Sande's Not For Skinny Legs Socks
By Sande Francis
These socks are sized to fit my large feet. I make my socks barely snug at the leg/ankle to be kind to my diabetic feet, so you may want to adjust the sizing. Heck, you may want to adjust the sizing anyway! I have included links to my photopage for all the "special" stuff I do in my socks. Of course, you may substitute your favorite techniques for my favorite techniques as you wish.
With no further ado, here is what's in this sock:
Ø Wide toe
I made these socks in 2 strands of Froehlich-Wolle Special Blauband in color 7264, a medium heathery green and mauve sock yarn. I need 3 50gram balls to fit me, you may use less if your feet are not so long as mine. I used size US3/3.25mm Brittany birch 5" DP needles. I got a gauge of 6 st per inch, so you could make these socks in just about any sport or DK wt yarn, too. The lace stitch I chose has a repeat of 10 sts and I used 6 repeats, putting 15 sts on each of 4 needles. This splits the pattern in two places and I used markers at those points so I wouldn’t make too many mistakes. Let me repeat that these socks are not snug in the leg. They don’t slouch on my legs, but they are definitely NOT for skinny legs. (tee hee - now you know what the name of the socks means)
So, away we go. Using a straight needle in size US4, cast on 61 sts in Twisted German Cast On. Slip the sts onto your DP needles, putting 16 on the first, 15 sts on the others. Make your circle and slip that last cast on st onto your first needle next to the very first st you cast on. Using the TAIL of the yarn (not the part that goes to the ball) K2tog tbl. K1tbl with the "real" yarn and then K1tbl with the tail again. Now Ktbl the rest of the round using the "real" yarn. This is how I make an unnoticeable join at the beginning of my socks. I discovered that the Twisted German cast on leaves the sts on the needles so they are awkward to knit "correctly" and solved the problem by purposely knitting thru the back loop. This continues the decorative look of the cast on for another round and does not hinder the stretch of the ribbing in any manner.
Rib in K1P1 for about as long as I can stand it (12 rows) twisting only the P sts either by P'ing thru the back or (easier) wrapping the yarn the "wrong way" on each stitch. The untwisted method of purling has you move the yarn from the top of the work towards the bottom so the st remains open as you complete it. By moving the yarn from the bottom of the st to the top (an easier motion if one is "picking" than the untwisted method) you will get a twisted purl st. The ribbing formed by twisting the purl sts looks exactly the same from the public side and quite interesting from the non-public side. It also manages to look better than normal ribbing when it's stretched around my leg. And it just happens to be my favorite way of lazy-bones ribbing - I don’t much care to knit ribbing and this is about the only way I'll do any.
This only makes about 1-1/2" of ribbing. You can do more if you are so inclined, but you will need more yarn if you make the socks the same size I make them.
Okie dokie! On to the easy lace pattern. Here is a chart:
Read the chart from right to left, bottom to top. All even numbered rows are Knit 1 round plain. Work 2 repeats of the 12 row pattern for the leg of the sock. You may knit more repeats if you like, but you will need more yarn unless your feet are shorter than mine.
After the last plain row of the lace pattern, we will divide for the heel flap. Now I do this the lazy way, I do not knit over and then knit back and futz around. When I get to the needle that starts the pattern I use 1/2 the total number of sts for the heel flap (that would be 30 sts on this sock) and start right in. My method works on this sock because we have an even number of repeats around, 3 for the instep and 3 for the heel. For this sock I used a 4 st garter stitch border on the honeycomb heel flap. Check the detailed instructions if you are not sure how to do this flap. You may, of course, substitute your own favorite heel flap here. I make my heel flap 3" long. You may shorten the flap and pick up fewer gusset stitches later. This will make the sock narrower thru the ankle.
I like to use a square heel - it seems to fit me better AND I can remember how to do it! We will use 1/3 the number of sts on the heel flap for the bottom of the heel. The heel turn starts on a Purl row. Keeping the 4 border sts in garter st, P across until you have 11 sts remaining, P2tog and turn. Slip that first st and work across in the honeycomb pattern till you have 11 sts remaining. SSK, turn, slip 1. Purl back across till you get to the stitch before the "gap," P2tog, turn, slip 1. Work back across in the honeycomb st until you get to the st before the gap on this edge, SSK, turn and slip 1. Continue in this manner until all the edge sts are eaten up - after you do the last SSK you should have 10 sts on the needle and be ready to pick up the sts for the first side of the gusset.
I picked up 19 sts down the heel flap, and then I put the made stitch from the corner onto the gusset needle rather than leaving it on the instep needle where it would interfere with the lace pattern. Knit across the 30 instep sts in lace pattern (this should be row 1). Put the made st for the 2nd side of the heel flap onto that gusset needle rather than on the instep needle. K 1 round plain. Continue the lace pattern and gusset decreases at the same time until you have decreased back to 60 sts around. I usually make the foot of my socks narrower than the leg so they fit better. For this sock, I decreased down to 48 sts for the foot by decreasing 2 extra sts on each side of the gusset and decreasing 10 sts on the lace section. After I got to 60 sts around, I did the lace pattern decreases without the YOs next to them. This kept the look of the pattern while eating up stitches I didn’t want.
Once you get down to either 48 sts or the number of sts you like for your foot, continue knitting plain till the sock reaches the bottom of your large toe. I used a wide toe in this sock. It's like a wedge toe, but the shaping is done on the 3rd and 4th sts from the ends of the needles, not the 2nd and 3rd. I start my shaping on needle #2, a practice that allows me to finish up my decreases with the yarn end at the side of the sock instead of in the middle. This eliminates that last 1/2 row of knitting to get the yarn end into position to start weaving the toe closed.
The wide toe is shaped thusly: Round 1 - work plain on needle #1. On needle #2, K2, SSK, k to end of needle. Needle #3, K to 4 sts from end, K2tog, K2. Needle #4, K2, SSK, k to end of needle. Needle #1, K to 4 sts from end, K2tog, K2. Round 2 - knit even around. Continue these 2 rounds until you reach 24 sts total (or the number you prefer for your toes). Leaving about an 8" end, cut yarn and weave toe sts together.