Formication by Karin Aida


April 2013
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
30 stitches and 48 rows = 4 inches
in Stockinette
US 1½ - 2.5 mm
450 - 500 yards (411 - 457 m)
Women's Medium
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This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

Don’t worry: it’s “forMication”. With an “m”. It’s the medical word for the sensation that insects are crawling on (or in) your skin. It’s from the Latin formica, meaning “ant”. One day, my friends and I were discussing that phenomenon (and of course giggling about the similarity of the word to another word), and that night, I had a dream that I made skin-colored socks with ants on them. And here they are.

Of course, this sock can be made in any combination of colors, but for maximum effect, a main color that is close to your own skin color is recommended. Personally, I had the closest match with Regia 4-Fädig in 00017 (beige). I went with plain black for the ants.

This pattern presumes familiarity with stranded knitting. It is charted. I know that everyone needs a “first stranded project” - I normally do not try to dissuade anyone from trying anything new. But really, this is probably not the best project to make as your first step into color-work. The ants themselves are fun to knit; unfortunately, the negative space around the ants is, in places, pretty much a drag. There are many long floats, and some very long floats, and catching your floats when necessary is strongly advised. Intarsia (combined with stranding) is used for the heel. This can be omitted, but it will leave you with a transected insect on the back of your leg

The sock is knit with 72 stitches. Sizing can be altered by changing needle size. Bear in mind that stranded socks really don’t stretch at all (I normally use 60-64 stitches for a plain stockinette or ribbed sock).

The sock uses a short-row heel, but can easily be adapted to use a flap heel if you prefer.

This pattern uses about 320 yards of the main color (in this case, beige) and about 180 yards of the contrasting color (in this case, black).

If you want to print off this pattern and give it to someone else without asking me first, that is fine with me (if you sell someone this free pattern, though, I would be mad that you’d rip someone off like that). I also believe that you have the right to sell any item that you make from this pattern, so if you make these socks and want to sell them, it’s your hard work - please go ahead and do so. My ego demands that you not claim this pattern as your own, and that you give me a little credit somewhere. Note: If you find that you make enough of a profit to afford a cute German convertible, then it would be gracious of you to offer to lend it to me for date-night. I love cute boys in convertibles.

NB: The red-on-black socks were made by lgowdy, who kindly gave me permission to post them.