Saturday, October 18, 2014


It seems that a heap of people I know are currently taking part in #operationsockdrawer on Instagram, and it's made me take stock of the current status of my own sock supply.

I sorted out my favourites, the ones in high wardrobe-rotation, and then did a good cull of those I no longer wear (for varying reasons; too big, too old, wrong colours).  I was left with about 5 pairs of socks which obviously is not nearly enough, so I went through my sock yarn stash and it seemed there was also a serious shortage of good sock yarn! 

That wasn't hard to rectify (ahem) and now the coffers are well and truly replenished,  I was able to select with delight a super-bright skein of Colinette Jitterbug in the "Paintbox" colourway and cast on.

I posted a progress photo of these socks on Instagram recently, with the caption "Nothing even remotely tasteful about these socks. Or subtle. I love them"  

And I still do.

They are just complete *fun*, and the pops of all the 1980's highlighter colours were a joy to knit.

I deviated from my normal 64st vanilla sock pattern for these, instead using the Madder socks from Nancy Bush's excellent book "Knitting Vintage Socks".  I really do love this book, with all the wealth of information and history contained within it's pages, but to date I have possibly read it more than I have knitted from it.

The Madder pattern uses a Dutch or Horseshoe Heel and a Pointed Toe, so I thought it was a good opportunity to try something different and see if I liked it.

The upshot was I didn't.  Well, I didn't like all of it.

The Dutch heel is, as the alternate description implies, quite horseshoe shaped which I found too boxy for my heel.  It also pooches a bit, despite blocking.  Add to this the fact that the heel flap is knit in stocking stitch rather than a slip stitch, and overall; it's a heel that I don't like and don't think is going to wear particularly well. 

I've done Pointed toes just recently and again, they aren't my favourite, so rather than add a non-favourite toe to a non-favourite heel I decided to go with my usual decrease-either-side front-and-back method.  It fits my stubby little toes rather well.

I find Jitterbug a really "plump" sock yarn, does anyone else think this?  I usually get a result somewhere between a fingering weight and a sport weight when I knit it on 2.5mm needles, so the Madder pattern (60sts) was probably a bit big too, not helping it's cause.

If I go down a needle size I don't like the fabric though - too stiff.  I think next pair I might try a 54-56st, see if I get a snugger fit.  As I said though - these are destined for house socks so the roominess doesn't really matter.  I probably should have worked the leg and foot in the suggested rib, if we're being honest.

It's always good to try something new though, and with my mods and different gauge, it's probably best to take this review of Madder socks with a grain of salt!

1 comment:

rebecca said...

Luffly colours...we know, we were there! Socks seem simple but they are not are they? Everytime i change patterns i need to resize. My bullet proof pattern is Hermonie's Everyday Socks but i wouldlike to get Sock Architecture to understand the actual alchemy and make socks that fit everytime.