Sock Madness 15 Qualifying – Travelling Blue Flowers

When I first saw Senbonzakura as the sock of choice for this year’s qualifying period I was surprised. I’d typically expect a sock that looks like this to arise in round 3 or 4. These thoughts were echoed among a few other knitters in places I discuss my participation in the contest.

Aside from the cast on being not to my taste the process of knitting these was relatively straight forward; once I was corrected after incorrectly interpreting parts of the pattern. Again I wasn’t alone in being wrong in how I’d understood the instructions. I was grateful that there was a lot of people asking similar questions. Greater clarification and differentiation of instructions for each size is something that could be definitely improved upon in this pattern.

Smocking and beads are both techniques I’ve encountered before and am quite comfortable with. It wasn’t too long before I’d recalled the way I figured out to do smocking from another year that meant a lot less time spent transferring stitches to a holder or cable needle. I didn’t have too much trouble knitting this project despite crochet hook techniques not being a strength of mine.

Key Details

Started: Sunday 7th March 2021
Finished: Wednesday 17th March 2021
Time Spent: just over 30hrs knitting time.

Size: 68st, small.
Cast On: Elastic Crochet Cast On
Bind Off: cat butt for pattern approval; then Kitchener stitch.

Pattern Notes:
I suspect has not been technical edited.
Lacking clarity in explaining notations used for different sizes.
Be careful about some symbols that look the same as others but are not in the gusset chart section.

Needle Size: 2.5mm HiyaHiya Sharps and HiyaHiya needles
Crochet Hook size: 2.75mm

MC: Patons baby Dreamtime Merino 4ply. Colour 3914 ocean.

Project use: 88gm, ~300m. After modifying to reduce toe length.

Yarn Particulars: fairly smooth and a little lofty, some thick and thin parts and rough ply joins that I trimmed. The Sharps tended to split this yarn quite a bit and made for slower working.

Sock Madness Submission Requirements

The minimum size required for competition players is 68st
Minimum gusset and foot length for size 68st is one complete flower chart, then rounds 1-16, then 8 “foot lengthening rounds”
The leg must have all four flowers beaded.
The instep must have the front flowers beaded.
Each sock may only have one colour of beads.
You MUST knit a left and right sock (flower panels reversed).
Please note the size you made on your Project Page
ALL required photos must be added to your project page.

Your progress photo.
Your photo showing the socks on blockers and a measuring device showing they are at least the 9″/22.9cm minimum length
2 side view photos (together showing both sides of each sock).
A back view photo – where we can see the heel expansion on both socks. This should be flat, and NOT on feet.

Crafter Log

First ball yarn weight at the start is unknown as I was travelling and didn’t have scales with me.
Second ball yarn weight at start = 49.14gm without label.

Procured a crochet hook in the closest size they had available and completed the cast on thanks in great part to the video. I don’t like this cast on a lot, it’s very fiddly and time consuming.

Heel turn worked using German Short Rows (one of my favourites) the small size has 5 sets of decreases under the heel. The foot knit as directed I anticipate will be way too long for me so I’m planning to place a lifeline at the appropriate place for where the toe should start to fit me. After they’re submitted and approved I’ll do sock surgery to shorten them up. The fit otherwise is right for me.

After the socks were approved by Sock Madness mods I undid and pulled back the toe working to just before the second side cable and reknit to decrease every row until there was 16st on the front and 15st on the back. Then I Kitchenered the stitches closed. This wider toe fits my foot nicely and I couldn’t be bothered to rip right back to the foot lengthening rounds to reknit the toe in its entirety.

Resources and Links


Elastic Crochet Cast On useful instructional video:

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