In the beginning of the year I finished this pair of lace knee socks (lakeside pattern) as part of the Sock Knitters Anonymous January knit along on ravelry. I already fell in love with the pattern a while back but was too intimidated to start them. Surely socks this beautiful are wildly complicated to knit? Well luckily they aren’t. The most complicated part for me turned out to be the hem. Which, just to be clear, is NOT complicated, but compared to the rest of the sock it took me a bit longer to figure out. It features a provisional cast on so that later on the hem can be closed and you can weave an elastic band in it if you wish. Even if you opt not to include the elastic band it still leaves you with a pretty looking cuff, so it is worth the little extra effort it takes, compared to a more boring ribbed cuff.
After seeing the finished result my sister also asked me to knit her a pair. Of course I couldn’t resist her request and it gives me a chance to make a small tutorial on how to get started with these socks. Also she asked if I could use wool-less sock yarn, since the yarn I originally used (Schoppel wolle admiral uni) was a bit itchy against bare legs. I usually don’t have any problems with this, but there are plenty wool-less sock yarn options out there so it is a nice chance for me to try something new as well. In the end I bought 2 skeins of Rico Design superba cotton stretch in colourway 002 (creme). It’ll be nice to see how this yarn knits up and how durable it turns out to be compared to the admiral uni.
I’m knitting these socks on 4 double pointed needles (my trusty Karbonz DPNs in this case). First you will need some contrast waste yarn (around 150 cm will do) and a crochet hook (any size should be fine, the first one I found in my material stash was a 3mm and that worked just fine).
We start with a provisional crochet cast on (click on the image for a larger view):
1. Make a slipknot and place it on your crochet hook. Keep the long tail to your left
2. Place your double pointed needle over the long tail of the waste yarn
3. Move you crochet hook over the needle and grab the yarn
4. Pull the yarn through the loop on your crochet hook
5. Place the tail of the yarn behind the knitting needle again
6. Repeat until you have 76 stitches on your knitting needle
Once you’ve finished casting on be sure to leave a crochet chain at the end and pull the yarn through the last loop on the chain. This is to prevent the cast-on from already unraveling. Don’t worry about it looking messy, you will pull this yarn out again anyway. You should end up with something looking like this.
Now you will have to knit across all stitches, starting on the side of the crochet chain. Once you reach the end of the needle you cast on 4 stitches using the back loop method. This means that you make a loop as shown in image 3, place the loop on your needle(4) and then pull the yarn tight (5). Divide all 80 stitches over 4 needles and join in the round, being careful not to twist the knit work.
Once the work is joined in the round, knit 11 rounds, purl one round and then knit another 12 rounds. It is now times to close up the hem. Fold the provisional cast on inward (2) and pick up the first 20 stitches using an additional DPN (in my case the bamboo needle, picture 3). Now carefully unravel the waste yarn. To close the hem you need to knit together one stitch from the first needle together with on picked up stitch on the second needle. I did this by moving the stitches onto the same needle and then knitting them together (5). Repeat this for 18 stitches, the last 4 stitches are knit separately. Now there are a total of 22 stitches on needle 1. Repeat this for needles 2 and 3. When you get to needle 4 there are only 16 stitches to be picked up. Knit 2 stitches together 14 times and then again knit 4 stitches separately. All picked up stitches are knit and there are 4 stitches left to knit alone. This leaves a hole inside the hem, which is totally fine because this is were an elastic band can be weaved in!
And tadaa, the hem is all done! Isn’t it pretty? Give yourself a big round of applause!
Now you can start knitting from chart A. As I said before, it’s a bit more of a hassle than standard ribbed cuff, but in this case it really finishes of the sock. Happy knitting! 🙂