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Web-Letter, Issue 81 – Summer Sox Set

Socks are the thing to knit right now, in large measure because they’re portable and they will always fit the wearer. Also, one can indulge a craving for zany colors but limit their exposure to a flash of ankle from under a pant leg.

Self-striping sock yarns are particularly fun to work with because their patterning is a surprise—the exact effect of the yarn unfolds as you knit. And this is true whether you use them for socks or something else. Betsy Perry used Summer Sox, a soft stripey merino/cotton yarn, for a little cardigan for her granddaughter, Charlotte, and Edith Murphy designed cute, complementary socks—using two of the solid Summer Sox colors—to match colors in the sweater.

Pam Allen

The Story:

It’s a 3-year tradition now that I knit a sweater for my granddaughter when I begin my cross-country journey home from our January trade show. This year, I used Summer Sox for two reasons: Charlotte loves stripes, and she doesn’t like bulky sweaters (in fact, she’d rather go without any sleeves, summer or winter). 

I pulled out Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns as a starting point. It’s a wonderful guide for sizing and shaping. Because I thought I’d be bored with plain stockinette stitch—even though I knew I’d love watching the self-striping yarn generate bands of colors—I added two little cable panels to the back, and mimicked them on the fronts. I chose a colorway of Summer Sox that I thought Charlotte would like—with purple and pink, plus some neutrals.

The next big decision was how many buttons. Charlotte’s mother rarely buttons all the buttons on a cardigan anyway, so the bottom ones just get in the way. I put buttons along the top third of the sweater and let the bottoms hang free.

Betsy Perry

The Yarns:

Summer Sox
40% cotton, 40% superwash merino, 20% nylon

Summer Sox is a great all-season sock yarn, but it’s also good for kid’s garments. The cotton component of the yarn allows it to breath and feel cool against the skin. The wool adds elasticity, and a bit of nylon makes the yarn stable and sturdy for garments (and socks) that are long wearing. Summer Sox can be machine washed and tumbled dry! It comes in 12 stripey colors and 8 semi-solid shades.

In addition to the color shown in the sweater, here are some of our favorite Summer Sox self-striping colors. Click the image to enlarge detail.

pattern image
more photos

The Pattern:

Here are the free downloadable Summer Sox Child's Cardi and Toddler Socks patterns.

If you have difficulty downloading or printing the PDF pattern above, try these:
cardigan page 1, cardigan page 2; socks page 1, socks page 2

pattern image

The Stitches:

When binding off for the shoulder of a sweater, the bind offs most often take place over a number of rows.  This can leave the final edge looking like steps in a staircase.  To work a more evenly shaped edge, slipping some of the edge stitches while binding off works wonders.

Learn how to smooth the steps when binding off.

If you do not yet have access to Ravelry, add your e-mail to their list, and check back once you've received your invitation.

If you like the design above, you'll like this too:
Sweet Summer Socks

Pattern available in
Web-Letter, Issue 54

Ravel it.