the round with a ss. The next round I worked 4 dc into the spaces between the previous round's 4-dc groups. I repeated that for the third round and fastened off

The only thing I think I would change, having worn these socks for a bit, is sizing up to a 3.75mm hook for the calf. *Sigh*.....I will never have pretty, dainty, girly legs. Just these sturdy old drumsticks :'(

Voila!!! Foo foo: Dans la rue!!!

Schematic for the toe motif

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OK, so calling it Dirt wasn't the nicest name ever, but once I started using it, well it kind of stuck like mud. Oh, I kill me!!!! To quote my son, "LAWL!!"

This is not the first sock I've ever knit, not by a long shot, but it's the first knitted sock pattern that I've ever put out to the universe. It is done toe-up because you'll have to pay me a lot of money to knit or crochet any sock from the top down. The thought of doing it just makes me cringe. I only had a half a skein of the yarn I chose, which is why toe-up was the one and only design choice, anyway. When you work from the toe up, you don't have to worry about not having enough yarn. Just get that foot out of the way.

This pattern is very basic, with nothing fancy added. We all have our favourite master patterns for things, and for knitted socks, this is mine. I put a moss stitch on the front needle just to break up the striping of the yarn. Moss stitch is probably one of my favourite knit stitch patterns to do because although fairly simple and mindless, it adds a nice organic, rustic texture to just about everything. Perfect for a sock named Dirt:)

This pattern utilizes a few things that not all knitters may be familiar with. The first is that it is written with Magic Loop Knitting in mind. If you aren't familiar with that, go here to the Youtube search results, pick a video, and watch. The second thing that this sock utilizes is Judy's Magic Cast On, which is the only cast-on technique I use for knitting toe-up socks, since I first saw it at knitty.com. Cat Bordhi, a knitting goddess that many of us worship and admire, demonstrates it here. The third technique that my master pattern uses is Elizabeth Zimmerman's Sewn Bind Off. The cast on and bind off that I use here are the two things that keep me knitting socks instead of crocheting 100% of them, because I loathe grafting to the nth degree and it is no fun to sweat and work on a lovely pair of socks that make your feet look absolutely kissable, only to find that your bind off is so $&%$*$ tight, despite doing everything possible to keep it loose, that you still can't get your foot in the bloody thing.

Needle: 3.0mm steel, 100 cm circular needles. This is a UK Size "11" but according to my needle conversion chart, there is no US equivalent. I always deal strictly in mm and not in any national sizing system because I find I get more variety that way.
Gauge/Tension: 7 sts/1"
Yarn: roughly half a ball of Bernat Sox in "Desert Storm" will produce up to a US Women's 9 sock with a 3" cuff
Split ring markers
Darning needle

Take the measurement around the ball of your foot and the length of your foot. They will probably be very close, if not the same. Using the gauge number, calculate how many stitches you will need to go comfortable around the ball of your foot, minus about 1/2 to 3/4" for negative ease. This allows your sock to have some stretch. If you want more negative ease, then factor that into your calculation. I tend to prefer negative ease in the width, but not in the length.

I will use my numbers to illustrate how to make this sock, but unless you have a size 8-9 foot, you will want to put other numbers in there.

Toe:

Using Judy's Magic Cast On, cast 16 stitches onto both needles. Using the Magic Loop method (or your preferred method, this pattern is pretty simple so it can be shifted around on two circulars, or double-pointed needles) work the first round even. 32 sts. After that, begin the increase sequence:

Round One: K1, kf/b, knit across the first needle to the last two sts, k f/b, k1. Repeat this on the second needle.
Round Two: Work even on both needles.

Repeat these two rounds until you have 28 sts on both needles for a total of 56 sts, or whatever your number is. This is the measurement around the ball of the foot. Using my gauge, this works out to 8" around.

Now work the first needle in Moss Stitch Pattern and work the second needle in Stockinette Stitch. The first needle is the instep and the second needle is the sole.

Moss Stitch, worked over even number of sts:
Row One: *k1, p1, repeat to end of row.
Row Two: *p1, k1, repeat to end of row.

Work like this until sock measures about 3" less than length of foot. Begin gusset incs:

Round One: work needle one even in moss st as per normal, work needle two as follows; k1, k f/b, knit to last two sts, k f/b, k1.
Round Two: work even on both needles.
Repeat these two rounds until you have increased 5 sts on each side. 10 sts increased, 28 sts on needle one, 38 on needle two.

