Francie by Rebekkah Kerner


February 2008
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
8 stitches and 12 rows = 1 inch
in 2 x2 ribbing
US 1 - 2.25 mm
340 - 450 yards (311 - 411 m)
Flag of English English
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July 2, 2019: I fully support Ravelry’s expanded rules regarding hate speech, and am grateful that they are making overdue changes based on the difficult and dangerous work many BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ members of the crafting community have been doing for so long. If you disagree with me, please feel free to put me on your boycott list and not buy my patterns.

These socks are named for Francie Nolan, the main character in my favorite book, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. Like the book, and like Francie, the socks are full of unexpected beauty and character. There are stories hidden in their folds, interesting shapes to be found in their bark, and new ideas to be found in their branches.

These socks were designed with an adventurous knitter in mind. While the leg of the socks is easier to execute than it might appear at first glance, the foot of the socks involves shaping that is probably new to most sock knitters. This shaping results in interesting curves in new places, a foot-hugging contour that surpasses the comfortable clinging power of most traditional ribbed socks, and a new way to shape a toe. The socks may take a bit more concentration than you’re used to, particularly once you get to the foot, but once you find the rhythm of these socks everything should fall into place.

These socks were knit with Dream In Color Smooshy, at 8 stitches per inch, on U.S. size 1 (2.25 mm) DPNs. It is a top-down pattern, and includes instructions for magic loop and 2-circs, if you prefer those tools to DPNs. You can use any sock yarn you like, preferably in a solid or nearly-solid color. This sock is very stretchy, and will fit a wide range of foot sizes. You can easily customize the fit of the leg and foot by changing needle sizes, to make the circumference a bit wider or a bit narrower. Because the entire sock is based on 2x2 ribbing, the sizing range is generously large. There are instructions in the pattern for customizing the length of the leg and foot of the sock.

Because these socks are a bit different than your average socks, those of you who have knit socks before will have an easier time with this pattern. There is no one skill in these socks that is difficult, but they may take more concentration than your average sock pattern until you get into their unique rhythm. Those of you who can read your knitting (see the difference between knit and purl stitches) will have an easier time with this pattern, although I try to give as much instruction as is reasonably possible. I found them really fun to knit, because I was doing things I’d never quite done before, and it was exciting to see how it would all turn out in the end! There is a lot of new stuff in these socks, and if you like new stuff in your knitting, I think you’ll really enjoy knitting this pattern.