These are Steve’s (non-secret!) Christmas present, modelled by Alex. I hope he likes them! Here are the details:
Pattern: Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks, by Ann Budd, in Favourite Socks
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, in colourway Stonechat
Needles: 3.25mm and 2.75mm
Modifications: I added woolly nylon to the heels to make them more sturdy. Other than that, I followed the pattern exactly.
What I learned: How to do the Old Norwegian cast-on. This was fiddly to learn, but is a pleasingly stretchy and unobtrusive cast on.
Notes: I found it quite hard choosing a pattern for this yarn. I’m not really a fan of variegated yarn – I’m such a control freak that the unpredictability of the colour combinations makes me go a bit wobbly! I also dislike how multi-coloured yarns tend to obscure many stitch patterns, and yet how without any stitch pattern there is even less chance of controlling what the colours may choose to do.
I chose this yarn because the colours are so beautiful, and they are also the colours that Steve wears often, so I could be pretty confident that he would like it. And in the end, I think the simplicity of the stitch pattern works reasonably well with the Malabrigo.
As it has turned out, I don’t mind the stripes that have emerged too much. But there are elements to the colour patterns that the perfectionist in me would rather not have. If you look at the bottom photo, you can see that the stripes at the top of the sock are quite narrow; they get broader further down the leg and are broader still on the foot.
This is because the top of the sock is worked in larger needles to accommodate manly calves. After a few inches you change to the smaller needle. The slightly smaller circumference is what causes the broader stripe. Then on the foot, the circumference is smaller again, as the cable pattern takes up more yarn than stocking stitch in which the underside of the foot is worked.
However, moaning and control-freakery aside, I adore the Malabrigo sock yarn. Over the Christmas break I plan to finish off my Lacy Cable Stockings (also in Malabrigo) so that I have them ready to wear in the New Year.
I’ve been itching to cast on with my Stonechat since you started these, but have to admit to thinking “I’ll just let Anna get any pooling issues sorted out for me beforehand!” I am sneaky yes? 😀
I have no worries now – they are fab!
These are great! It can be quite a challenge to find a perfect pattern for these variegated yarns, but I think this works well here. I used the same pattern once with a pretty bold self-striping yarn and it provides that something extra required.
Lovely! I agree, sometimes its hard to find the right pattern when the wool is going to do its own patterning thing too. I think you picked a great pattern though, these look great. I am sure he will just love them
Have a great Christmas Anna, xx
Those look great! I think they’re perfect. And I’m pretty picky about what variegated yarns do. Winner!
Gorgeous! He’s going to love them!
oh, that’s a great combination of yarn and pattern! they work so well together!
Wow they look so good! So very good. It’s so great to see a pair of manly socks NOT knit plain. I approve whole heartedly!
They are really nice! You getting there with your christmas knitting- yeay!!!
I have a love hate relationship with varigated yarns… on one level i adore them on another, there is the mentioned pattern story. I tend to spend much more time trying to get the effect i want when i have a multicolour yarn… which i think defeats the purpose of them ;), but i still buy them, just like you i get drawn in by their colours 😀
hope you better!?
They are beauties, lovely yarn.
Those are gorgeous! What a great colorway and pattern. I love the colors and the striping….very nice!
Most excellent socks.
I think they look wonderful – a great matching of colour and pattern, I’d say!
I’m sure they’ll be worn with pride and love
Merry Christmas xo
You have chosen the pattern really well for the yarn (as always!!) – most excellent socks. Hope you have a fabulous Christmas.
Great color and pattern. I usually pick plain yarn for a fancy pattern and vice versa but these are a really good mix. Steve will love them.
Those socks are lovely! Have a wondeful holiday!
oh, i think they work just great, and i have the same issues when it comes to variegated yarn. i’m sure steve will love them. happy holidays!