Back in 2008 I whipped out a design for Knit/Purl’s inaugural sock club—and I do mean I whipped it out, because those socks were imagined and knit in the space of a week. Luckily, it was one of those Athena designs that springs out fully formed without a lick of fiddling or frogging.
I knew I’d be working with a variegated yarn, a specially commissioned colorway from Koigu. Variegateds can be so very alluring on the skein, and if you handle them right they can be a lot of fun to knit and wear, too. But I’m someone who gets a little twitchy when the colors start to pool and my ankles look like barber poles. So I’ll do whatever it takes to break up that kind of patterning. In my personal experience of knitting socks with variegated yarns, I can dodge pooling on 2.25 mm needles and on 2.75 mm needles, but 2.5 mm’s are a sure ticket to big spirals of color. I really prefer to knit socks on 2.25’s (that’s US #0) for durability, but when I was planning this sock club project I knew I didn’t have time for a really fine gauge. So US #2’s it was. Also good for busting up colors that want to be cliquish: garter stitch and slipped stitches. So I quickly sketched a motif of slipped-stitch serpentines over a fabric of garter rib. (Actually, I can’t even remember if I took time to sketch it. I may have just cast on and sailed as close to the wind as possible on this occasion.) And it worked. I named that little sock andamento, Italian for ‘flowing’ or ‘coursing,’ a term used to describe the visual flow of elements within a mosaic. And five years later, the rights to it are back in my hands and I can re-release it into the wild under my own label.
This new sample is knit in Malabrigo Sock “Turner,” which is honestly too fine a yarn for this pattern in terms of longevity. M. Sock wants a tighter gauge, in my opinion. I couldn’t resist these subtly shifting olive and spring greens with splashes of iris purples. But I recommend a heartier yarn, something plump, with bottom—more of a sportweight, really—if you want a sturdy sock at 7 stitches to the inch.
We grabbed some photos at the Marquam Nature Park south of town in between rain showers. Here’s a detail of the toe:
And of the slightly lacy cuff (who says a sock needs ribbing at the top?):
I’m astonished to tell you I used a mere 225 yards of wool in these. There’s so much of the skein left over I’ve decided I need to try to knit a very wee vest for a cousin’s any-minute-now baby out of the remnants. I’ll let you know if it works out. In the mean time, Andamento is now available for purchase in my Ravelry store; you can grab a copy via the button in the sidebar. Happy sock knitting!