On Knitted Socks - Cauchy by Cookie A., for Men
While I don't knit socks very often (there are so many more epic things to make!), I do wear knitted socks all the time at home. Exclusively, actually. I basically wear a pair out to the very threads and cast-on once I hear the death rattles in their throats... uh... heels. This is an interesting M.O., as you learn pretty quickly how good a sock yarn is by the length of time between new pairs.
My first pair of socks were Cascade Fixation (98% cotton, 2% elastic) and died in a few months. I was shocked.
|Visit Abundant Yarn for info on Cascade Fixation|
The second lasted only a bit longer - Koigu PPPM (100% merino). Yeah, I learned my lesson: DON'T BUY SOCK YARN WITHOUT SYNTHETICS.
(but I can blame Koigu for my mistake, because they hypnotized me)
|Visit Loopknits for Koigu info|
According to Ravelry, my third pair has lasted since November of 2009 and they are only just starting to thin at the ball of the foot. They were made with Phildar Preface (70% wool, 30% nylon), so you can understand the trend!
This is the free pattern Hourglass by Bev Elicerio from Knitty 2008.
|See Kizzie56's Hourglass socks on Ravelry|
|See my Hourglass socks on Ravelry, in Phildar Preface|
My fourth pair was an interim test knit and didn't really fit the 'wait-until-the-end trend'. I just loved Claire Ellen's Tolkien-inspired sock collection (there are tons!), and this one was Eomer.
|My well-worn Eomer sock|
They were made with the uniquely blended Socrates by Alpaca With A Twist, but I really don't recommend the yarn for socks. While they will be quite warm and do last a while, the bamboo and alpaca content makes sure that the sock will stretch out and fall off your foot within one or two wears after washing. :(
|See AfternoonMoon's Socrates stash here|
This brings me to B.'s first pair of Man Socks, which I unfortunately made with Socrates.
The pattern was awesome and already sized for men, Unicurves by Jeannie Cartmel.
|See WannaCoffee's Squishy Curves here|
Ah, New Year's 2010 to 2011. That's my B., he should have been cast in Madmen.
Well, the end is near for his pair, so it was time. About a year ago I came across The Plucky Knitter for the first time and promptly fell in love with Plucky Feet. I bought 3 luscious colors and saved one for B.
|Bohemian Blue (used for Cauchy socks)|
|All that's left!|
He scoured Ravelry (yes, he knows how to use it because it means he can get me to make something for him) and settled on Cookie A's Cauchy socks...
|See Treeseeker's Cauchy socks here|
...which of course were only sized for a medium woman's foot. Sigh. You know what? If the pattern had a men's size, these would have been done a year ago!
I tried two-at-a-time socks on magic loop for the first time. One more thing off my knitting bucket list! I used this rather flowery blog post for guidance. The only real challenge is the cast-on, the rest is really like magic loop. I did get annoyed at all the stitches at the heel at some point and ended up moving to just one sock at a time. Frogging back to a dropped stitch and a blatant pattern mistake might have helped that move!
It actually wasn't hard to adapt the pattern at all, unlike many sock patterns. Simply add purl stitches between the zig-zag motifs. There is one naturally, and I increased to 3 between (72 sts). But it was a very stretchy pattern and I reduced to 2 purls at each side of the foot about 2.5 inches down the cuff, making it a total 70 st sock. It fits perfectly.
For you to compare (and for me to remember!): Leg, 23 cm; upper ankle, 21.5 cm; lower ankle, 25.5 cm; below ankle to foot, 25 cm; widest foot, 24 cm; base of toes, 22 cm.
What it took to actually make them was his 40th birthday coming in December, and because I had been so lazy, despite him knowing the yarn and the pattern, it turned out to be the biggest surprise!
|Our hanging knitted octopus, from Hansi Singh's pattern Octopus|
|B.'s mega 40th b-day loot|
Shh, don't tell, but I like to block his gifts under our coffee table. It's right in the living room but you can't see anything under it! (And now we can test whether he reads my blog posts, hee hee)
As far as I can tell, he has worn them almost every day since December 10, and even brought them on his trip to New Orleans for lounging around the hotel room!
The yarn is fabulous. Sturdy and not too soft (indicating a weak yarn, in my opinion), but not scratchy in the least. They do stretch after some time of wear, but it is in the normal time. The nylon content is only 10%, so I am very curious about how long they will last. I'll update you!
See my Cauchy for Men socks on Ravelry
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