I’m slowly making progress on Nancy Bush’s French Market Socks.
My changes and tips:
- I decided to work the solid-color rounds at the beginning of the sock on size 3 (3.25 mm) needles and the colorwork section on size 4 (3.5 mm) needles. I thought that this would help maintain even tension between solid-color and colorwork sections.
- I also decided to use a set of four dpn instead of the five that Nancy specifies. This gave me one less boundary between needles, which I thought would help me keep consistent gauge. (I tried working the magic-loop method to reduce the number of boundaries to just two, but for some reason, it was more difficult for me than working with dpns.)
- I used the Old Norwegian method (page 39) to cast on 68 stitches on size 3 (3.25 mm).
- Because the color patterns require specific numbers of sts, I opted to follow the stitch counts as written instead of adding sts to make a sock that would fit me. If I decide I want to make a pair for myself, I’ll use yarn that will give me fewer sts to the inch (perhaps 12 or 13 sts to 2″) to end up with a larger size.
- When I got to the twist row, I got confused by clockwise and counterclockwise directions, so I’m not sure I twisted the needle in the proper direction. I rotated the left needle tip to the back, under the rows of knitting to the front, then into position to work again, because that seemed the easiest to do. But I think the you’ll get the same look if you rotate the needle to the front, under the knitting, then to the back, too.
- Although the instructions say to position the sts so there are 17 sts on each of four needles, I used just three needles and I adjusted the sts so that each needle began with k2 and ended with p2 to make it easier to work the rib at the beginning (I always find it easier to begin a needle with knit sts instead of purl sts). This meant that I had 16 sts on the first needle, 36 on the second needle, and 16 sts on the third needle.
- I tried holding one yarn in each hand, but my right hand just can’t get the hang of working the English method and the tension between the two colors was way, way different. I settled on holding both yarns in my left hand and knitting both yarns using the Continental method. I consistently held one color (always the gold when it was involved) over my index finger and the other color over my middle finger. At this point, I’m only dropping a needle every 6th needle change or so.
Unlike Nancy’s originals, the colors are mottled here and have a more impressionistic feel. I love the regal colors!