Long, longer, longest

A while back I mentioned that even though I initially chose the 5″ long Bryspun dpns for knitting my dad’s socks, I quickly changed my mind in favor of 6″ long INOX ones. You see, the socks start out with 84 stitches, and when that’s combined with using sportweight yarn, keeping all those loops on the needles becomes a real hassle.

But the INOX weren’t even the last ones! After knitting a few inches, I decided I wanted something even longer, and possibly a hair thinner: both the Bryspuns and the INOX are 3.00 mm, and the fabric they produced was a bit loosey-goosey.

Ta-da! Susan Bates Silvalume dpns, US 2. I have two sets of these (8 needles total), so I’m able to knit in the round using 5 needles. These puppies are proving to be absolutely perfect: 2.75 mm in width and 7″ in length.

Armed with the right needles, I finally moved past the ribbed cuff and into the meat of the sock pattern. Despite having everything “different” – different weight of yarn, different gauge, different height of finished sock – I was able to follow the book’s pattern to a t for an obnoxiously long period of time. I worked the leg shaping chart exactly as written, decreasing the initial 84 stitches to 72, and then I immediately worked the chart again to decrease the stitch number to 60. Considering my dad’s request that these socks to be on the looser side, I thought 60 stitches around the foot would be a great circumference, so I didn’t budge after that.

I finally had to put on my thinking cap when I got to the heel. The number of pattern repeats was different, and so was the way they were spaced relative to the seam stitch. So, separating the heel and instep stitches led to some “border” stitches on either side – just broken up pattern repeats. I decided to make the instep borders plain stockinette – they’ll blend in effortlessly into the sole. The 3 stitches on each side of the heel flap, however, I made in reverse stockinette.

Like magic, once the gusset stitches are picked up, the demarcation of the purl-edged heel flap and the knit gussets disappears! If you can see it in that dark-colored (meaning, impossible to photograph) fabric!

17 thoughts on “Long, longer, longest

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  1. monica

    I agree with Bex – I’m no pro, so if I go shorter than 7″ I’m continually dropping stitches.

    I just bought Knitting Vintage Socks, so I’m excited to start trying out the patterns! This one may be first up :)

  2. Desiree

    Good luck with that sock! If you’re lucky, the fabric won’t bias upon blocking–like mine did…over and over again. (It’s why I hate Louet.) Hopefully it comes out okay for you like when you used it for your VPC. Or maybe you won’t notice. Can’t wait to see the outcome!

  3. KnittySue

    You just blow me away with how you can redesign a pattern and resize knowing you needs while you work it. I just keep taking baby steps and follow your lead. Your so imspiring..thanks for the detail you always give.

  4. Janie

    I’m currently knitting these as anniversary socks for my gorgeous husband (7yr anniversary being wool).

    Start planning now for your Mr Sweetness.

  5. Candi

    I really like the way your heels have turned out. They just blend so effortlessly. I’ll have to give that a try. Your dad will love his socks.

  6. Lee Cockrum

    I love the susan bates dpn’s. I have two of the “sock needle sets” that they have, they come with 5 of each size, color coded. They are metal so they are sturdy, but so small that they are not heavy.

  7. Trish

    It must be wonderful to have a brain that functions so well on both the right and left side. I think that would have taken me 3 weeks to figure out. And that’s if I was alone on a desert island with no Ravelry to distract me……

  8. m.annema-luinge

    Hi, here in the Netherlands we had dpns standard 30, 35 and 40 cm, that is about 12, 14 and 15,5 inch. I really love the longest, because the way I learned to knit is with the right hand needle under your right armpit, the point somewhere sticking out at the back. Now we have the shorter ones too, but I still knit fastest with the longer ones, of which 35 cm – 14 inch are my favourites, I knit throwing, not picking, if you pick short needles are much better. I know if you are not used to long needles it seems awkward, but let us say, it is an aquired taste and although I can knit with long and short needles, cable-needles, throwing and picking, throwing with long needles suites me best. Margreet.

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