Put Your Feet Up in Style


If you have never crocheted a pair of socks, now is the time to pull out your sock yarn and hook. Socks are a great travel project, and you can easily have a couple pair finished before the cool breezes of fall arrive. Crocheted socks also make a thoughtful and unique gift with minimal yarn use; the Adirondack Socks only use one skein of Universal Yarn Bamboo Sock.

There are a few things to keep in mind when crocheting socks.

Stretch: Crocheted socks do not have quite as much stretch as their knitted counterparts. Elasticity is especially important at the cuff and just below the heel gusset. You test can the amount of stretch by starting with a good-size swatch.

Adirondack Socks by Patsy Harbor

Then spend a little time playing with the swatch; pull the stitches in multiple directions to test the stretch. Some patterns have more give than others. If you tend to work tight stitches, practice loosening your gauge by using a larger hook or easing up on your tension. The shell pattern of the Adirondack Socks from the Interweave Crochet Fall 2009 issue provide fantastic give.

Socks worked from the cuff down, like the Adirondack Socks, should start with a foundation crochet base; this stitch that combines a chain stitch and single- or double crochet in each stitch has more elasticity than stitches worked into a simple chain.

Modifications: Crocheted socks are also the perfect place to test a little pattern modification and create socks personalized to the recipient. Most patterns allow you to easily increase or decrease the length of the foot—something my size 6½ feet are grateful for. Don't care for tall socks? Simply shorten the cuff to an inch or two.

The Rib & Fan Socks from the Interweave Crochet Spring 2009 issue would look great with a shorter cuff before the solid band. Try the Adirondack Socks with just the foundation double crochet and one row of shells before beginning the heel gusset for a fantastic pair of ankle socks. Whip up several pairs of socks and have fun with creative modifications such as color or cuff height to customize them to your needs.

Crocheted socks, with the inherent thickness of each crochet stitch, have terrific cushion and loft. If you can bear to give these beauties away, you will always be remembered with softness and warmth.

Rib & Fan Socks by Carol Brown

Best wishes,

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