Friday, May 30, 2014

FO Friday: Railside Road Socks

Pattern: Railside Road Socks (pattern link in sidebar)

Yarn: Cascade Heritage Solids Sock Yarn

Needles Size: US 0 (2 mm)

Modifications: The pattern is an original design, but I'm eager to see what others might do with the pattern

Comments: Railside Road Socks were designed for my nephew; he's been a train afficionado from an early age. And while I wanted to create some special socks for him, I also realized they had to be masculine, unfussy and well-fitted for there to be any chance that he'd actually wear them. Typical guy!


An alternate cable cast-on flows invisibly into a ribbed cuff. Paired Lateral Braids create railroad tracks around the leg. The plain stockinette of the lower leg flows into a simple and understated heel. A final Lateral Braid demarcates the transition from an otherwise plain foot to a wedge toe.

This alternate cable cast on is new to me, but it really does create a stretchy and invisible foundation row for a ribbed cuff. It's a little detail, and few would notice the difference if you substituted another cast on, but it's always fun to try something new.

The lateral braids are also known as Vikkel Braids. I first encountered this stitch in Spey Valley socks designed by Nancy Bush. It's very easy to do and creates a neat lateral stitch across your knitting. I especially like the little braid detail across the top of the toe - makes the sock look almost "store-bought" which is high praise from a teenage boy.

The heel is inspired by the heel construction from Mince Pie Mayhem socks by Alice Yu. Increases on each side of the heel create "expansion" areas to accommodate the ankle. The added stitches are decreased out while working the underside of the heel - no picking up of stitches at all. The result, when worked in stockinette, is nearly invisible shaping ... ahh that elusive "store-bought" look again.

I've been told that this heel structure was originally designed by Cat Bordhi as a "Riverbed Heel" although I haven't yet read her book "New Pathways for Sock Knitters" so I may stand to be corrected by those who know better. I recently purchased the book to learn more about her innovative sock construction ideas and am considering making the book the foundation of my next Year of Projects.

A big thank you to Gavin who patiently modelled these socks on the platform of our local train station. It's Friday - Finished Object Friday, so if/when Tami posts, I'll link up with the gang at Tami's Amis and then we can all click through the links to see a parade of amazing finishes!



11 comments:

Dee said...

OH MY GOSH ......I LOVE THEM! I will definitely be making a pair of these!!!!!

THEY ARE AWESOME!


PS: Gavin is a very good sport and a terrific model.

Renee Anne said...

Those are quite lovely :)

Barbara at Knitting | Work in Progress said...

Love how you combined subtle detailing with the right yarn to create a spectacular pair of socks.

Kepanie said...

I really like that understated heel. That's pretty cool. And the simple line across the toes is very nice too.

Gracey is not my name.... said...

Those are great looking....would take me forever to make, but am interested in what others do with them...

Caffeine Girl said...

Wow, that is a well-thought-out pattern. Very classy and masculine.

elisabethandree said...

Beautiful socks, I like the 'smooth' look of them and therefore comfortable to wear.

Anonymous said...

Awesome socks! Incredibly functional looking.
-SamiT

Elizabeth said...

Those look fabulous! I'm sure your nephew will love them. Great idea taking the photos at the train station.

Sarah Ronchetti said...

These look LOVELY! well done!

Marie/Underground Crafter said...

I'm impressed with Gavin for taking his shoes off in the local train station! These are great "action shots."