Monday, February 10, 2014

Socks-Take 5

     I started a pair of socks for my son.  He likes some elastic in the legs, and I like to make that part of the design feature. I had the beautiful blue, and coordinating cotton/elastic yarn. I started the socks at the cuff, and worked the leg with the Take 5 rib pattern.  The ribbing is worked as knit 3, purl 2, and the cotton/elastic yarn is worked into round 5.  I also decided to make an interpretation of the heel method (afterthought heel) from an old pattern in KNITTING is fun, Coats and Clarks, 1956. I truly believe this leaflet had been my grandma's.   Look at the date (my mom crocheted, but learned to knit in the 1980s), and the leaflet also includes the OCTOKITTEN that I fondly remember my grandma had made for us. 

Socks-Take 5
Marilynn Blacketer '14
The Socks-Take 5 work well in a superwash wool blend.
The Take 5 ribbing is fun work, and the socks can be knit in just a few days making them the perfect gift or accessory. This may be considered an intermediate level pattern because knowledge of sock (and stitch) construction is helpful.

Finished size: about 7” flat, stretch 10”circumference, leg height about 10”

Gauge: 8 stitches = 1” Adjust needle size, and row count to match gauge.

Materials:  Yarn:  MC superwash wool blend in fingering weight, CC cotton/elastic blend,
or CC superwash wool blend in fingering weight, and 2 yards of waist yarn in a different color

Photo: KnitPicks Stroll, Lullaby Hand-Painted; 75%Superwash Merino Wool/ 25%Nylon; 462yards/100g;       CascadeYarns, Fixation; 98.3%Cotton/ 1.7%Elastic; 62yards(relaxed)/50g

Needles: Size US#2, 16”and 24” circular needles, or size US#2 set double pointed needles,     tapestry needle, stitch markers

Resources: Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles by Cat Bordhi
KNITTING circles around SOCKS by Antje Gillingham
Learn to Knit SOCKS by Edie Eckman

Abbreviations: CO=cast on      k = knit       p= purl       k2tog=knit 2 stitches together
Rnd/s=round/s       sts=stitches       MC = main color      CC= contrasting color

Special Stitches: Take 5 Ribbing
Rnds 1-4: with MC, * Knit 3, purl 2; repeat from * to end
Rnd 5: with CC, * Knit 3, purl 2; repeat from * to end

Directions: The directions are written for adult size (small, medium, large) in parentheses, and working with 2 circular needles. (notes are in italic)  Make two socks.

Use the long-tail cast-on method, with size US#2 needles, with MC, cast on (75, 90, 105) stitches.
Place marker & join together by knitting first stitch being careful not to twist,
with MC, * K1, k2tog; repeat from * to end.                (50, 60, 70) sts

Sock Leg:
Rnds 1-4: with MC, * K3, p2; repeat to end
Rnd 5: with CC, * K3, p2; repeat to end
Repeat rnds 1-5,  working leg to the desired length, ending on rnd 4, set up for heel and foot. 
                    (7”, 8”, 9”) from CO

Instep and Heel set up:
(If working with cotton/elastic yarn, cut CC.)
With MC/CC as established, [K3, p2](4,5,6)times, k3; instep stitches.          (23, 28, 33)sts instep
Drop MC/CC yarn, and with a strand of different colored yarn knit across heel (27, 32, 37)stitches.
Drop colored strand, pick up MC/CC, and knit across heel (27, 32, 37) stitches once more. After this work instep as established, and knit sole; the heel will be put in later.

Instep and Sole:
Work instep as established, and knit sole until sock measures from heel ( colored yarn) marker:           (4.5”,  5.5”, 6.5”)desired length.

Rnd 1 & odd rounds: with MC, * K1, k2tog, knit to the last 3 stitches on needle, k2tog, k1(instep);
repeat from * to end(sole)       (4sts decreased)
Rnd 2 & even rounds: with MC, knit
Continue until (13, 14, 13)sts remain for instep, and (17, 18, 17)sts remain for sole
Work 2 more rounds as follows: K(13, 14, 13)(instep), k1, k2tog, knit to last 3 stitches on needle, k2tog, k1(sole).   With (26, 28, 26) stitches remaining, cut 18” yarn, and work Kitchener Stitch to finish the toe.

