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Scrap Yarn Ankle Socks


As often seems to happen when I knit something completely uncharacteristic for me, people seem to like these socks! So I wanted to leave some notes on how I made them before I forget. 

I knitted these socks completely on impulse, after I saw some bits of variegated scrap yarn in my friend Lisa's stockpile which complemented the bits of solid-pink yarn I happened to have in my handbag while visiting her. 'Do you need these scraps?' I asked. 'Go for it,' she replied. And I did! I started the socks right then and there, and finished them on the following evening. 44g of our scraps combined made the pair, with 20g of my solid-pink West Yorkshire Spinners Signature and 24g of Lisa's variegated Fine Fish, both fingering weight 4-ply.

The improvised knit was done using a basic top-down sock pattern, combined with Hanna Leväniemi's Broken Seed Stitch concept. If you do an online search for 'broken seed stitch socks' you will find an amazing array of kaleidoscopically beautiful creations. You will also notice that my socks don't quite look the part. The broken seed stitch here really does not have the effect intended in Hanna's design, as I used a solid colour that blends with, rather than contrasts with, the variegated yarn. But the nice thing about broken seed stitch is that you can play around with colours to create different looks.

Intending these socks for Size 37-39Eur feet, I cast on 60 stitches and used 2mm DPs (tight tension to keep these wisps of things from slipping). I began with a solid pink cuff in K1P1 rib. Then for tor the leg, I alternated solid K rows with variegated seed stitch rows, for 8 or so repeats, before proceeding to a solid pink heel and reverting to alternating K solid/ seed variegated rows for the gusset. Once the gusset was done and I got to the main part of the foot, I began to 'phase out' the solid pink yarn, by alternating solid K rounds with variegated K rounds, until the solid rounds were spaced further and further apart, if that makes sense? In other words, something like this:

R1: K solid
R2: K1P1 variegated {seed stitch for top of the foot only; stockinette for sole}
R3: K variegated
R4: P1K1 variegated
R5: K solid
R6: K1P1 variegated
R7: K variegated
R8: P1K1 variegated
R9: K variegated
R10: K1P1 variegated
R11: K solid  {end solid yarn}

- so that by the time I got to the toe, I was knitting only with the variegated yarn. 

The colours are so well matched here, it is actually pretty difficult to tell where exactly the solid WYS yarn runs out. Overall, the colourway basically looks like a pinker version of the variegated Fine Fish yarn. It's not the usual use of broken seed stitch in sock-knitting, but it's an interesting effect nevertheless. The broken seed stitch provides some welcome structure to the tiny sock and adds textural interest. 

The end result brings to mind a strawberry sundae strewn with multicolour sprinkles. The socks are fun and girly. I can easily picture a 6 year old wearing them with a frilly party frock and white patent leather sandals. They are not the sort of thing I would normally wear - or make - to be honest! But it was a neat exercise in using up scrap yarn, which now has me rummaging around for other scraps to experiment with.