Here they are, folks, my latest sock pattern here at Knitting to Stay Sane and, if I may say, some darned pretty ones at that. I’ve had these done up for a few months now and it gives me great pleasure to finally set them out into the world to seek their fortune be knitted by other people.
If you’re a sock knitter, or even a person who just hangs out in yarn shops a lot (or maybe stalks a lot of yarn online…not that I’d know about that)…you eventually start to develop an appreciation for sock yarns. Now that I’ve started to make knitting a part of my tourism plan when I visit other cities or as a reason to travel in the first place (Rhinebeck, anyone?) I’ve also started to develop a fondness for sock yarns because they are so easy to collect and bring home with you. This is very much the genesis of the 14 Karat socks.
Last year I came home with a skein of ‘Amethyst’ Flock Sock yarn from Holiday Yarns (formerly VanCalcar Acres). Jennifer dyes some awesome yarn over there. I brought home my lone skein of Amethyst and stared at it all winter. And then at some point something in my brain started turning over the depth of the semi-solid colour, and the whole amethyst thing, and I started thinking about how to make that into a whole sock – something with the same elegance and delicacy of gemstones, but not without some symmetry and a few hard edges, just like gems and jewelry tend to have. After a few attempts, the socks you see here were born. The second pair came easily with a ‘Garnet’ skein of Tanis Fiber Arts fingering weight, and Voila! 14-Karat style.
The pattern is currently available through my Ravelry store only, at a cost of $5.00, but I will be sure to notify you as a print copy sales location becomes available.
This pattern combines a variety of stitch patterns in one – I have a fondnes for twisted stitches, it’s true, but there is also just the tiniest hint of lace and cables. The socks have a lot of long lines which elongate the leg and foot for a very fitted and elegant look. Elements of this pattern are extended into the heel and toe. The instructions do indicate cables through cable needle use, but if you are familiar with cabling-without-a-cable-needle technique you will be able to make use of that here quite well.
Because the instructions rely on a single main chart (repeated over the front and back of the leg), the number of stitches remains consistent for all sizes, achieving sizing instead through changing gauge. I used 2.5 mm needles (gauge of 8.5 sts/inch) for the smaller, ‘Amethyst’ sample, which is shown on a foot/ankle circumference of 8 ins around. The ‘Garnet’, medium sample, is shown on my own feet which have a 9 ins circumference and used a 2.75mm needle (8 sts/inch). Pattern instructions include gauge indications to identify based on your own preferences.
I have written the pattern from the cuff down or ‘top down’ as is my preference, however skilled toe-up knitters will be able to modify this without too much difficulty provided you maintain the integrity of the pattern through the heel and toe. The heel and toe extend elements of the main chart. Additionally, I have indicated instructions for both Magic Loop and DPN (double-pointed knitters). As for myself, I bridge fairly easily now between Magic Loop and DPNs, and enjoy using these in combination on sock patterns that use symmetrical stitch patterns like this. When I worked these I actually used the Magic Loop technique through the heel and then switched back to DPNs for the foot. Suit yourself, dear knitter!
So I think once you’ve finished your own pair of 14 Karat socks and feel the elegance and decadence befitting a sock knitter of your expertise, you should end the festivities with champagne, yes? I mean, once you’ve indulged yourself this far…(and I do mean yourself…save the gift knitting for the second pair, my friends ;) )
I’ll also give a shout-out to my friend Patricia, who received and modelled the smaller ‘Amethyst’ pair and dressed to match for the photo shoot. Those are her sparkly-toed shoes in the cover photo, and doesn’t she look dapper? I could only aspire to such elegance.
As always happy knitting – and go out and get yerself some sock yarn!