Puffin Socks by Liz Harris

Puffin Socks

November 2018
both are used in this pattern
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
34 stitches and 52 rows = 4 inches
in Stockinette
US 0 - 2.0 mm
US 1 - 2.25 mm
370 - 400 yards (338 - 366 m)
S, M, L, XL
Flag of English English
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Seeing puffins in real life has long been on my Bucket List and recently a vacation to Newfoundland enabled me to do just that. After that hard-to-top outing to the puffin nesting grounds, it was time to check out the urban attractions of the city of St. John’s and do the typical touristy stuff in the main harbor area. I was pleased to find a highly-rated lys right in the middle of the main touring neighborhood so I was all set. And when I found some exquisite yarn in the Puffin colorway dyed by a Canadian indie dyer, I knew I had hit the jackpot! So, yeah, I bought a bunch of yarn; a much better souvenir of my lovely trip than a silly t-shirt any day, I think. This sock pattern is the result of that trip: I will never forget that wonderful trip and these socks will be my visual reminder in more ways than one.

Working with strongly variegated yarn is often problematic as the colors seem to eat up patterns that are too complex. I am incapable, however, of knitting a plain vanilla sock, so I got to work with sample knitting. After a bit of swatching, I ended up with a downsized afghan chevron pattern to complement the strong colors with a very simple and visibly pleasing design. I was concerned about the heel gussets but kept the faith and managed to work out some nice gusset triangles while maintaining the pattern on the rest of the sock.

I named this pattern after the colorway of the wonderful yarn I used to knit these up; obviously, any indie dyed variegated yarn would work just as well. Solid color yarn or slight tonals would not show up the pattern as well and are not recommended.

These socks are knit top down with a traditional heel flap and gusset. The chevron pattern wraps around the entire foot including the sole. I give written instructions only for the two patterns used. This sock pattern is appropriate for intermediate knitters and beyond. The chevron stitch pattern is rather easy, but there are some slightly more complex instructions in the heel and gusset portions which require a bit more than a beginner’s expertise. Instructions are given for 4 sizes: Ladies S, M, L and XL (Ladies L = Men’s M and Ladies XL = Men’s L). The cast-on amount of stitches may strike you as a little on the high side and so tempt you to size down. I recommend against doing this. The pattern used for the chevrons present throughout most of these socks has a fair amount of negative ease ( = is snug) that is not super stretchy so the extra stitches are necessary for the desired fit.

Note: I knit socks on 4 DPNs at a time, I have attempted to generalize my instructions for folks who use other needle set-ups.