Sock Mathletics


Crusoe in Progress

Originally uploaded by limonene.
After slightly over a year of knitting socks, and 8 toe-up pairs, I decided that it’s time to attempt knitting a cuff-down pair. I’m knitting Crusoe from Knitty, in Socks That Rock mediumweight. (Full disclosure: this is my second attempt at cuff-down socks. My first try was with Colinette Jitterbug, and I was getting frustrated with the strange flashing and pooling that I was getting, so I switched over to toe-up. Those socks are slightly too big anyway, and the heels are pilling after one wearing. I might just rip them out and start over with another pattern with a thicker heel and not worry about getting the pretty spiral effect.)

Now, knitting cuff-down has required me to do something else that I’ve never done with socks before: plan ahead. No more casting on stitches and increasing until it fits my toes, then knitting until it’s time for a short-row heel, and finally knitting the cuff until I run out of yarn or patience, whichever happens to come first. I’ve been told that this strategy doesn’t work out so well when you’re going cuff down, unless you’re OK with making legwarmers with heels. Enter the math. I’ve made footie socks out of one skein of Lorna’s Shepherd Sock and had a bit to spare, so I figure that if I leave myself 107 yards, I’m definitely in the clear. A quick back of the envelope calculation tells me that this is approximately 44 grams of the yarn, weighed out on the lab scale and the other 34 grams for the cuff. But then again, the STR is a lot thicker than Lorna’s, so I could even leave less, if I really feel like pushing the limits. I’m thinking of swapping out the heel in the pattern for Eye of Partridge, though, and maybe that’s enough adventure and improvisation for one pair of socks.

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