This summer I had the chance to try out the yarns of a new and local-to-me indie dyer: Hiisi Yarns. She had dyed two beautiful skeins of sock yarn, one a dusty pink with vivid speckles of green and magenta called Muisto ("memory"). Its companion color is a murky eggplant so dark it's almost black. This colorway is called Unohdus for which is there is no direct English translation. The closest would be "oblivion" or "forgetfulness" — the very antonym of memory.
I wanted to design a sock pattern for these colors but was racking my brain how to accomplish it so that both could have their chance in the limelight. Complex lace could get lost in the speckles whereas sheer stockinette would be too mundane. In the end I came up with a solution that lets both colors shine. Forgotten Memories is the result!
Forgotten Memories is a a pair of two-color toe-up lace socks with contrasting toes, heels, and cuffs. This pattern is ideal for showcasing handdyed yarns: a delicate lace vine travels on the outside of the foot and leg but otherwise the socks are worked in plain ol' stockinette, letting the yarn do the talking.
These socks are engaging to work on and fast to knit since you're doing lace only across a few stitches on the front of the leg. The contrast-colored sections add a little visual interest. Coming up with a cute pairing of colors is only half the fun!
The lace pattern is a short repeat of 12 rounds with decreases place on every round and increases on every other round. This means the stitch count varies on even and odd rounds — the charts use that pesky "no stitch" symbol! But written instructions are also provided in addition to charts.
Usually I like to do a gusset-and-heel flap construction in my sock patterns but for this one I wanted something different. Forgotten Memories feature forethought or peasant heels. Heel placement is marked with waste yarn that's unraveled later. You don't have to do any of that scary stitch snipping that comes with a true afterthought heel! (I've done that once and it was nerve wracking.)
This heel type is sometimes referred to as an afterthought heel but that isn't quite correct. An afterthought heel is something in which the entire heel placement is an afterthought. With forethought a.k.a. peasant heels, heel placement is planned but knitting the heel happens when the sock itself has been finished.
If you've ever done afterthought, peasant, or short-row heels, you might have noticed your socks tend to be tight across the instep. That's a very typical fit issue with these types of heel constructions. The widest part of your foot is the section that runs diagonally from the bottom of the heel to the front of the ankle. On a gusseted heel, stitches are increased to accommodate this part of the human anatomy. But in typical afterthought/peasant/short-row heel constructions the sock width remains the same for the entire leg.
And that's where mini gussets come one in. To improve heel fit, make more room for the foot, and reduce pulling across the instep, Forgotten Memories incorporate short-row mini gussets in the corners of the heel. These crescent-shaped sections are worked back and forth across a small number of stitches, creating little patches of extra fabric that make the heels fit better without feeling tight across the instep.
Another technique to make the peasant heel construction fit nicely is to make the a rounded heel shape. This is done essentially by doing two thirds of heel decreases on every other round, then switching to every round for the remaining one third. I've discussed both the mini-gussets and rounded heels more in depth in this tutorial: Improving Afterthought Heel Fit and Shape.
Twisted-rib cuffs are my go-to ribbing for socks but for Forgotten Memories I wanted to add something extra. These cuffs are finished with a decorative picot edging, worked simply as an eyelet round of yarnovers and K2tog's. This creates little pointy peaks that are revealed when the edging is folded and whip stitched to the inside of the sock.
The pattern for Forgotten Memories comes in five sizes: 56, 60, 64, 68, and 72 stitches. The socks fit a wide range of foot sizes (EU 34–44 or US 3–11½). Moreover, foot length is fully adjustable and leg length adjustable within pattern.
To knit the socks you'll need two colors of fingering-weight sock yarn. Approximately 180–250 m or 200–270 yd of the main color is needed for the majority of the sock and an additional 100–140 m or 110–150 yd of contrasting color for the toes, heels, and cuffs. I recommend using a semi-solid or subtly speckled color for the main part of the socks to show off the lace pattern. The toes, heels, and cuffs can be more variegated. Size-by-size yardage requirements are available on the pattern page.
You'll also need 2.5 mm or US #1½ needles (or size to obtain gauge), a bit of waste yarn to mark heel placement, and a few stitch markers. Right and left socks are mirror images of each and can be worked two-at-a-time from the tippy toe up to the picot edging. The heels are done last and they're best worked separately on each sock.
Forgotten Memories are now available in my pattern shops on Payhip, LoveCrafts, and Ravelry (seizure warning). What color combination will you pick for your memories? Share your sock projects on Instagram with the hashtag #forgottenmemoriessocks!
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