In March I started making a pair of socks for my husband. I came up with a pattern that I thought I liked and made most of one sock while on flights back and forth to the East Coast. I finished the toe of one of these socks over the 4th of July and didn't like it any more. I had started at the top, working towards the toe, and the self stripping yarn had ended in a color that I didn't like on the toe. I put the sock away.
I recently had the chance to be with my father for his birthday. I wanted to make socks for him, and so I started, again, to discover a good formula for a men's sock using self striping yarn. The self striping yarn puts on enough of a show, and so, I think, challenges the knitter to come up with something simple to let it shine. I like the Felici yarn from Knitpicks because it is soft and seems to be long lasting (also it is not too expensive, especially as the color ways are retired.) I'll be linking to the tutorials I use for each section of the sock formula. I've been using some of these tutorials for years.
Before knitting, I pulled enough yarn out of each ball so that I could match up the colors, and then trimmed one off so they matched.
I needed a place to start, I could feel myself getting overwhelmed, so I turned to Toe-up Socks for Every Body by Wendy Johnson for some help on how many stitches to start with for the toe of a man's sock. I did toe-up so I would have more control over the toe color, and after all, on the leg, you can just keep going if you don't like the color it is ending on.
Using the toe from the Manly Aran Socks pattern I made both toes and loaded them onto the needles so that I could make the socks two at a time so I would be sure to finish them. I suffer greatly from Second Sock Syndrome, which isn't really an acceptable excuse to not getting a birthday present finished. For a 9 inch diameter sock, I had 36 stitches on the front and on the back. I didn't want to do a simple 1x1 or 2x2 ribbing, and after poking around online, I found inspiration in a ribbing that had thin and thick sections. I devised something that had thin and fat ribs and would fit into the allotted stitches.
I decided I wanted to use the Jo-Jo heel because it has a similar appearance to a short-row heel, but is a little deeper to accommodate a man's larger foot. The difference is that in the Jo-Jo heel, there are a few rounds that go all the way around all the instep and heel stitches half way through the heel, so there were a few very skinny stripes of color on the front of the ankle, but I'm at peace with them.
I kept going up the leg, and then finished with 1 1/2 inches of 1x1 ribbing, and used a sewn bind-off so everything is extra stretchy.
I was so pleased with the result when I finished my father's socks, that I immediately re-started the socks for my husband, same toe up, two at a time technique. I didn't bother taking the other sock apart, I just knit the yarn as it unraveled. The sock made with the unraveled yarn looks a little looser right now, but one washing and the socks will look the same. I'm sure there might be some tiny difference in tension, but I can't believe that my husband will notice it.