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Socks for him, finally!

Oct 10, 2011

Border Socks by Mary Jane Mucklestone, from the Fall 2011 issue of Interweave Knits
My brother, Jeff, has always been very fashion-conscious. He spent more time in front of the bathroom mirror than my my sister and I together, and he had short hair. (Except in the 80s when he had a righteous mullet!)

Anyway, I've knitted him several hats that he's loved and a couple of scarves, but never any socks. I just haven't found any that I thought fit his classic yet fashion-forward attitude.

I think I've finally found the perfect pattern, though! They're the Border Socks by Mary Jane Mucklestone, from the Fall 2011 issue of Interweave Knits. I love the masculine look of these, sort of business-casual for men.

They're easy, too, with just the right amount of colorwork to keep them interesting, which is a good thing when you're knitting for a guy's size 14 foot!

The Border Socks are made up of Fair Isle peerie patterns (small patterns usually used as fill-ins in larger Fair Isle motifs) across the cuff, a wide rib foot, and a coordinating chocolate toe.

Mary Jane's colorwork pattern is really attractive. You can choose lots of different colors, too.
Work this sock in colors as bright or as subdued as you like—just remember to use a dark shade, a light shade, and a shade in between.
I think my brother might like the grays, maybe with a little bright blue thrown in. I'm going to ask him if he likes the pattern and get his approval on colors before I start the socks, though—that's too much knitting if he's not going to wear them!

I'm so taken with the Fair Isle pattern, even if Jeff doesn't like the pattern, I'm going to put them on my list. Maybe I can knit them in sport-weight yarn so they'll fit my size 7-1/2 feet!


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Amontillada wrote
on Oct 26, 2011 6:39 PM

What is it about men and hand-knit socks?  One problem may be that many yarns for hand knitting are too bulky to fit in the shoes one wears every day. My husband loves knitwear, such as watch caps and fisherman sweaters, but because his feet are sweaty and he's hard on his socks, he'd rather wear cotton socks that he can buy in bundles.

On the other hand, he likes the socks I knitted for him to wear in the house or camper, with his slippers. Maybe some other men would go for this idea. If the guys want to avoid bright colors, go for something muted, like navy blue or forest green.

Another idea--if he's a sports fan, knit socks in the colors of his favorite team! I did this several years ago for Christmas gifts for several members of my family. That reminds me, I need to see if a couple of kids have outgrown their socks. Because they have family rooms at or below ground level, I used worsted yarns to make heavy socks they could wear to pad around.

on Oct 24, 2011 2:42 PM

Oh, my gosh! I messed up on the designer's name, and Mary Jane is one of my favorites! It's "Mucklestone" not "Muckleshoot." There's a reason I made this mistake, though it's pretty lame. There's a casino near Seattle that I used to go to to play the occasional Bingo game, and it's called the Muckleshoot Casino. There it is. Sorry, Mary Jane!

on Oct 18, 2011 9:02 PM

I also have a husband and son who would not wear this sock pattern. I have hunted the internet for a simple men's sock pattern. Why is it so hard to find a pattern for men's work/hunting/boot sock? Also many sock yarns are not masculine men colors . I love to knit but don't have time to design my own pattern after measuring their feet. I prefer to spend my time knitting not trying to figure out my own pattern.  Could someone submit a simple men's sock pattern. lystover

mauserati wrote
on Oct 10, 2011 5:39 PM

As someone with a few noticeable "figure flaws", I usually alter patterns and even purchased items for more flattering fit.  It's still a real challenge with knitting patterns.

I'm wondering about the author's comment to make a smaller version by using sport-weight yarn. Are the originals knit in worsted or Aran weight? They don't look that thick, especially in the patterned section.

SashaCameron wrote
on Oct 10, 2011 10:52 AM

I love these socks. I'm making them in a bright purple for my little sister. They are just her style, knowing her she'll wear them to school with shorts and Berkenstocks so everyone can see them. ChristineS@18, I know what you mean about the socks. My dad would probably wear them at home on the weekend, but my husband definitely would not. He said "those are cute" when I showed them to him, as in cute for me to wear.

klbucci wrote
on Oct 10, 2011 9:21 AM

Love these!  I will definitely make them, and perhaps for myself as well!

on Oct 10, 2011 9:14 AM

I hate to say it but "socks for men"?  Uh.  No.  I asked my husband (56) and son (34) if they'd like these socks and was met with hysterical laughter from my son and "I wouldn't wear those on a bet!" from my husband.  The response from my son was expected, but when even my husband reacted so vehemently to them, I knew my gut reaction to the socks was spot on.

How about some socks real men - as opposed to paid-to-wear-them models sitting around a hunting lodge - would wear?

LGayle wrote
on Oct 10, 2011 8:39 AM

The designer of these socks is Mary Jane Mucklestone, not Muckleshoot.