progress on the sock blank sock

I’m working on the cuff of the first sock. This one is toe up. The second one will be cuff down.

I decided to spruce things up a bit and added cables on the cuff:

They are a bit of free style in the rhythm they have turning. The amount of cables in one row I determined thusly:

total stitch count at ankle = 58 stitches. (a sock blank makes me knit very loosely. This is knitted on needles 2mm! And I do have scrawny ankles, that’t true.)
I want cables 3 over 3 with 2 p stitches in between. And I want the cables to be in pairs. That means each one pattern repeat is (6+1)*2 = 14 stitches wide.

4*14 = 56 stitches. A nice approximation of my total stitch count of 58.
I’ll go for 4 pairs. 8 cables in total.

Now. Cables draw in knitted fabric. For ever cable you need to add one stitch to the total stitch count. So a cable 1 over 1 is 2 stitches needs 1 stitch added to a stockinette stitch fabric to keep the same width.
I learned this from Moonwise, the sock designer, in 2012. (Dutch post on Ravelry.)

For every 3 over 3 cable I need to add 3 stitches.
I’ve got 4 pairs, 8 cables in total. I need to add 8*3 stitches. 24 stitches.
24 stitches plus 56 is 80 stitches. 80 stitches needs to be the total stitch count.
I already have 58 so I need to increase 22 stitches.

So I did in the round before starting the cable stitches. Total stitch count now 80.
I set up the rhytmn of the cables: [k6, p1]
It didn’t end neatly at the end of the round, also it seemed I only made 79 stitches. So in the first couple of rows I started to decrease a stitch. I was only 2 stitches off anyway.

I then saw I preferred 2 p stitches in between my cable sections. So I added those, right before the first cables were turned. 9 stitches added (the last one I took from the end of row ones I tried to decrease).

Then I turned the cables. And found out I didn’t have 4 pairs but that I had 6 pairs of cables and one half pair. Also, even though I increased one p stitch in between every cable I still only had 78 stitches.

This is the marvel of knitting. Stitches appear, stitches disappear.
Also I don’t know what I’m doing. Clearly I approached the math all wrong. Don’t ever ask me to build a house for you. It will end up “a surprise riddled with design features”:

Frank Gehry, Antti Lovag, Michael Jantzen and an unknown pirate-treehouse aficionado don’t know how to set up for a cable section either. Truth be told, I’d love to build you a house like this.

It is one of my secret hobbies to design-doodle houses. Ever since I studied Architecture in Delft, the city where Vermeer is from. I design them in my head or on scraps of paper. My inspirations are Frank Loyd Wright; Dutch city houses during the Golden Age; houses in the book Casa Mexicana; antique Japanese farm houses; Aldo van Eyck and Petterson’s house as illustrated by Nordqvist.

It’s all about light, about connecting to a room beyond where you are, connecting outside inside. About vertical rhythm and about moving through rooms as you use the house. And about natural materials that are true to their nature. Not wood made to look like stone. No plastic made to look like wood.

Ahum. Where was I? Yes. Cables. Wonky progress.

I’m not worried. I have 3×3 cables with 2 p stitches in between which is a good ratio. I’m turning half of the cables whenever I feel like it and it looks nice and the sock fits and I’m happily knitting away. Progress is good.

To make sure I don’t use up more than half my sock blank for the first sock I’ve got a little friend marking the half way point:

It’s attached with a “crab hook” and that’s why this kind of stitch marker is sometimes called a “progress keeper”. Very well named, little squirrel.

UPDATE: counted my stitches for the eleventh time. I have 88 stitches. Math is magic.


One thought on “progress on the sock blank sock

  1. I’m dying to see the inside of those houses now. I have a conundrum when it comes to picking favourites: I love old houses. Character, proper materials, cosiness. But I also love, NEED, open spaces and huge windows. But not sterile and “type house” modern without a soul.

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