Turn heel:
Begin round by working needle one as per normal, knit across needle two, until you have 11 sts left (the total amount of sts inc'd plus 1). Ssk, turn, sl 1, p across to 11 sts left on other side, p2tog, turn.
Next row: still working on needle two, sl 1, work across to the gap that has been created. Ssk, using the sts on either side of the gap, turn, sl 1, p across to gap, p2tog using the sts on either side of the gap and turn.

Work like this until there are no more sts to be worked and upon finishing, your needles come to the "home" position. You will find that you have also shaped the ankle this way, because there will now be 18 sts on needle two instead of 28. I learned a variation of this gusset/heel from Colin, a lovely knitter who runs a sock-knitting list. I prefer a somewhat snug heel. If you want a more generous heel then simply do gusset increases to 10 sts on either side instead of 5, and when you knit and purl those first two short rows, do not add the total of your increases plus one, simply add the amount on each side plus one (which is still going to be 11 anyway, HA!!!) Both ways make a square heel, but the calculation that I used simply produces a narrower one. From time to time if my focus wavers, I find that I am a stitch or two off when I am done. Teenagers have that effect on me. This is such a forgiving pattern that if you screw up, just k2tog or ssk to get the number that you need on needle two. It won't be obvious, it won't wreck anything, and there is no need to pull your hair out trying to fix things. The fudge factor is pretty good.

Continue working needle one in pattern as established, and work the rear needle in k3, p3 ribbing. I happen to like carrying a pattern all the way up the sock, but some people prefer to work just ribbing. Do whatever you want, it's your sock:) Sadly, I have no special magic method for getting rid of that nasty little hole on either side of your gusset. I usually end up working one round and then taking a crochet hook and picking up a stitch below each hole on the next round and knitting it together with the next stitch to be worked. Sometimes it works for me and sometimes those lovely little holes persist in existing - a good argument for lacy socks.

Work until your sock is as long as you like it, and then cut off a long length of yarn and use the sewn bind off to finish off your sock. You will love this bind off, I promise. Weave in your loose ends and enjoy your socks!!!

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Julysock
Originally uploaded by thebretonyarnerie

(January 2014: A huge thank you to the crocheter with the great Google Foo who posted this link on Reddit!!)

This sock is all about form and nothing about function. I wasn't sure what to make for July. I grabbed a ball of lace-weight baby merino yarn and a 3.25mm hook for the roadtrip to North Dakota and Minnesota that I just returned from. I knew I'd need something to keep my mind occupied because after a few minutes all those canola and cornfields stop becoming interesting. "Oh look hon, more crows - isn't that exciting??"

I wanted to make something FUN. In this sock I obsessed very little about gauge. I also obsessed very little about practicality. Laceweight baby merino does not make for a terribly sturdy sock. You can not put your sneakers on and then do any running around in these bad boys. The netting will not keep your legs warm. The magenta/lime green/pink/russet colourway will go with very little in the closets of most 30-something moms. In my case, it competes with the tattoos.

**However**, the yarn is incredibly soft. It's gushy soft and the toe and heel feel incredibly sexy. And yes, I had sex on the brain while I crocheted these because this was a roadtrip taken after The Child was put on a plane to spend the summer with other family. To be honest, I am sad and I do miss him but there is that part of me that wants to have sex in every room of the house ten times over while he is gone. I must give this part of me a voice, and here she is, screaming out loud in laceweight magenta/lime green baby merino.

Because you know, in all fairness and honesty, when you are wearing fishnet kneesocks that are soft enough to make your panties wet, and match absolutely nothing in your closet, your only recourse is to wear them with a smile on top of a crisp white bedsheet.

The only photos I have right now were taken on the dash of a Ford pickup as we headed north up the I-29 making our way home. When I get a chance I will take better shots. <--- I never did take better shots but that's ok. Ravelry is fully of photos. Everyone hearts these socks.

Yarn: One hank of Malabrigo laceweight baby merino
3.25mm hook
split ring markers
darning needle
gauge: 44sc in rnd = 8 1/2"
Pattern as is makes a US 9 Women's.

Chain 16, flip the chain, sc into the bottoms bumps for 15 sc, flip the chain again, sc in the top loops for a total of 30 sc in the round. You can mark side sts at either end or eyeball them. The increase sequence is like my other sock toes: round one, work inc before and after each marker. For round two, work even.

