Tag Archives: Toe Up Socks for Everybody

Once More With Feeling: Completed Argyle Socks

My husband in his Sneaky Argyle socks by Wendy Johnson in Dream in Color Smooshy

My husband in his Sneaky Argyle socks by Wendy Johnson in Dream in Color Smooshy

After my struggles with these, I’m really happy to have finished them in time to give to my husband for his birthday!  The finished product was well worth the frustration, these are among my favourite handknit socks.  Something about this colour combination feels just conservative enough for his job at a bank, without being too boring or expected.

_AWN3894It’s a real struggle to find good sock patterns for men; I bought Wendy Johnson’s Toe Up Socks For Everybody because it included so many great manly socks.  I look forward to trying out some of the other great patterns in this book: I think the Basket Case socks will make another great pair of husband socks, and I’m toying with the idea of some Belle Epoque thighhighs for me.

I’m usually really pleased with Johnson’s instructions, and I’m a big fan of the clarity and simplicity of her first book, but be forewarned: these Sneaky Argyle Socks are described as a great beginner project, but there are some really long floats, and you will have to be very careful about making them too tight (as I learnt to my great dismay!).  I sized up 2 needle sizes (to 2.5mm) and knit the colour section inside out to ensure that they would fit over my husband’s feet. Now to find a great anniversary pair…


Knitting-fail: Sneaky Argyle Socks

Once more with feeling: my argyle sock, now in two pieces

My argyle sock, now in two pieces

When non-knitters and beginners tell me they’re intimidated by my finished objects, I try to tell them the truth: we all make mistakes. After all, I see what they don’t – the huge knitting-fails.  I was in love with these argyle socks by Wendy Johnson the moment I finished the first one: so beautiful, so perfect for my husband to wear to work, such a great use for leftover yarn…

And then I tried it on. The colourwork section didn’t fit over my foot; it wasn’t even close.  I tried blocking it over a soup can, but there was no improvement.  Of course, we can file this under avoidable mistakes:  the floats should have been looser, I should have tried the first few rows of colourwork over my foot, I should have done some research before attempting my first colourwork sock (one of the blogs I follow had a post detailing this exact problem, with this exact pattern). Woulda, coulda, shoulda – didn’t.

Once more with feeling, knitting the argyle section inside out

Once more with feeling, knitting the argyle section inside out

I didn’t want to lose the foot of this sock, nor did I want to waste all of that burgundy Dream in Color Smooshy (especially since my LYS stopped carrying it), so out came the scissors.  I’m going to take a second run at the argyle, but this time I’m switching to 2.5 mm needles for the argyle section and using this technique to keep the floats loose. I’ll keep you posted on how they turn out…