When I heard that Cat Bordhi was coming out with a new book, I was a bit excited.
I purchased her previous New Pathways for Sock Knitters book, had it spiral bound to make it easier to use, flipped through it a few times, and then tossed it in the corner. The woman is a knitting genius, but her system of measurements and gauge and tables and page flipping really turned me off.
My excitement came from the announcement that Bordhi’s new Personal Footprints for Insouciant Sock Knitters was nothing like the previous book. I was thrilled. I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants knitter. It’s admittedly like a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants builder, and I know that sometimes I do need to actually plan ahead. However, I knit for relaxation, but obsessing over multiple charts and tables on multiple pages isn’t all that relaxing for me.
Bordhi’s new book makes it so one can make a pair of socks with minimal planning and rules. It seemed like just the thing for me! The process starts with an outline of the foot of the person who will wear the socks. Then the knitter follows a small number of steps to create the foot of sock. Then the foot is opened at the ankle and the cuff is knitted.
As someone who had knitted several pairs of socks in the usual method (knitting the toe, then working the way up to the heel and then the cuff or knitting the cuff, then working the way down to the heel and then the toe), I was a bit apprehensive. Just the idea of slicing open a knitted area filled me with dread.
Amazingly enough, if one follows Bordhi’s new process, it works! Bordhi encourages knitters to make a “Discovery Sock” to test the process, but I went straight into knitting a full pair of “Discovery Socks”.
The yarn just makes me happy! It’s Chance Sock from the Serendipitous Ewe in the Apogee colorway. It’s bright and totally fun! Plus, big bonus, the yarn felt really great to knit and wear!
According to the notes that I wrote on my cardboard foot cut-out, I increased from 4 stitches to 66 for the toe. Then I increased 12 more stitches at the bottom of the foot to allow for the gusset. I followed Bordhi’s advice and redistributed the stitches on the top and bottom needle to allow more stitches to be put on the lifeline around the ankle area. Before picking up the ankle stitches, I skipped some of the striping sequence so that I could match up with the blue stripe around the stitches on the lifeline. Then to prevent holes, I knitted the yarn left over from ankle opening with the yarn used for the cuff.
The result is a pair of socks that are the best fitting socks that I’ve made for my feet so far! The toe is a little loose but considering my other sock-knitting attempts, when either the cuff was too tight or when I had a hard time getting my foot through the heel turn, this sock goes a LONG way to eliminating some of the more annoying problems I’ve had with hand-knitted socks in the past.
Next time, I will use a different type of toe opening, and I might make a new cardboard footprint with a slightly less pointy toe. Also, after walking around all day in these socks, I’ve decided that I’m not a big fan of the three-needle bind-off used for the heel. I’ll kitchener the next pair!
I do think I’ll be knitting more socks out of this book. It won’t be for awhile though. Christmas knitting is looming, and I’ve done… NONE yet! Eep! There are less than 40 days until Christmas! I’d better get cracking!