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!