Speedy self striping socks

These socks were knit so quickly due to a few key choices. They ended up for me but if I were pushed for time to give to someone else, I would definitely look to something like this. Not only were they fast, they were really relaxing because they don't require a lot of concentration - so I managed to read or watch a film at the same time (which is probably partly why they felt like they flew by). There are a few things that I did for the first time with these and they paid off - glad that I gave them a go!


I used Knit Picks Felici self striping yarn in the Drama Club colourway for these. Knit Picks is a US website so shipping is more expensive, but at the time I also ordered a book and had a code which basically wrote off the shipping charge. You can find UK stock at Great British Yarns, if you really want some. The yarn comes in 50g skeins in a huge range of colours, specifically weighted and put together for socks (25% nylon). The self striping means that all you have to do is knit and the stripes will simply appear as you go. I wanted to make mine match exactly, and attempted to match the cast on colour for the second sock, but there isn't a lot of leeway in getting an exact match because there's only 50g in the skein. I used up the entire skein, adding contrasting heels and toes with a 20g left over from a different project. The advantage of the contrasting heels and toes (apart from there not being enough in 50g otherwise!) is that you can keep the stripes even across the whole sock.
The yarn itself is nice to wear - actually it's held up to a lot of wear and washing in the machine.

Pattern and construction

I made these as a standard Vanilla sock, which is partly why they knit up so fast. I cast on 56 stitches, joined in the round and knit 1 x 1 rib until the colour changed, then stockinette until it was time to put in the heel.
At this point, I switched to my contrast yarn and began constructing a Fish Lips Kiss heel. It's $1 on Ravelry and has lots of pages of information on how to make good fitting socks. This heel knits up faster than a standard heel flap and gusset, so again, makes for a speedier finish.
Once the heel was constructed I started again with the striping yarn until 2" from where I wanted it to end, switched in the contrast yarn again and knit the toes.
If you want a basic sock pattern, Voolenvine has a free pattern that uses a heel flap and gusset that you could switch out for the Fish Lips Kiss heel.

Finally, I should say that this was the first time I used 9" circular sock needles (Addi sock wonders) which took a bit of getting used to but also meant that these whizzed by because I wasn't fiddling with changing DPNs or moving a magic loop cord around. I did need a pair of DPNs for the heel because the cord isn't long enough to keep stitches on hold and work at the same time - so remember to pack another pair of needles if you are on the move!

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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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