S 20,000 Stitches Under the Sea // Knitted Octopus Socks | Some Little Good

20,000 Stitches Under the Sea // Knitted Octopus Socks

In my last sock knitting post I mentioned that I had been drafting a pattern for a pair of nautical themed, colorwork socks. 

 It took a couple of tries to work out some of the details, but I *love* the final results,
and I thought I'd walk through how I got to them!


The First Pair

For this pair I used Woolike by Loops and Threads in the colors navy and beige. 

(I used yarn from my stash, but it looks like a lot of the Woolike colors have been discontinued and Navy is no longer available at Michaels.)

 First things first, I knitted a gauge on size 3 US dpns.

 My gauge came out to:
8 stitches x 12 rows = 1" x 1" square

 After making my gauge, I was then able to figure out how many stitches I needed to cast on based on the finished circumference I wanted, and taking into account the stitch repeat from my whales and waves chart. 

So for this pattern, I needed to cast on 96 stitches.

Because colorwork knitting is not very stretchy, the cuff needed to be wide enough to slip over the heel, but tight enough to stay up on the leg.

What a  dilemma! I ended up deciding that it was better a bit loose,
than to risk it being too tight to fit over the heel. 

After the whale chart was finished, I worked some decreases and switched to a 2x2 ribbing to help tighten the sock back up so that it would (hopefully) stay on the leg better.


Once the leg was finished, I used this sock knitting recipe to determine how to split up the stitches for the heel and gusset.

For the first version I made a striped square heel, and used short rows to turn the heel.

After picking up the gusset, there were so many stitches I needed to decrease by 4 stitches on every decrease round instead of by the standard 2 stitches, or else the foot would have ended up way too long.

 Instead of taking in both the decreases side by side, right before the instep (the instep is the top part of the sock), I decided to experiment and took one decrease by the heel and one by the instep on each side. 

This ended up making the sock shape a little wonky under the heel,
but once a foot is in the sock you can't tell.

 When a few rounds of decreases had been worked it was time to start the color work for the octopus. 

On this pair I worked the chart across the instep, and floated the white yarn around the rest of the sock, catching the floats every 3 or 4 stitches until it was time to work the color again on the next round. (I should have taken a picture of the inside - It looks like a white sock down at the foot! πŸ˜†)

This method allowed the underside of the sock to be a solid navy on the outside, however,
it has very little give and stretch because of all those floats.

Then I finished this pair off with a striped toe and the kitchener stitch.

My thoughts on how this pair turned out:

I love how the design looks visually with the striped toe balanced against the striped heel. However, I was a little concerned about the elasticity of the octopus portion of the sock. I was also disappointed with how my gusset experiment ended up turning out.

So, after reading through "Socks from Around Norway", and making the "Halling Socks" (you can see how those turned out here), I decided to re-work my nautical socks and give it a second go!


The Second Pair

Again, I used Woolike by Loops and Threads, but since I had run out of navy,
I went with black and teal instead.

I cast on the same number of stitches, and worked the cuff exactly like the first pair.

I thought it would be nice to add a little texture to the 2x2 ribbing,
so I cabled the knit stitches every fourth round.

For the second version I made a solid teal, square heel, and used short rows to turn the heel (just like the first pair). 
Then I picked up the gusset stitches in black . . . 

And this is where things got a lot different!
Instead of carrying the blue yarn around the inside of the foot, I used the same technique that the "Halling" socks used and alternated between black and blue on the underside, always making sure to end on the color black before working the instep.

Then I finished up with a solid teal, star toe.

My thoughts on how the second pair turned out:
I absolutely love them!  
Even though I lost the sailor stripes that the first pair had, I like the colorwork on the bottom of the foot just as much. The alternating colors also added so much elasticity!

I corrected the placement of the decreases at the gusset as well, and ended up with a nice smooth line from the heel to the toe.
When comparing the two pairs of socks, the second style appears to be a shorter length at the foot, but that's just an illusion caused by the solid black stripes at the heel and toe - both styles are exactly the same length.


Just for fun I did a little knitting math
and estimated that each sock is made up of about 12,000 stitches
Since this pattern was created with my Jules Verne loving brothers in mind, I've dubbed them the "20,000 Stitches Under the Sea Socks"


Hopefully y'all enjoyed my knitting rambles! If you've made it this far, I'd love to know which pair of socks are your favorite down in the comments below. 😊



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