In the fall of 2020 I made several pairs of thick socks for myself and for Christmas gifts. This fall I bought more skeins of the same Briggs and Little Tuffy worsted weight 80% wool / 20% nylon yarn when it was on sale. It is good for practicing sock techniques with fewer stitches than normal sock weight yarn.
The thick socks I made in 2020 had a heel with a flap pattern beginning at the cuff. For the next round I used the Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern by Sox Therapist, starting at the toe instead of the cuff, using double pointed needles knitting one sock at a time. I saw an article about knitting two at a time on double pointed needles, but it looked like a nightmare. I used my Denise brand needles with short tips and short connecters that are an alternative to traditional double pointed needles. The Denise needles are flexible and the stitches are less likely to fall off. However that does not stop me from accidentally pulling a needle out of the stitches by mistake.
The following photo shows the two different types of heel on the thick yarn. The blue sock has a fish lips kiss heel, the green sock has a heel flap.
The Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern includes the instructions for the heel, and also step by step directions for the entire sock including a template of your foot on heavy paper, with measurements noted for toe and heel placement. By using the template and starting at the toe, you are supposed to be able to get the sock to fit exactly. The next photo shows materials assembled for a blue pair of thick socks for myself.
I used Judy’s Magic Cast On for the toe stitches, which gives you a smooth toe and you do not have to graft any stitches together later. Turkish Cast On is similar and I think it is easier, but they are both good. The pattern has you start increasing for the toe, and then stop increasing when you get to the right number of stitches based on your individual foot template. You then knit evenly for the foot until you get to the heel line on your template.
When you start at the cuff you have to decide at the beginning how many stitches to cast on. The pairs I knit for myself before with this yarn had 36 stitches. They are a little loose but they work. For this pair starting at the toe and using the template, I ended up with only 32 stitches around.
The following photo shows the first sock almost completed.
Compared to the socks I knit last winter with the same yarn, this pair has fewer stitches around but they are a little longer, based on the method with the foot template. There is negative ease which means that you make them a bit smaller than your actual measurement because they are going to stretch. The hand made socks always look bigger than store bought socks because they do not have as much elasticity.
After I finished the blue pair of socks for me, I cast on a gray pair for my daughter, starting at the toe again. We both wear size nine shoes, so sometimes she borrows my shoes or takes my castoffs. After drawing a template of her foot, I realized that her foot is wider. Her sock has 36 stitches around instead of 32. I decided to be more creative and use leftover blue yarn from my sock for the heel on her gray pair.
The thick gray yarn reminds me of a sock monkey. Following are photos of both pairs completed in the middle of December hanging on the clothesline, when we had only a bit of snow.
The next photo is my son and his wife modeling socks I knit in this same yarn in 2020. My son said his socks were a little loose. Since then I have made a template for his foot, and it turns out he has narrow feet like me.
Just for the record, the following photo was taken just after Christmas following a big snow storm. The clothesline where the socks photo above was taken a few weeks earlier is barely visible behind the fence.
My daughter was pleased with her thick gray and blue socks.
I dislike weaving in ends and often select patterns and designs with that in mind. If there are multiple yarns or colors, that means more weaving in of ends. However I recently found a brilliant method of weaving in the ends as you go by HeyBrownBerry that is a game changer for me. I knit another pair of Christmas gift socks for my niece with the same yarn, but not until after Christmas. Following is the finished result.
I ordered more skeins of various types of sock yarn in December with Black Friday sale prices. It seemed like Black Friday lasted all of December, and even into January. Maybe if plan better, I will be able to get my knitted gifts ready in time for NEXT Christmas.