Even in my knitting bag 🙂
This past week I continued on in soxual experimentation with my first pair of top down socks. As previously mentioned, I have been trying out different sock-knitting methods, and all my previous attempts have been toe up, for a variety of reasons.
These socks are the results of a Jimmy Beans Wool KAL, the Shark Bite II sock KAL. The pattern, which you can see if you follow the above link, is by Lara Smoot, who has also done another much-admired Shark Week-related sock pattern, Shark Bite. The yarn is by Lorna’s Laces, and I believe was exclusive to Jimmy Beans. They may have a few skeins left, but maybe not – they were mostly gone last I looked. However, if you have an interest in knitting these, a casual Google search for shark related yarn will turn up a bunch of similar-ish options.
Anyway, the socks! I don’t have cable, so I bought this year’s season of Shark Week on Amazon and got knitting. I started with a stretch half-hitch cast on, which produced a stretchy upper edge. Pretty much right after that I started messing with the pattern. About halfway down the ribbing, you are supposed to go to alternating the Lorna’s yarn with your plain white yarn. But I know that colorwork can make knitting less stretchy, and I do not have thin legs. So I kept it plain. All the while, learning about sharks in the background.
Next, the pattern has all three rows of fins circling in the same direction, but I wanted mine a little more dynamic than that, so I recharted the middle row to mirror the first and third rows. Still more sharks on TV. Now I’m watching idiots swim in a shark vortex with no cage.
Finally, I thought just a tiny bit more bling was in order, so I added on some red beads, just in the colorwork bands, for a little more sharky flair. From there on, there was a heel construction that was new to me, which went OK and which feels pretty comfortable on my foot. Last night we rented Jaws, which I had never seen, and I did the toe shaping and the final Kitchener stitch toe closure to the end credits. Whew!
So they are cute, and they fit more or less OK. Am I a convert to top down? No. And I’ll tell you why. Although as it turned out, I have a fair amount of yarn left, I had a bit of stress the whole time about whether I was going to have enough yarn to get them done. I know you can just use other yarn. Also, I really like being able to try them on while I’m knitting to make sure the fit will be right. Which you can do top down, kind of, but not really. So end result – if I really, really love a top down pattern that is going to be too hard to reverse engineer, I won’t let it stop me. But if I can go toe-up, I will. However, for all my grousing, I like these socks! One more view…