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Handknitted Socks Tour France (vicariously)

Jul 30, 2012

I’m a big fan of the Tour de France: the British accents of the commentators, the gorgeous helicopter views of the chateaux, and the unique but complex strategies for winning all keep me glued to the television in July.

Unfortunately, it’s also incredibly hot this July in Colorado, so my Tour projects need to be small and cool—what better than a pair of socks? So I returned to my Up + Down Socks from Simply Sockupied and made a few tweaks.

The Up + Down Socks, pre-blocking.
True confessions: These socks were already a work in progress, so the toe uses Judy’s Magic Cast-on instead of the garter-stitch short-row toe from Simply Sockupied. However, the garter-stitch short-row heel was a wonderful fit.

When it came time for the ribbing, I was too caught up in watching to work a standard knit/purl rib, so I worked a garter rib instead:

Garter Rib

Multiple of 2 sts

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: [K1, p1] to end.

Rep Rnds 1–2 for desired length.

It makes a little beady texture on my calf, but it has a lovely look. 

I also used a sewn bind-off for a little extra stretch and because I thought it looked nice with the garter rib. We covered this bind-off for toe-up socks in the Spring 2011 issue of Sockupied, and I’m going to share it with you here. You can also watch Eunny Jang demonstrate this bind-off on YouTube.


Invisible Sewn Bind-off

You will need: A tapestry needle and a yarn tail 4 times the circumference of your sock.

1. Thread the tail onto a tapestry needle.

2. Insert the tapestry needle knitwise (kwise) into the second stitch on the left needle and pull the yarn through to the back. Insert the tapestry needle purlwise (pwise) into the first stitch on the left needle (Figure 1), pull the yarn through to the front, and transfer this stitch pwise to the right needle. Repeat this step once more (Figures 2 + 3).

3. Insert the tapestry needle kwise into the second stitch on the left needle and pull the yarn through. Insert the tapestry needle pwise into the first stitch on the left needle and pull the yarn through (Figure 4). Drop the first stitch off the left needle. Repeat this step until 2 stitches remain.

4. Insert the tapestry needle kwise into the second stitch on the left needle and pull the yarn through. Drop both stitches off to the left needle.

The Up + Down Socks, post-blocking.
Detail of the garter rib cuff.
Because I worked on these over a period of several months, the tension's a little uneven. I decided to block them. Blocking socks makes them look gorgeous and flat, but it can give them kind of a crease right down the middle, so I don't always do it.

Blocking socks is really easy with the right tools. Just slip the socks on the sock blockers, get them damp somehow, and let them dry. (That's really easy in the warm, dry climate here!)

Next up, darning in the ends... Thank goodness there are only two per sock.

What have you been knitting in the summer heat?

Enjoy,


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