Friday, June 30, 2017

Grey is the New Vanilla is the New Black

One weeknight last month, I found myself without easy knitting (having left my bag of sock yarn squares at the office). I cast on a new sock and started 2x2 rib. The great thing about socks is that you don’t even have to commit to a pattern at this point – you can just start something that you know will fit you. I grabbed a couple balls of good, grey yarn that I purchased in Iceland a couple of summers ago (it is Danish yarn, though). I only have one pair of grey handknit socks and they were in heavy rotation last winter, so making another pair seemed like a good idea.IMG_8305

Have you seen the Vanilla is the New Black pattern? It is a fairly basic sock, but with a different heel. There is no heel flap and no picking up of stitches, but it is knit top-down. The heel is the star of the sock. I decided to try it. The only place one has to pay close attention is while knitting the heel (which, after lots of stockinette, was a welcome change). Luckily, I hit Heel #1 while on the road:IMG_5701

I find that knitting with charts is no problem in the car, as long as one has a roll of washi tape. It is strong enough to hold, but not strong enough to leave residue on the dash. It also comes off paper pretty easily.

On the front, this is a plain vanilla sock:IMG_6371 crop

But the back!IMG_6367

Also note that there is no visible line of gusset decreases on the side of the foot near the ankle bone – instead, they are tucked under the heel:IMG_6370

I think this is a very handsome sock, and I’ll be making it again. I have always preferred the fit of a sock with a heel flap rather than a short-row heel, as it’s deeper… and this one feels very similar.IMG_6372

One final detail… an instructor once told me that yarn manufacturers can have +/- 10% of the weight specified on the ball band and still be legal. In this case, my two balls were quite a bit different. The socks are identical (I checked, in a panic!) but one of my leftover balls is 14 grams, while the other is only 8. IMG_6374

Those will be going straight into my I Love Leftovers blanket.


  1. Interesting construction and I love how it looks! Do you know yet how the heel feels in shoes?I can be a bit like the princess and the pea with socks and wonder if that central column of two stitches down the center would feel funny.

  2. I, too, like that pattern. The heel looks beautiful.

  3. Love that pattern. You could call them "mullet socks" -- business in the front, party in the back. On second thought, don't do that. Great socks, though. I approve of the color, of course.