The Time is Ripe for Stretch Sock Yarn

Project – Knee-High Stretch Socks
Patons free pattern (download here)
Yarn – Patons Stretch Socks in Fruit Slices
Blogger – JDknits

Fruity SocksIf Mama ain't happy, aint nobody happy.
If Mama's feet ain't happy...look out!

OK, so I customized that sage old saw, but it's true. If my feet aren't happy then nothing is right about my day. I've climbed misty mountains and walked ten miles in the rain and each of those is a happier memory than any five minutes I've spent in pantyhose and pointy shoes, because my shoes and socks were up to the job.

One Size Fits Nobody

One of the most wonderful thing about learning to knit socks has been the realization that I no longer need to cram my long toes into socks that are made to 'fit' both me (somewhere north of a size 9 shoe) and my size 5 sister-in-law.

One of the most frustrating things about learning to knit socks has been just how many miles of knitting I've had to do to figure out how to get socks to fit perfectly.

Really great hand-knit socks -- to me -- are knitted with fine yarns on tiny needles. One sock is a LOT of stitches. Two socks, doubly so. (Save your groans. How often do you get to say that when it's actually true?!). That's a whole lot of knitting time invested in experimentation. There's nothing more discouraging than grafting that sock toe, slipping it on and realizing that it is just three or four rows too short and you have to unpick.

Oh, if only someone had created some kind of magical sock yarn that had a little give, a little forgiveness, built into it...

(You know what's coming, right?)

Enter Patons Stretch Socks

I'm not going to pretend that this is the first elastic sock yarn ever but it is the first time I've knitted with one.

I'll confess that it took a bit of getting used to. Casting on and knitting my first few rows, I found I was forcing myself to relax the yarn, give it a bit more slack than I normally would (I knit with the yarn wrapped over my pinkie, under the two middle fingers and over the index finger).

It didn't take long though, before I found the perfect grip and way to hold the yarn.

The Pattern

This is a knee-length sock pattern - or it would be if your calves were less, um, strong than mine (yes, "strong". That's the word...)

It starts with a really long rib section at the start (it is knitted cuff-down) - about 7 inches. That's a lot of ribbing, but it means that the sock's going to stay up. If I were knitting this again, I'd be tempted to buy an extra ball and knit an even longer ribbing, stopping only when it reached down to where my leg begins (at last) to narrow. But that's a matter of personal taste.

There are only a few, easily-accomplished decrease rows and then you're at the ankle and the fun part - the heel.

I'm quite often dismayed after I finish the heel because there is such a great whack of stocking stitch to go before I can decrease for the toe and call it done (I did mention the big feet, didn't I?).

But here's another beautiful thing about the stretchy sock yarn: It's stretchiness means you don't actually have to knit as much on the foot!

When I look at my finished First Sock it seems strangely stunted, with that long leg and short little foot, but slip it on and it stretches out perfectly.

The Fruits Of My Labor

Mmm, I think I might be a convert to the world of Stretchy Socks.

Now, if only I can find a cure for Second Sock Syndrome...




Thanks so much for this post. I just noticed this stretchy sock yarn at the store a few weeks ago and I was both intrigued but then immediately intimidated. Glad to hear that it's easy to work with and creates a great final project.