I never sleep in socks, but it sure makes for a cute photo

Even though I don’t wear socks to sleep (especially woolly ones), I always stick my feet out from under the covers:

Pattern: Child’s First Sock in Shell Pattern, Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t follow the pattern. I used the pattern repeat, and incorporated it into a sock of my desired dimensions. The recommended cast-on, cuff and number of repeats? Don’t know anything about them. The heel, gusset, toe, special instep instructions? Completely ignored. If I paid attention, I’d have to modify them anyway because my Grandma’s feet are long and wide.


Needles: INOX aluminum dpns, set of 5, 2.5 mm (corresponds to US 1.5, although they were marked US 2 on the package).

Yarn: KFI Cashmereno, 55% merino wool, 33% microfiber, 12% cashmere, color 01. I had 3 skeins left over after knitting my Mia Shrug, and now I’ve used them up – destashing! I was worried about running out of yarn, especially considering my Grandma likes to have the leftovers for darning. I think my worries were justified – I only had a tiny bit left over.


As before, I wove in reinforcement thread into the sole of the sock. I have no idea if this helps even one bit, since my Grandma is reluctant to say anything other than, “they’re perfect.” But I keep doing it anyway, hoping it will allow socks made out of buttery yarns last longer.

Things I would change next time: I’ve already knit a pair of socks out of this yarn using these same needles, but those had cables and ribbing in contrast to this very lacy pair. As a result, I feel this pair is much looser, and I think were I to knit this pattern with this yarn again, I would go down a needle size to create a more dense fabric, comparable to the fabric I got last time. Also, I would make the two socks mirror images of each other – so that the “scales” swoop to the right on one sock, but to the left on the other. That would be cool!


48 thoughts on “I never sleep in socks, but it sure makes for a cute photo

  1. omar

    Oh it’s so perfect, but can you write it all over again for me? I’m a genetic mutant with feet the size of small buicks, but I’m sure it would be no problem for you, right?

  2. jody

    great socks! grandma will love them (although i get the sense that like all grandmas, she’d love them just because you made them!).

    btw, i struggle with the same fit issue with socks with a lace pattern on them. they seem to stretch forever and ever! i’m about halfway through the foot of a sock (toe up) with lace and i think i’m going to rip and go down a needle size myself.

  3. Gabby

    Wow, they’re absolutely gorgeous! I’m sure your granny will absolutely love them!

    Your comment about sleeping with your feet sticking out of the covers gave me shivers down my spine! I have to sleep with the covers tucked underneath my feet, so at hotels, first I have to pull out all the tucked covers at the foot of the bed! Some childhood fear of monsters eating my toes, no doubt…

  4. Laura

    hee hee–I miss-read what you wrote and I thought you said that the scales DID swoop in opposite directions.

    they are beautiful, of course, and they must be the softest socks ever.

  5. Carolyn

    They are gorgeous! I can see a pair in black for myself…hmmmmm. I must try the reinforcement thread in the sole idea, it sounds like it should work!

  6. Amber

    Those are gorgeous! Congrats on a lovely pair of socks! Which reminds me, I owe my grandmother a new pair of felted tootsie toasters…

    better get hopping!

  7. June

    Nice job on the socks. I enjoy seeing an inventive knitter at work.

    One thing to consider about reinforcing yarn – I have heard (but not tested) that when you incorporate a hard ply and a soft ply (ie mohair vs Merino), the harder ply will saw through the softer one and may in fact cause premature wear. In your case, the high percentage of microfiber (probably a polyester?) will make the yarn strong… You want to make socks from a softly spun Merino and use wooly nylon reinforcement to test out the theory? 😀

    As long as I’m ruminating, the other thing I’ve heard (but also not tested) is that the number of plies has more effect on yarn longevity than the degree of twist. Can you tell that I’m working on developing the “perfect” sock yarn and have more than a few prototypes in my brain?

  8. KatieLiz

    Your socks are stunning and grandma’s going to love them, too. Teaching myself how to knit socks is the next project on my list. I was going to take a class at my LYS, but it never worked out (apparently, I was the only one that wanted to learn how to knit socks in July, go figure?!?). Love reading your blog

  9. Stephanie

    Ooooh, lovely (and that picture is perfect). Your grandma is one lucky lady. I love the simple color with the elegant pattern. Another check in the “win” column.

  10. joanna

    They look wonderful! The pattern looks so much better stretched out and on feet than bunched up and lying flat… I probably would have glossed right over it in the book, but after seeing your version suddenly I want socks just like them. 🙂

    (Also, your comments about the size of the dpns came at a perfect time… I just bought a US1 Addi Turbo and I would have sworn that it’s exactly the same size as my US2 Inox dpns, but I think the Addi is also 2.5mm so they’re probably both more like US1.5. Whew, I’m not going crazy!)

  11. Jenifer

    Nice job there, Kathy! I just cast on for these socks last week … and immediately ripped them because my attention span is so short lately. This isn’t really a “moderate-two-children-and-keep-the-lace-pattern-intact” kind of sock. I’m instead working slowly on one of those ribbed socks in the front of the book. Isn’t this a fun book? Take care.

  12. Sarah

    Beautiful socks, and I love the boudoir photo shoot! I can’t wait to get my hands on this book…it’s taking forever to come in at my LYS. Your work is an inspiration, as is your patience with all that reinforcement weaving in!

  13. Purly Whites

    Gorgeous socks! I do wish your grandmother would tell you if the reinforcement worked or not. I’d love to incorporate it into my socks, but so far haven’t gotten the motivation to actually do it.

  14. paula

    They look fabulous! 😉

    And, Miss…I’m WAY ahead of ya on te whole “mirror image” thing. Hehe. Great minds think alike. 😉

    But really, I mirror-imaged on the Cool Cagoule, so why not here? Hehe.

    Anyway, I love these socks in sportweight and in oatmeal. As for making them slightly denser, I typically go in about 1/2″ in terms of gauge when knitting a lace sock. But yours look like they fit perfectly, so I wouldn’t worry about it. As usual, another impeccable FO.

    And I KNEW you’d finish first! 😛

  15. freecia

    “Needles: INOX aluminum dpns, set of 5, 2.5 mm (corresponds to US 1.5, although they were marked US 2 on the package).”

    Oh gosh did I wish I had known that one and a quarter pairs of socks ago. I found out two weeks ago when I bought my first needle gauge after my scientist friends flaked on stealing me a caliper from their labs 😉 I think the #3’s are #2.5 @ 3mm, too. These are the 6″ dpns from Inox…

    Lovely socks. Lucky Grandma.

  16. Lissy

    I’m a foot outside the blanket person myself. The socks are lovely, but darn you for being clever and modifying them so much that I could never hope to achieve such beauty myself unless I got a grumperina brain in a transplant operation. Thanks for the tutorial on picking up stitches the pretty way.

  17. lynda

    Just LOVE those socks – thanks for sharing “the pretty way…” I haven’t done my heel flap yet on my current pair, so when I get to the picking up stithces I am definitely going to try it!

  18. julia fc

    Art. Pieces of art.

    There’s another Cashmere/Wool blend sock yarn you need to know about. Butter, as you say. It’s Lana Gatto VIP. Absolutely divine. And it comes in great colours. Put it on your wish list.

  19. Jan aka Warrior Knitter

    You should get a commission check from Nancy Bush.

    Because of you & your Grandma’s feet & your picking up stitches the “pretty” way I HAD to go out & buy this book.

    They are beautiful. Thanks for the inspiration!

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