Leopard Spots by Betty Salpekar
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Leopard Spots

Knitting
May 2010
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
40 stitches and 42 rows = 4 inches
in stranded stockinette (chart pattern)
US 1Β½ - 2.5 mm
US 1 - 2.25 mm
450 - 900 yards (411 - 823 m)
womens medium, 8" circ.

Knit from the bottom (sole) up using the magic loop technique. Kid Silk Haze is carried along on the sole to reinforce it and to make it extra soft and warm. The socks are knit in two hand dyed colors using the stranded technique. The third color (center spots) was added after the knitting was completed using a dye painting technique, also described in the book (on pages 156-161).

The top hem facings have lettering knitted in using the dark brown (dyed) Zitron Trekking Pro Natura yarn and the undyed MC yarn.

Designer’s Notes, not included in the book, which may be helpful --

About the sock architecture:
I call it β€œsole-full” because I knit the sole in full first, before the sock top. I start with a provisional cast on at the center and work in the round with increases at toe and heel. I like that because I can:
β€’ carry reinforcement yarn on the sole alone (the only place my socks wear out)
β€’ reknit the sole if it does wear out
β€’ knit the sole in a completely different yarn and gauge than the top if I want to.

On these socks I turned the toe by working back and forth on the center toe stitches while joining to sole stitches on each side and increasing to maximum foot width. At mid-foot I made gussets with short rows, then worked in the round up to the cuff with decreases to shape the instep.

About the sole:
β€’ rounds 5 and 11 have short rows for the toe only
β€’ for the Judy Becker cast on a 30” tail is about right
β€’ different colored markers are helpful: one color for the first toe marker, another for the two heel markers, and a third for the BOR (beginning of round) marker (which is also the other toe marker)
β€’ increases are needed on the last sole round because the sock top gauge is smaller (more stitches per inch)

About the sock top:
β€’ all slip stitches are done as if to purl unless otherwise noted
β€’ catch in yarn floats (the color not in use) of longer than 5 stitches
β€’ charts will be easier to follow if you draw vertical lines on them in different colors about 10 stitches apart, then place markers on your needles in corresponding places and colors (I use thread markers of perle cotton which comes in dozens of colors)
β€’ for setting the dye on the inner spots, you’ll need to adjust the time according to the power of your microwave. The wet parts of the sock should be a little hotter than you can comfortably keep your hand on. And unless you are using non-toxic food-grade dyes put several layers of paper towels between the socks and the bottom of your microwave.