Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ribbon Cable Socks

Ribbon Cable Socks

It's been days, at least, since I last mentioned my obsession with Malabrigo yarn. Therefore I'll this opportunity to say it again: I am obsessed with Malabrigo yarn. Especially this lovely Arroyo fiber, a sport-weight superwash that, for me at least, knit up slightly smaller than gauge. And speaking of gauge, these socks are designed for a sport-weight fiber, but you will, as always with something as finicky as socks, want to check your gauge. And remember that your dpn knitting will probably look better on a thicker fiber knit with smaller needles than the opposite, so I would definitely try to gauge down a slightly larger fiber before I'd try to gauge up a finer fiber. Am I making any sense here? Feel free to hit me up with questions in the comments; in the meantime, let's get to the pattern.

Sizes: adult small (adult medium; adult large) (for the record, small corresponds to the following US shoe sizes: women's 5 - 7 and men's 4 - 6, medium corresponds to women's 8 - 10 and men's 7 - 9, and large corresponds to women's 11 - 14 and men's 10 - 13)

Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo (100% Superwash Merino Wool; 335 yards [305 meters]/100 grams); #046 Prussia Blue - one skein

A better view of the ol' snockerinos.
Not that anybody calls them that.
Needles: One set of double pointed needles in size US 4, cable needle (cn) or dpn for cabling

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch holder or scrap of yarn for holding stitches

Gauge: 24 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette

So let's make some socks! Of course, before we get to that, I should mention that I'm using Ann Budd's delightful Getting Started Knitting Socks (Getting Started series) for the sizing and basic design elements of these socks, as well as a couple of Ribbon Stitch cables from page 245 of Barbara G. Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns for the stitch pattern. And now that that's covered, let's actually make those socks!

First, then, using a Long-Tail or an Old Norwegian Cast-On (for stretch) and your dpns, cast on 48 (52; 56) stitches, divide between 3 dpns as follows: 15, 18, 15 ([17, 18, 17]; [19, 18, 19]), and join in round. And since we're getting straight to the pattern, we'll need the following notation:

fc (front cross): slip 3 stitches to cn and hold in front; k3, k3 from cn

bc (back cross): slip 3 stitches to cn and hold in back; k3, k3 from cn

Furthermore, as a note, our pattern rows will be the same for the small & large socks and slightly different for the medium. I will give the directions for the small and large first, and those for the medium size will appear just below them! As a note, I've given directions as if you're knitting on dpns; if you choose to use the Magic Loop or an eensy-weensy circular, just place markers where your needle ends would be.

For small and large:

Row 1: p1, k2, * p2, k2; rep from * until you reach end of first needle, (p2, k6) twice, p2, on second needle, * k2, p2; rep from * until you're three stitches before end of third needle, k2, p1

Row 2: p1, k2, * p2, k2; rep from * until you reach end of first needle, p2, bc, p2, fc, p2 on second needle, * k2, p2; rep from * until you're three stitches before end of third needle, k2, p1

Rows 3 - 7: p1, k2, * p2, k2; rep from * until you reach end of first needle, (p2, k6) twice, p2, on second needle, * k2, p2; rep from * until you're three stitches before end of third needle, k2, p1

Row 8: p1, k2, * p2, k2; rep from * until you reach end of first needle, p2, fc, p2, bc, p2 on second needle, * k2, p2; rep from * until you're three stitches before end of third needle, k2, p1

Rows 9 - 12: p1, k2, * p2, k2; rep from * until you reach end of first needle, (p2, k6) twice, p2, on second needle, * k2, p2; rep from * until you're three stitches before end of third needle, k2, p1


For medium:

Row 1: k1, * p2, k2; rep from * until you reach end of first needle, (p2, k6) twice, p2 on second needle, * k2, p2; rep from * until you're 1 stitch before end of third needle, k1

Row 2: k1, * p2, k2; rep from * until you reach end of first needle, p2, bc, p2, fc, p2 on second needle, * k2, p2; rep from * until you're one stitch before end of third needle, k1

Rows 3 - 7: k1, * p2, k2; rep from * until you reach end of first needle, (p2, k6) twice, p2 on second needle, * k2, p2; rep from * until you're 1 stitch before end of third needle, k1

Row 8: k1, * p2, k2; rep from * until you reach end of first needle, p2, fc, p2, bc, p2 on second needle, * k2, p2; rep from * until you're one stitch before end of third needle, k1