Work like this until the toe is as wide as you want it, about 1/2 to 3/4" less than the width of the ball of your foot. When you hit that size, work even until the toe cap is about 2-2 1/2" deep or desired depth.

Netting: starting at the side of your toe cap, chain 4, skip the next 3 sts, sc in next one, ch 4, skip the next 3 sts, sc in the next one, work like this around, don't worry if you don't have enough sts for an even set of multiples, just get to the point where you don't have enough sts left to skip 3, and just work your sc into the ch-4 space that you created previously. These socks are not about obsessively counting, remember, they are about sex and hormones and crocheting on Manitoba's really crappy, bumpy highways which cause much too much distraction for the proper counting of stitches.

Work about 12 rounds of ch-4 netting. Put it on and stretch towards your ankle. If it feels long enough, start working the heel. If not, work a few more rnds of netting. If ch-4 netting feels too tight, try ch-5 instead.

Heel:

Flatten sock widthwise and work from one side to the other: ch 1, turn, work 25 sc across one side.

Ch 1, turn, work 24 sc, stopping short of the last st, leaving it unworked.

Ch 1, turn, work 23 sc, stopping short as before.

Repeat this row, working one less st, until you have 10 sts left. You should have a little triangle with steps on it.

Turn the heel:

Ch 1, turn, work across the 10 sc, and, working into the side of this st, and into the next sc below, make a sc2tog. Work a ss into the next side edge below. 11 sc. Turn.

Skipping the ss, sc in the 11 sc, and work a sc2tog into the side edge of the 11th sc and the one below, then work a ss into the side edge below that. 12 sc. Turn.

Repeat this process until you have "picked up" your original 25 sts. Carry on in netting pattern as before, only this time, ch-5 instead of ch-4. If you didn't ch 4, then chain 1 more than your number.

Work 12 rounds of ch-5 netting, try it on, tug gently to see how it fits - incidentally, it helps if you have a vehicle dash to do this on, as gravity will help you to tug and pull your netting into place. It also makes for interesting facial expressions of the folks in the oncoming lanes of traffic.

Continue on, but this time, work the rest of your rounds in ch-6 netting. Do this until your sock, when stretched out, comes almost up to your knee.

Next rnd: work one rnd in ch-5 netting
Next rnd: work one rnd in ch-4 netting

Next rnd: ch 3 (does not count as st), work one dc in each sc, and 4 dc in each chain sp. You may need to fudge to get a number that divides by two.

Next rnd: Chain 3 (does not count as st) Work ribbing by working fpdc around first dc in row below, then bpdc in next dc in row below. Work fpdc, bpdc across, join with ss, ch 3.

Work two more rnds of dc ribbing, fasten off. Weave in ends and enjoy your socks!!!!

11 Comments


junesock
Originally uploaded by thebretonyarnerie

Before I get started, let me say that I am so so sorry that I am late. I've always rolled my eyes at the people who get on their blogs and say, "I'm going through some 'stuff' right now, so I won't be around for a while" and then it happened to me and my 'stuff' kept me too preoccupied to make socks. Damn, I suck.

I should probably be spanked - good and hard, with a studded leather belt - oh wait, people I know in real life read this. Scratch the belt part.....ooooooh......scratching......

Who am I kidding, they know I'm not quite right to begin with.

πŸ˜€

OK, I've seen the knitters doing it for a while now - the whole toe up with gusset sock, but I haven 't seen a crochet pattern for one. So this is mine.

Edit: of course, now that I've made my own pattern, I just recently discovered not one, but three of them elsewhere. LOL. Now that I've put this out there in the universe, I'll probably find ten more before the weekend is through:D

Not only was this an exercise in something new for me, but it was a reminder to check my skein labels, because I purchased two different dye lots. I wasn't carrying both socks around at once or it would have been immediately apparent. Mental note to me: never make socks from two different dye lots. Thankfully, they will be in my sneakers and no one but me, you, and the hundreds of thousands of members at ravelry.com ever need know what I did. It will be our little secret.

The toe is a departure from my usual toes which tend to be almost pointy. This one is much wider, and a hell of a lot more comfortable. I like the way this heel turns out, because it is a reverse-engineered gusset, there is more room than if it were an afterthought or short-rowed heel. I may keep making them like this, who knows!!!!

