As I mentioned, I finished the Happy-Go-Lucky boot socks on the weekend and I am mostly pleased with them. I was a little worried I wouldn’t have enough wool to get them done, though, because halfway through the second foot, I was looking at this weeny little balls and wishing very much that I had a scale at home. I managed to squeak them out, though, and have barely enough of either of the stripy colours to fill a thimble.
I have some quibbles with the way the pattern is written, but first, pictures!
Okay, now that that’s out of the way, here are the details:
Pattern: Happy-Go-Lucky boot socks by Véronik Avery, from Sock Knitting Master Class
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash Sport in colourways 1910 (blue), 859 (teal), and 803 (purple)
Needles: 2.75 mm Clover bamboo dpns
In terms of modifications, I did a few things this time and have others planned for next time around. First, though, let me explain something fundamental: This pattern is only written for an 8.5-inch foot. My foot is 9-inches around. I knit this anyway. I increased the gauge slightly, and, mathematically, that should have done it. However, these socks are quite, erm, fitted, and as I said previously, I was actually worried I wouldn’t be able to get my foot all the way in. Clearly, I can, but it’s a strain, and it pulls the stitches, and the colourwork doesn’t look as pretty as it ought to. So, that’s the background, here are the modifications:
Actual mods: Besides changing the gauge, I also added an extra pattern repeat to the leg because I wanted it to be a little higher, and when decreasing the gusset I only went down to 34 heel stitches (instead of 30) because I don’t think my foot width is really that much narrower than my ankle/leg width.
Future mods: This is a little tricky, because I’m just not sure what to do about the heel area. In theory, I want to add an extra six stitches (one diamond) to the pattern, which would give me a little more space. But, that either means creating a bottleneck in the ankle again, or having a foot that’s 72 stitches around, which is too many (baggy-footed socks are not appealing). I think, what would be best, is this: Rather than decreasing six stitches at the ankle, simply divide the stitches so there are 36 on the heel flap and 30 on the instep; work an extra repeat of the heel pattern (although I’d be tempted to just work a regular slip-stitch heel) and deal with the extra stitches in the gusset decreases (I would decrease to 34 again, I think, because the foot fit well). Most of my problems with the sizing came as a result of the ankle/heel, so that’s where I would centre my changes.
All of this being said, if you like the look of these socks/this pattern, don’t be scared off. It was a wonderful mix of easy and interesting, and if you’ve never tried slip-stitch colourwork, it’s a great primer. It’s actually a good lesson for stranded colourwork in general, because it allows you to get used to the idea of maintaining floats while only having to manage one colour per row. Here’s the wrong-side of the work, where you can see the floats that run behind the slipped stitches.
All in all, it’s a good pattern and I’m sure I’ll knit it again (truly, the colour combinations are endless!). I’ve ravelled it here, if you’re into that sort of thing.
I really like how the heel looks against the foot and leg bodies.
Thank you! I am, strangely, wearing these socks today and I have to say that every time I get a peek at them I feel quite satisfied with how they look. The heels were a bit slow compared to my normal heels (they’re mini cables), but it was certainly worth it in the end!
I think a lot of knitters on the west coast of the U.S. wear Birkinstocks for the sole purpose of showing off their socks. 🙂