Rows 9 - 12: k1, * p2, k2; rep from * until you reach end of first needle, (p2, k6) twice, p2 on second needle, * k2, p2; rep from * until you're 1 stitch before end of third needle, k1

Knit rows 1 - 12 until sock measures roughly 4.5" (4.5"; 5") and you've just finished row 1 of the pattern (note: yes! You can totally make these little dudes longer! Or not, it's really up to you). Now, it's time to begin working the heel portion of the sock. With that in mind, k12 (k13; k14). Then, turn work around and, using the same needle, p24 (p26; p28). The 24 (26; 28) stitches you just worked are your heel stitches, so you can go ahead and transfer the other 24 (26; 28) stitches to a stitch holder or yarn scrap to work later. Continuing with your heel stitches, then, we'll knit like so:

Heel Row 1 (right side): * slip 1 stitch purlwise (slip 1) with yarn in back (wyib), k1; rep from *

Heel Row 2: slip 1 with yarn in front (wyif), purl to end of row

Knit heel rows 1 & 2 12 (13; 14) times. Then we'll begin our heel turn, which uses short rows for shaping. So we'll knit the following two transition rows:

Transition Row 1 (right side): k14 (k15; k16), ssk, k1, turn

Transition Row 2: slip 1 wyif, p5, p2tog, p1, turn

And once those two bad boys are done, we'll continue the heel turn as follows. Note that you'll be bridging the gaps made by the turns with your ssk and p2tog stitches, and that wrapping & turning isn't necessary in this instance.

Turn Row 1: slip 1 wyib, knit to one stitch before gap from turn on previous row, ssk, k1, turn

Turn Row 2: slip 1 wyif, purl to one stitch before gap from turn on previous row, p2tog, p1, turn

Knit turn rows 1 & 2 until you've worked all of your heel stitches. If you're knitting the small or the large size, on your final repeat of turn row 1, you will omit the final k1, and on your final repeat of turn row 2, you will omit the final p1. When you're done with this section, you will have (14, 16, 16) stitches remaining on your heel, and it will be time to begin the gusset. With that in mind, we'll knit the gusset set-up row as follows:

Gusset Set-up Row (right side - they're all right side from here on out again!): with first needle, knit across all heel stitches. Then, pick up and 13 (14; 15) stitches along edge of heel flap, placing each stitch in one of your slipped edge stitches, and placing the final picked-up stitch in the corner where the heel meets the top of the sock. With your second dpn, k3 (k4; k5), p2, bc, p2, fc, p2, k3 (k4; k5) across instep. Then, with 3rd dpn, pick up 13 (14; 15) stitches along other edge of heel flap, placing first picked-up stitch in the corner where the heel meets to the top of the sock, and then knit across first 7 (8; 8) stitches from first dpn, so that the round once again begins at the center back of the heel. You should now have 20 (22, 23) stitches on your first needle (or before your first row marker), 24 (26; 28) stitches on your second needle, and 20 (22; 23) on your third.

Complete the gusset set-up row. Now we're ready to work on the gusset, as follows. Make sure to read the directions below the rows carefully, as they will be specific for your size.

Gusset Rows 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, & 11: knit until you have 3 stitches left on your first needle, k2tog, k1; k3 (k4; k5), (p2, k6) twice, p2, k3 (k4; k5) on second needle; k1, ssk, knit until end of third needle

Gusset Rows 2, 4, 8, & 10: knit across first needle; k3 (k4; k5), (p2, k6) twice, p2, k3 (k4; k5) on second needle; knit across third needle

Gusset Row 6: knit across first needle; k3 (k4; k5), p2, fc, p2, bc, p2, k3 (k4; k5) on second needle; k1, ssk, knit until end of third needle

Gusset Row 12: knit across first needle; k3 (k4; k5), p2, bc, p2, fc, p2, k3 (k4; k5) on second needle; k1, ssk, knit until end of third needle

Size small: knit gusset rows 1 - 12, and then knit gusset rows 1 - 4 again. You should now have 12 stitches left on each of your first and third needles

Size medium: knit gusset rows 1 - 12, and then knit gusset rows 1 - 6 again. You should now have 13 stitches left on each of your first and third needles

Size large: knit gusset rows 1 - 12, and then knit gusset rows 1 - 6 again. You should now have 14 stitches left on each of your first and third needles

Complete the gusset rows indicated for the size sock you're knitting. Now we'll continue without decreases, but in the same pattern we've been using, which I'll give again below. Note that you'll begin knitting on row 3 rather than row 1 if you're knitting the medium or large socks.