2 skeins Paton's Stretch Socks
2.25mm hook
split ring markers
darning needle
gauge: 6.3 sts=1"

Ch 17, flip the chain and working into the bottom bumps of the foundation chain, sc in 2nd ch from hook and work across. 16 sc.

Pivot chain and work 16 sc across top. Isolate side sts and place markers. You will readjust the markers after each two round sequence so that they are always on the side, not shifting over.

Inc sequence:

Rnd 1: work inc before and after each marked st, for a total of 4 incs per rnd. All other sts work even.
Rnd 2: Work even.

Repeat these two rnds until you have 52 sts (for a US women's size 9). Basically you take the measurement around the ball of your foot, subtract 3/4" and work up to that number.

Work even in rnds until the sock foot is 4" less than the total length of your foot.

Set up for gusset shaping:

Take your two split ring markers and isolate the side sts. Place one marker in the first st to beging the rnd and the 2nd marker in the 26th st, OR in the st that marks the halfway point as per your numbers. Place a split ring marker somewhere on that side of the sock to mark this as the top/instep of your sock. The gusset incs will be worked on the bottom/sole half of your sock.

Rnd one: work across instep sts. Work one st past last marked st. Inc in next st. Work to 2 sts before first marker. Inc in next st, sc in next st.

Rnd two: work even.

Before you begin subsequent inc rnds for the gusset, move the two st markers one st to the left or right, following the direction that you crochet in.

Work this inc sequence until you have 10 incs on either side, for a total of 20 incs. 26 instep sts, 46 sole sts.

Shape the heel:

On the last Gusset Rnd Two, work even across the instep sts as per normal, then work across the sole sts until you have 21 sts left (the total amount of sts inc'd plus 1.....so if you made 8 incs on either side of the gusset, you would work over until you had 17 sts left). Dec across next two sts, work next st, ch 1 and turn. Work back in the other direction until you have 21 sts left, dec over the next two, work the next st, ch1 and turn. Work back toward the stair-step you created, dec over the last st of this short row, and the next unworked st below. You may wish to work a sc3tog that incorporates the side edge of your stair-step, to avoid excessive holes. Work the next st, ch 1 and turn. Continue like this, until you have your original number of sts left, in my case, 26 sole sts.

Note: I am now on my third pair of socks done this way and it has occurred to me to point out something that I had not realized that I'd forgotten: when you get to your second last "pick up" as you shape the heel, you will not go sc2tog across the stair step, sc next st, ch 1, turn, because that next st to sc won't be there, it will be just the marked st instead, so you'll do sc2tog, stare at the marked st, wonder if you did something wrong, shrug your shoulders, ch 1 and turn. When you work back, the other way, you'll be able to sc2tog, sc, and you'll have your original number of sts. I'll figure it out. It just means that I have to make another pair of socks. Oh darn......

Continue in the round. You may wish to work sc2tog on the side edges to close off any holes at the top of your shaping. As you work, you will drop the first marker you come to. The last marker you come to can be dropped as well, and you should close this rnd with a ss because there will be a little raised stair step.

Next rnd: ch 3 (does not count as a st), work dc in rnd, decreasing evenly by 2 sts across back of sock, over heel. Join with ss, ch 3 (does not count as st), do not turn. Work a rnd of fpdc, bpdc around, joining and chaining as established. Work until ribbing is about as tall as you like. Fasten off, weave in ends.

11 Comments

Yarn: 1 skein Kertzer On Your Toes Bamboo, White

Hook: 2.25mm
Gauge: 5.85 sc=1"

I made these for my mother, for her birthday, so there are no photos of them being worn. Her foot dimensions are 8" total foot length and 8" around the ball of her foot. The sock is 7" wide but because of the shell pattern, it is very stretchy.

I called them "Bistro" because I designed the pattern, doodled it up, fiddled with the numbers, and then started and finished the bodies of the socks- all in 90 minutes while I was overseeing a written government trade exam. Bistros are common in France and there are one or two nice ones in my hometown of Halifax as well. The word comes from Russian and showed up during the Russian occupation of Paris. In that langauge, it means "quickly" and the Bistros became known as cafe establishments where you could order simple meals served fast.

When I got home, I worked the toes and heels, so I believe that the total time for making these came to about 2 or 2 1/2 hours. Très bistro!!!

