A few years ago a knitting group friend (hereafter referred to as Madame X) was making a design which prominently featured dropped stitches. She passed the pattern (note, the pattern, not her knitting) around the circle. When it reached me, I glanced at the lead picture and rather artlessy -- and loudly -- commented that the dropped stitches looked like stretch marks. Utter silence. Then, of course, riotous laughter followed.
That foot-in-mouth incident has given my friends and I a lot of laughter as the story is told over and over again. I designed these socks to memorialize the gaffe that's become part of our group's history and to humbly apologize for coming anywhere close to criticizing Madame X's stitchery.
The socks feature staggered columns of dropped stitches and come in four sizes. The dropped stitch sections begin and end with a simple cable to keep the stretch mark effect somewhat under control. The instep pattern wraps slightly around the foot and the toe shaping is worked in 2 phases to resolve all the ribbed columns naturally at the center. A left and right version are provided to assure comfort around the toes.
Note: When selecting a size, measure diagonally around the heel -- from the bottom back of the foot up around the top of the instep. This is widest point of the foot. Then, refer to the stretched circumference measurements. Select the size that has the stretched circumference that is closest to the diagonal heel measurement. This will give a sock that is comfortably snug but will still pull on easily around the heel.
FINISHED MEASUREMENTS Circumference, unstretched: 6.25 [7.5, 8.75, 10] inches Circumference, stretched taut (see sizing note above): 9.5[11.5, 13.5, 15.25] inches Foot length: adjustable to fit.
Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock [80% Wool, 20% Nylon; 430 yds /393 m per 100g skein]; Rona; 1 skein. Note: Yardage Estimate: 260[310, 360, 410] yards will allow for an approximate foot length of 8.5[10, 11.5, 13] inches.
Recommended needle size [always use a needle
size that gives you the gauge
listed below -- every knitter's
gauge is unique]
US #1/2.25 mm needles for working in the round
28 sts /40 rounds = 4 inches in Stockinette stitch after light blocking
26 sts /37 rounds = 4 inches in Running Gag pattern after light blocking
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
RT: Working in front, knit second stitch on left needle then knit first stitch, and drop both stitches from the left needle.
RdT: Working in front, knit third stitch on left needle, then knit first stitch, and drop 3 stitches from left needle, allowing the unworked second stitch to unravel.
A video demonstrating the Twisted German Cast on can be found here.
Dropped stitch columns are not comfy over pinky toes. A right and left version of the sock is provided to avoid this issue. The outer-most column of dropped stitches is to be worn at the big toe.
Running Gag Pattern Round A: [K1 tbl, yo*, k1 tbl, p2, k2 tbl, p2] 5[6, 7, 8] times. Round B: [K1 tbl, k1*, k1 tbl, p2, k2 tbl, p2] 5[6, 7, 8] times.
Repeat Round B 9[11, 13, 15] more times. Note: *This stitch is part of the drop stitch column and is not included in stitch counts provided in the pattern. To make unraveling the dropped stitch column less laborious, every few rounds drop this stitch and allow the column to unravel. Then, pick up and knit one of the ladders of the unraveled stitch and proceed with the round as established. Round C: [RdT, p2, RT, p2] 5[6, 7, 8] times. Round D: [K2 tbl, p2, k1 tbl, yo*, k1 tbl, p2] 5[6, 7, 8] times. Round E: [K2 tbl, p2, k1 tbl, k1*, k1 tbl, p2] 5[6, 7, 8] times.
Repeat Round E 9[11, 13, 15] more times. Round F: [RT, p2, RdT, p2] 5[6, 7, 8] times.
One complete pattern repeat is 24[28, 32, 36] rounds.
Using Twisted German Cast On or stretchy cast on of your choice, loosely cast on 40[48, 56, 64] stitches. Join to work in the round taking care not to twist the stitches.
Ribbing round: [K2 tbl, p2] around.
Work Ribbing as set until cuff measures .75[1, 1.25, 1.5] inches.
Cuff Sizing note: as written, the leg of Running Gag will be approximately 5.125[7, 8.125, 9.25] inches long. Adjustments to length must be done at the beginning of the cuff. If adjusting by half a pattern repeat (approximately 1.25[1.5, 1.75, 2] inches) be sure to end the cuff with the round specified in the pattern.
Round 1: [RT, p2] around.
Begin Running Gag Pattern with Round A. Work two complete pattern reps -- 48[56, 64, 72] rounds -- ending with Round F.
