My current work in progress:

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


Rejiggering Sock Patterns

There were lots of good suggestions in the comments yesterday for rejiggering sock patterns to fit you when the pattern is not just right. I’ve done ’em all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Which one you use really depends on the pattern and just how much the pattern is off. Here are some of the highlights:

Add one or two stitches on each side of the sock. If the pattern is centered in the middle, this is a viable option, and won’t degrade the look of the sock. Look at my Pagoda Lace or Garden Path sock patterns — you could add stitches on each side of these and the pattern would look just fine. If you were to add 1 or 2 stitches on each side of the instep of these socks (leaving the sole stitches the same so you don’t mess up the math for the heel), you could add a quarter to a half an inch to the circumference of the sock. You could also remove a stitch or two to make ’em smaller. (This is more difficult for my Garden Path socks, as the stitch pattern is almost the full width of the smaller size. But you could do it by moving the outer zig-zag motif in a stitch or two before removing the outer stitch.

If the stitch pattern has a small repeat, try adding an extra repeat to the sock. My Healthy Spine sock, for example, has a small pattern repeat, so that’s one that would be do-able.

If possible, add or remove a stitch to/from each pattern repeat. This would work with my River Run and Snapdragon sock patterns, for example. Tangled Vines, too, for that matter.

Use a slightly heavier/slightly finer sock yarn. Not all fingering weight sock yarns are created equal. Some are beefier than others. For example, Fiesta Baby Boom is noticeably beefier than Lorna’s Laces and knit with the same needle size, gives me a slightly larger sock.

And of course, there’s knitting the instep on a larger needle than the sole, as I mentioned yesterday.

Kindly note how I slipped all the self-promotion in up there, in the guise of helpful hints and advice. Continuing in that vein, I should mention now that there will soon be four new WendyKnits sock patterns available at The Loopy Ewe: Alana, St. Louis, Spring Fling, and Twisted Logic. I just shipped the patterns out to Sheri, so they’ll be available for sale in a week or two, I expect.

And lookie here — I’ve finished the second Costa sock.

And a close-up:

I did have some trouble getting a good photo of these socks. See?

So tonight it is onward to a new sock in a particularly yummy colorway.

But we can speak of that tomorrow.

Lucy, meanwhile, is in a contemplative mood.


  1. Wowie, zowie… I think I might need a Ph.D in sock knitting to fully appreciate today’s blog ๐Ÿ™‚ The Costa socks are beautiful!! Dang girlfriend, you just keep turning them out! Amazing! Lucy is obviously spellbound by all of today’s info!!! luv.m.

  2. Mickie says:

    Oh, my Mary you are so funny. Wendy you are very smart and of course as I’ve mentioned before I love the Costa socks. And as for Lucy she is really the ham. Mickie

  3. Shirley, in PA says:

    BSP! And why not – your designs are truly special. I love the Costa sock. es Will it be available soon? Lucy said her coloring is especially attractive next to the orange sock. I think she needs a bed in this color.

  4. Thank you for all the helpful hints. Now when I read your blog I can hear your voice and even hear little giggles…. does that mean I am going crazy? LOL

  5. Please tell me you’ll have this pattern for sale, heel flap and all! I love this sock. Even though I no longer make many toeup socks anymore.

    I, too, hate the bigger needles for bigger sizes copout.

    bellamodens last blog post..memento

  6. Valerie says:

    Wonderful pattern and colorway; they are perfect together. The next pair wouldn’t happen to be a yummy flavor of Numma Numma would it?

  7. The Costa Socks turned out great – I love that pattern!

    Sheri at The Loopy Ewes last blog post..GudonyaToo in the Loopy Limelight

  8. Oooooooooo! The socks are gorgeous!!!!! Love the pattern. Great tips on sizing socks, Wendy. Thank you!

    Elizabeths last blog post..May Day Sock Swap

  9. Sherilan says:

    There is something particularly attractive about the Costa Socks. Excellent design.

  10. Love the Costa socks, especially the color!

    Did you feel the earthquake today?

    Loren Ts last blog post..The Earth Moved for Me, But Not in a Good Way

  11. Esther says:

    All of your socks are great and the Costa socks are no exception. The pattern is one of your best so far.

    Lucy knows that no knitting project is officially complete until a few a few dainty kitty hairs are sprinkled like fairy dust over the item.

  12. The Costa socks may just be my favorite design of yours so far this year! I thought the discussion on re-sizing yesterday was almost prescient since I received my next Loopy Sock of the Month package and it’s for a small (for me) CO. I may not adjust that one because I toyed with ideas but I don’t know that it will retain the designer’s original look, but fortunately my Mom has a foot which will be the perfect recipient. And she practically begs for socks at Christmas each year (she is exceptionally Sock Worthy!).

    It’s good that Lucy has a function in life ๐Ÿ™‚ I expect she contributes a hair or two to each pair of socks also (all my knitted items have contributions from the fur children).

    Tracys last blog post..It’s Wollmeise!

  13. Jeremy says:

    I really like the Costa design. I hope you’ll make it available soon.

