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Cats and a Curmudgeon
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Drunken Master Ribbing

Sonny Chiba would wear these socks.


This is what happens when you mess up 2x2 ribbing, and then start doing it on purpose. It's a variation of the 'spiral' tube sock stitch, but this one, as I finally got a picture to capture, meanders back and forth.

Again, I will assume you know the basics of sock making, if not, my earlier patterns go a little more step by step. Feel free to substitute your favorite heel and toe, of course!

Begin, with sock weight yarn and size 2 needles, CO 65 stitches, join into ring, knitting last stitch together with first stitch, to close the gap between stitches. Work in k2 p2 rib for 1 inch, or as desired. While this is a fairly stretchy ribbing, it is not quite as elastic as regular old 2x2 ribbing, so do work some straight ribbing at the top!

When you're ready to begin meandering, simply offset the stitches by one every other row. By this I mean, if you have been starting your rows with k2 p2 k2, to start meandering, k1 p2 k2 and so on, ending k1. The second row after the offset row you simply knit the knits and purl the purls. If you make a tiny wander (only moving the rib aside two stitches, so you rows start p2 k2) you will have a very delicate, perhaps merely Tipsy Master. I offset by 8 or 10 stitches, as the mood struck. You bring it back the same way--if you start your row with p2 k2, to start bringing it back (back meaning meandering to the right) p1 k2 p2, and so on.

Work in your Drunken Meandering till the sock measures about 8 inches long, then begin your heel. I did a Dutch heel on 32 stitches--I did a regular heel flap, then k 21, k2tog, turn, sl 1, p10, p2tog, turn, sl 1 k10 k2tog, turn...and so forth, working the whole thing in heel stitch (k1 sl1 across) which makes a nice cushioned heel cup. Pick up for along your gusset, but put the last two stitches on the instep needle, and then two more from the other side of the needle, so the instep needles have 36 stitches (instead of 32). This will allow you to have a decent sized meander down the top of the foot. Work gusset decreases as usual, working top of foot in a very small meander (offsetting by 2-4 stitches). Decrease sole stitches to 28.

Here is a sample, for the faint of heart, of the pattern stitch, written out a la ASCI:

R1 &2: kkppkkppkkpp (etc)

R3 &4: pkkppkkppkkp (etc)

R5 &6: ppkkppkkppkk (etc)

R7 &8: kppkkppkkppk (etc)

(You can see how your inital k2 starts to migrate over, let's take it back from round 8 now, so you can see it coming back)

R9 &10: ppkkppkkppkkpp (etc)

R11&12: pkkppkkppkkppk (etc)

R13 &14: kkppkkppkkppkk (etc)

In this graphic bit I have only offset the rib by 3 stitches. However, you can easily see that you can just keep going much further beyond that. This is what, in my mind, makes this pattern so much FUN to knit!

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