A Summit sock

Published on Thursday August 20th, 2009

Our Sock Summit homework for Meg Swansen’s Arch-Shaped Stockings class was to work the leg of a child’s sock in Guernsey wool over 44 stitches. I had no Guernsey wool and felt I’d better not even try to order just one skein from Schoolhouse Press, because who’s ever been able to justify paying the full shipping rate for one skein of yarn? We all know what road that leads down, and since I haven’t knit up all the wool I bought from them last year at Knitting Camp, I decided I’d just pull something from the stash. I thought it should still be something from Schoolhouse, and I had lots of Satakieli left over from a hat. It would be quite a bit lighter than Guernsey, but I figured I’d knit it on 2’s or 3’s and it would be okay.

No dice. My 3 dpns were in the second Islander Sweater. My 2’s were in a baby bootie and a mitten. My 1.5’s were in the Makarovna socks. This is what happens when you start too many projects and don’t finish them in a timely manner, kids. So I cast on with my 1’s. (Luckily I have two sets. The other was in a glove.) And I have a very small sock to show for it.


I really should have put something in this photograph for scale. You’ll just have to believe me that the sole of this sock is about 3″ long. Oh well. It will make a charming Christmas tree ornament, don’t you think? Possibly it could go on quite a small baby, although since babies’ feet don’t really have arches I think the clever shaping is probably moot.


This is only one version of seven possible arch-shaped stockings you get with Meg’s pattern. This twisted-stitch sock is the most basic; there’s another lovely Bavarian-style twisted-stitch one, an Aran style patterned after the original knee socks Elizabeth knit for Meg in the ’60s, and several gorgeous colorwork versions. They’re fun to knit, and I loved trying on the Aran knee socks. There might be a pair of those in my future.

The class itself was marvelous, of course. It turned out a friend’s mother from my hometown was in the same session, so we sat together. Meg and Amy recognized me from Camp (and I think it’s amazing how they can do that… all those campers, and they remember our faces!) and said lovely things about Daisy Daisy, which I was glad to have brought to the chilly Convention Center. It’s such a treat to spend time in their presence; if you ever get the chance of a class with them or an opportunity to go up to Wisconsin for Camp or one of their other events, you should leap at it.

In other sock news:


That is a sock inside another sock, both ready for grafting. In fact, they are now grafted. The inside sock I did first (the only option if you don’t want to separate them at this point, and believe me, I want the full magical value of pulling a finished sock out at the end), in the usual way. Then I had to stop and scratch my head. Oh, right. The outside sock is inside out. It has to be grafted inside out. So instead of knit purl, purl knit… purl knit, knit purl? Yep. But you’d be amazed how difficult it is to train yourself out of a little mantra and set of motions you know so well. I accomplished it, though, and along the way I made a realization that ought to serve me well in tackling more difficult grafting… non-stockinet grafting, for instance. Each stitch requires first its opposite, then its own. So a purl stitch must be purled on the first pass, then knit on the second pass. I knew this in a vague way, of course, but once I started thinking about it that way I saw that I could now become a master graftswoman. Bring on hoods with fancy cable patterns!

So the Makarovna socks are grafted, but I decided I had to wait for an audience other than the cat for the moment of truth. We’re off for a few days of family reunion, so the amazing sock trick can be performed in front of all my husband’s relations!

7 Comments to “A Summit sock”

  1. Seanna Lea Comment Says:

    I love the look of the arch shaped socks. Didn’t she have the pattern published in Vogue Knitting a year or two ago? If so, I’ll have to pull it out when I finish the three or four pairs of socks I have on the needles (I’m so bad at finishing all of these projects).

  2. Denise Comment Says:

    Ok, there must be some kind of Spock/McCoy Vulcan mind-thing going on between us. I just came across the instructions for the sock-with-in-a-sock last night, when pulling out Cat Bordhi’s book to check on ssk-ing, and I thought that would be a great and fast way to make socks for Kira. Are we knitter’s crazy or what? I would love to be there for the Anna Karenina moment.

    PS. I was doing all this at 11pm

  3. Andrea Comment Says:

    Are you going to read Anna Karenina to them first? To prepare the audience?

  4. whitney Comment Says:

    What a gorgeous little sock!

  5. Katherine Comment Says:

    Hey, please disregard my phone message, now that I’ve read this and see that you’re out of town! Hopefully we can meet up another time.

    Also, I just found out that Abundant Yarns is closing its physical store! This weekend was their closing sale. Sad, huh?

  6. Linda in NC Comment Says:

    I would love to be in the audience for that manuever!

    The shaped-arch sock is lovely. Good job.

  7. XiaoMi Comment Says:

    If you can believe, that is the optimal size of a traditionally bound foot of a grown woman. Aren’t we all lucky that is no longer considered sexy??!!