  14. I really do love that sock. Waiting with baited breath, and all that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Imbriums last blog post..One More Word on Words

  15. Hmmmmmmm, more Wendy Knits patterns coming to TLE, stay outa my way when they hit the Sneak UP! Tell Lucy she has a Twin Brother in KooKoonut, he is as much a Camera Hog as she is ๐Ÿ™‚

    Danielle from SW MOs last blog post..One Finished and One to go on the Soldier Socks

  16. babyface says:

    Hi Wendy,
    I really like the Costa Socks. I hope it will be for sale soon. Have to
    go back to the blog where you said what yarn you use. We sock knitters
    usually find a way to get the pattern to fit us whether it’s orthodox or
    not. Someone usually helps me if I can figure it out. So far all my
    socks fit fine and I haven’t lost the integrity of the yarn or the pattern.

  17. Do you wonder if incorporating cat hair into a piece of knitting is like incorporating your hair in a boyfriend sweater? If you knit your hair in the sweater, then they won’t ever leave you. If it were only true of our fluffy friends. I would like my two kitties to stay with me forever. (A Norwegian friend of mine told me the whole hair thing….it worked for Husband Vs. 2.0 but not on Vs 1.0 giggle).

  18. I anxiously await the Twisted Logic Pattern and may even break from Sock Wars III to knit it.

  19. Must. Have. Costas!

    But to help me wait, I’ve started my long anticipated Crotalus. BTW, I like it way more in your original colorway – something sort of snake skin-like (and that’s GOOD as far as I’m concerned) in the color pools and brown accents. I hope my skeins of the yarn turn out half as well.

    Sandra Ds last blog post..Mr. Maize

  20. As if letting you twist my arm into the Summer of Socks wasn’t enough, I pondered the idea of vacation pictures and told Jessica I would send one with me knitting on a roller coaster. With dpns!
    FPS! What was I thinking?

  21. I envy you your photogenic cat. Mine hates the camera. I can’t take a decent picture of her for the life of me!

    beckys last blog post..First Crushes

  22. Lots of great ideas for sock size changing, thanks! And thanks for the heads up that I have to make sure to always be within reach of a web-enabled keyboard until those patterns go up. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Ronnis last blog post..Whiskey Tango Wednesday*

  23. I LOVE the Costa socks.. the colorway is great! Thanks for the tips on adapting patterns…. Glad to hear your blog woes cleared up. Excited to see what you’ll be knitting up next!

    Janices last blog post..Kids Move Out…

  24. I LOVE the Costa sock. I’m hoping you’re going to make the pattern available soon.

    Pats last blog post..Aging gracefully

  25. Leslie says:

    One of the things I like about you, Wendy, is that you are non-snarky and capable of giving advice/instruction without coming across as a self-worshipping, condescending, stuck-up jerk (unlike a few others). I guess that’s why I keep coming back Sunday through Friday. Well, there’s lucy too ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m keeping track of those sock patterns. I think I’m finally getting a little sock mojo here!

  26. Love the Costa Socks. Also, looking forward to getting the new patterns. I hope you got all the “fight” out of those St Louis socks. Of course, I think they have to be green to be scary and I’m not a green person. Lucy looks so sweet in that last picture–made me want to reach out and pet her. I’ll pet Izzy Kizzy and Debit Dog instead.

    Timmie Bs last blog post..More Preemie Hats

  27. Theresa in Italy says:

    I sure hope you sent Sheri a whole lot of those patterns, because they are gonna fly out of there. (Start printing more now and avoid the rush!) And I’m also wildly enamoured of the Costa Socks. Thank you for the tutorial on adjusting sock sizes! I’ve got a narrow foot and an, ahem, sturdy ankle, so I’m grateful for any tips you don’t mind sharing, self-promoting or not!

  28. Hi Wendy – I am new to sock knitting, and my husband wants thick, worsted-weight socks. How do I handle this? thanks!

    Smellyanns last blog post..Gas Pains

  29. Great tips! Love the latest design. And I had to giggle at Lucy. She is *just* as helpful as Simba when it comes to photography. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. I can see! I can see! Hallelujah I can see! You’re hosting your pics on your own server again instead of flickr. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now I can read AND see you at work again. Yay!

    turtlegirl76s last blog post..Bi-Craftual

  31. Love the very elegant Costa pattern. I’m fairly new to sock knitting and many of them haven’t worked out size wise. I am starting to get better at fitting them but am still doing a lot of frogging. Thanks for the helpful non-frog suggestions.

    Judy Bs last blog post..The Getting Better Dilema

  32. Lucy is contemplating the symmetry and beauty of the Costa sock and recognizing that it would suit any sock-wearer of any age or gender. Really a keeper! (As, of course, is Lucy.)

  33. Michele In Maine says:

    Love the Costa socks. I even had that colorway in my cart earlier this week but hesitated a moment too long and **poof** it was gone. That’s ok, I have a more (ahem) to choose from right in my living room. My Wabi would like Lucy to know that she wishes her mama would spend less on yarn and more on salmon treats!

  34. Hm. The Costas turned out lovely – more lovely sock patterns, just in time for summer of socks… yay! Of all the hints over the last two days, the kick-up-the-needle-size for the part of my leg that’s… um… less svelte than the pattern on size 1 needles might otherwise fit – that’s gonna work great for me. Yay! Socks that are pretty *and* stay up as they should, without sacrificing “blood circulation” and “skin coloration”!!

    CraftyGryphons last blog post..i cn hz totbg?

  35. Sweet Pea!!! For the yarn color, not necessarily for the pattern. Although that is up to you. The color reminds me of split pea soup. Very pretty.

    Peggys last blog post..Shadow Box Hat

  36. Kabira says:

    Has anyone mentioned yet that there are ‘sock re-jiggering’ instructions towards the back of “Big Girl Knits’ – really helpful I thought!