It is somewhat of a surprise that I’ve been able to get through over three years of knitting socks without having knit the ubiquitous Monkey. Surely one cannot be a proper sock knitter unless you have knitted a pair of these, of which there are over 16,000 projects on Ravelry!
Undeniably, having odd-shaped feet is a bit of a challenge when it comes to knitting Cookie A patterns. My feet are longer than average and far wider and often instructions are only given for one single size, as was the case with this pattern when it was published on Knitty.
As I don’t own either of her books, I took it upon myself to adapt the pattern for my tootsies. The ingredients?
One skein of Lorna’s Laces Solemate in colourway “The L”.
And a pair of ChiaoGoo RED Lace needles – 2.25mm with a 80cm cable. I know the entire internet has been raving about how amazing these needles are, but it’s true. I have no desire to knit anything else and I will buy a set of their interchangeables as soon as funds permit. Love, love, LOVE them.
So on to the mods. Of which there are many! You can find all the notes on my Rav page too.
- Cast on 80 stitches using my favourite of all cuff-down sock cast-ons, the German Cast-On. Very useful video here for anyone who wants to know how it works (meaning each round I’d be working five repeats of the pattern, rathern than the standard four)
- 12 rows of K1tbl, p1 ribbing
- 6 repeats of the pattern on the leg (was going to do five to conserve yarn, but took a calculated risk I’d have enough and whoop!)
- Used 40 sts for the heel flap (To set-up for heel flap and ensure the top of the foot shows 2 full pattern repeats, k4 sts and move to previous needle. The arrange other sts to give 40 on the current needle and commence heel flap as follows:
- Row 1 (RS): Sl1, *k1, sl1; repeat from * to end.
- Row 2: Sl 1 purlwise, p to end.
- Repeated this for the heel flap 18 times to accommodate my instep
- For heel turn, followedthe directions for the Rounder Heel, here
- Picked up an extra 2 sts between the heel flap and the foot to minimise any gaps
- Decreased down to 72 sts for the foot – 40 on the sole and 32 on the top – by removing the extra 4 sts either side of the two pattern repeats on the top of the foot – keep just the top 32 sts on one needle and all of the others after picking up the gusset sts on your other needle and decrease down to 40 as needed. The sts that you moved to the sole needle should flow nicely into the gusset
- 5 repeats of the foot before starting toe
- Rearrange sts so that there is 36 sts on each needle
- On toe, decrease 4 sts every other round until 40 sts total remain. Then decrease every row until 20 sts total remain and graft shut, with 10 sts on each needle.
In total both socks weigh 90g and I’m very happy with how they’ve come out. There is some odd pooling going on (you can see it in the below picture at the end of the post – on the outside of my left foot) but nothing too disturbing.
I’m not completely sold on the heel turn method I used. I need to try other methods I think and find something that gives me the perfect fit.
I do love the completely unintentional, accidental way the two sts at the end of each pattern repeat by the side of the foot flow nicely into the gusset.
So there they are! Monkey socks. I actually feel pretty chuffed for having made several major changes to the pattern and coming them come out and fit. The fit isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good for housesocks and I’ll continue tweaking over the next few pairs.
Wonder if I can squeeze in one last project before 2012 comes to an end?