The PhytoFade socks are inspired by phytoplankton, which is a broad group of organisms that form the foundation of ocean food chains. Phytoplankton are at their most visible and beautiful in algal blooms, where a large quantity of photosynthesizing organisms multiply in a small part of the ocean, providing a burst of food for ocean animals as small as krill and as large as whales.
These socks achieve a faded effect with three or five highly variegated colours blended via a combination of stripes and a repeating slipped-stitch motif. Elongating the stitches to be slipped helps keep the socks stretchy and comfortable while also bringing out the subtle colour details we all love in hand-dyed yarns.
These socks are knit toe-up. They are available in three sizes and are adjustable in length. They feature an afterthought heel and a contrasting toe, heel, and cuff. The right and left socks are worked identically, though I like the look of fraternal socks, personally, when choosing the colour progression. Corresponding written instructions are provided for the chart.
This pattern requires the knitter to be able to knit a small circumference in the round (all sock knitting techniques are accommodated) and clearly explains all techniques for increases, decreases, picking up an afterthought heel, and elongated stitches. Within the pattern you will find links to useful video tutorials as well, so the pattern is easily accessible to an intermediate knitter who is just getting started knitting socks.
Recommended needle size: 2.25 mm (US 1)
Yarn Requirements and Sizing
Sizes available: Women’s Small (Medium, Large) with foot circumferences of 18 (20.5, 23) cm / 7 (8, 9) inches.
The total yarn required is approximately 275 (300, 325) meters / 300 (325, 350) yards, but this pattern is perfect for your leftovers!
Three-colour version: This version has finished foot lengths of 21.5 (22.5, 23.5) cm / 8.5 (8.85, 9.25) inches. It requires approximately 80 m / 90 yards each of three fade colours, plus 80 m / 90 yards of a contrast colour for the cuff, heel, and toe.
Five-colour version: This version has finished foot lengths of 21 (22, 23) cm / 8.25 (8.67, 9) inches. It requires approximately 45 m / 50 yards each of five fade colours, plus 80 m / 90 yards of a contrast colour for the cuff, heel, and toe.