It may surprise you to hear that in all the years I have been knitting socks (9?), I have never made a pair of completely plain stockinette “vanilla” socks.
My first two pairs were both Jaywalkers. I loved them to bits (literally), even though they were too big round the ankles and slid down into my shoes.
My sock-knitting ambitions quickly outstripped my experience and I actually designed my Cinderella’s Secret Stockings pattern very soon after making those first few pairs of ankle-highs.
So here we are, in 2015, and I have just finished knitting my first pair of plain socks.
And guess what? They fit!
They fit properly!
OK, so I haven’t washed or worn them yet, but I can tell straightaway that this is a different sort of a sockish beast. They have negative ease – that is to say, they are snug-fitting, and stretch slightly to accommodate my foot and ankle. It had never occurred to me that this might be a good idea. I have always erred on the side of comfortable caution, with the result that at least one pair of my handknitted socks can perform a 3-point turn inside my wellies.
I have had a few people contact me over the years, asking for advice on a good basic sock pattern for the beginner. Readers? Here it is!
There are plenty of other sock recipes like it, but I can confirm that this one works for me. I will be making more of these!
Pattern: Vanilla with Sprinkles by Jenna Krupar (Retro Lemon Studios), 56 stitch cast on
Yarn: Regia Colorations or Garden Effects by Kristin Nicholas, colourway 3311. If you buy it branded “Colorations”, it comes in a 100g ball. If you buy it as “Garden Effects”, it will come in 2 x 50g balls. It’s the same product, just a different put-up.
Needles: A set of 5 x 2.5mm double pointed Clover bamboos. They are still my favourites.
I cast these on on Christmas Eve and finished sock one in the hospital waiting room.
An elderly lady patient was absolutely fascinated by the self-patterning yarn and said she would love a cardigan knit up in it. I don’t think she was dropping hints!
And that’s the thing about this sort of wool – it impresses both knitters and non-knitters alike.
FL kept asking me how I managed to get the stripes to line up like that. Honestly? The yarn does it all by itself! I would love to say it was all about my Mad Skillz but it’s not true.
So, combining a super-simple well-written pattern with a super-clever Fake Isle yarn, even a beginner sock knitter can be the star of any waiting room entertainment scenario ;)
In case you are wondering, I deliberately avoided making them identical to each other.
Asymmetry strikes again!
I love them.
They are mine all mine and you can’t have them… unless you knit your own. And you definitely could – go for it!