My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.



The lovely Imbrium asked in a comment if the sock I’m working on is snugger than usual due to the twistiness of many of its stitches. It is indeed.

That is why I work the top (instep) of the sock on a 2.5mm needle while the bottom (the sole) is on my usual 2mm needle. After the turning of the heel, when I continue the pattern around the back of the sock, I work both halves of the sock on the 2.5mm needle.

To do this, you really do kinda sorta have to knit your sock on two circulars. You can’t do two different needle sizes if you are magic-looping (duh), and while you could conceivably do so with dpns, you’d have one heckuva time keeping track of which needles were which, unless your two sets were of wildly different color or composition. Even if this were the case, I know I’d screw up because I get myself into a sort of fugue state when I knit socks and stop paying attention much of the time.

Making this sort of adjustment is helped along by the great range of sizes available in the Knitpicks needles. In the fixed-length circular (which is what I use for all my socks) you can get 2mm, 2.25mm, 2.5mm, 2.75mm, 3mm, 3.25mm, 3.5mm, 3.75mm. Well, more sizes, but this is the range I use for knitting socks. Holy tiny increments, Batman! Gotta love it.

Of course, if you are a die-hard dpn user (cough::L-B::cough) you could simply knit the entire sock on a needle one size larger than you would usually use. For example, if you usually use a 2mm needle, use a 2.25mm needle all around. But I like keeping the sole and heel on the 2mm and going up two increments for the patterned bits.

Here is the first Costa sock, completed.

I am very pleased with it. ๐Ÿ™‚

A close-up:

Meanwhile, Lucy takes the fine art of relaxing to new levels.


  1. I am so in love with that sock!

  2. These socks are incredibly beautiful. I love their movement. You are a true inspiration!

    SockPixies last blog post..It’s Off to Trouville…

  3. Love it!! I wanna make it. Please publish the pattern and I will buy it.

  4. LOVE IT!!!! Del and Kaye send their love. I agree with everyone else, publish and I will buy.

    Stacys last blog post..That reminds me of a Song. (Spring Fling)

  5. Michele in maine says:

    Lucy, you are a pro at relaxing! Love the Costa sock. And am learning to love the two-circ method!

  6. What a gorgeous sock!

    Tammys last blog post..Sideways

  7. I really like the new sock!

    Lauras last blog post..Iโ€™m on a mission!

  8. That is one sweet pair of socks, I can hardly wait for the book, I think this could be one of my all time favourite looks….

    cedars last blog post..Blue footed booby

  9. Gorgeous!!! Definitely purchasing, ok will do on circs…

    Cheryls last blog post..Less Than One Week

  10. Beautiful socks! I wish I could knit like you :^\. (I’ll keep practicing:^] )

    Can’t wait for the book and hopefully book tour. Hope there are signing in No. VA!

  11. I love your new sock. It has wonderful movement. I can remember when you used dpns too. Whatever happened to the silver ones? And please, when you tour, think Philadelphia, PA.

  12. That’s a sock I want to make! I nearly always knit my socks with a #2 sirc for the leg and top of foot and a#1 for the heel, sole and all of the toe. It gives me a more comfortable sock with a better wearing foot.

  13. as always, beautiful. Love the tip about using two size needles. Makes so much sense.

    KSees last blog post..LOL

  14. Oh, the ribbing details at the top are just perfect! Love, love, love.

    Imbriums last blog post..Five on Friday, or I Love the Internet

  15. They look so warm and comfortable! I don’t always like slouchy socks, or socks that don’t retain their shape well, and this one looks like the perfect type of socks for Megan! (Now, if only I can get sock knitting down… )

    Megan Ss last blog post..

  16. Ann Rose says:

    I really like the “depth” and definition of the ribbed portion, and I’m impressed at how it stands up to the gentle variegation of the yarn. Great tip about using two circs of different sizes for socks with special instep patterns (twisted rib and such). Lucy must have worked very hard on her relaxing — she makes it look effortless!

  17. Leslie says:

    You and Lucy are each overachievers ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m really in love with the looks of that sock though and might even use two circs instead of Magic Loop to make it when the pattern is published. Then again, I may just make it on 2.5 or 3’s…

  18. That sock looks just lovely. You’ll be pleased to know that I approve!

    –Debs last blog post..Updating

  19. (a la Veruca Salt) Don’t care how I want that pattern now ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. (a la Veruca Salt) Don’t care how ,I want that pattern now ๐Ÿ™‚

    Saras last blog post..This and That

  21. It’s stunning – even more so on the foot. I think this has gotta be my favorite of your designs so far.

    Sandra Ds last blog post..Getting the Boot….

  22. L-B DP-Hands says:

    Sounds like a triple dog dare to me!
    Bring it on!

  23. kelly in new mexico says:

    Love this pattern it is way too cool!!! Haven’t wrote a comment in a while cuz couldn’t figure out how to work the new site. Can’t wait for your next book. I am glad to see you are putting another one out there. You’re too good to not share your knowledge. Anyway love , love the socks!!!!!

