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WIP Wednesday | Dark & Strong Socks

August 3, 2016 No Comments by Heidi

I picked up C.C. Almon’s sock book at Edinburgh Yarn festival. I love it. The pattern difficulty is measured in how many cups of coffee you need to get the brain going. IMG_4280Also each pattern is written for top down & toe up so either you work how you please or you get to experiment to find your method. Brilliant!

My Dark & Strong Socks project aka French Vanilla Cappuccino Socks  has been a great WIP.


I chose to work the toe up pattern version. I struggled with Judy’s magic cast on (CO) so it  was a another slow starter where perseverance paid off.  I lost count how many times I watched Judy Becker’s video & Lissaplus3’s video (with bonus summer cricket chorus and wandering chickens) but it finally clicked in the end. The other pointer that helped immensely with the CO was ensuring the purl bumps are pointing up when you start the set up row so purls are on the inside. Using that method resulted in a lovely smooth toe.

After the CO, I worked the M1L/R but it didn’t come naturally to me and the seams were loose/holey so I abandoned that increase for a KFB (knit front & back). Using KFB was much easier for me to remember as I’ve used it in a few recent WIPs and knew how it would turn out also it made the side increases look lovely.

I enjoyed the just keep knitting portion of the foot. It’s the type of knitting that’s soothing cause you don’t really have to look (new development for me) and I can admire the delicious structure of the stitches as the piece grows. I’ve reached the heel portion and unlocked another knitting challenge for me, German short rows!

I tried the short row method in the pattern but it just didn’t work right for me. Maybe it’s cause it’s a new to me method, that I just couldn’t visualise it or doesn’t work as well with the way I knit or most likely a combo of the first two. So off I trotted to the inter webs to find an alternative. I searched for short row socks and went with the first video that came up. It was from Very Pink Knits and was a great overview of how German short rows work.

However, I was missing some sort of step because when the heel was complete again my seams were *way* too holey. So off I pottered again and found this brilliant video from the Sockmatician. It’s shot up close, with sock weight and on circular needles so it was easier to see what was going on with the yarn & stitches.

So I popped in a lifeline (1st time to use one of those for ripping back purposes) and ripped back to the start of the heel and tried again. On the second attempt I knit into the back loops and it was a bit better but there’s still gaps in the seam. It’s time to move on and I’ll give the patterns w+t method a go on the 2nd sock now I’ve found the tutorial. It’s all practice and experimentation which I love so no harm done.

While the heel has been fun to work, I’m look forward to getting back to the just knitting. I’m hoping to have this sock finished before the Olympic opening ceremonies so I can cast on the 2nd sock. I figure 16 days is ample time to finish one sock, right? And it’s a challenging Ravellenic Games project. It’s still early days so we’ll see what happens. A baby could be here by now…


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