Tag Archives: Diagonal Cross-Rib socks

finished object: diagonal cross-rib socks

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.

Share this

Christmas knitting update

Hmm… It’s not going too well really. This is how Will’s polka dot socks have ended up:


I spent all day on Sunday trying to get a corrugated ribbing that fitted over Will’s heel without gaping over his ankle, and working out a polka dot pattern that didn’t automagically transform into a polka oval pattern the minute he put it on. Finally I gave up. I’ll come up with an alternative soon…

And Steve’s socks? Well, I decided to use the Nine-to-Five pattern instead of my original choice of Having Hope.  They were looking pretty good, if I say so myself:

Nice stitch pattern, and variegated Malabrigo sock yarn that turned into attractive stripes, instead of pooling nastily as I feared that it would.

A really sturdy heel, knitted with the addition of woolly nylon for strength.

And now?


The problem was that they were just too tight for Steve. I sort of knew this from about the first inch, but carried on anyway, telling myself that all would come right in the blocking.  He very sweetly struggled to get the sock over his heel several times, telling me that ‘no, really, it’s fine!’  – at the same time as the effort of pulling it on caused his face to match the colour of the sock…

I decided to come clean with myself. This is really special yarn, and I want Steve to have a really special pair of socks from it. Just too tight socks, however gorgeous the yarn, are just not what he deserves.

So I’ve started again, this time with a similar but different pattern. This time I’m making the Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks from Interweave’s Favourite Socks. It’s specifically designed for men, and although it has the same number of stitches in a round (70), the leg is worked with a 3.25mm needle, which goes down to 2.75mm for the foot. It is already much looser, and I think it will be fine.

So, I had 6 1/2 weeks to knit six Christmas items (2 mittens and 4 socks), and in 1 1/2 weeks I have completed a grand total of – one. Oh well, all is not yet lost!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Share this