Introducing Whirlpool Socks

Photo copyright Interweave Press 2008

When I got the call for submissions to Carol Sulcoski's latest book Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn, published by Interweave Press, I knew I wanted to design something with beads. For those of you who know me, you know I've been somewhat obsessed with incorporating beads into the majority of the designs I am working on. My goal was to come up with a stitch that distracted your eye from any pooling or striping that your hand-dyed yarn might create when knitting it in the round; and to do this with beads.

The original swatch I sent Interweave was done in Schaefer Yarn's Heather with size 6 beads. The editors loved the design, but decided that it would look even better in Schaefer's Anne with size 8 beads. It was a really good decision, the final socks are fab... and now my daughter wears the original Heather swatch as a wristie and it looks totally cool.

The sock begins with a picot edge cuff that is created by starting with a provisional cast on and working a hem, with a yarnover/k2tog turning row. I knew that it was important to me that the beads not touch the skin at all. I managed to do this by floating the beads on yarn-over's while they migrate on a diagonal line around the leg. The stitch pattern is super easy to memorize, and actually hard to stop doing. I was a wee bit sad on both socks when the leg was over and it was time to turn the heel and knit the stockinette stitch foot. (I decided it would be REALLY uncomfortable to have beads rubbing between your foot and shoe.)

I hope you enjoy knitting and wearing these as much as I do!