Saturday, October 2, 2010

Meet the Soccasins

I've never been tempted to knit socks before- mainly because I didn't think I possess the dexterity to knit dental floss yarn on toothpick-sized dpns. But after knitting 3 Christmas stockings in a row, I guess I got curious about knitting a pair of socks in human size. (Said Xmas stockings are shoved in a cabinet somewhere, waiting to be blocked and photographed. I guess I got burnt out from knitting three in a row. And I have one more to knit.) So I got to thinking about knitting socks for loved ones this holiday season. Everyone has socks already, and if I'm knitting socks I want them to be SEEN and ADMIRED.  I went back to a much-browsed copy of The Knitter's Almanac by the incomparable Elizabeth Zimmerman, and lo and behold she has a pattern for moccasin socks! I've always loved socks with a different colored sole!

I was eager to cast on, and I didn't even consult Ravelry for tips beforehand. What resulted could be fairly described as sadomasochistic knitting. I'm not one to enjoy tearing apart my knitting, but I got completely absorbed in this project and for several evenings in a row I was thoroughly preoccupied and experimenting with different techniques and designs. Man, EZ's pattern was pithy to the pithiest power. But I guess that was her genius because instead of telling the reader exactly what to do, she described her method and reasoning behind the construction. It ultimately gave me more freedom to design my own moccasin sock, which I have renamed soccasins. Soccasins are meant to be worn indoor and are knit in worsted/bulky yarn. I have departed quite a bit from EZ's original pattern to fit my design and knitting preference.

Without further ado let me introduce Hilary:

This was knit for my MIL, Hilary. She has tiny feet (size 5ish?) so I decided to knit a pair of soccasins for her first. I used light worsted superwash wool in yellow for the instep and grey for the sole (to hide dirt- very practical.) I designed delicate cables because Hilary wears a lot of cabled sweaters. Instead of the usual purl stitches in between cables, I used knit stitches. They feel less "socky" and more "soccasiny" to me.

And here's a pair of men's soccasin, Nick.

Nick features one bold cable down the instep- Nick, my husband, really wanted to make sure that his socks didn't turn out too girly. Because in his opinion most hand-knitted stuff are kinda girly. I used aran-weight yarn for the instep (simply because that's what I had in my stash) and the same yarn for the sole that I used for Hilary.

There's another pair of soccasins coming soon- it is knit in luxurious alpaca/merino wool blend in bulky weight. Since the yarn is so warm, I incorporated a bit of lace on the instep. The prototype has almost dried, and then I will knit up an official pair in the most awesome color combo yet.
Stay tuned! Link to Ravelry


  1. These are gorgeous. Do you have plans to post your mods to Ravelry anytime soon? I would love to knit your modernized version as Xmas gifts.

  2. these are SO pretty! I've been reading and trying to decipher the pattern in my copy of Knitters Almanac and just shaking my head in confusion. I wish I could figure this out so mine might turn out as good as yours!

  3. These are FAR prettier than EZ's version. Any chance of getting details of the changes you made to the original pattern? (especially around the toe, which I find ugly in the original).