Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Boyfriend Socks

For the first time in a long time, I tried something new in knitting. I decided I liked the Boyfriend Socks so much, that I would finally try knitting a toe up sock, which I’d been too lazy to learn up ‘til now. I’ve also always been enamoured with the idea of knowing just how long I can make a sock when I’ve got two 50g balls, without running out in the end. The fear of running out of yarn when knitting a normal sock has always restricted the length of the shaft since running out would be no fun at all. I know it can be fixed, but I don’t particularly like fixing, so I’d rather just not go there.
I found out two things with this experiment. The first being that my feet are too short to require more than about 40g of yarn to make a pair of socks. Finishing off the ball would have given me socks that were impossible to wear since they’d reach halfway up my calves requiring me to start increasing and then they’d just wind up falling down. Ergo, 40g is enough. The second realization is that I neither care for working the tow increases, nor the short row heels. I usually don’t mind short rows, but working that second round where you have to pick up two wraps and knit them with the stitch is a real bugger and made me swear six kinds of blue. They also wound up too long since I found it hard to gauge the length the other way around. I’ve decided that I will stick to shaft down in the future unless I’m desperate.

Now I have to admit that this would all probably be no problem if I just practiced them a bit. I tried to convince myself of this the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth times I knit the toe and heal only to find that they were too loose, or left holes, or I couldn’t get the needle through the wraps and the stitches. Alas, I failed. It didn’t help that I completely forgot that the cable pattern needed to be done on the back side of the shaft as well on the second sock and wound up having to frog half the sock, only to find that I had started the heel too soon and wound up with the cable pattern in the wrong place. That, of course, meant that I had to frog the whole heel, finish the pattern and then rework (for the second time) the d*%/รง* heal again. For the record, I didn’t like knitting it the last time either.

The upshot is that I will continue knitting my socks leg down whenever possible for the rest of my knitting career. But, at least I can now say I tried.

I do, however, love the socks despite being a little too long in the foot. I’m hoping they will shorten a bit, as so many of my socks have. Sod’s Law says they won’t though since I actually want this pair to. Whether or no, I love the pattern and the colour and the yarn and wish it were winter so I could wear them. Alas, it’s summer, the weather is humid and warm and wool is just not the thing to be wearing.


  1. I totally agree with you, but unfortunately, I have big feet and wide legs and often run out of yarn. So, when it can't be avoided and I do a toe up sock I use the short row technique in Priscilla's Dream Sox - a yarn over that gets decreased on the second part of the heel instead of the dreaded wrap method. It looks better and is much easier to do.

  2. I'll have to check that out and see if I like it any better. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Like you, I do not enjoy knitting toe-up socks. I paid for a private lesson but still don't enjoy the process. At least I know how.

    I have very long narrow feet (size 12 AAAA). I prefer skeins of yarn with 400 yds or more but can get a pair of socks out of 350 yds.

    I wind my yarn into one ball/cake, then set it on a digital kitchen scale to see how much it weighs. I then beging winding a new ball/cake. When I've reached half the weight of the ball/cake I cut the yarn and begin a new one. That way I have to equal sized balls/cakes.

    Happy sock knitting.

  4. The looks look great, but I'm with you. I don't enjoy toe up socks.

  5. Great! Now I'm into only my second pair of socks... I've been at them for six months. Granted, I've really only been *working* on them the past 2-3 weeks. I've just realized I made, yet another, error. This knitting thing is *suppose* to be relaxing?! Ugh!