Pattern: Gentleman’s Fancy Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in Velvet Damson, 1 skein
Needles: US 0
Notes: Though I have many, Knitting Vintage Socks is possibly my favorite book of sock patterns. The patterns are beautiful and classy without being overdone, and most are approachable to knit. This sock is actually written for a man’s foot, and I think it would make a lovely man’s dress sock. I reduced the number of stitches to cast on from 80 down to 60, which fits me very well. I also swapped the heel for a slip stitch heel, and knit the toe for considerably less length than called for, though I did use the wide toe decreases, which I do not find convincing.
Jitterbug is a controversial yarn, if ever there were such a thing. There are stories of many knots, dye lot changes, fuzzing, and short yardage. Of these, I have only experienced the short yardage. Below is the amount I had left over from my size 8 socks (9.5″ total heel to toe, 6″ leg.)
I could not have gotten another pattern repeat on both socks, I don’t think, though it’s possible I could have squeezed it out. Still, a 6 inch leg is pretty much my ideal – long enough to not be ankle socks, but not enough to fall down.
Honestly, I love Jitterbug. It’s a very heavy fingering weight, which I knit on size zeros for durability (the socks felt stiff before blocking, but are lovely now.) It has a tightly twisted feel – it is rather a hard yarn, compared to something like koigu. The colors are gorgeous – both the semisolids like my yarn, and the pretty multis, many of which have really interesting color combinations. I have a skein of Slate in my stash, which I’m planning on using to make a pair of Monkeys sometime this spring. I can’t speak to the durability of the yarn yet, but it was a pleasure to knit up. As long as the socks don’t fall apart I can see myself using this many times in the future.