It is such a pretty pattern, twisted stitches floating on the purl background knit of a lovely apple blossom pink for cheer. The combination of side stitches and Tulpen (tulips) formed an intricate and challenging pattern for my Sockapalooza. Even the gauge swatch of each element was clean and it all calculated out to be just what she would want.

But in reality, twisted stitch patterns, at least the historical Austrian ones do not have a whole lot of give. That was the point. Surface texturing with an ability to keep you warm. Even the children’s socks had what I might view as an obscene number of stitches.

72 stitches in the round only came out to 17cm. That, my friends is not going to fit an adult; most of us have legs that are more than 7″ around for those who like inches. And certainly not my sockpal. The cuff was fine, cuffs stretch. All of this left me two choices – go up a needle size and have a less dense sock, or keep the needle size and go down a size on the yarn, and have a less dense sock.

Taking door number three – I redrafted the pattern, choosing slightly wider versions of the side elements, swapped out one of the tulips for something less dense and inserted an additional 10 purl stitches scattered between the pattern elements for more give. This makes for a lot of stitches, trust me. This works out to about 11/” for those who are counting.

But I think it will work. Certainly, I can now get it over my heel. And I like the pattern panels at least as well as the original. I might yet do that one, but at a lower gauge.

The comparison view – indoors –
with close up views of the front panel
and of the back and side elements
I am pleased now, and the preparatory work of xerox, cut and paste to have all the components lined up has paid off. The number of rows in a repeat varies from 4 -> 25. With one repeat of the longest element completed it looks like about two will be needed for the leg.
Then on to decisions about the heel and whether or not I stay in the traditional mode.


Going back century upon century, hand built with stone, steps worn over time down the center by the tread of feet. Mid day, the back passageways are empty but for feral cats.
back streets of old Jaffa
שבת שלום

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About Holly

fiber person - knitter, spinner, weaver who spent 33 years being a military officer to fund the above. And home. And family. Sewing and quilting projects are also in the stash. After living again in Heidelberg after retiring (finally) from the U.S. Army May 2011, we moved to the US ~ Dec 2015. Something about being over 65 and access to health care. It also might have had to do with finding a buyer for our house. Allegedly this will provide me a home base in the same country as our four adult children, all of whom I adore, so that I can drive them totally insane. Considerations of time to knit down the stash…(right, and if you believe that…) and spin and .... There is now actually enough time to do a bit of consulting, editing. Even more amazing - we have only one household again. As long as everyone understands that I still, 40 years into our marriage, don't do kitchens or bathrooms. For that matter, not being a golden retriever, I don't do slippers or newspapers either. I don’t miss either the military or full-time clinical practice. Limiting my public health/travel med/consulting and lecturing to “when I feel like it” has let me happily spend my pension cruising, stash enhancing (oops), arguing with the DH about where we are going to travel next and book buying. Life is good!
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2 Responses to Socka-too-tiny

  1. ha! that is too funny that i had the EXACT same problem as you! i did the exact same thing too, instead of changing the gauge, just change the design a little to be more stretchy. the socks are gorgeous!

  2. Marie says:

    Really enjoy your blog. The arch pictures are interesting. I am still trying to figure out how you are able to knit so many socks. Thought I was a fast knitter.

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