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FO: Showy Seadragon Socks

22 Jul

My first-ever FO Friday! And there was much rejoicing.

Warning: five bajillion and a half photos ahead. I made a number of modifications to the original pattern because of my freakish feet. I’ve detailed them here in case anyone else might find them useful for modifying sock patterns to their own freakish feet. If you have pointy toes, a high instep, or just want more surface area for decoration on your socks, read on! Or you can just look at the pretty pictures.

Pattern: Show-Off Stranded Socks by Anne Campbell
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Yarn Paints, colorway 9884
Needles: I knit these on two needles, so if I refer to the ‘sole’ or ‘instep’ needle, I assume you can figure it out 🙂
Size: This is a thinner yarn, so despite the fact that I have small feet, I ended up knitting the larger size (72 st) to compensate.

Modification #1: Adapted to knit toe-up. The sock would have looked virtually identical to the original pattern if this had been the only mod.

Modification #2: Toe. I’ve started using persnicketyknitr‘s Anatomical Sock Toes rather than a standard toe for my socks. They fit a LOT better, especially if your feet kind of come to a point at your big toe (like mine do).

I'm like that crazy Spectre lady in From Russia With Love. Except I have pointy toes, not a poison-tipped knife in my shoe.

Modification #3: Gusset. Rather than following the standard toe-up method of adding stitches to the sole of the sock, I kept the number of stitches on the sole needle constant at 36 and started adding stitches to either side of the instep needle. I actually increased slightly more than called for in the pattern, ending up with 64 st on the instep needle for a total of 100 st (rather than the recommended 96), but if I knit these again I will only increase to 96.

Now would be a good time to mention that yes, there WILL be cat hair in every single one of these photos, courtesy of my helper.

 I chose to increase the number of instep stitches (rather than the number of sole stitches) because I wanted the stranding pattern to cover as much of the sock as possible. Whenever I had gained another pair of stitches on one side of the foot, I then extended the pattern to that pair, adding another column of the “scales”

The sole stitches are on the right, the instep on the left, with the sock being knit up from the toe (below the picture). It's a bit hard to see, but a new column of "scales" starts every four rounds.

This has the added benefit of camouflaging the increases so you don’t end up with ridge along the side of the gusset, which I’ve frankly always found to be a little ugly.

Much better than a yucky ridge, don't you think?

Modification #4: Heel. (If you haven’t noticed, by this point I’ve more or less abandoned all pretense of following the original pattern except for the stranded scales motif.)

I wasn't kidding about the freakish feet. They're shaped roughly like a stuffed animal my grandmother had, which come to think of it was also rather bizarre. I called it the Dolphorca because it had the markings of an orca and the color of a dolphin...and was shaped funny, to boot.

In order to accommodate the Instep o’ DOOM, I got creative. Instead of doing the normal gusset increases/heel flap, I started the gusset increases early (which eased the usual strain of fabric over the swell of my instep), and after I had finished increasing, worked a short-row heel over the 36 sole stitches.

A much better fit than the heel flap/gusset.

Modification #5: Reverse Gusset. Which is a shiny new piece of sock anatomy that I just made up. Once I’d finished the short-row heel, I was left with 100 stitches, which would make for a very baggy leg, especially around my skinny ankles (again: Freakish Feet). So I had to decrease back down to 72 st.

Yay, no bags!

Since I wanted to keep the scale pattern over as much of the leg as possible, I didn’t want to do the decreases on the instep needles. So I transferred the “extra” 28 stitches (14 on each side of the foot) to the sole needle and then did the decreases there, so that I was getting rid of stockinette columns and not columns of scales. By the time I was back down to 36 st per needle, I had just 8 stitches of stockinette left.

Behold the skinny ankle, also of DOOM! Well, if they're good enough for Persephone, they're good enough for me.

In a wonderful bit of serendipity, the reverse gusset ended right at the bend of my ankle.

I actually enjoy it when socks highlight the architecture of a foot rather than masking it. I may have the Freakish Feet of DOOM, featuring the Instep o' DOOM and Skinny Ankle, also of DOOM, possibly residing in the Greek Underworld, but I think they're kind of cool.

Not a Modification: For the leg, I actually (gasp!) followed the pattern directions and just worked the stranded scale pattern around and around and around and around until the socks were as tall as I wanted them. Then (also as per the pattern) I worked a few rounds of 1×1 ribbing.

Kind of a Modification: Bind-off. Obviously a top-down pattern doesn’t specify the bind-off to use, so I took the opportunity to teach myself the tubular bind-off. It took a while to get it right, but it was worth the effort!

Today on Star Ten Thousand: Fun with perspective! You don't want to know how long I spent taking all of these photos. Photographing a pair of socks while you're wearing them is exceedingly difficult.

Ta-dah! That is the END of my copious modification notes. Hopefully something in here will be useful to you at some point. I’m thrilled with the way these things turned out. The original stitch pattern is gorgeous and perfect for variegated yarns, and thankfully quite easy to adapt to any number of strange modifications! The yarn is also gorgeous and stunning in the ‘scales.’

Like everybody else, I’ve noticed that this pattern looks rather dragon-y…let’s ask the expert, shall we?

Toe-to-toe with Welsh mythology.

Well, if Y Ddraig Goch approves, that's good enough for me.

One last photo, not that this post needs more, but it amuses me. Besides, we’ve seen so much Rosie fur already, we may as well see some of it still attached to the cat…

1 human leg + 1 human leg + 1 cat leg = feline photobomb of what was admittedly not a great photo to start out with. She's such a useful creature, really...

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Posted by on 22.7.2011 in Knitting

 

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