Old socks, new socks

My oldest UFO finally has a finished status! These socks are for Matt. The yarn is Opal Sport in color 5103. Sadly, the yarn is discontinued.matt socks-4

It’s about 40% synthetic, which is not the most fun to knit, but I know they’ll last a decade or so. They’re also supposed to help keep the feet at a comfortable temperature, but I’m pretty sure wool has that function anyway. They were steeply discounted at Webs a couple of falls ago, so I decided to give the yarn a try.

As soon as I got them off of the needles on Tuesday night and wove in the ends, Matt slid them on his feet with the greatest satisfaction. He told me that the first time you put on a pair of hand knit socks is always the best. I adore his unbridled excitement for hand knit socks.matt socks-5

This isn’t any particular pattern. It’s my usual recipe for his size 10.5/11 socks. I cast on 32 stitches (16 per needle) with Judy’s Magic Cast On. I increase to 72 stitches, then knit for about 19 cm, start the heel flap and keep it going until about 26 cm, then I do the heel turn. I pick up stitches for the gusset and do mirrored decreases (ssk and k2tog) every other row until I’m down to 72 stitches again. Then I knit until the yarn balls look smaller and smaller and make some 1×1 ribbing. Usually I try to do this when there are at least 5-6 grams left per ball.matt socks-3

A scale that weighs yarn in grams is a great tool for a knitter, especially if you love knitting socks and like to use up every bit of yarn. I decided to match these socks, which I don’t always do with self-striping yarns. When I do that, I wind the ball into two separate yarn cakes (using a ball winder) and unwind each ball until I find the point where it matches. You end up wasting a little yarn, or saving it for repairs or other small projects (depending on how you look at it). I always end up loving the self-striping socks whether they’re an exact match or not. These are no exception.matt socks-6

10 thoughts on “Old socks, new socks

  1. Really liked them. I may have that yarn, I know its the same striping color.

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

  2. He’s so right. There’s nothing like the first time you wear a pair of handknit socks. I’m totally jealous that Matt will wear socks in such fun colours. L loves his handknit socks, but he’s definitely a fan of a more monochrome palette.

  3. Reblogged this on Mama T's Costumery and commented:
    I’m making my second pair of socks at the moment (for the OH without a pattern) and this blog post has summed up what I was looking for in a simple toe up mans sock and couldn’t quite put my finger on in three days of web searching. Shame I didn’t find it sooner, as my heel doesn’t have a flap, and I’ve nearly finished the first sock, but I’m now excited to start the next pair🙂

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