This month, Patricia and I challenged members of our Year of the Sock crochet group to crochet socks for Halloween. I put together a roundup of Halloween and fall-inspired sock and slipper patterns to get the ball rolling. The idea was to use the provided patterns to crochet a pair of Halloween socks, or get inspired by the other patterns and color palettes to design a truly unique pair of socks. I was so thrilled by the socks that people crocheted.
Patricia modified a pattern to crochet her Wicked Witch of the East socks (the witch in the Wizard of Oz who has the house fall on her). Aren’t they amazing? You can read all about how she adapted the pattern and get some useful tips about tackling complicated colorwork in her blog post.
Paola Mengoli crocheted Frankenstein socks using a pattern by Anita Afra, which she modified by adding hair, eyes, scars, and bolts.
Patricia and Paola really show how with a bit of imagination you can adapt an existing pattern to create something truly unique.
I did something similar for my October socks. I have been itching to try my hand at designing a sock pattern. So I went through all of my notes (which, by the way, Patricia and I have compiled into a Google spreadsheet called “The Sock Drawer” for you to peruse if you desire) and chose the sock construction techniques that I enjoyed most from all of the socks I have crocheted this year. And then in mad scientist/sorceress fashion, I mashed them all together to create my first original pair of socks. It was a truly fun experience.
So first, here are the elements that I incorporated:
- Knit Picks Stroll Tonal Fingering Yarn: Although a similar yarn by Knit Picks gave me a headache on my April socks, it did create a very interesting effect when I crocheted the sock leg, so I wanted to try it again with a more subtly variegated colorway. The color I chose is called “Train Station.” I paired this yarn with a bright solid green from the Knit Picks Stroll line called “Peapod.” The plan was for the bright green to be used sparingly in the leg to create tiny pops of color, like the reflection of eyes in the dark. Ooo… spooky.
- Toe-up construction using the foundation row method of slip-stitching into the back bars of the chain, which I learned from Janet Rehfeldt in the sock I did for March.
- Extended single crochet stitch for the foot, which I did for the first time in my April socks. This stitch seems to have just the right amount of ease for sock construction. It hugs the foot without being restrictive at all. Because of this very nice balance, I am sure to use this stitch again in the future.
- I ended up using a short-row heel, but I couldn’t remember which instructions I liked best so I just figured it out as I went. The one thing that I discovered through this, and that I hope to remember in the future, is that it worked out really well to end up with significantly more stitches after the heel is complete than what you had at the end of the foot, before starting the heel. I think most people have ankles that are a bit larger in circumference than the foot, so this makes total sense. Having an additional 12-18 stitches at the ankle worked best.
- For the leg, I used a stitch pattern that I have been going gaga over for a few months now. (In fact, I am currently using this stitch in a big afghan that will be featured in the Autumn 2017 issue of Crochet! Magazine. Isn’t that awesome?! I can’t wait to share more about this project, but I honestly need to concentrate on finishing the pattern first!!) It’s called block stitch and I discovered it when I was researching stitches that would give the effect of lots of little flashes of color. This article on the website Projectarian provided my initial inspiration.
So you take all these ingredients and throw them in a beaker, mix well, and presto… you have “In the Shadows” crochet socks!
For the month of November, I’ll be joining the Year of the Sock Facebook group in crocheting a pair of gift socks. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying it: Christmas is around the corner. What better way to get prepared than to use the Year of the Sock challenge to make a special pair of socks for a special person. Will you join me?
Check out previous months in this incredible year of the sock: