I finished the Sneaky Argyle Socks by Wendy D. Johnson. The yarn is ONLine Linie 33 Cosmo in colors 13 (Teal) and 10 (Black). The yarn feels wonderfully soft, and is 70% Merino, 5% Cashmere, and 25% Nylon.
I altered this pattern slightly by making the toes and heels teal. Matt wanted black socks, and was excited about the argyle, but I wanted to add a little more color to make the foot part interesting. These things flew by on the foot part. I think I got to the heel flap and heel turn in one day. I also did them both at the same time, using the magic loop method, so this was a pretty good feat on the feet. Wah wah wah…
The argyle part on the cuff is done using Fair Isle. There are some long floats (10+ stitches), and I was really surprised that the author didn’t mention weaving in the floats so toes don’t catch on them. I read and reread the pattern to make sure I wasn’t missing it, but it’s never mentioned. She recommends this as a good first project for colorwork, but with no mention of how to do floats, I’d disagree. I started learning colorwork with Endpaper Mitts and I think those were a bit easier to make.
Why weave in your floats? When you are doing Fair Isle and carrying one strand of yarn behind the other (aka the “float”), the longer that strand is, the messier the back can become and the more likely you can catch a finger or toe or miscellaneous body part on that strand as you’re putting the garment on. I designed a hat, called Zooey awhile back, and for that pattern it is also best to weave in floats. You can learn more about how to weave in floats here.
I also think that the cuff sizing has to be done very carefully to make sure it can be pulled over the heel. Luckily, Matt was available to me in person to try these on a few times. I ended up going up an extra needle size by the third repeat of argyle to make sure that it would fit over his heel after I read some of the project comments on Ravelry and noticed that many reported sizing struggles.
All in all, I liked that the pattern uses Fair Isle to make the argyle, because I have yet to attempt intarsia. I suppose this is the part that makes them “sneaky” or “faux” because argyle is usually done with intarsia. If you make this your first colorwork project, study up on weaving the floats first. Definitely try these on as you go when you get to the cuff to make sure they fit over the heels. If you want to know how I modified the heel, you can study my Summer Slice or Tuxedo pattern, since I did the heel exactly in the same way for these socks.