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EEK! Permanent SWOLLEN FEET< pattern/ sizing/ yarn Missive...

 Dear Sock Kal folks and KP Friends,
 I have had my eye here a bit but this is my first post. Oh How i love hand made socks. I do not have a single pair, but not for lack of trying.
My husband and I have illnesses that make our feet and legs swell  permanently but still the diameter changes depending on if we drank enough or did not, or if we did not elevate enough.. etc...So  basic proportions  are NEVER like any pattern except in length for me at times. He has very long feet too;

I keep on pondering.EVERYONE knows Somebody with swollen feet, even moms to be sometimes have it!! .. If a designer made a pretty lace puffy sock for a gal and a puffy sock for a man with these medical issues then  they would make a fortune.  I dream of   beautiful lace socks that have a  ton of stretch recovery!  !</i></u>

 It is hard when most patterns are for a 7 or 8 " diameter foot and your foot is closer to 11 -14 inches ( Between the 2 of us). The only pattern i found online that was close was for a diabetic sock. In close reading,  the proportions were  too weird, theirs were like a box,
People need to know you just don't make a box for socks( I feel like Dr Suess will show up now.) At one time in my life about 8 yrs ago that would have worked when i had to have my legs wrapped with 4 layers for lymphadema.. However NOW we have normal shaped feet. What is very swollen. are 1. the tops of our feet 2 for me the ankles and the shins for me , for him and the calves. 

Although I have read many sock patterns/books in the last  years,
( I have both of Wendy's and a bunch of others books, Ann Budd is great.. THANK YOU KP!!! Because of your  book sale here at KP   I am building my library.) 
Also, I have read,  studied  sock patterns  across blogs on the internet.
I am still what I would consider an experienced beginner to knit Socks but  I am NOT a sock  designer

I also have NO knitter near me.

Years ago I began My lilac socks which are
a gorgeous  lace leg cuff down., It was my FIRST Sock.. I was slow knitting for sure... It fit for a year,  while in process  8 mos. ago my legs got worse and  it did not. So I  frogged  half the lace, to increase the width of the calf/ shin... wow,  it was a job. I spent much time studying lace.. Then  I had it, about 2 weeks ago I retried the legs on, I could not get either  past my heel!. . I had gained 50 lbs from steroids  so my legs were way too large, I completely took it all out.    NOTHING. for years of socks pox struggle..

So, during this frustration  My husband came home with a surprise from a trip to an art gallery about 3 hrs away. . He was so cute...." Do you have THIS ONE??"   Wendy Knits for Everybody.   It is a lovely  inspiring book but not for his  size feet. However it is closer... just NOT big enough... I honesty am at an impasse. I don't know how to design for the changes in anatomy.Question 1 ANY RECOMMENDATIONS??? 

Yesterday..while rubbing medication onto his feet, He said" I have watched you play with that yarn , knit  it again and tear out over and over. I can see you struggle. So Dear, why don't  you wait until  AFTER you get your own socks done to make mine?" He was really letting me off the hook easy.Darn... My whole goal was  to surprise him on Christmas day with a nice pair of socks for snow blowing the driveway. See Rob's fine art and cartoons here 

Like the proverbial rubber ball, I am bouncing back. There must be others like us!!! . I am spending this week testing gauge. I figure if I can get a really good gauge I may be able to math it out.
On size 0  2.0mm  I get  an average of 10.5 st per inch. I have to go
higher up as it is too tiny for my  trifocal eyes.

I am now doing size 1 in metal KP and like the way it works on the yarn. I never thought I would like anything more than my Harmony wood. But I do like the metal. I do not have the clear Harmony acrylic that small, only down to size 4.that is in the kit.

I was thinking of  using size 2 as i have a  47 "  Circ in Harmony wood.... Soon I will  know my gauges.,(I have to go SLOW because I
just got diagnosed this week with a 2nd fracture in my spine,  so i
have to knit with pillows under arms for shorter periods of time. I am
not allowed to bend forward or lift anything.

Question 2  What is the COOLEST FEELING yarn for socks
Besides cotton?? We both have  burning soles,
Question 3
 We do not know if the stretchy  yarns are elasticized with latex-- Can anyone advise us? 
WE both have SERIOUS Latex allergies.
Check out my Blog and Videos. ( Hundreds of knit and fiber videos)
bless you all, Grace
THANK YOU For any help!!
Be in hope always, Grace in VT.

Views: 94

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Grace,

I'm in VT too. Where are you? We are in Fairlee... If you made your socks with a k1p1 rib on the top and the leg, that would provide a lot of stretchiness.

Bamboo is very cool feeling.

I don't know about the latex but when I find a ball of the stretchy stuff, I'll check.

Good luck!

