Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cast is on Sock: A Knitting Recipe for You

There are many terms used to refer to my part of the country, among them "Tornado Alley," "Green Country," and the "Ice Belt." The latter moniker refers to the storms that hit us in November, December and January -- when it's too warm for the precipitation to be snow, but too cold for it to be rain. What we get is ice, and lots of it.

Now I prefer my ice crushed and in a cold glass with a bubbly drink, because when it is layered on the ground, it can cause a lot of damage, as you can only imagine. The good things about an ice storm, as I see it, are that the auto collision repair centers are booming with business (good for local economy), the orthopedic surgeons have more business than they can handle (and they get to treat non-athletic related broken bones), and those of us with the dreaded SSS can find release from the terrible stress caused by our syndrome, that of the "Second Sock." Come on, you know who you are. I am here to help you embrace this problem and let you enjoy your sock making skills with very little if no stress involved. And here's how you do it.

You start making sock slippers for the cast that is on your broken ankle bone! You use big fat yarn (makes it go very fast), you start at the toe so you can adjust as need be for diameter of the cast, and you whip up a comfy cast-cover in a couple of hours! If you are one of the lucky ones who does not suffer from the broken bone, make it your holiday charity knitting project!

Version 1 is knit with 1 skein + about a quarter of another skein of Eskimo (Garnstudio.) The cuff is a 2x2 rib with the two knit stitches knitted as a twist. Very easy!

Version 2 is a fun striped version knit with 1 skein of Como (Debbie Bliss) in blue/gray, and 1 skein in cream. The yarn is knit at a tighter gauge than recommended, so it is a thick, warm cast cover. The two yarns are carried up the side (twist when changing colors), and just continue using the blue for the heel wedge. The cuff has one row of white worked purl, and then BO in knit with Blue. This is a great sock to wear with jeans.

Version 3 is knit with Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky in black, and takes less than one skein. The yarn is held doubled to get gauge (use the end from inside the ball, and the end on the outside) and is finished with a garter stitch cuff (alternate rounds of knit and purl for approximately 1-2 inches as desired. ) This basic black sock goes with a lot of things, particularly with the black knit pants which have become my "wheel-chair and crutches uniform!"

Version 4 is a moccasin-themed sock knit with 1 skein of Puffin yarn (by Crystal Palace, in fudge brownie color). This yarn is a little finer, so the sock is lighter weight and stretchier. It will be good for the warmer days we are now having in March! Knit even until desired length, then begin purling in the round(this will be folded down to the outside). Cut remaining yarn in short lengths and make tassels around bound off edge.

Following is my recipe, which can be stirred up a bit, seasoned and garnished as your little heart desires. You are basically just knitting great big sock with bulky yarn, toe-up, fitting as you go.

Caution: My notes weren't very coherent (I was on pain medication when I made these!), but if you've made socks before, or have a basic toe up sock pattern, it really shouldn't be a problem for you!


Yarn: bulky weight, approximately 80 yards

Needles: US size 10.5, set of 4 double points

Gauge: 14 stitches per inch

Abbreviations: N = needle; Kf&b = Knit front and back of same stitch;
W&T = wrap and turn


Cast on 12 stitches using the figure eight method. The best tutorial for this is Knitty's own at

Knit across the 6 stitches on one needle, pivot the needles 180 degrees, and then with another needle, knit across the 6 stitches which are now on the top needle. Place a marker to designate the beginning of the round.

Round 1
With first needle, Kf&b, K2; with second needele K2, Kf&b; with a third needle, Kf&b, K4, Kf&b.
(There are now 4 stitches on N1, 4 stitches on N2, and 8 stitches on N3.)

Round 2
N1: Kf&b, K3 / N2: K3, Kf&b / N3: Kf&b, K6, Kf&b.
(There are now 5 stitches on N1, 5 stitches on N2, and 10 stitches on N3.)

Round 3
N1: Kf&b, Kt4 / N2: K4, Kf&b / N3: Kf&b, K18, Kf&b
(There are now 6 stitches on N1, 6 stitches on N2, and 12 stitches on N3.)

Round 4: Knit the round with no decreases.

Round 5
N1: Kf&b, knit remaining stitches on needle
N2: knit to last stitch, Kf&b
N3: Kf&b, knit to last stitch, Kf&b

Repeat rounds 4 and 5 three more times, until there are 9 stitches N1, 9 stitches N2,
and 18 stitches N3.

Knit even until sock reaches beginning of ankle joint (on me, size 8 foot with cast, it was about
6.75 inches).

Begin Heel shaping:
Knit across N1, Knit across N2, stopping 1 stitch before end, W&T.
Purl back across N2 and N1, stopping 1 stitch before end, W&T.

Continue knitting and purling back and forth, wrapping and turning one stitch before wrapped stitch of previous row, until 5 stitches are wrappen on each outside end of the needles 1 and 2.

Knit to first wrapped stitch , pick up wrap, and knit it with the stitch. Purl back to first wrapped stitch on that side, pick up wrap and purl it with the stitch.

Repeat this procedure until all wrapped stitches are picked up.

Knit back across N1 and N2 (these are the heel needles), pick up one stitch in gap with tip of last needle but do not knit it.

Work across N3 (instep stitches).

Pick up a stitch in the gap but don't knit it, then continue knitting across the remaining heel stitches.

Knit across first set of heel stitches, knitting the last stitch together with the picked up stitch.
Knit across instep stitches.
Knit across second set of heel stitches, knitting the picked up stitch together through back loop with the first stitch on the needle.

Resume knitting in the round until the sock is as tall as you want it. You can do the cuff anyway you want -- ribbed, lace, garter stitch, etc. Bind off, and you are done!

As I said, you will avoid SSS, but these will be so fun, you will want to keep making them!


zMaja said...

Hahaha, you're so cute. I like your dark humor! :)) I'm like that as well! (never really liked orthopedics, I used to be their patient a lot when I was a kid! :)))

Great simple ideas!
Apparently, It's been a "slippery" period on our blogs lately- unfortunatelly, in your case- literally slippery! ;-)

I hope you get well soon! ('tho, that purple cast goes great with the rest of the outfit! :))))

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, husband very happy with result!
Hedvig from Oslo, Norway