This is probably the most interesting pair of socks I’ve ever knitted!
After the top of the foot and the back of the heel are completed, stitches are picked up around the entire circumference for the sole. This entails picking up a lot of stitches along each side of the instep. I placed markers to help me pick up the necessary stitches evenly.
After all of the stitches are picked up, the sole stitches are worked in rounds.
After surprisingly few rounds, some of which involve decreases at the toe and heel, the sole is complete.
The remaining heel and toe stitches are gathered and the others are joined with Kitchener stitch. I hope you’re not intimidated by this grafting technique. Once you get started it follows a nice rhythm and is much, much easier than it sounds. Not to mention that it’s absolutely necessary for this sock!
Here’s a list of what I learned and what I did differently from the instructions in Sock Knitting Master Class:
- Instead of working with two circular needles, I worked with one 40″ circular using the magic-loop technique (described on page 13). I used an Addi Turbo needle, but wish that I had the sharper tips that come on the Addi Lace needles. Twisted stitches are most easily worked with sharp needle points.
- I used the Old Norwegian cast-on (page 39) to ensure a strong, flexible edge at the top.
- There is a correction to Row 3 of Chart A: the center two stitches should be worked as a left twist as described in the Stitch Guide.
- There is also a correction to the set-up round of the Instep. It should read: Set-Up Rnd: (Rnd 4 of Chart A) Ssk, work 11 sts in patt, place last 8 sts just worked (center sts of Chart A) on waste yarn holder to work later for back of heel, work 3 sts in patt, k2tog, work to beg of held heel sts–54 sts rem.
- I worked one less instep decrease to end with 34 stitches instead of 32, with the hopes that this would make the socks fit my biggish feet better. This left two twisted knit stitches at each end of the needle.
- I chose not to use Meg’s method of knitting (and purling) back-backward as described on page 94. Instead, I worked the old-fashioned and cumbersome way of working back and forth in right-side and wrong-side rows. I was afraid that my tension would suffer if I used Meg’s technique. But I have to say, it’s no fun working twisted purl stitches!
- Also to accommodate my biggish feet, I worked the instep about 1/4″ longer, working to 4″ from the last pattern row of Chart A before beginning the toe.
- I worked the toe in stockinette stitch instead of continuing the twisted-stitch pattern all the way to the tip.
- I decreased the toe to 14 stitches instead of 12.
- When picking up stitches along the sides of the heel “flap,” I picked up through the back loops.
- When picking up stitches for the sole, I also picked up through back loops. I picked up 34 stitches instead of 29 on each side (because I had worked more rows on the upper foot).
- I worked the sole for 13 rounds (instead of 11) before the first decrease round to accommodate my wide feet (see note on the top of page 94).
- To finish, I cut the yarn leaving a 30″ tail, threaded the tail through the 7 heel stitches and pulled tight to gather them, then used the Kitchener stitch to join to 34 stitches on each side, then gathered the remaining 7 toe stitches.
- Although the instructions say that two skeins are needed for a pair of socks, I miraculously finished with about 3 yards left of the first skein.
- With the extra skein, I think I’ll make another pair but adjust the pattern for a “normal” round heel and wedge toe.