I have been coveting these George Bernard Chat socks by Arenda Holladay for nearly 2 years. I’m happy to finally have a pair of my own, even if it is too warm to wear them right now! I first saw these socks at the Redfish Dyeworks booth at Stitches West in 2012. The pattern was free with the purchase of the 50/50 silk/merino 2 ply yarn to make them. Unfortunately, they were all sold out of the required yarn by the time I was there. This year, I made a beeline for the Redfish Dyeworks booth and got my materials and the pattern before they could run out. I finally had time to start the socks a couple of months ago.
Despite it’s complicated look, stranded colorwork knitting is actually very easy. I would have finished these socks in just two weeks had I not struggled with the heel. The yarn is very, very fine on this sock and the specified short row technique for the heels left visible holes behind which were unacceptable to me. I fussed around with about 4 different heel techniques and finally found one that worked – the German short row heel (aka double stitch heel, yo-yo heel, jo-jo heel or boomerang heel). I love this heel as it doesn’t involve wraps or yarn overs. I’ll definitely be using it again!
The other problem I had with the sock was that I knit loosely, so getting gauge was difficult. To get these to fit, I had to use a size 000 needle for my narrow foot and then go up to a 0 for my calves. This makes the cats different sizes, but that was much better than having loose socks around my foot or figuring out how to add stitches to the leg of the sock. These socks were worth the trouble – they make me smile! If you’ve never owned silk/merino socks, you don’t know what you’re missing!