In the California Sierras, trout season begins around the last week of April, the first week of May. Snow is possibly still on the ground. Certainly, the weather can be chilly!
A very good friend of mine has been providing me with some of his catch every year. One day he mentioned cold feet from a day of fishing. That thought has been in the back of my mind for quite some time, and the other day while rummaging through the stash, I found some yarn that made me think of the beach. From there, tropics and fish, and from there, fish and feet. So, as a surprise thank you, I’ve begun some socks for him for his next trip.
Here is the pattern thus far, with the complete pattern posted online later on.
Trout Season Socks
Use two different shades of yarn, held together. Here I am using Baby Ull, by Dale of Norway, which is machine washable, 100% merino. The colors are a royal blue, and a bright turquoise.
Gauge: 5.5 st / inch on US 3 needles
CO 52 stitches; 1 x 1 ribbing for 1.5 inches. Stitches are distributed over 3 needles.
Drop turquoise yarn, add second royal blue skein, k using doubled yarn 5 rounds.
Drop second royal blue, pick up turquoise. K one round in doubled yarn, then 1 x 1 rib for 2 rounds. Make sure to leave a loose strand where you knit the blue, so that the stripe is not puckered. Repeat as necessary.
Cut turquoise yarn, pick up second royal blue skein. K using doubled yarn 5 rounds. Cut second royal blue skein, leaving a tail to weave in later.
Once more double up with the turquoise and royal blue yarn. 2 x 2 ribbing to desired sock length, beginning with k2, p2. (I did 8 inches.) Drop or cut turquoise yarn when ready to begin heel flap.
Heel Flap: 26 stitches. Double up the two royal blue skeins. K 25 st, end p1. Turn. Slip first stitich on heel needle purlwise, k3, purl to last four stitches of heel flap, k3, end p1. Repeat these two rows till piece measures desired length (I did 2.5 inches). End ready to purl.
Note: At this point, I redistribute all my stitches so that one half are on the heel flap needle (26), and the remaining 26 are divided over 2 needles, 13 stitches on each needle.
Turning the Heel: P 14, p 2 tog, p 1. Turn work. Slip first stitich purlwise, k 3, k 2 tog, k 1. Turn work. Work back and forth until all stitches worked up, with 14 stitches remaining on needle, ready to begin next row knitting. Cut second royal blue and attach turquoise.
Note: If you don’t know too much about turning the heel, this is a good site for some instruction.
Gusset: Using double stranded turquoise and royal blue yarn, pick up 10 stitches along heel flap, and one more in the turquoise-royal blue yarn by instep, 11 stitches total. At this point you can choose to knit across the 2 x 2 rib, or continue in its pattern until you reach the toe. I am continuing in the rib, which across the instep is p2, k2 rib, ending p2 before the third needle, which holds heel stitches. Pick up 1 stitch in the turquoise-royal blue yarn, then 10 more along heel flap, for a total of 11 stitches. Knit 7 more stitches (1/2 of the remaining heel flap stitches). From this point forward until the toe is reached, the doubled yarn is the turquoise-royal blue.
Note: At this point, I redistribute needle stitches. I have 18 stitches on needle 1 (heel) , 26 for the instep on needle 2, and 18 on needle 3 (heel).
Gusset Shaping: First Round: On needle one, k 15, k2 tog., k1. Knit or follow ribbing across instep needle 2. On needle 3, k 1, ssk, k 15. Second Round: K all stitches on needle 1 (17 sts), follow pattern decided for needle 2 (26 sts), k all stitches on needle 3 (17 sts). Continue these two rounds until there are 13 sts on needles 1 and 3, and 26 on needle 2, for a total of 52 stitches.
Foot: Continue in established pattern until 1.5 inches short of desired foot length.
Inside out, these socks look the Space Needle in Seattle, but the design idea is to allow a muscular calf to have some comfort, while the 2 x 2 ribbing helps keep the socks up. Also, these socks are not reinforced with any nylon, so the owner will be told to wear them with care, not to go hiking down the driveway in them, and so on. Hopefully he will get many years of good use out of them. And we will continue to get fish!
I’ll follow up with more later on. In the interim, the Buttoned Cardigan is moving along nicely, as well as several other pairs of socks!