Body Rows 1, 3 - 7, and 9 - 12: knit across first needle, k3 (k4; k5), (p2, k6) twice, p2, k3 (k4; k5) on second needle, knit across third needle

Body Row 2: knit across first needle, k3 (k4; k5), p2, fc, p2, bc, p2, k3 (k4; k5) on second needle, k1, ssk, knit until end of third needle

Body Row 8: knit across first needle, k3 (k4; k5), p2, bc, p2, fc, p2, k3 (k4; k5) on second needle, k1, ssk, knit until end of third needle

Knit body rows 1 - 12 (beginning on row 3 if you're knitting the medium or large size) until piece measures roughly 7.5" (8"; 8.75") from the back of the heel, or until you're at about 2" (2.25"; 2.25") from your desired finished length. It doesn't so much matter where you are on the pattern, although I finished right after a cable row. Anyway, now it's time to work on the toe decreases, and finish with our pattern. With that in mind, we'll continue like so:

Toe Row 1: knit until 3 stitches remain on first needle, k2tog, k2; on second needle, k1, ssk, knit until 3 stitches remain on second needle, k2tog, k1; on third needle, k1, ssk, knit until end of needle

Toe Row 2: knit

Knit rows 1 & 2 until 24 (28; 28) stitches remain in sock. Then we'll work Toe Row 1 only (no toe row 2!) until only 8 stitches remain for every size. Knit stitches from needle 1 onto needle 3, so that there are only 4 stitches on each of two needles. Use the Kitchener stitch to graft final 8 stitches. Then, tuck in ends, and block. Oh, and make another, if you like your feet to match. :)







10 comments:

  1. These are so pretty! I so wish I knew how to make them! But me and double pointed needles - do NOT get along! One day - I keep saying - one day I'm going to take a class. But not until I can manage the dpn's without looking like a fool!

    Linda in VA

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    1. Dpns can be little beasts, it's true! I haven't ever done the Magic Loop or tiny circulars, though, so they're definitely my go-to for socks. :)

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  2. I've done magic loop twice for other items, but nowadays, I cannot do it to save my life!

    Linda in VA

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    1. I'm curious - did you get ladders with the Magic Loop or not so much?

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  3. I didn't get them very badly (the first two times I was able to actually make something. But I was getting them the next few times I tried! I have watched so many videos and have it in my head how to do it - but by the time I get downstairs and pick up the needles - it is gone - LOL!

    Linda in VA

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    1. I know that feeling! Maybe someday... :)

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  4. Great looking socks! Still a beginner, but I'll have a go when I'm done with all my wips. When I started knitting a couple of years ago I didn't have any needles at all, so buying needles AND yarn became 'a bit' costly. I decided to learn magic loop asap and I did. I have never regretted it - I only had to buy one pair of needles (in wood, one day I will add some in steel too) for every size. I still only have that first 'pair' of 3mm dpns, but I never use it. I do all my in-the-round-knitting using magic loop. It's so easy and practical and I don't have a lot of needles to try to handle - a pain in the beginning. Ladders? When using dpns (as a beginner knitter) I got them - in 4 places. With Magic Loop there were only 2 places I could get them and I still have to keep my tongue right in the mouth with stranded knitting, but otherwise - no ladders. Love it! I do see the problem with making a too tight transition, since one side will be on the cable (the opposite problem of ladders), but I just try to remember to not pull to tight and all is fine.

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    1. I've actually never tried the Magic Loop, but only because I'm lazy and never got around to it. :) Now, of course, all of my circulars are probably too short, so I'd have to rebuy to start!!!

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  5. I love Magic Loop. Just make sure you get at least 36" long circular needles. Longer is better. Also make sure the cable is very pliable. I have a couple of circular needles that have a stiff plastic cable and I never have much success using those. I love bamboo needles and at JoAnne's they have the make your own bamboo circular needles where you buy the cable at tips separately. Then you just screw the desired needles into the cable length you want. Bamboo is a little bit tacky so that yarn is not sliding around super easy. With my old arthritic hands, I need all the help I can get. I only buy circular needles and also use them when I'm knitting flat.

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    1. I just tried the Magic Loop for the first time the other day and agree with you 100%! And I also don't use straight needles AT ALL - although I keep one set around, for fun! :)

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