Ron's Dark and Stormy Socks

Well, I've completed Ron's socks! I named them Dark and Stormy for two reasons. One, because of the blue and gray colors, and two, because I am a fan of the Dark and Stormy drink (Gosling's Black Seal Rum, ginger beer and lime).

I may have had a few of these during the evenings I spent knitting these socks! ;^) Yum!

These were done toe-up, two-at-a-time (TAAT). I used the Magic Loop method on one long 47" US 1 circular needle (my first time using ChiaoGoo Red Lace circulars and I LOVE them!). I originally tried them on a 40" but found that I didn't have quite enough loop left to comfortably maneuver.

They are a pretty basic sock. I used a whirlpool toe with plain stockinette up to the point of turning the heel. I then used Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel (STH), the padded version, and then carried on up the leg with some 2x2 ribbing. In retrospect, I probably should have started the ribbing a bit earlier than I did, but all in all I'm quite happy with them. And so is Ron who has been wearing them a lot which is nice to see!

This is now the second pair of socks I've done TAAT and made using Cat's STH. The TAAT thing is good for me because I am definitely prone to second-sock-syndrome. Finishing both together is a real bonus. As far as Cat's STH, I love how simple it is and how once you have learned it, it's yours. You know when and how to use it and there is a real freedom in not needing to rely on a pattern to turn a heel. Not to mention that it looks great and is custom fit to your heel! For my next pair I would definitely like to add in some stitch pattern up the top of the foot and up the leg as well. Anyone have one that they particularly like? Suggestions welcome!


ronhuber's picture

Great looking socks.

tomanyt's picture

Love the socks...and the drink!!!

Tallguy's picture

Excellent work!

I agree that longer needles are far superior in doing most of your work. I firmly believe that a person really only needs one set of really long circulars (in every needle size, of course) and can do anything with them -- even fingers of gloves.

I have not used the Tomato Heel yet, but yours looks great. I have to try it. Agreed that you only need to understand the principle of what you are doing and you can do almost anything. I can't follow a pattern anyway -- always have to "fix" it in some way.

The greatest compliment is when someone actually wears things you knit, and won't take them off! My mother showed me the socks I knit for her, which she said fit so well -- with holes worn under the heel! I didn't know how to feel -- but was pleased she enjoyed them that much. Guess I need to make many more so she has many pairs to keep in circulation.

KenInMaine's picture

I agree with you about the needles. I used to love my bamboo DPNs, but never use them now. I have already been planning on replacing my current, shorter circular needles with longer ones, probably 47 inchers. As you mentioned, even these can be used on very small projects, and work perfectly for magic loop in the round or when knitting flat. The longer circs are something that I'll purchase as needed, when a new project requires a size that I don't have yet. But I will definitely go with more ChiaoGoos. The quality of the needles, the smooth join and the flexible cable are all great.

Robbie1991's picture

the socks are beautiful

Bill's picture

Ken, Wonderful socks!
...and thank you for adding all those links to your post...VERY helpful!

Thunderhorse54's picture

I hope I can find that pattern when I get around to trying socks.
They're GREAT!

SimonWales's picture

Great looking socks and I fully understand your feelings about the second-sock-syndrome. I always try to have a couple of things on the go at any given time and often the knitting I am ignoring has one sock and the beginning of the second. I keep hoping that there will be a trend towards wearing just one sock - fashion has come up with weirder ideas - when that day comes my prayers will have been answered!!!

steve kadel's picture

i need a drink...made me thirsty

we put birds on things

Bill's picture

I just got an email with an update for the "Cat’s Sweet Tomato Heel Socks "...Cat added four new patterns...

Tom Hart's picture

Love those socks, Ken. You've convinced me about the tomato heel. As soon as I clear the decks I'm going to go out and get some sock yarn that I like and make some socks using that heel. I've only ever made socks using worsted weight and they're just too heavy. I absolutely love the look of yours. I'm going to have to try it. I'm also a fan of the magic loop. At this point the only needles I really ever work with are 60" addi turbos. They are the only ones I ever buy. But I think I'm going to check out the ChiaoGoo circulars. I also think it would be a good idea for me to learn the two-at-a-time method for socks. But like I say, once I clear the decks....

KenInMaine's picture

The ChiaoGoo needles are definitely nice and most likely cheaper. Try one sometime and let us know what you think in comparison to the Addi' s. Just FYI, the two at a time method is a little fiddly to cast on, but once you've gone a few rounds, things stabilize and its smooth sailing from there.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Great looking socks, Ken. Thanks so much for the update on how they knit up and the links. [And the drink recipe, too.] I design most of my socks with a pattern on the foot and leg so I recommend it very much. Look through some stitch dictionaries and pick out one that you like and give it a try. Something that has a rib in it will give you the most flexibility. Let us know how they go.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

KenInMaine's picture

Thanks Joe, I actually do have a stitch dictionary that I can reference. I've had it since I started knitting and kinda forgot about it. I'll have to dig it out!

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

You're welcome. The good thing about socks is that they are easily ripped back if the pattern doesn't work. If you have any questions about the process, you can always send me a message and I'll try to help figure things out. It may take a few days to get back to you but I will do so, either here or on Ravelry.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

AKQGuy's picture

Hmmm... I actually have some dark rum and ginger beer... The socks are wonderful. You convinced me finally to go buy the book. I have some dark brown sock yarn I have been aching to use but the last pair of socks I knit broke my needles and I'm waiting for the ChiaoGoo replacements to come in (knitters pride are nice but I'm going to give them a bit to get their production bugs worked out since I've had weird little glitches with 4 pair now. But they have stood behind their work and replaced all 4 free of charge.) I too am a TAAT sock knitter though I normally go top down. The great thing about this heel is that it can go either way. Hopefully my foot likes it.

KenInMaine's picture

Thanks! I'm excited that you may try a pair yourself! If you or anyone does try them, I have fitting information at this Ravelry forum post. This will allow you to plan ahead for a precise fit and know exactly how and when to increase or decrease stitches as needed. The three measurements I used are not something that is in the book, but I figured it out with the help of some other forum posts. And while I'm no expert, let me know if I can help if you run into any questions.