Fruit compote

Although the Sockapalooza 4 socks aren’t due until the beginning of August, I decided to get an early start.

Well, I didn’t have much of a choice. With the moratorium on sock knitting for grandma and my deep-seated need to constantly have a sock on the needles, I’m really grasping at straws here. I’m this close to stopping random strangers on the street – do you need a handknit sock? How about you? Anyone???

By the way, come September my grandma won’t know what hit her. I’ve been buying some really fabulous yarns (Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop yarn and Fleece Artist Sea Wool, just to name two) and earmarking gorgeous patterns (most from Favorite Socks), so I’ll be ready to crank them out as soon as the ban is lifted. Mwahahaha!!!

After contemplating for a bit, I decided my Sockapalooza pal would like the Scala Socks, designed by Stephanie van der Linden. Scala Socks were the November 2006 knitalong selection of the German Yahoo group Socken-Kreativ-Liste. I’ve had this pattern on my mind ever since I saw this post by a knitter from Oregon. Good thing I can now unload it on my sock pal…whew!

The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, naturally, in cranberry (45ns) and peach (10ns). Hey, it’s a fruit compote!

So far I’ve had to do a bit of fudging with the numbers. One look at the pattern, and I knew it wouldn’t be very elastic: we start with a “twined herringbone” (Charlene Schurch source #1) or “Scandinavian twisted” (Charlene Schurch source #2) edge. Then the two-color cuff: stranded colorwork is always a bit tight. The pattern itself is cables and twisted stitches, both of which draw the fabric in.

As written, the pattern would fit my foot perfectly: 77 stitches in the fancy-pants leg portion, and 63 stitches in the plain foot portion. But my pal’s foot is a bit wider, so I’ve been adding stitches here and there. Don’t get me wrong – I have plenty of practice knitting for people with bigger-than-average feet (cough-grandma-cough). But one must be very careful with an inelastic pattern, aiming for maybe 1″ of negative ease compared to the circumference of the foot at its widest point. Stretchier sock patterns are more forgiving – 1″, 2″, 3″ less than the circumference – it’s all good.

So, the motto for this project – measure, then measure again, then ask someone with bigger feet to try it on, then some more measuring, and perhaps another try-on. When you want it done right, you have to do it the right way ;).


54 thoughts on “Fruit compote

  1. Nancy

    That is an inspiring pattern. The cables are both random and ordered at the same time. I may have to drag myself away from stockinette socks. Thanks for posting it.

  2. Dove

    I’m very curious how you find all these lovely yarns. LYS?

    I absolutely love the cranberry sock you’ve started.

  3. PuppyMomma

    Crud-muffins. They’re gorgeous socks. But no stretch in the cuff? That’s a no-no for me. Spells disaster. Good luck.

    Oh, and by the way, much as I knit my own socks, I’ll be PLENTY happy to have a pair or two knit for me. So if you decide that you absolutely need to……

  4. Ariel

    Oh man, I want that pattern so bad. I can’t figure out how to join in german, and I don’t know how I’d manage the pattern in german either 🙁

    Is there an english version?

  5. Amy

    Wow. I have that pattern (part of the group for looking, but not conversing!) and I was less than impressed with the photo. Now, having seen your start and your inspiration blog, I am encouraged to give this a try!

  6. Sarah

    Those socks are gorgeous. I adore the colors. I would not have thought of the combination on my own, but now that I see it, I am in love. The recipient of these socks is sure to be pleased.

  7. Karen S

    Wow, do I hope to be you pal… (the answer is not surprisingly YES)… that is a wonderful pattern and even more wonderful yarn and colour…

    *sigh* (crossing fingers and hoping feverishly)

  8. Maria Elisabet

    Hi Kathy, greetings from Finland! Your blog is one of my favourites, I read it every day!

    I don’t know how the situation is in the US, but in Finland there are a lot of lonely grandmothers and old ladies who live in nursing homes and who don’t have grandchildren or relatives who would visit them – or knit socks for them! Could you consider charity knitting for a local nursing home? Adopting a second grandma???

  9. Jomy

    Lookin’ good!

    Have you seen some of the cabling with more than one color? It’s friggin’ awesome!!

