Knitting Vintage Socks has been on my wishlist for quite some time now, and I finally gave in and bought it for myself. While there are several patterns in the book that I could see myself knitting, it was really the Evening Stockings for a Young Lady (Ravelry link) that finally did it for me. These stockings are beautiful; every time I see another pair completed, I want to knit them for myself. For those of you without a Ravelry account, here’s a link to a picture of the socks on Flickr. And here’s another, showing the delightful calf shaping. I love how the ribbing goes down into the heel flap, and the ‘seam stitch’ formed by purling down the center.
Disappointingly, many of the patterns seem to be one-size-fits-anyone-but-Pirate, so I expect that I’ll have to make some adjustments to get a proper fit. Extending the length of a sock foot is easy enough, but what does she mean by “fits a size 7 foot”? Is she referring to length or width there? Swatching will almost certainly be a necessity for most, if not all, of the stitch patterns. I’m not a fan of the “just go up a needle size” theory of enlarging socks, but I can figure out where stitches can be added to or subtracted from a pattern to make it slightly larger or smaller, and I’m not afraid of tinkering with a pattern to get it to fit well, whether the adjustments need to be in length or width. Hooray for intrepid knitting!
There are other patterns in the book that I’d like to knit as well, but I think the Evening Stockings will come first. (After I’ve worked through some of the patterns that I’ve already queued up, I mean.) I’ve been really into the idea of kneesocks lately, even though I know they will take forever to knit, and there are several patterns in this book that fit the bill.
The book includes a variety of heels and toes, with detailed instructions on how to make them. This will definitely come in handy when I’m designing more of my own sock patterns! I think the only other sock book that is missing from my shelf (for now) is Cookie A.’s Sock Innovation. I’m not as into the patterns in Cookie’s book, but its real value is in the wealth of information about designing socks.
In actual knitting news, the Timey-Wimey sock is coming along. Although the Felici yarn doesn’t travel well at all, I’ve brought it with me today to keep me occupied during the farewell lunch that we’re having for a co-worker. We’re a fairly large group, and whenever we go out to lunch together it seems to take forever to get everyone drinks, take orders, and bring out the food. My co-workers might look at me funny for knitting while we wait, but I’m glad to have something to do with my hands that doesn’t involve eating large quantities of breadsticks!