This summer called for ankle socks! Seattle summers are not so hot that wearing wool socks is a bad idea, so I started on a pair of small and unmatched socks. (I meant to do that. Mostly.)
The pattern for these is a truncated, slightly modified version of Clara Parkes' Stepping-Stones
from A Knitter's Book of Socks.1
The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock mediumweight, knit on US1.5 DPNs. I dyed the gold/orange/blue colorway myself. The blue is a skein from a bag of STR mill ends and happened to match the blue highlights in the gold.
Unusually for me, I barely changed the pattern except to shorten the cuffs and extend the stranded heel through the heel turn for more strength. That didn't quite turn out as expected with the square heel--there were gaps at the decreases that needed filling--but would work beautifully with a trapezoidal short row heel turn.
My favorite parts: The broken rib pattern gives a bit of knitting and visual interest while staying simple. It is also great for self-striping or variegated yarns, as the purl bumps break up the stripes a little. The heel, worked stranded in 1x1 checks, has even more reinforcement than the s1/k1 slipstitch heel and is closer in gauge to standard stockinette.
Verdict: simple and reasonably engaging. Will knit again with further heel mod.
1. Do you like fiber? Do you want to know about the requirements for yarn that make for good socks? Buy this book. It has materials science in it and talks about stuff like the effect of the modulus of elasticity of the fiber on the finished sock. It is an engineer's sock book that is entirely accessible to non-engineers.