Carefully slide the (27, 32, 37)sts below(sole), and (27, 32, 37)sts above the colored yarn(leg) to needles. Carefully remove the colored yarn.
Attach MC yarn, knit a round, and pick up one stitch at the beginning and end of the needles. (You'll have (29, 34, 39)sts on each needle, and this will help avoid “holes” on the heel sides.)
Now work the heel the same as the toe.
Rnd 1 & odd rounds: with MC, * K1, k2tog, knit to the last 3 stitches on needle, k2tog, k1; repeat from * to end (4 sts decreased)
Rnd 2 & even rounds: with MC, knit
Continue until (26, 28, 26) stitches remain.
Cut 18”yarn, and work Kitchener Stitch to finish the heel.

Finishing: Weave in tails. Make second sock.

This pattern is available on
Socks-Take 5 pdf available on Ravelry. (login needed)
Copyright 2014, Marilynn Blacketer. All rights reserved. 2-10-14
For pattern support please contact:

Here are photos of the process: 

I started with  notes for the pattern, the Knit Picks and Cascade Yarns wound into 2, really 4 balls, and many needles.  I prefer knitting both socks at the same time on 2 circular needles, but I've found it difficult to keep 4 balls of yarn from tangling.
I decided to knit the two socks on two circular needles.  I  marked one sock with a green clip, the other with orange, and marked my tally crossbars in those colors as I work in the cotton/elastic round. Then I'd work the other sock.   I had a good start, but soon realized that I preferred bamboo needles, "more tooth".  I worked the next round onto those.

I set up my work station with each sock, and 2 balls of yarn in a lunch sacks. Those were placed in a re-purposed Harry&David's fruit basket.  You'll also notice the Ziplock bag containing spare needles, and other tools.  I then moved to the sofa to knit.
I placed a clip on one sock each morning, marking my progress, and worked on the socks (in tandem) for an hour or two every day .  I also noticed with 60 stitches the variegated yarn was "pooling".  The yarn knit up beautifully at 48 stitches on another pair of socks.  Sometimes pooling happens. 
To help solve the problem with pooling, as I knitted the pink yarn to mark the heel, I rotated one sock by knitting the heel marker first, then working the instep.  Now, there was more turquoise yarn toward the front of each leg.  You may have also noticed at this point there are more stitches for the heel/sole than the instep.  I felt the last two purl stitches needed to be moved to the heel for symmetry of the ribbing in the instep.  Knitting Without Tears, by Elizabeth Zimmermann, page 102, suggested having 2/3 stitches available for the heel. She also suggested working the sock to the toe, then "snipping one thread at the point where the top center of the heel-flap would be."  I was/am not brave enough to do that, so this pink yarn heel marker worked well for me!
I worked both socks onto two circular needles to continue working to the toe.
I worked the Take 5 ribbing for the instep, and knit the sole until the socks measured 6.5" from the heel marker.  (If I had worked the sock with CC wool there would be CC stripes across the sole.) Then I worked the toe decreases. 
I opened  Learn to Knit SOCKS, and got ready to do the Kitchener Stitch for the toes.
Then it was time to work on the heels.
I very carefully picked up "one leg" of each stitch with spare size US#1 double pointed needles.  You can always pick up stitches on smaller needles because the gauge is set when knitting onto the needle in your right hand. 
The stitches for the heel were picked up. 
I used the tapestry needle to carefully remove each stitch of pink yarn.  I worked carefully (and luckily) to be sure each heel stitch was really on the double pointed needles. 
 I joined the yarn, and knitted the socks onto the 2 circular needles to work the "toe" decreases to shape the heels.
I opened  Learn to Knit SOCKS.  It was time to work more Kitchener Stitch!
I finished by weaving in the tails.  The afterthought heel gave me two more tails to weave.
I counted the markers to count the days!  This project was very enjoyable, and took less than 2 weeks to complete.
The socks were ready to be mailed.

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