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Simply Splendid Socks

Knitting
October 2011
Sport / 5 ply (12 wpi) ?
32 stitches = 4 inches in stockinette
US 1½ - 2.5 mm
150 - 300 yards (137 - 274 m)
child’s sm (lg; woman’s sm, med, lg) (larger sizes may require 2 skeins)
This pattern is available for $6.00 USD buy it now

This is one of 2 “Menagerie” sock designs in my eBook, Cat’s Sweet Tomato Heel Socks. Menagerie socks use a smocked ribbing technique which is easy to learn and perform.

This technique, which I first used in a published design in my 2009 book, Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters, is one of my favorite techniques to pass on to knitters.

The key is mirror symmetry, which harmonizes whimsical movements and renders them elegant. You really can ignore my charts and spontaneously smock columns together as the mood strikes you.

Your reward will be a unique design that is balanced and sparkling with life instead of predictability. If I could sit beside you, I would pester you until you set the charts aside and tried it. I hope that learning this technique will inspire you to create your own menagerie of socks.

Please consider letting the second sock be a bit different than the first. The fashion police who judged you in middle school are not lying on the floor closely studying your handknit socks (and if they are, as my friend Lucy Neatby says, gently kick them). Once you experience the innocent pleasure of abandoning imaginary rules, you may find freedom filtering into the rest of your life.

The pattern includes live video links to help you learn my Sweet Tomato Heel and other techniques.