Th first pattern I picked for my S socks was the Sideways socks from the Sock Yarn one skein wonders book, notice that word first? Remember that, it is important.
I have had the book and yarn for this since Christmas, just waiting for S to roll around so I could make them.
The general idea is you knit a flat piece of knitting, using a provisional cast on in the centre with some increases for the heel, then kitchener the two edges together to make a tube, like this:
Picking up around the edges means you can work a toe and some ribbing for the top and tada! A magic vertical stripe sock.
Except I didn't have the right size needle, or make gauge (when counted on the work, I didn't do a gauge swatch, because, well I never do). So I added a few rows in each section to make a wider bit of fabric before the kitchener bit.
It did seem rather wide when the knitting was done, but I was stuck somewhere with no other knitting and nothing else to do, so I kitchenered it together anyway, that's 300 stitches, or 150 pairs, yup, a lot of kitchener, good job I like it!
Something I like less is this:
That's right, possibly the World's baggiest sock!
I think if I had not added the extra rows it would have been ok, but I didn't have time to pull it apart and rework it for my S socks. This tube of ugh is sitting in time out until I pull it to bits. Unless I NEED the yarn for my A-Z challenge I will have another go at this pattern with the same yarn when I find some time.
I raided my stash bin and Ravelry favourites list to find a second S sock.
Pattern: Shur'tugal by Alice Yu
Yarn: Crazy Zauberball
I like this pattern, but not really in this yarn, You can't see the stitch pattern unless you are right up close. In a solid or semisolid these would be some super socks. It is even non fancy enough that you could use it as a man sock.
The stitch pattern itself is easy to work, twisted stitches are used rather than cabling, which is much faster. I did struggle to memorise the pattern, it is not complicated, but I did need to glance at it at the start of each row to remind me what was needed, this might just be me having a tiny brain fail.
There is a different heel on these, it is a typical flap and gusset (snigger here) but with slipped stitches which make three vertical ridges down the flap. I like it as a technique, but would not do it on a heel, it would be better as a leg design feature. I would just do a normal slipped stitch heel if I made the pattern again.
My attempt at showing you the stitch pattern, see what I mean about the bad pattern/yarn combo choice?
The yarn I love, a lot. In fact it is in the running for my favourite yarn of my A-Z socks. It is much less fluffy that a standard Zauberball, I suspect this is because it is plied, but it makes it much nicer to work with.
The colours are great. Fairly long colour changes and the handspun candy stripe effect are some of my favourites. As mentioned above it is not really ideal for complicated patterns. It might be ok on something lacy but it would be best for a plain vanilla sock, maybe with some ribbing for fit. The colours can do all the work of making an interesting sock with simple knitting.
It should be machine washable, but my macihne is a destroyer of socks so I will not be testing this, I imagine it would be fine in a normal machine that does not have a taste for felting.
Pricewise it is ok, a little more expensive than a standard Zauberball, but cheaper than a lot of sock yarn. I think I paid about £9 and have made socks with lots left for my sock yarn blanket or something else small.
The only downside is that there are the odd fluffy unspun bits, a few thinner sections and one or two bits that are not quite evenly plied so it feels like one plied is wrapped around the other (does that make sense?). This makes it feel more like handspun and is not really an issue, you just knit past it and it all seems to work out in the end.
I have my T socks picked out, they have been in my favourites for ages and hopefully they will be more straightforward than the S socks as I want to get some slipper made too before it gets too cold.