Tag Archives: stepping stones

Husband Socks 2.0

16 Jan

There's about a 2-inch reason I knit more socks for myself than my husband. This is just a quick toe comparison. The socks are aligned at the heel. Keep in mind, his feet are also wider.

Last spring I knit my husband his first pair of hand-made socks. He liked them, but he’s not the type to be overly excited by things like socks, especially handknit socks, which are quite warm and only wearable in the cold, dark times of the year. (At least for him. I wear mine year-round. That’s commitment.)

So I was a bit surprised when I bought some yarn to make him another pair of socks late last fall and he seemed excited. He’d never asked for another pair, never seemed particularly interested in socks I was knitting for other people, and didn’t wear the ones he had very often.

But, with just a touch of encouragement, I was thrilled to make him another pair of socks just in time for those cold, dark days.

The problem was – as it always is with men and knitting – selecting a pattern that was simple enough to respect his masculinity, but interesting enough to keep me engaged. The glorious solution came in the Stepping-Stones pattern from “The Knitter’s Book of Socks” by Clara Parkes. Though I don’t have the book, I did find the pattern for free on Ravelry.

Now, here is an important tip for getting approval on sock patterns for men: Show them an example of the item in the color you plan to knit with. I’ve noticed, similar to obnoxious couples touring homes on HGTV, that men can’t seem to separate the item from its color. So, just like first-time homebuyers walk away from an adorable bungalow because the bedroom is painted chartreuse, men will wrinkle their noses at any pair of socks that aren’t the specific color they want. They don’t see the pattern, they see that exact pair of socks, color and all. It’s frustrating, but I’ve found that color matching my samples is the key to getting the go-ahead on patterns. It was just my luck that the main sample photos for Stepping-Stones are also in a burnt orange color, and Ismael approved.

The simple texture of these socks is a great feature for the knitter and recipient.

These socks are knit with Berroco Comfort DK, purchased on sale from Loopy Knit/Crochet in Missoula, Mont. They are thick and soft and machine washable! I sometimes feel bad for using this yarn all the time, but then I remember there are a lot of reasons for that. 1. It’s vegan (like me!) 2. It’s machine-washable 3. It’s very soft 4. The ball sizes in the fingering and DK weight are perfect for sock knitting. 5. It’s affordable, and for the time being I have a very limited knitting budget.

These socks are knit top-down, with a cuff and leg length of 5.75 inches. I modified the heel flap to a standard slipped-stitch eye-of-partridge heel. The pattern recommended a stranded technique that sounded like a bit of hassle for the same effect I could achieve this way. That’s the only modification I made to the pattern, aside from shortening the leg a bit to accomodate my yarn.

This pattern is a very quick knit and perfect for men. I wish they would embrace lace and intricate travelling stitches, but I just don’t see that happening in the near future.

Ismael seems very happy with his socks, and now has two handknit pairs he rarely wears. All is right with the world.

Coming up: “The Scent of Lavender” and “The Case of the Missing Hexipuff”

Finished socks = happy husband

3 Jan

"Ooo. I finally get another pair of socks."

A day past my deadline, I have finished my husband’s Stepping Stones socks. Details are forthcoming.