  10. Mary K. in Rockport

    Oooohalicious to the max! Seconding the request for a pattern in English. Unless the whole thing is in the Scurch book which I haven’t bought yet.

  11. E to the M

    Knitting for people with bigger than average feet? Are you sure it’s not that your feet are smaller then average. :0)

    I love the start of the socks, they’re going to be beautiful.

  12. Deborah C.

    Those are some lovely socks! I seem to recall you don’t knit socks for yourself because of the wool involved, have you checked out the new Crystal Palace Panda yarn? It’s a cotton/bamboo blend with some elastic for stretch, and knits at 7-8 stitches per inch instead of sport weight. You could have cotton socks for you!

  13. Susan P

    Beautiful cuff on that pattern. Hope you can address the size issue satisfactorily. Speaking as a size 10 BIG FOOT (or Sasquatch as my ever helpful and supportive family calls me) I am always mindful of socks being too small. Will look forward to more progress pictures.

    I am new to blogland. If you want to make my day, check me out at:

    No pictures yet. Am trying to get some input on what digital camera to buy. Come on over and give me your opinion, please. Then I can get pics as pretty as Grumperina’s out to the few of you who stop by. (I have no self-delusion as to how many that might be. Every comment rates a “WOOHOO!” at this point.

    End of shameless self-promotion. We now return to our regularly scheduled blog.

    Grumperina, have been reading you for months and finally have de-lurked. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself with so many of us.


  14. xtina

    Okay… the German sock knitting Yahoo group? Just when I think I’ve heard it all, you come up with another doozy to ‘wow’ me with. So…. Wow!

  15. Judy

    How about some hints on knitting socks for smaller feet, size 6 shoe. Also I’d love to knit socks for my grandsons, ages 1 1/2 and 3 but haven’t found any really interesting patterns.

    You are the sock knitting guru, I wish I could make mine fit as well as you do.

  16. Risa

    Beautiful fruity beginning!

    And if you really need someone to take your handknit socks off your hands, I would be more than willing to help out 😉

  17. Beth

    You’re like me, I make all these socks, and I give them all to my mom. So now, I’m making some for me! I only have one stinkin’ lousy pair for myself. I love knitting socks too! Good train commuting project.

  18. Carrie

    It’s going to be great!

    I have this question wrt Gramma’s socks: why can’t you knit her some socks and keep them aside until she says she’s ready for them again? You could send her a whole bundle of socks!

  19. Katie K

    I loved these German socks so much that I joined the group. I wrote my request in English. I used Google translation to figure out the German messages. There are other beautiful patterns, and they all come with instructions in English.

  20. Stephanie

    I believe you have my measurements if the whim strikes. Gorgeous sock. I’ve wanted to try a braid like that on something and I’m very intrigued by the pattern. I’ll have to look into it further.

  21. Ryn

    Mmmm, yummy fruit compote socks! Almost good enough to eat. Makes me want to just take the @*$&#!ing plunge and just learn to knit socks already, dangit. The Lorna’s Laces at my LYS are tempting me…

  22. Teyani

    I’m so delighted that you are pleased with your Sock Hop Yarn (big grins here!)

    I look forward to seeing what you make with them, that is once Grandma lifts her moratorium (another grin)

    Love those cranberry delights.

  23. KarenK

    I’ve seen several requests above for this pattern in English, and it does exist on the German sock-knitting site, it’s just a bit difficult to find since it’s buried in layers of German-language file names.

    First you have to join the yahoo list, which you can do even if you don’t speak German. It’s the Socken-Kreativ-Liste (follow Grumperina’s link). Then click on “Dateien” and “Monatsmuster” and “November 2006” and “Scala_en.pdf” to find the free pattern, designed by Stephanie van der Linden. (I love the cranberry red and peach colors Kathy chose for her lucky sock pal!)

  24. imafibanut


    I think I’ve died and gone to sock heaven!

    I’ve never…I repeat…NEVER…wanted

    to knit socks…


    LOOK what you’ve done!

    I was just innocently looking to see if I

    could find someone interested in the Elann Shetland Aran I just bought, and LOOK what you did! Now I’m going to end up spending money probably.


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