SUMMER OF LACE: Mendocino Socks by Kristi Schueler


Successful Lace Knitting

DD: Kristi, I’m so pleased to have your work featured in Succesful Lace Knitting. I’ve been making a lot of socks lately – for a future book – but your design is quite different from anything I’ve done. How did you come up with this?

KS: The Mendocino socks are a wonderfully feminine sock to knit and wear. The toe-up socks feature a trail of pebbles winding their way across the top of the foot to the outside front of the leg and lead into Reade’s full pebble and shell pattern in a contrasting color. The socks use Cat Bordhi’s Sidestream architecture which places the gusset along the inside edge of the instep of each foot, resulting in mirrored socks.

DD: What stitch pattern did you use and why did you choose it?

Pattern SwatchKS: I chose the Pebble and Shell because it visually appealed to me more than the other pattern that was still open for a sock pattern. I also like the implied theme for the sock from the name of the pattern.

DD: Did you make any changes to the chart, or use different decreases than Dorothy Reade used? If so, please explain the changes you made and your reasons behind them.

KS: I changed the left leaning decreases to ssk rather than k2togtbl. It was purely a personal decision. I find ssk’s easier to execute for my tension and such. I swatched both ways and there was no real discernible difference between the two when I knit them. I also moved the repeat lines of the chart to make it easier for slipping stitches to knit the pattern in the round and also to aid in aligning the pattern with the pebble that I extracted from it.

DD: What yarn did you choose for your project? What made this yarn particularly well suited for this project specifically, and for lace knitting in general?

KS: I chose Trekking Natura, a newer sock yarn with bamboo in it. I felt this was well suited to the project because it is a finer fingering weight yarn, allowing for a tighter gauge and a more feminine and dressed up feel to the overall design. The bamboo content also increases the durability of the yarn for the kind of wear required of a sock yarn while also increasing the sheen to highlight the lace patterning a bit more.

Mendocino Socks
Mendocino Socks

DD: Do you have any special lace knitting tips related to your project?

KS: I just recommend using the appropriately leaning decreases that work best for you as I did in substituting ssk for k2togtbl. Lace knitting should be enjoyable. If you find some of the stitches cumbersome or hard on your hands you should substitute other techniques that work better for you if they are available.

DD: What kind of knitting needles do you prefer for lace knitting and what makes these needles work well for lace?

KS: I knit socks on 2 circs and love working with Addi Turbos, however for lace in my socks I find them to not be quite pointy enough for all the decreases and increases required for both socks and lace. The new lace Addis do not come small enough for sock knitting so I chose the more affordable and pointier KnitPicks circs.

DD: Thanks again, Kristi.

Kristi Schueler is a freelance artist and designer. She lives and knits in the home she shares with her husband, Drew, and their rescue dog, Emma in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. See loves knitting lace accents in her socks and garments. You can follow her adventures on her blog.

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