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Pick Up Sticks

According to the online Encyclopedia Brittanica, a Thunderbird is "a powerful spirit in North American Indian mythology in the form of a bird that watered the earth and made vegetation grow. Lightning was believed to flash from its eyes or beak, and the beating of its wings was thought to represent rolling thunder."

In honor of this spirit which often manifests in the wet winter months here in the Pacific Northwest, and with a bow to the great Barbara Walker, I used the Thunderbird pattern from Volume 1 of the Treasury for these socks, which are sized for women's medium and baby.

The socks are worked from the top down and hemmed, one of my favorite ways to start top-down socks. Although kind of a fiddly technique, there is something very satisfying about making socks without any cast on edge to bind at the top. The Thunderbird pattern causes a subtle slouch effect because of the natural pleating of the knit/purl pattern. The garter rib stitch used on the leg and foot is soft but form fitting, resulting in very comfortable, squishy socks.

photos: Burt Harding

SIZE

Woman: Fits an average woman's foot
Baby: 8-12 month old baby’s foot

 
FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Leg Length
Woman: 5.5 inches from top of cuff to ankle
Baby: 4 inches from top of cuff to heel

Foot Length
Woman: To fit
Baby: 3.5 inches

 
MATERIALS

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock [80% superwash wool, 20% nylon; 215yd/197m per 50 g skein]; Color: Gold Hill; 2 skeins
Note: 2 skeins of this yarn is enough for both Woman's and Baby's socks. If you use a yarn which has less yardage, you may need a third skein if you want to make both pairs of socks.

2 US #1/2.25 mm circular needles, any length; 24-inch is recommended
Crochet hook (used for Crochet Cast On)
Smooth waste yarn
Seed beads, size 8/0 - 280 (140 for each sock) for women's socks, 168 (84 for each sock) for baby socks. Sample socks used metallic gold iris 8/0 beads available from Earth Faire
Dental floss threader or big-eye beading needle
Stitch markers
Tapestry needle

GAUGE
36 sts / 52 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch, worked in the round
 
PATTERN NOTES

[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here]

Crochet Cast On:
Using waste yarn, work a crochet chain several sts longer than the number of sts to be cast on. Starting 1 or 2 sts in from end of chain and using working yarn, pick up and k 1 st in the back loop of each ch until the required number of sts have been worked.

When the hem is turned, stitches from the CO will be worked together with the sts on the needle. This may be done in several ways:

1. The waste yarn can be removed and the resulting live sts placed on spare needles, which are held to the back of the work, then each st from a working needle is worked together with a corresponding st from a spare needle.

2. The waste yarn crochet chain can be gradually unravelled as the row is worked, with each loop of the chain being released as the stitch it holds is worked together with a stitch from the needle.

3. The cast on stitches may be worked together with the stitches on the needle before the crochet chain is removed, and the chain may be unravelled afterwards. If you choose to use this method, it is advisable to first practice on a swatch.

Working with Two Circular Needles
This project is worked in the round using 2 circular needles. If you are unfamiliar with this technique, instructions may be found here.

Beaded Welt
Round 1: P all sts.
Round 2: P1, [B, p2] to last st, B, p1.
Round 3: P all sts.

Thunderbird Pattern (Worked in the round over a multiple of 14 sts):

Rounds 1-2: K all sts.
Round 3: [K1, p6] to end.
Round 4: [K1, p5, k3, p5] to end.
Round 5: [K1, p4, k5, p4] to end.
Round 6: [K1, p3, k7, p3] to end.
Round 7: [K1, p2, k9, p2] to end.
Round 8: [K1, p1, k11, p1] to end.
Round 9: [P1, k13] to end.
Rounds 10-11: K all sts.
Round 12: [K1, p6] to end.
Round 13: [K2, p5, k1, p5, k1] to end.
Round 14: [K3, p4, k1, p4, k2] to end.
Round 15: [K4, p3, k1, p3, k3] to end.
Round 16: [K5, p2, k1, p2, k4] to end.
Round 17: [K6, p1, k1, p1, k5] to end.
Round 18: [K7, p1, k6] to end.
Rounds 19-20: K all sts.