Begin Running Gag Pattern with Round D. Work two complete pattern reps -- 48[56, 64, 72] rounds -- ending with Round C.
Heel Flap: Setup row [RS]: Work first 19[23, 27, 31] sts in established pattern (yarn overs are not included in the stitch count). Heel flap is worked over the next 20[24, 28, 32] sts of the round.
FOOT All Sizes Re-establishing Round: Slp wyib, k13[15, 17, 19], pick up and knit 11[12, 13, 14] along the right side of the heel flap, pm, pick up and knit 5 more sts along heel flap, work instep sts in established pattern (for the right sock this will be Round B; the left sock will be Round E), pick up and knit 5 sts along the left side of the heel flap, pm, pick up and knit 11[12, 13, 14] more sts along the left side of the heel flap, k7[8, 9, 10], pm marker for beg of rnd, 66[74, 82, 90] sts, omitting drop stitch columns.
Markers denote start and end of instep; rearrange your stitches as you prefer.
Sizes Small and Large RIGHT SOCK Round 1: K to start of instep sts, [p2, k2 tbl, p2, k1 tbl, k1, k1 tbl] x 3[-, 4, -], p2, k2 tbl, p2, k to end of rnd.
LEFT SOCK Round 1: K to start of instep, p2, k1 tbl, yo, k1 tbl, [p2, k2 tbl, p2, k1 tbl, k1, k1 tbl] x 3[-, 4, -], p2, k to end of rnd.
Sizes Medium and Extra Large RIGHT SOCK Round 1: K to start of instep, [p2, k2 tbl, p2, k1 tbl, k1, k1 tbl] x -[3, -, 4], p2, k2 tbl, p2, k1 tbl, yo, k1 tbl, p2, k to end of rnd.
LEFT SOCK Round 1: K to start of instep, p2, k1 tbl, yo, k1 tbl, [p2, k2 tbl, p2, k1 tbl, k1, k1 tbl] x -[3, -, 4], p2, k2 tbl, p2, k to end of rnd.
All Sizes Continue Here Note: The yarnovers in the previous round set up the drop stitch columns on the sides of the foot -- they will be a couple of rounds shorter than the drop stitch columns in the center of the instep, but the difference doesn't matter in the finished product.
Round 2: Knit to 3 sts before instep, k2tog, k1; work in Running Gag Pattern as established to end of instep; k1, ssk, knit to end of round.
Round 3: Knit to instep; work in Running Gag Pattern as established across instep; knit to end of round.
Repeat Rounds 2 & 3 12 more times, 40[48, 56, 64] sts (omitting drop columns), 10[14, 18, 22] sole sts and 30[34, 38, 42] instep sts.
Work even in pattern as set until foot measures approximately 2.5[3, 3.5, 4] inches less than desired final length, ending on Round C or F of the Running Gag pattern. The closest Round C or F might be a little before or after this point, it need not be precise.
From here, no new dropped-stitch columns will be worked at the sides of the instep.
Ball of Foot: Next round: Knit to instep; work 8 sts in 2x2 rib as established without working new yarn overs, pm, work in Running Gag as established for 14[18, 22, 26] sts (omitting yarn overs from the stitch count), work 8 sts in 2x2 rib as established without working new yarn overs; k to end of rnd.
From this point the 8 sts between the two markers on each side of the instep are worked in straight 2x2 rib. The Running Gag Pattern is continued between the markers at the center of the instep.
Work as established for 11[13, 15, 17] more rounds (one half pattern repeat) ending on round C or F.
If the cable round prior to starting the ball of the foot fell before the 2.5[3, 3.5, 4] inch mark, work in 2x2 rib as established (no new yarn overs) until the sock measures 1.25[1.5, 1.75, 2] inches less than desired final length.
Remove the instep markers before proceeding to the toe.
Work Rounds 2 & 3, then work Round 2 once more. 20 sts.
Round 5: K3, ssk, k2tog, k6, ssk, k2tog, k7. This positions you for grafting.
Graft toe closed.
Be sure all the drop stitch columns are completely unraveled.
Wash and block. Weave in ends.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Jodie is known for her quirky approach to life and knitting. Her knitting group meets at her local public library (aka "the scene of the crime") which graciously puts up with their raucous laughter. She would like to thank Madame X not only for being a tremendously good sport but also for both naming and modeling Running Gag.