Recently I’ve let myself be caught up in a sock-making frenzy. I’m working on my third pair, have already got wool for a fourth and plans for a fifth. If this continues, I’ll be the Imelda Marcos of the sock world. I shall be known as the soxta. Yeah.
I’ve always made socks – ever since I was taught how to make them in school. I’m not sure why they bothered to teach us: I went to school in the 1980s, not the 1940s, after all. But even though socks are hardly difficult to get hold of, I’ve always enjoyed making my own. Perhaps because my socks are unique.
Not that I make complicated socks. They tend to be made using self-striping wool and simple stockinette stitches. But instead of making the heel as I’ve always made it (using the ‘Madeupbyme’ pattern), I went looking for new patterns on YouTube.
This one is made using a classic heel pattern (German-language tutorial here):
I quite like the classic heel, but was also drawn to what the Austrian woman in her tutorial calls a “Bumerangferse” (boomerang heel) because it creates socks that look much like the ones you can buy in the shops.
This is how the 21st century soxta knits: along with a YouTube tutorial. Of course.
This type of heel, which consists of a combination of short rows, is really easy to knit. ‘Boomerang heel’ may not be what it’s called in English, but you should be able to find quite a few tutorials on YouTube. It also fits quite well – almost better than the classic heel. Apparently it’s difficult to make the boomerang heel without ‘holes’, but I’ve not found them to be terrifically hard despite not doing the weird knitting backwards-thing that the presenter of the tutorial engages in. The result is the picture at the top of this post.
And now I’m on my third pair. I fell in love with the terrific colours of this wool: Lang’s Mille Colori Baby. Instead of the usual mix of wool and polyester of other sock wool, this wool is superfine Merino. I’m not sure how well it’ll wear, but it feels wonderfully soft.
And here is the first finished sock. The colours are glorious and I love the way they shade into one another rather than change abruptly like a lot of other self-striping wool. I could have experimented with other stitch types, I guess, but I feel it would have detracted from the colours.
I’ve made one change to the heel in that I inserted five rounds between the first set of short rows and the second.
You can see the five rows very clearly as the colours do change rather abruptly for once. I feel those extra rows add depth to the heel and make ‘holes’ less likely.
Looking good! I’m now working on the second sock. And waiting for me in the wool basket is some more sock wool…
Good old Regia stuff. I may begin experimenting with different stitches. Or I may try out another heel. Browsing YouTube I came across the ‘Herzchenferse‘ (heart-shaped heel). Oooohhhh….