Back in December I announced that my New Year's Resolutions would include learning new sock techniques. Yarn Harlot keeps pointing out that socks are a small canvas on which to practice (or show off) knitting techniques. Don't have time to commit to a fair isle sweater? Knit a pair of stranded socks! Want to play around with cables? We have sock patterns for that, too! But I specifically wanted to concentrate on the different ways of constructing socks: casting on, turning the heel, binding off. For my first socks I selected Nancy Bush's Knot Socks from Ann Budd's Sock Knitting Master Class and took them with me as my Honeymoon Knitting Project*.
The Knot Socks called for three techniques I'd not tried before: Double Start CO, Dutch or Square Heel, and Three Point Toe. I really like the Double Start CO. It creates a slightly decorative edge and the stitches cast on in pairs making it really easy to count and make sure one has the correct number of stitches before joining in the round. I absolutely love the Square Heel. The slip stitch "ribbing" extends through the short rows for turning the heel and offers a little extra padding and extra reinforcement to the heels. Cute and practical! I am less enamoured of the Three Point Toe. I knit a little long in the pattern so, rather than rip back, I increased the rate of decrease stitches and the three points come together under my toes. It's not uncomfortable, but I'm not aesthetically pleased. I'll try it again, starting the decreases when I'm supposed to, and see if I feel any more warmly toward it, but I predict in the future, should a pattern call for a Three Point Toe that I will be substituting a different one.
As for the cabled "knot" pattern, I'm not 100% satisfied. I felt like the cables were "cheating" and that a double-sided cable would have created the same effect but more in keeping with the illusion of plaiting four individual strands together. I'm sorry I can't explain it better than that. I didn't want to play around with the cables in the middle of knitting a pair of socks, but should I make these again, or knit something similar, I'll sort it out to my satisfaction.
I was also less than completely enthusiastic about the pattern being isolated on the front with the ribbing on the back of the leg. In a perfect work the knots could have been worked all the way around and then flown smoothly into the slip-stitch heel. I don't know how that would actually work with the heel, but my inner perfectionist wanted it. At the very least, I would've preferred that the extant ribbing flowed into the slip stitch heel.
These are not intended as criticisms of the designer or the pattern. I enjoyed knitting my socks and I enjoy wearing them (they're lilac btw, not the blue pictured though I like the blue more than the actual colour). I'm sorting my feelings out so that I know what I like, what does or doesn't feel "right" about a given design or construction. I prefer all-over designs; I prefer heels that flow from the pattern. I prefer a more complicated cable that follows rules I invented in my head to an easier to describe one that gives identical results. That leads me to my only deliberate modification: I mirrored the cables on the second sock to create a symmetrical pair.