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.
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
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.
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!!!!