Garter Rib (Worked in the round over a multiple of 4 sts):
Round 1: [K2, p2] to end.
Round 2: K all sts.

Grafting
Instructions for grafting can be found here.

B:
Place Bead as follows: Slide a bead as close as possible to right needle, before working the next stitch. When the next stitch is worked, the bead will be positioned on the horizontal strand which lies between two stitches. When working the the beaded rounds, you may have to leave a bead between needles. This works fine - just try to snug the stitches up as best you can.

DIRECTIONS

Woman's Sock
Use dental floss threader or big-eye beading needle to thread 140 beads onto one ball of yarn. Push the beads down the yarn as you work, until they are needed.

Using Crochet Cast On, CO 70 sts. Place 35 sts on each of two circular needles and join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist.

K 10 rounds.

Work Beaded Welt.

Work Rounds 1-10 of Thunderbird Pattern.

Turn Hem
Fold hem along beaded round to WS of work. Work each st from the CO edge together with a st on the needle (see Pattern Notes).

Work Beaded Welt.

Work Rounds 10-20 of Thunderbird Pattern.

Work Beaded Welt.

Work Rounds 1-11 of Thunderbird Pattern.

Work Beaded Welt.

K 1 round.
Next Round
: [K9, k2tog] 6 times, k4. 64 sts.
Work in Garter Rib until work measures 3 inches from last Beaded Welt, ending with Round 2 of Garter Rib pattern.

Heel Flap
Slip first 2 sts of second needle to end of first needle. 34 sts on first needle. Heel flap will be worked back and forth on these 34 sts, which should begin and end with 2 knit sts. Sts on second needle remain on hold for instep.

Row 1
[RS]: Sl 1, k1, [p2, k2] to end.
Row 2
[WS]: Sl 1, p to end.
Repeat these 2 rows 16 times more. There are 17 slipped sts along each side edge of the heel flap.

Turn Heel
Row 1 [RS]: K19, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 2 [WS]: Sl1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 3 [RS]: Sl1, k6, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 4 [WS]: Sl1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 5 [RS]: Sl1, k8, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 6 [WS]: Sl1, p9, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 7 [RS]: Sl1, k10, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 8 [WS]: Sl1, p11, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 9 [RS]: Sl1, k12, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 10 [WS]: Sl1, p13, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 11 [RS]: Sl1, k14, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 12 [WS]: Sl1, p15, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 13 [RS]: Sl1, k16, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 14 [WS]: Sl1, p17, p2tog, p1. 20 sts remain.

Gusset
Using first needle (Needle 1), k all heel sts, pick up and k 17 sts (1 st in each slipped st) along side edge of heel flap and 1 st in space between top of heel flap and held instep sts, place marker, work first 15 instep sts from second needle (Needle 2) in Garter Rib as set; using Needle 2, work remaining instep sts in Garter Rib as set, pick up and k 1 st in space between instep sts and top of heel flap, and 17 sts along side edge of heel flap, k first 10 heel sts from Needle 1. This point (center of heel) is now the beginning of the round. 86 sts; 43 sts on each needle.

Round 1: K to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k1, work in Garter Rib to end of Needle 1; work in Garter Rib to marker, k1, ssk, k to end of Needle 2.
Round 2
: Work all sts in patt as set.
Repeat these 2 rounds 10 times more. 64 sts; 32 sts on each needle.

Continue working in patt as set until work measures 2 inches less than desired length.

Toe
Decrease Round: K to 4 sts before marker, k2tog, k2, ssk, work in patt to end of Needle 1; work in patt to 2 sts before marker, k2tog, k2, ssk, k to end of Needle 2.
K 1 round.
Repeat these 2 rounds 8 times more, removing markers on last row. 28 sts remain; 14 sts on each needle.

