Pollyanna Messes with Ann Budd

Hey, Anna-Liza here. For all you Ann Budd fans (and I’m one of them), I haven’t done anything to perturb her in any way. Promise! I will say that, having met her, I think it would probably take a lot to perturb her, but I still didn’t do anything that could be in any way construed as perturbing. Entirely non-perturbing, that’s me.

What I did do was mess with her basic sock pattern. This was the project “involving Malabrigo” that I mentioned a while back. So far back, in fact, that I can’t actually remember what post that was. Oops.

First, this was a staff project. The idea was to take Ann’s basic sock instructions in The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns and come up with variations for kids’ socks. I volunteered to be one of the sock-messer-abouters and was told I could either use my own stash or, oh yeah, they did have a skein of Malabrigo Sock they’d just received as a sample. Duck on a Junebug? Nothin’ on me.

The socks are designed for Mr. R. He has slender legs and long slender feet, which is something he couldn’t escape, really. He has sensitive skin and hates socks that bunch up.

So I used a 1 x 1 rib all the way down the leg, to give them a close fit without being tight. I added a narrow rope-twist cable down each side for interest (both visual and knitting), and also decided to make these with reverse stockinette on the soles, for a little more smoothness against the area that takes all the pressure.

This last variation is sometimes called “princess foot”, but Mr R asked if I could call it “ninja foot” instead. So ninja foot it is. It’s nice for people with sensitive feet, and I am wondering if it might actually wear better than conventional stockinette. I guess we’ll find out!

I didn’t do the gussets in reverse stockinette, and I just kept going with that portion in stockinette until I was almost to the toe of the first sock. At that point, I realized the reverse stockinette portion would only be in the center of his foot and wouldn’t cover the areas with the most pressure, which would sort of defeat the purpose. So I did a little surgery – my preferred brand, where I rip back just in the columns that need to be changed and then knit them back up again. Tricky, yet satisfying. If I knit these again, though, I think I’ll do the gussets in reverse stockinette for a more smooth look from gusset to foot.

Once I had the soles actually sole-width, it went pretty well. The preview for the Summer issue of Interweave Knits is up now, so you can take a look – it’s the one labelled “Staff Project – Petite Feet” and the ones I did are the semi-solid blue ones on the far right. Check out the bonus photos, too!

They’re called “Cabled Ninja Socks” and you can read all abou them in the magazine. The pattern is already up at the free pattern library at Knitting Daily, too.

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