Self-Spiraling RPM Socks

rpm socks in wollmeise am kalten polar

now that my blaggity blog is back up and running I can show you my first pair of finished socks for myself: Self Spiraling RPM’s. the pattern on the left foot spirals up and to the left, and the pattern on the right foot spirals up and to the right. in the original pattern on knitty, there is this caveat:

Note: The spiral pattern will appear slightly imperfect at the end of the round; as the next round of the stitch pattern begins, there will be 7 k sts or 4 p sts in a row.

me being the ever pragmatic math geek that i am decided i would figure out a way to get around that imperfection at the end of each round. it’s not that hard actually, when you knit in the round, you are making spirals already. i decided to knit these toe-up so my spiraled knitting is already going up and to the left. to achieve an auto up-and-to-the-left-spiral when knitting toe-up you only need to have the number of stitches all the way around minus one to allow the pattern to auto spiral up and to the left by one stitch. so basically, my pattern for the ankle of the left sock turns into:

step 1: start with a multiple of 9 minus 1 (in my case 63-1 = 62)

step 2: there is no step 2

step 3: p3, k6 until you are done

the right sock is therefore:

start with a multiple of 9 plus 1 (in my case 63+1 = 64)

p3, k6 until you are done

voila! auto-spiraling achieved. if you were to concoct a new pattern where the offset in your spiral was more than one stitch, you would just use:

start with (multiple of x) stitches

subtract y to spiral up and to the left

or add y to spiral up and to the right

where x = multiple of stitches in pattern

and y = number of stitches offset in spiral

the toe-up magic cast on toe in a smooth arc is another issue entirely. i really don’t like pointy or sharply angled toes on socks. toe up is fun, but i wanted the arc of the increases to be elliptical in nature so here is what i did for each foot (note: the increases are make ones that are located on the edge of the sock and are distributed as evenly as possible on the two sides of the sock):

cast on 30 stitches with magic cast on (15 on each needle of a circular needle)

round 1: increase by 6 stitches to 36

round 2: increase by 6 stitches to 42

round 3: increase by 5 stitches to 47

round 4: increase by 4 stitches to 51

round 5: increase by 3 stitches to 54

round 6: increase by 2 stitches to 56

round 7: knit to end of round, no increase, remain at 56

round 8: increase by 2 stitches to 58

round 9: knit to end of round, no increase, remain at 58

round 10: increase by 2 stitches to 60

round 11: knit to end of round, no increase, remain at 60

round 12: increase by 2 stitches to 62

round 13: knit to end of round, no increase

next round: start desired pattern on foot of sock

a shorthand notation of the left foot is thus:

30 36 42 47 51 54 56 58 58 60 60 62 62

i will let the reader extrapolate the right foot with the following numbers that represent the total number of stitches at the end of each round:

30 36 42 48 52 56 58 60 60 62 62 64 64

underneath: fuchsia stripes

some final notes about these socks:

Yarn: incredibly gorgeous Rohrspatz und Wollmeise superwash sock yarn in colorway “Am kalten Polar” in medium-deep

Pattern: RPM from knitty

Needles: Addi double pointed 2.0mm (US size 0)

Modifications: Pretty much everything was modified. Knit toe up using magic cast on, increases were made so the toe sloped gently, stitch count was a multiple of 9 minus 1 for the left foot, multiple of 9 plus 1 for the right foot to allow for auto spiraling, short row heel with double wraps, knit one purl one sewn bind-off from Vogue Knitting.

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