Saturday, September 20, 2008


(I've finished the grey socks too, but let's just skip ahead for a second, okay?)

I've been wanting to try Elizabeth Zimmerman's moccasin socks for a while now, and finally cast on for a pair earlier this week, using my handspun (and size 4 needles--speedy!). In case you haven't been thinking about moccasin socks for weeks, they're worked from the cuff down (worked flat, in EZ's case, but I decided to knit mine in the round), then at the back of the heel, you decrease at the sides, so you're just knitting the top of the foot. When it's long enough to cover most of the top of the foot, you knit the upper side of the toes, then pick up stitches around the opening, and knit around to form the sole. At the end, you graft the stitches together along the center of the sole.

The directions definitely produced a socks, but with a shorter foot than I expected. In retrospect, that's because when you pick up stitches for the sole, you pick up 1 stitch for every 2 rows (in each of the slipped stitches you slipped when you were knitting the upper foot).* But that produces a sole that's smaller than the upper foot (because 1 stitch is narrower than 2 rows of knitting are tall) which makes the whole sock smaller than it seemed like it would be.

I'm a bit perplexed by this--did EZ find that the sock was stretchy enough that this didn't matter? If not, why didn't the directions tell you how to size them properly? (Particularly since her other directions tell you how to fit things to yourself.) And, if I make another pair and want it to fit me, would it be better to knit the upper foot too long, so it will fit when the sole pulls it in (and in that case, how too long should I make it?), or to pick up more stitches (say, 2 sts for every 3 rows, as I usually do for sleeves and neckbands)?

* I did wonder as I picked up the sts whether 1 st/2 rows was enough, but I told myself that EZ wouldn't steer me wrong...

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