I like numbers. Before I became an avid knitter, I think I preferred prime numbers. But as a knitter I have found delight in easily divisible numbers.
I also like designing and knitting socks. I long ago noticed that many of my socks were 60 stitches around. I came to love the number 60 because it’s divisible by so many integers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, 60. That means stitch patterns with a repeat of any of these numbers would work well in a sock. For a few years now, I’ve thought about creating a series of socks using each of the divisors of 60. Now’s the time.
I would like to invite you to join me in this quest of 60 stitches, even if you are not 60 years old.
For each sock, the yarn thickness may vary depending on the stitch pattern I use. I hope to incorporate all kinds of stitches: knit-purl patterns, cables, slip stitches, mosaic stitches, stranded knitting, and lace.
To figure out which yarn to use for any particular sock design, I pulled out my copy of The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns, by Ann Budd. I turned to the section on socks. The first order of business was to measure the circumference of my foot. My foot happens to be 8 inches around. So, if I want to work with 60 stitches then I need to get a gauge of 7 ½ stitches per inch.
If your foot measures 7 ½ inches around, then you need a gauge of 8 stitches per inch.
If your foot measures 8 ½ inches around, then you need a gauge of 7 stitches per inch.
If your foot measures 9 inches around, then you need a gauge of 6.67 stitches per inch.
Then I decide on the stitch pattern I want to use. Then I swatch – in the round – until I find a yarn and needle size that will give me the proper gauge and a fabric worthy of socks.
Rules and Constraints
All of these socks will be knitted from cuff to toe.
I plan to knit most, but not all, on double pointed needles, my choice will depend on the stitch pattern I choose.
The main part of leg and foot of sock must be 60 stitches around.
There will be no shaping of leg, so the leg on all of these socks won’t be terribly long, likely all under 7 inches from cuff to beginning of heel.
The main part of leg must contain a stitch pattern using the chosen divisor; the foot must contain part or all of the same stitch pattern.
The cuff, heel, and toe can stray from the divisor rule.
I must use a yarn that is already in my stash; it does not need to be “sock yarn”.
I will not be presenting patterns in any particular order, but I hope to post one pattern per month. I will post all the patterns in this blog. Free. I want to do this project for project’s sake, not for profit. Of course, if you’d like to donate to My Big Year, I would happily accept.
My next blog post will contain my first pattern: 20 X 3 = 60. A 20-stitch pattern repeated 3 times. Are you with me?