Turtlegirl asks what patterns I use for fingering weight socks. I shamelessly answer – my own. New readers here (and there appear to be many of them) may not know that I also am the keeper of wiseNeedle. wiseNeedle is the original yarn review site, active on the web as an all volunteer consumer to consumer, unsponsored service since 1995. In addition to the yarn review collection and a searchable glossary of knitting terms in 14 languages, I keep some patterns there, too. Among them is a slew of toe-up, short row heel socks in several yarn weights. There are three patterns there for fingering weight, and any of them can be used as-is, or by elimination (or substitution) of patterning on the ankle parts, made as simple or as complex as the knitter desires.
And in response to other requests, here’s a close-up of the short row sock heel, showing the mitering you can achieve with a little advance planning and a modicum of luck:
Why do they not match exactly? Because I didn’t take the time to make my socks identical twins. I started each sock off its own ball of yarn at the exact start of the ball. The repeats were slightly skew. I don’t have a problem with making these self stripers into fraternal rather than identical pairs.
Now, how to finagle this effect using a self striper? Lots depends on the width of the striped section. The narrower the stripe, the easier this is to do. You can better see what I did in the top sock, above. I knit the foot (on the left, heading up towards the top of the photo), ending it in synch with the completion of a red stripe. Then I began the back and forth short rowed section with the following section of black. I ended the decrease section of my short rows roughly half way through the black bit that followed the red, finishing up the black on the part of the short row section that re-awakens dormant stitches. Then I finished out my heel. This synch of the pattern to the printed repeat required that I fudge a bit on foot length. In a sock of this type, a row or two extra in the foot, combined with a heel a row shorter than normal isn’t going to make a major difference in fit. Since the repeat pattern is so narrow, I can get pretty close to perfect miters. On wider patterns it’s harder. In a wider pattern I do still try to end the foot at the completion of a stripe (or if it’s a VERY wide stripe, half way through a repeat). I let the short rowed section fall out as it may, hoping more for serendipity rather than planned perfection. Most of the time things work out well enough.