  24. Paula in Iowa says:

    New sock is most intrigueing. I am a sock knitting junkie! Have more patterns than I’ll ever be able to work up. Will still have to have your new book. Just Because. And (cough::L-B::cough) I’m with L-B. I tried using 2 circs, ’cause my sister loves ’em. Drove me bug- nutty-bananas-berserk!

  25. You know, I’m with LB on the issue of dpns. I would dearly love to be a magic looper. I can see all the advantages and the logic of knitting socks that way, but I just can’t get to grips with the bits of cable twisting up and sticking out. I’ve been trying it lately and I cast on a sock tonight on dpns and it was like coming home.

    The Costa socks are looking really great btw!

    Mandellas last blog post..Holiday Report

  26. ChristyH says:

    I’m with L-B and the DPN’s. Although I must admit I want to learn how to knit socks with two circulars.

  27. I am loving those Costa socks! You are really on a roll! I am anxiously awaiting the sock book!

    Michelles last blog post..Good stuff.

  28. I like Magic Loop *and* DP’s; it depends on if it’s a traveling sock or a stay-at-home sock. I tried socks on 2 circs, and for me it was like when I tried GLM ski lessons; I was fine with 3-foot skis and no poles, but when they gave me 4-foot skis *and* poles, my brain fried, and I spent the rest of the day in the lodge drinking cocoa.

    Lynns last blog post..The Most Important Things

  29. Love that sock Wendy, but 2 circs ugh. Can do magic loop and dpn’s but have yet to make any progress on circs. The color is beautiful.

  30. Oh, boy. I want to knit those socks immediately! That sock is gorgeous. I did read that you were going to sell this pattern eventually didn’t I? (please please please?)

    Ronnis last blog post..Whiskey Tango Wednesday*

  31. These are my favorite socks I have seen you do. Thanks for sharing them.

  32. Theresa in Italy says:

    You’re probably so tired of hearing this, but I love that sock, too!

    I finally tried using 2 circs (on one of your patterns, of course) and guess what? Not too hard! Maybe even, dare I say it, easier than DPNs! And for a slow knitter like me, perhaps a little faster, too.

    Tell Lucy to take it easy, she’s making me break out in a sweat just looking at her….

  33. Liz in IN says:

    Oh! I got a little light-headed there, reading the brilliant idea of using two different needle sizes. I have just very recently conquered the socks-on-two-16″-circs challenge. Now, for the fine tuning!

    Appropos of that (sort of), may I ask a question/your opinion? I bought a lovely and popular sock book (because yours doesn’t come out until next year!), and have discovered that most of the patterns are designed for narrower feet than my own. Their suggestion is always the same: change needle size to get gauge.

    Is this the standard solution? Doesn’t this affect the…integrity of the fabric? At the moment, I knit fingering wt yarn on 2mm or 2.25mm to produce the sock fabric I like. The book’s sock patterns *start* with a larger needle size than that (to make socks too narrow pour moi). I’m concerned that sizing up for gauge will produce…floppy sock fabric. And nobody likes “Monsieur Floppy”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  34. Love that sock! Are the socks in your book all new ones we haven’t seen before – or will some be ones that we’ve gotten to see on the blog recently?

  35. Celeste says:

    Since the pattern starts so close to the tip of the toe, do you think these would wear hard on the toes while wearing shoes?

    Very very cute by the way.

  36. HeatherB says:

    I’m so sad we have to wait until 2009 for your book. I would not normally buy a book just dedicated to socks, but your patterns are so different, but do-able and so lovely, I will definitely get it. At the beginning of this sock I didn’t think I’d like it at all, but the finished sock is beautiful (silly me for doubting).

  37. What a gorgeous sock! And what a gorgeous kitty! I want to rub and kiss that furry tummy! luv.m.

  38. HI I’m glad to see ya back and online again! The Costas sock is oming out very nice! Lucy you have a beautiful furry belly too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Danielle from SW MOs last blog post..The Blue Irises are Blooming!

  39. Those are lovely socks… since I like a nice snug sock, that pattern would be right up my alley. I’m thinking it will be included in your new book due out next year- no? and I LOVE those Knitpicks needles.

  40. Shelda says:

    I may be a little weirder than your average duck, but I semi-routinely knit the instep and soles of socks on different size needles: dp needles. And for some reason it works out just fine. I even use identical needles, just in different sizes.

    I lay down the needle I’ve just worked from on one side of me, and pick up the needle I want to work onto from the other side of me. And do that over and over again. and it works just fine.

    I did knit a pair of socks using two circulars, and I even bought two of the KnitPicks 16″ circulars because I thought if you could switch, maybe I could switch. But nuh-uh, just didn’t work for me.

    But I did want to say that it can be done with dpns!

  41. Stunning. Can’t wait for the pattern.


    Erins last blog post..Knitting. And spinning. And cats.

  42. Wow, what a great pattern! I love how it looks.

    Nicoles last blog post..Not a hat