The idea of sizing a top-down sock using the cuff came to me years ago. It uses the surprising property that the width of one stitch is equal to the height of two rows of garter stitch with the same yarn and needles (within normal needle/yarn combinations).
This means, that if you knit a pleasingly firm strip of garter stitch until it fits the ankle of the future wearer, then a sock knitted with the same number of stitches as there are stripes will have the appropriate number of stitches!
For the same wearer, a sock cuff in sport-weight yarn might have 56 stripes, but 72 stripes in fingering-weight yarn. The sock is automatically sized according to YOUR yarn, needles and gauge.
If you knit-up the new stitches into edge of the band you have a beautiful, vertically striped, non-curling cuff.
- Working the cuff quickly gives you a good feel for the firmness of the fabric. (A sock should be firm – think ‘almost standing up on its own’.)
- No need for casting on onto multiple needles and joining in the round.
- May be used on any sock, including single-colour socks.
- If two colours are used, it adds an attractive vertical element to the leg.
- The cuff needs to be joined. It can be seamed or joined invisibly with a perfect graft (use waste yarn tabs to guide you here). If you’d like to see this fully explained and every aspect demonstrated, step by step, then please take my new Craftsy class Next Steps in Socks (the Fiesta Feet pattern is included in this class) or watch my DVD, Sock Techniques 2.
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Thank you – We raised and have donated $2800.00 to the Red Cross Alberta Fire Relief fund yesterday as a result of Fiesta Bag pattern sales. You rock!