SHELL: 2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc in same st or ch space

Note: You will work the main body of the sock (leg and foot) back and forth in the round. An opening will be created for the heel. The toe will be worked in continuous rounds, joining the beginning and end with a ss, and chaining one, but not turning. The heel is worked the same way.

Fsc 41. Sc count must be multiple of 4+1

Row 1: Ch 3 (counts as dc), work 1 dc in first sc (beginning 1/2 shell made), sk next sc, sc in next sc, sk next sc, SHELL in next sc, repeat across to last sc: work 2 dc, ch1 in this st then join with ss to top of ch 3 at start of row (these two 1/2 shells form a complete shell). Ch 1 and turn. You will now work in rounds, back and forth, with turning chains.

Row 2: Sc in ch space of shell, work shell in next sc, work sc in next ch sp, continue around, join last shell to first sc with ss. Ch 3 and turn.

Rep these two rows for pattern.

Heel Opening:

At about 3", flatten widthwise (your start/end point is a side edge) and skip across half the shells, working 20 fsc. Now depending on your size and st count, you may be working into half of a shell. I did not count the ch sp as sts when I did this. Divide your original fsc number in half and use that number to determine how many sts wide your opening will be (with a 4+1 multiple you won't get a nice even half so decide now if you'll use the larger or smaller number, in this case 20 or 21 sts and I went with 20 sts). Make full use of split ring markers to mark this off, so there is no guessing where you begin your round and where you will be reattaching your new chain. Attach with a ss and continue working in pattern around. Work your ss somewhat loosely so that you can treat it like a regular st when you come back around because it will feel tight and lumpy otherwise.

Please note: I forgot to mention this and while surfing, it dawned on me that it might be an issue with some folks. When you work an afterthought heel, much like any other heel, there can be an issue with little holes peeking around the sides of your heel, where the top and bottom of the opening meet. This can be exaggerated in shells, so you may end up forming your two side sts as sc2 or sc3tog, to draw up that little bit of area so that there isn't a hole. If I think of anything else, I will surely let you know:D

Foot:

Carry on in established pattern until the foot is 4" less than the total length of your foot. Complete round 1 of pattern, ch 1 and turn.

Toe: working in sc from now on, work the original amount of ch sts minus 1 (in my case, that would be 40 sts). Work these as evenly as possible into your shells. Join round with ss.

Next row: Ch 1, turn, work even on these sts in sc. Join round with ss.

Begin decrease rounds:

Isolate side sts. Mark them.

Decrease round 1:

Ch 1, do not turn. Sc in first st, sc2tog over next two sts, work to within two sts of marker, sc2tog over these sts, work marked st, sc2tog over next 2 sts, work to within two sts of next marked side st (which is your beginning st of the round), sc2tog. Join with ss. Ch 1. Do not turn.

Decrease round 2:
Work even around in sc, join with ss, ch 1, do not turn.

Work this sequence, decreasing by 4 each time, until you have 20 sts. Cut a long tail, turn sock inside out, and ss opening closed. Fasten off.

Heel:

Attach yarn to one side of the opening and work the same amount of sts around the hole. You may have to work some of them as a sc2tog over a few sts just to accomodate the nature of the shells. Work an extra st on each side and mark these. 42 sc. Follow the toe decreases until you have 18 sc. Ss closed in same manner and then fasten off.

Weave in your ends, and make the next sock!!!!

I have been playing with knitting and crochet in the same sock. A lot of people have been e-mailing me to ask if they can knit a sock flat, not round. Yes, you can. In fact, there is a 2-needle pattern at Bev's Country Cottage that lends itself well to fiddling with gauge and pattern stitches. I just finished the foot portion of one on UK 10 needles today with sock weight yarn. I wasn't making the leg portion, so I knit it in a slightly different way than she suggests. However, the sewing part is PAINFUL and so very wrong. I will knit the second sock, but I'm doing it Magic Loop style because I know that if I have to sew up another sock again, I will be making socks for some one-legged woman out there - guaranteed.

This is the second time this year that I've tried to do a flat sock, and the second time I've broken out in hives over it. Well...maybe hives is a slight exaggeration but you get the idea. Knitting in the round is not horrible, but I will post my flat numbers for you when the time comes, for those of you who love yarncrafting when it hurts.

πŸ˜€