Mixed Precipitation Socks by Carolyn Lisle

Mixed Precipitation Socks

January 2021
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
36 stitches and 40 rows = 4 inches
in stranded colourwork stockinette stitch
US 1 - 2.25 mm
US 1½ - 2.5 mm
US 0 - 2.0 mm
394 - 481 yards (360 - 440 m)
Adult Small (Medium, Large)
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This pattern is available for $5.50 USD
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Ah, the most dreaded of all Canadian winter weather reports: “mixed precipitation”! Flurries? Maybe. Freezing rain? Possibly. Sleet? Probably. Is it going to be icy? Slushy? Snowy? Wet? What is the appropriate outerwear? Will they cancel the buses? Should I put down salt so people can get to the sidewalk without slipping, or should I get ready to shovel a mountain of heavy, wet snow? Who knows; it’s a Mixed Precipitation Day!

Pattern Description

These socks embody the spirit of that ambiguous weather phrase by going from mostly snow to mostly rain on one sock, and mostly rain to mostly snow on the other, both with a silvery sparkle of ice. Mixed Precipitation is a perfect first colourwork sock — it is composed of only short, easy-to-remember repeats with no long floats to catch.

The left and right socks are worked identically; only the colours are swapped to create the fraternal-socks effect. They feature seamless gussets integrated into the pattern, a reinforced heel flap, and a twisted-rib cuff. These socks are knit toe-up with a traditional gusset and heel flap short-row heel. Corresponding written instructions are provided for the charts.

This pattern requires the knitter to be able to knit with two colours at once on a small circumference in the round (either on double-pointed needles or your preferred technique for socks). It clearly explains all techniques for increases, decreases, and short rows and provides many helpful video tutorial links. Therefore, Mixed Precipitation is accessible to an intermediate knitter who is still relatively new to stranded knitting and/or sock knitting.

Yarn Requirements and Sizing

You will need two highly-contrasting colours of fingering-weight yarn appropriate for socks; approximately 180 (200, 220) m / 200 (220, 240) yards are required for each colour.

Sizes available: Unisex Adult Small (Medium, Large) for for foot circumferences of 18 (20.5, 23) cm / 7 (8, 9) inches and adjustable foot lengths; leg height is intended to be equal to the established foot length. (Note that the three sizes each have more stitches than a standard vanilla sock — 64, 72, 80) st — since stranded knitting has less horizontal stretch and requires more fabric for a good fit. Depending on your gauge and fit preferences, you may wish to size down.)

These socks are rated 3/5 — Intermediate — on my sock pattern difficulty scale. This is because while they require stranded colourwork, they have short, predictable chart repeats and no unusual stitches.