Hello, Grace. I'm sorry to hear of the afflictions that plague you and your husband. Without being near you to actually come to your house and help you, the best advice I can give is to get the book, The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook by Lynne Vogel. KP has it and I linked the title to their page for it. This is my favorite sock book because it has information and instructions for so many options for socks, including stretchy cast ons, how to take measurements to make socks that fit you, and LOTS of other useful stuff. On page 81 there are also instructions for making a toe that is supposed to be very loose and comfy. Don't be intimidated by the focus on dyeing at the beginning of the book, (or in the description), there is a lot more in this book that any sock knitter can benefit from, even if they never dye anything themselves.
I hope you are able to find the information you need, and someone to come to your aid in person, if that would be most helpful. This community is full of loving, caring, giving people, so if it's at all possible, you should find someone here who could be that person.
And I agree with Marie, bamboo is said to be a very cooling fiber, even better than cotton, and it feels just wonderful!! I think it would be very soothing to your feet.
Hi Grace....I don't get here often but happened to come by today. I am not a sock designer either but I do rejoice in those with the capability to provide me with such lovely designs. I also have problems with swollen ankles off and on largely due to sitting at my computer all day transcribing. I really like a K2, P2 rib for stretchiness--while waiting for someone to help you out with design issues, you might try knitting the cuff and top of the foot in a K2, P2 rib. I usually use a fingering weight yarn and a size 2.75 mm to 3.00 mm for my socks. Granted, it's not as fun and exciting as nice lace design but is still a hand knit sock and quite comfy! Most of the time I use superwash wool and nylon for my socks but I also Panda Cotton, which has a bit of stretch to it.

As for the elastic in stretchy sock yarn, you might ask someone at KP what the stretchy part of their Risata sock yarn is made of. You could ask someone at The Loopy Ewe if they can advise whether Panda Cotton contains latex.

Oh wait...I remember now. I purchased Grey Eagle socks, an independent designer pattern available at KP. It is knit with a sport weight yarn (I believe I used a Miss Babs and Malabrigo--I did 2 pair). I used my Harmony 3.25 needles. This lace pattern is quite forgiving...pulling together or stretching as needed. The design is really fun to do. It is more of an ankle sock but you could always make the cuff a bit longer if you like. The price is so reasonable, it might be worth a try. I plan on doing more of this pattern for just that reason--it is accommodating for my thin/thick feet! I made a pair for my son too, now that I think about it more that are extremely stretchy. I'll have to dig for the pattern and get back to you, it might work for your hubby--and I believe it was a free online design.

Hope this helps. I'd really give the Grey Eagle socks a try.
my best advice is to swatch swatch swatch to get a good and accurate guage. but you need to swatch in the round if you are knitting in the round otherwise it will not be accurate.

the yarns with the elastic threads in them tend to make smaller socks!!! by wary of them.

laces are a good choice for the cuff and top of the foot as they do usually have a lot of side to side stretch and there are openwork patterns that would work for your husband. do you have a stitch dictionary?

Use as many stitches as you need for your sock. A sock is really a recipe - a cuff, a heel flap, a heel turn, gusset, foot and toe. That is how I teach my classes so that once you know how to make a sock a pattern really isn't necessary. You plug in your number of stitches, your pattern and off you go. And yes, it really is that simple.
Hi Grace,
If the bottoms of your feets are tender and sensitive, you might try knitting the bottoms inside out, so the smooth side of the stockinette stitch is next to your flesh. To make the socks stretchy, a ribbing is also a good idea. Rib everything from the cuffs thru the tops of the feet. Wool is quite stretchy. Using larger needles with thinner yarn makes it even more stretchy. I don't know what is cooler.

Lots of other good advice here. Good Luck
Marty in AZ
Another sock book that might help is one of Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks books. There are templates for just about any width sock. I would pick a ribbed or lacy pattern for maximum stretch.
Grace, I can't add anything to the advice you have gotten so far except that toe up socks might be better for you to try to knit. I would start with plain socks with a 2 x 2 ribbing for the cuff. Then progress to something like the Grey Eagle Socks. When you have those kinds of health issues, about the only thing you can do is to have socks in different sizes. My MIL has blood clots in her legs, so her legs are constantly fluctuating in size. One day one sock might fit and another day a totally different size will fit. Toe up would allow you to try it on as you go. Actually you can try on top down socks as you go but it is more convenient to try on toe up. Marty is correct. If you do a reverse stockinette, especially for the sole of the sock, the smooth side of the knitting will be next to your feet which is more comfortable for those with sensitive skin.
Sounds like a good idea would be to knit several pairs in different sizes. Too bad! More knitting!
Right! Too bad, we hate knitting! NOT!
Cheryl has a point here about different sized socks, Grace. But if it's difficult for you to do so many pairs because of your physical limitations, you could talk to someone at your Local Yarn Store (LYS) to try and find volunteers to help you. Some careful measuring, information about how much bigger or smaller to make alternate sizes, and then instructions for what stitch patterns to use would be all an experienced sock knitter would need to be able to knit for you.

If you don't have a LYS, or other knitters close enough to you to help out....There are lots of friends here who may be able to assist.
I totally agree with Cheryl on this one. I have a friend who knitted a pair of socks for her DH a while back... he has BIIIIIG feet and she said that working from the toe up helped her out tremendously. She could get an idea of how long and wide he wanted his toe, and it was very easy to see where the increases needed to go. If you want to find a very soft yarn, I would choose alpaca, that is my personal fav, and lemme tell you my alpaca socks are a DREAM to wear! I knitted a pair for my mother in the sport weight KP andean treasure (alpaca) for her birthday, and not only do they knit up fast, a 2x2 ribbing will streeeeeeetch a lot! My mom has very large feet due to her size, and she also has swelling problems to the extent that she wears adjustable sandal shoes year round because they don't hurt her feet. She looooves her socks and the stretchiness lets her wear them even when her feet swell up. If you really want to do a lace pattern, maybe do a larger ribbing like K3P3 and you could put a small bit of lacework on your knit sections... also, some socks have a turned-down lace cuff, so you could use the ribbing on the underside of the cuff where it won't be seen and then knit up that gorgeous lace on the side of the cuff you WILL be able to see.
Grace, you might check out Sally's discussion here. I think she might have helpful information for you.


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