Sock Knitting Master Class Knit-Along: Happy-Go-Lucky Boot Socks

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Top 10 Contributor
Posts 1,489
on Aug 25, 2011 11:38 AM

This is the official forum for the Happy-Go-Lucky Boot Socks from Sock Knitting Master Class by Ann Budd.

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 1,489
on Aug 25, 2011 12:14 PM
Happy-Go-Lucky Boot Socks
My Blackthorn double-point needle set

From Ann Budd:

Last night I started Veronik Avery's Happy-Go-Lucky Boot Socks (page 60 of Sock Knitting Master Class).

These slouchy socks are knitted in sportweight yarn and are therefore a bit heavier than most of the socks in the book. But they will be comfortable with Birkenstocks or Danskos in addition to boots.


My swatch

Starting the cuff

I chose three colors of Louet Gems Sportweight yarn that I have left over from Getting Started Knitting Socks—Aqua (A), Terra Cotta (B), and Ginger (C). The instructions call for 150 yd of each color. I estimate that I've got between 160 and 224 yards of each color so I'm confident that I'll have enough.

Although Veronik used size 2 (2.75 mm) needles for the socks in the book, I'm such a tight knitter, I get the correct gauge with size 4 (3.5 mm) needles. (And yes, I do knit all my sock swatches in the round because that's the way that I knit socks.)

For these socks, I'll use the of Blackthorn double-point needles that I bought at Sock Summit. Actually, I was so taken by them that I bought an entire set of U.S. sizes 0000 to 4.

These needles are made of carbon fiber, which, according to the website, is the same material used in the Boeing 787 Dreamlier and the Blackbird Stealth Jet as well as sporting good that demand strength in a lightweight material.

You might have noticed them in the photo I took of all my Sock Summit loot in my August 7 blog post.

The size 4s are missing from this photo because I've got them in the sock cuff. These needles have short but sharp points and make the most wonderful scratchy sound when the rub against one another—much like pencil on paper.



Top 10 Contributor
Posts 1,489
on Oct 4, 2011 11:13 AM

From Ann Budd:

The weather finally broke here in Colorado and we've enjoyed a couple of days of 70-degree weather. It's perfect for knitting (and sleeping!).
I'm loving Veronik Avery's Happy-Go-Lucky Boot Socks. They are deceptively easy, just what I like in a handknit.
Advantage 1: The ribbing is made up of twisted stitches that form 1/1 cables without need for a cable needle.
Advantage 2: The leg is worked in a slip-stitch pattern in which 4 rows each of two colors are alternated. Instead of stranding yarn, stitches are slipped along the way to form nesting ovals and the illusion of stranded colorwork.
Advantage 3: The slip-stitch pattern gives a lively puckery look to the intentional "slouch" nature of these baggy socks.

For me, the leg went quite quickly, but the heel flap, which is worked in a honeycomb pattern to add reinforcing thickness, took more concentration. The foot knit up quickly, too, because I kept knitting "just 4 more rounds" to see how another band of color would look.

Here's what I did for my socks:

  • I tried working with a set of 5 double-pointed needles as specified in the instructions, but I got annoyed by changing needles so often. I quickly changed to 4 needles with the instep stitches all on one needle and the heel/sole stitches divided equally between 2 needles.
  • I used Louet Gems Sportweight yarn that I had leftover from Getting Started Knitting Socks. I choose two colors similar in value for the leg and foot and a color that "pops" for the cuff, heel, and toe to get a similar look to Veronik's version, although in a much different colorway.
  • I cast-on 4 extra stitches for the cuff (68 instead of 64), because I didn't want the twisted ribs to stretch out as much as the originals.
  • Instead of increasing 2 stitches at the end of the cuff, I decreased 2 stitches to come up with the required 66 stitches for the leg pattern. 
  • Because the legs are slouchy to begin with, I did not use needles one size larger for the top of the leg--the baggy nature of these socks made that unnecessary.
  • My row gauge was a little looser than the originals so I worked fewer pattern repeats for the leg, heel flap, and foot. Because I worked fewer rows in the heel flap, I only picked up 13 stitches for the gussets instead of 15. I decreased down to 60 stitches as indicated by the pattern, which simply means that I worked fewer gusset rounds.
I'm expecting these socks to be perfect house slippers as the temperatures continue to fall over the upcoming months.

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 1,489
on Oct 4, 2011 11:23 AM

From Ann Budd:

Happy-Go-Lucky Boot Socks—Gusset Trick and a Finished Pair
As I was working my way down the leg of the second Happy-Go-Lucky Boot Sock, I got an email from Sharyn Sutherland from down under in Australia. Sharyn has found a fool-proof way to prevent holes from forming at the tops of the gussets and was kind enough to share her discovery with me. The timing couldn't have been better—I was getting ready to start the heel flap on my Boot Sock. And you know what? Sharyn's trick worked beautifully. Here's what I did:

Step 1: A couple of rows before the start of the heel flap, place 3 stitches that correspond with the instep and 3 stitches that correspond with each side of the the heel flap on a coil-less safety pin (I use the little plastic pins from Clover). This keeps the stitches on each side of the heel divide from stretching out as the heel flap is worked.

Step 2: Work the heel flap, heel turn, and gussets as normal. You can probably remove the safety pin after a few rows of gusset decreases, but I left it in for good measure.
Step 3: Remove the safety pins and marvel at how there is no hole to be found. Because the heel flap is worked in a contrasting color for these socks, there was a small hole on the other side where I joined the new color. But once I woven in the end, it disappeared!

I happily went on to finish the second sock of the pair.

Notice how there is a much tidier look to the top of the gusset in the second sock (on the right) than on the first (on the left), where I didn't use Sharyn's trick.

You can bet I'm going to use this simple trick on my next pair of socks. Thank you Sharyn!

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SirBrunhilda wrote
on Nov 6, 2011 12:34 PM

OMG!  I want a set of those needles.  Do you have any idea where to get them?

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