Saturday, August 05, 2006


I finished the second Fixation Bulky sock a few hours ago and he's been happily wearing them since. I had him try them on for size and to my absolute delight they're a smashing success.

I'd take a photo but I'm too lazy to dig up the camera and go into the other room to capture his feet. (Besides, he's watching ROAD HOUSE 2 and there's no way I'm going to be in the same room as ROAD HOUSE 1, 2, 3, or 197!)

The thing I love most about knitting socks is that once you understand the basic architecture, you're freed forever from patterns. Any yarn, any needle, any size. You can make it work if you know the measurements you're looking for in a sock and your gauge.

Here is the recipe for man's socks in Fixation Bulky for size 11 feet:

4 balls FIXATION BULKY (discontinued) in Black
Addi Turbo #4 circular

NOTE: I'm a Magic Loop knitter

Cast on 48 stitches. Divide them any way you want to according to the # of needles you're using. I use the long tail cast-on w/o a slip knot. I do that little twisting thing for the first stitch then start long tail.

2" of K2P2 ribbing

Move on to knit every row for 9" of leg (including the ribbing)

Begin your heel flap on 24 stitches. I alternate a row of SL1 K1 with a row of SL1 P across until the heel flap is square. My heel flap is 4 inches square.

Turn your heel. On 24 stitches I work as follows: SL1, K13, K2TOG, K1, TURN

NEXT ROW: SL1, P until you are 10 stitches left then P2TOG, P1, TURN

You will have 7 stitches left on either end of the needle

The next part is where it helps to know how to read your knitting. (Or have an author who can actually write a pattern.) SL1 K up to the last stitch before the gap. Knit the stitch before the gap and the stitch after the gap together, K1, TURN

Same with the next row except you're SL 1, then P stitching

Repeat until all of the stitches are properly used up.

(I'm not being terribly clear, am I? There are some wonderful resources on the web and I promise I'll try to clean this up tomorrow when my brain isn't fried.)

Now it's time to pick up your gusset stitches. You know how you work best so I'm not going to tell you how to do it. I'm also not going to give you a # of stitches to pick up. Let your eyes tell you that. I always pick up 2 extra stitches at the corner and then compensate for it later when we're decreasing across the instep. It eliminates that deadly gap that sometimes occurs.

Anyway, pick up your gusset stitches on both sides then rearrange your stitches on your needles in whatever way pleases you. Start your decreases, alternating a decrease row with a plain knit row.

How I decrease using Magic Loop:

Needle 1: holds heel stitches and gusset stitches (it can be a bit bulky to work with but this is what feels comfortable to me)
Needle 2: holds the 24 instep stitches we were holding while we worked the heel


Needle 1: K2 SSK K until you have 4 stitches left on needle then K2TOG, K2
Needle 2: K


Needle 1: K
Needle 2: K

Alternate rounds 1 and 2 until you have 24 stitches on each needle.

After awhile you'll find yourself once again with 48 stitches on your needles, arranged in the way that you like. Knit plain until you are about 2 inches away from where you'd like the toe to end.

Now here's the fun part: a round toe!

Row 1: K
Row 2: K
Row 3: K4 K2TOG all the way around
Row 4: K
Row 5: K
Row 6: K
Row 7: K
Row 8: K3 K2TOG all the way around
Row 9: K
Row 10:K
Row 11:K
Row 12:K2 K2Tog all the way around
Row 13:K
Row 14:K
Row 15:K1 K2Tog all the way around
Row 16:K1
Row 17:K2 Tog all the way around

Break off the yarn, leaving sufficient tail to close the toe and weave in the end. You know how to close the toe, right? Thread a tapestry needle, slide it through the eight remaining stitches and pull tight.

The measurements that work for me with this sock are:

CUFF: 2"
LEG: 9" (inc cuff)
HEEL FLAP: 4" square
FOOT: 12" heel to toe (6" from end of gusset decs to start of toe)(8.25" from end of gusset decs to tip of toe)
TOE: 2.25" from start of toe decreases to tip

I apologize for the chatty, unclear messiness of this pattern but I have a chatty, unclear messy mind.

And a pair of finished socks!

Pictures tomorrow.



Blogger LauraP said...

From your chatty, unclear, messy mind to mine. I'm inspired to give them a try.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Laura, I've found only one source for Fixation Bulky: Little Knits. I made a similar black sock for my husband earlier this year in black Sirdar Highlander. I think that was on #5US Addis with a 44 c/o.

1:57 PM  

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