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FO Friday: Serpentine Socks

Serpentine Socks, 3


Serpentine Socks by Wendy D. Johnson


Knit Picks Stroll Sport in Hollyberry, 3 skeins


For the most part, I followed the pattern as written. I used the magic cast-on (which was rather tricky on DPNs; I’ve found it much easier to work on circular needles). I got a slightly tighter gauge, so I went up to the largest size, which fit great. I didn’t like the large holes the YO’s in the pattern gave me, so I substituted M1L and M1R. And I finished with 1×1 ribbing instead of 2×2, so I could use the tubular bind-off (which I now love, despite having to fiddle with kitchener).

Part of the reason I chose these socks was to learn how to make socks toe-up. This method is now my favorite, since it allows me to make socks which both fit my big feet and are long enough to suit me, without running short on or wasting yarn. I’ve not been particularly happy with short-row heels, in either fit or execution, so the gusset heel in these socks was also very appealing. Basically, you increase your heel stitch count by approximately 2/3 and then work a heel turn similar to those worked on top-down socks, working back and forth until you are back to the original number of stitches. It was easy to work and seems comfortable to wear, and there are no strange gaps or ugly stretched-out stitches that I’ve gotten with wrap-and-turn short rows.

This pattern was from Wendy’s book Socks from the Toe Up. If you’re new to toe-up socks, I highly recommend this book. There are good descriptions and diagrams of the various cast-on, toe, and heel methods, as well as some very lovely sock patterns.

Time to complete:

Okay, this is embarrassing. I cast on for these socks right after Christmas… 2009. Yes, more than two years ago. I finished the first one (or at least, I got to the end of the first skein of yarn) pretty quick. I had just enough yarn for a couple of rows of ribbing and then I bound off. I immediately cast on for the second sock, ignoring the fact that the first sock really wasn’t long enough for my taste (and didn’t have enough ribbing to stay up well). I was nearing the end of the second sock when I, er, had a mishap with the rest of the yarn. (It fell out of my bag when I threw it in the car, but I didn’t realize it until I looked into my rearview mirror and saw it rolling around in four lanes of rush-hour traffic. Yes, it’s funny… in retrospect. At least it was the unused yarn that fell out, and not the 3/4-completed sock!!)

So I ordered another ball of yarn, finished the second sock (now longer than the first), added 1″ of 1×1 ribbing, and used the tubular bind-off to finish. It looked and fit great! Went back to the first sock, undid the bind-off and the rounds of ribbing, made it the same length as the first sock, and… put both socks in the UFO (unfinished object) basket for more than a year. No idea why. I pulled it out the other day and in less than an hour, I’d finished the cuff, worked the tubular bind-off, and woven in the ends on both socks. I love them, and I’m kicking myself for not finishing them up sooner!

Pretty red socks… just in time for Valentine’s Day!