Another thing I finished over break. I "designed" the pattern ("designed" in the sense of, "plugged an existing stitch pattern into a more-or-less standard way of making a sock"). I'm going to share a thumbnail sketch of what I did here, in case anyone else wants to do the same, but I don't think the result is grand enough to be made into a .pdf file and put up on Ravelry*
They are based on a standard 64 stitch sock to fit "ladies' medium." If you have larger ankles you might want to go up a needle size as the pattern does not have a great deal of stretch. Gauge is 7-8 stitches to the inch in stockinette stitch in sockweight yarn. A repeat of the knit pattern is about an inch tall. Row gauge in stockinette is about 10 rows to the inch.
I used size 1 double-point needles, which typically give me the gauge I noted above.
I used KnitPicks Stroll "Glimmer" in the color "Frost." But any sockweight yarn will work. I think these took about 375 yards total, I had some left over from each ball.
So here's what I did:
Cast on 64 stitches (I always cast on over two needles held together, and usually use the long-tail cast on. It's more elastic, and casting on over two needles prevents the cast-on from being too tight. Then pull out the second needle and arrange the stitches). I arrange the stitches on four needles, 16 per needle, which gives one repeat of the pattern per needle.
Knit six rows garter-in-the-round (p 1 row, k 1 row)
Then begin the stitch pattern:
Round 1: *k9, yo, k1, yo, k3, slip 1 k2tog psso* You will have four repeats of the pattern, one per needle, if you're using four dpns to hold the stitches
Round 2: knit
Round 3: *k10, yo, k1, yo, k2, slip 1 k2tog psso*
Round 4: knit
Round 5: *k 3 tog, k4, yo, k1, yo, k3, yo, k1, yo, slip 1 k2tog psso*
Round 6: knit
Round 7: *k 3 tog, k 3, yo, k1, yo, k9*
Round 8: knit
Round 9: *k 3 tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, k10*
Round 10: knit
Round 11: *k 3 tog, k1, yo, k1, yo, k3, yo, k1, yo, k4, slip 1 k2tog psso*
Round 12: knit
So, in rounds five and eleven you are establishing the new "feather" either on the left side (11) or the right side (5) of the repeat. It's actually a really easy pattern to get the rhythm of once you've done a repeat or two.
I knit six repeats for the leg, then took the 32 stitches on needles 1 and 4 and knit back and forth for the heel flap, using the *slip 1, k1* across for the right hand side rows, and slip 1, purl to end for the wrongside rows. This is the standard slipped-stitch heel flap. Knit until heel flap is 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches deep.
I then turned a French heel; this is the one that fits me best:
Slip 1, knit 17, slip-slip-knit (a decrease - SSK), knit one, turn
Slip 1, purl 5, p 2 tog, p1, turn
Slip 1, knit up to the gap (that is: it should be knit 6), ssk, knit 1, turn
Slip 1, purl up to the gap, p2 tog, p1, turn
And so on - you knit or purl up to the gap and then decrease across it (if you've knit socks with a traditional flap turned using this method, or the Dutch heel or the V-heel, it should make sense). Work until all the sts have been worked, you should still have 18 heel sts.
Then, knit across the heel (you will have ended with a purl row), and pick up as many stitches as you need along the side of the flap. (I think I did 19; I do one extra pick up right near the instep so that I can prevent a gap). You will be doing round one of the pattern again on needles 2 and 3, the instep needles. (Or you can do just knit plain, if you want the feet plain, like if you're always going to wear these inside shoes).
On round 2, start the gusset decreases: knit up to the last two stitches on needle 1, k 2 tog. Knit across the instep in round 2 of the stitch pattern. On needle four, slip 1 knit 1, psso. I find this prevents a gap at the point where the gusset meets the instep
Round 3: needle 1: knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. Needles 2 and 3: knit round 3 of the pattern. Needle 4: knit 1, SKP or SSK (your choice), knit to end.
Round four: knit the gusset stitches (needles 1 and 4) plain, do round four of the instep.
Repeat the pattern of decreases: decreasing on odd-numbered rounds, knitting plain on even-numbered rounds, until you have 16 stitches on needles 1 and 4 again. Then knit until the sock is 2 1/2" or so shorter than you want it to be. (For me, that was five repeats, plus five rounds just knit plain - I was near the end and didn't want to start a new repeat).
For the toe, I used the way of doing it that I learned from the old Socka pattern books (Ah, the days of the late 90s, back when I was first knitting socks!)
Round1 : needle 1, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. Needle 2: k1, ssk, knit to end. Needle 3: knit to last three stitches, k2tog, k1. Needle 4: knit 1, ssk, knit to end. This is the decrease row.
Rounds 2, 3, 4: knit plain
Round 5: decrease row (as row 1)
Rounds 6, 7: knit plain
Round 8: decrease row
Rounds 9, 10: knit plain
Round 11: decrease
Round 12: knit plain
Round 13: decrease
Round 14: knit plain
Round 15: decrease
Round 16: knit plain
Following rounds: decrease every round until you have 10 stitches on the instep and ten on the sole (or eight, or whatever you fancy, just don't do too many decreases or the toe will be pointy). Then kitchener stitch (graft) the remaining stitches together.
I really like how they turned out; they come to "life" when you put them on:
(*also, there are a few people who snark about "How can you say you 'designed' a pattern when you just plugged in a stitch pattern?" and I just don't want to deal with that. So yeah, once again the nuffers get their way. I would have made it a free pattern, not one you have to pay for. But whatever. If you want to make these and anything's unclear, just e-mail me and I'll explain in more detail).