Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fauxgyle Socks: Business Casual Socks with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel

I almost always have a pair of socks on my needles, even if they aren't my primary project.  Socks are easily portable. They are great to work on when you commute or travel or when you are in between bigger projects. I also find that switching between projects of different weights of yarn/needle sizes seems to help my wrists.

Someone was being helpful

That said, these socks took a long time, even knitting them as an in between, travel project.

I've knit so many socks by now that you might think there isn't much else to learn. Not true! I am just at the beginning of my sock learning, particularly when it comes to the heels. For these socks, I decided to try the Fish Lips Kiss Heel that is the brainchild of the Sox Therapist.  In her words it is, "An innovative, new method for knitting perfectly-fitting, beautiful, simple heels."  

Heel close up

This method requires careful foot measuring done by a friend and some math to calculate where you should start the heel. I did the toe-up version, but top down is also included in the instructions. There is a lot to like about this heel pattern. The short row stitches - she calls them a twin stitch - are really great, and as promised don't leave gaping holes. I found them easier to work than the wrap/turn stitches that I've tried. I didn't perfectly nail the fit of these socks on this first go-round, but that is on me, and not the pattern. The foot of my sock is about 1/4" too long. I'll see how these heels wear compared to my usual sock heel before committing to another pair.

My only less than stellar comment is that the instructions are 16 pages long. Some of it is awesome - there was loads of insightful information about sock fit, comparing store bought and hand knit socks. But 16 pages is a lot of info to wade through or go back and find a specific point you want to reread. So, be forewarned that knitting these socks requires something of a commitment to many pages of explanations rather than just knitting from standard format knitting instructions. And that was just the heel.     

The other reason these socks were fairly slow going is that I am not speedy when it comes to working cables. I'm awkward with the cable needle. The pattern that I used for the sock, aside from the heel, is Business Casual by Tanis Lavallee. It's a faux argyle pattern. I really love how it looks. I could see myself using this very gender-neutral pattern for both men's and women's socks in the future. Hopefully my cable technique will speed up over time. 

There's not much else to say except that I used more of my stash of ToshSock in an flaming orange colorway. ToshSock is very cushy, soft and warm. It knits up densely and has some give. It's a great choice if you want 100% wool, without any elastane/polyamide mixed in.

Oh, right. While knitting these socks, one morning I opened my project bag to see that one of my favorite AddiTurbo sock knitting needles was bent. But the excellent customer service people at Skacel replaced it lickety split at no cost to me. I shall forever sing their praises.

My next socks, which are not yet cast on are going to have another new feature that reader LinB emailed me about.  Stay tuned!

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