K first 7 sts of Needle 1. Slip last 7 sts of Needle 1 to Needle 2, and last 7 sts of Needle 2 to Needle 1. Pass the st at each end of each needle over the stitch next to it; 12 sts remain on each needle. Graft sts on Needle 1 to sts on Needle 2. Proceed to Finishing.

Baby's Sock

Use dental floss threader or big-eye beading needle to thread 84 beads onto one ball of yarn. Push the beads down the yarn as you work, until they are needed.

Using Crochet Cast On, CO 56 sts. Place 28 sts on each of two circular needles and join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist.

K 8 rounds.

Work Beaded Welt.

Work Rounds 2-9 of Thunderbird Pattern.

Turn Hem
Fold hem along beaded round to WS of work. Work each st from the CO edge together with a st on the needle (see Pattern Notes).

Work Beaded Welt.

Work Rounds 11-19 of Thunderbird Pattern.

Work Beaded Welt.

Work Rounds 2-10 of Thunderbird Pattern.

Work Beaded Welt.

K 1 round.
Next Round
: [K2, k2tog, k3, k2tog] 6 times, k2. 44 sts.
Work 8 rounds in Garter Rib.

Heel Flap
Heel flap will be worked back and forth on 22 sts on first needle. Sts on second needle remain on hold for instep.

Row 1 [RS]: Sl 1, k1, [p2, k2] to end.
Row 2 [WS]: Sl 1, p to end.
Repeat these 2 rows 10 times more. There are 11 slipped sts along each side edge of the heel flap.

Turn Heel
Row 1 [RS]: K13, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 2 [WS]: Sl1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 3 [RS]: Sl1, k6, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 4 [WS]: Sl1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 5 [RS]: Sl1, k8, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 6 [WS]: Sl1, p9, p2tog, p1, turn work.
Row 7 [RS]: Sl1, k10, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 8 [WS]: Sl1, p11, p2tog, p1. 14 sts remain.

Gusset
Using first needle (Needle 1), k all heel sts, pick up and k 11 sts (1 st in each slipped st) along side edge of heel flap and 1 st in space between top of heel flap and held instep sts, place marker, work first 11 instep sts from second needle (Needle 2) in Garter Rib as set; using Needle 2, work remaining instep sts in Garter Rib as set, pick up and k 1 st in space between instep sts and top of heel flap, and 11 sts along side edge of heel flap, k first 7 heel sts from Needle 1. This point (center of heel) is now the beginning of the round. 60 sts; 30 sts on each needle.

Round 1: K to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k1, work in Garter Rib to end of Needle 1; work in Garter Rib to marker, k1, ssk, k to end of Needle 2.
Round 2
: Work all sts in patt as set.
Repeat these 2 rounds 7 times more. 44 sts; 22 sts on each needle.

Work 11 rounds in patt as set.

Toe
Decrease Round: K to 4 sts before marker, k2tog, k2, ssk, work in patt to end of Needle 1; work in patt to 2 sts before marker, k2tog, k2, ssk, k to end of Needle 2.
K 1 round.
Repeat these 2 rounds 3 times more, removing markers on last row. 28 sts remain; 14 sts on each needle.

K first 7 sts of Needle 1. Slip last 7 sts of Needle 1 to Needle 2, and last 7 sts of Needle 2 to Needle 1. Pass the st at each end of each needle over the stitch next to it; 12 sts remain on each needle. Graft sts on Needle 1 to sts on Needle 2.

FINISHING

Weave in ends.

ABOUT THE DESIGNER

Sivia Harding is a designer with a growing following who dabbles in lace, beads and most recently, socks. She has been self publishing her knitting patterns for several years, and her work can be seen here in Knitty and in the books Knitgrrl 2 and Big Girl Knits.

Someday she is going to start a blog.