These were my absolute last finished project of 2021 – the Phlox Socks pattern by one of my all time favourite sock designers, Aud Bergo. I absolutely love her designs, and have knit several of her socks over the years (four I believe, and I have a pattern for a fifth sitting in my queue).
For these I used my absolute favourite, go-to commercial sock yarn: Sandnes Garn Sisu. This has been my go-to sock yarn since I first started using it in 2008. It is a tough as nails, superwash, hard working yarn which is absolutely essential for somebody like me in a cold climate where hand knit socks are worn almost non-stop from the end of the September through to May. The yarn has to stand up to hard core winter boots, all day wear, and a pretty regular routine of washing.
(One of these days I’ll write a blog post about my musings on sock yarns, because there is a lot that is sold as sock yarns but should not be used at all for the purpose.)
The pattern estimates about 65g of the main colour and 30g of the contrast colour; while I find usually Aud’s estimates are on par with mine, for these guys I used 69g of of the MC and 33g of the CC. Not much of a difference, I know, but I literally only had 33g of the white so I was getting really nervous at the end of the second sock (ended up with 2 yds to spare, phew).
This pattern, like many European sock patterns, comes in one size, and you adjust your needle as necessary. The recommended needle sizes for this pattern were a 2.5 mm/US 1.5 and 3.0 mm/US 2.5. I cast on originally with the US 1.5 for the cuff and decided to just use that for the whole sock (relatively standard for me to do). For a colourwork sock I normally go with somewhere closer to 68 sts, but this one starts at 74. It wasn’t long before I realized it was all way too big for me.
So I ripped back after about 20 rows, and cast on with a US 0 (2 mm) and that was much closer to a good fit. I probably could have gone down even a bit smaller to a US 00 (1.75 mm) but I don’t have any DPNs in that size. I figured that the wool would all tighten up a bit in the wash anyway since this is a superwash yarn (point of interest: it’s the only superwash wool I use).
I started these on December 4th, and finished on December 30th, probably making them the longest pair of socks I’ve ever taken knit. There wasn’t any particular reason for that – although ripping some out did lose me a bit of time. Mostly it was just since it was around Christmas I was also working on gifts for others, so these didn’t have my undivided attention.
Right before Christmas I ordered a small stash of Sisu so I can use it in projects in the coming year – it’s about the only yarn I buy when I don’t have a pattern in mind because I know I will use it over the coming year. I did buy a skein of a terra cotta and light green for these socks, which even though the season is over I will knit next.
Next sock project: I have about three pairs that need mending of various sorts, and it’s really time to get those done and put them back into the knit sock rotation (which is about a three week rotation at this point). I love my knit socks, and I love that they last me so long. I must admit, I’m not the hugest fan of mending them though, and I always let the languish until it annoys me so much I just sit down and do it.