Double Rainbow all the way

I know I haven't blogged in ages.  (The reason why is a whole other post which I'll be sharing in the future but think Money Pit and you'll have the idea).

But now I do have time and I've been dying to share these socks with you

I love them so much.

I started them last November and finished them at the beginning of February.  (A really good time of year for rainbows, btw.  Very grey around here that time of year.)
The yarn is Sheepy Feet in 7 different colors, and is why I started the rainbow kits in the store (because I wanted one myself).   The colors in these are Ruby Slippers, Fawkes, Mellow Yellow, Granny Smith, Water, Moody Blues, and Twilight.  (There are few or no rainbow kits in the store right now, but I'm working on it).
So I wanted to tell share how I made them.  This post is just going to include my exact socks.  Soon I will post instructions on how to make them fit your own legs.  (I do not have small calves.)

  • 25g each of 7 colors of fingering weight yarn, or 160g total if using solid color.  
  • US size 1 (2.25mm) and US size 1.5 (2.5mm) needles, of whatever type you like for small diameter knitting.  I used DPNs.  I also used a circular needle to try them on as I went.
  • Embroidery needle for kitchener stitch.
Gauge: 35 stitches/4 inches on smaller needles, 32 stitches/4 inches on larger needles, unstretched.

For your reference, my measurements are:
Top of calf: 16"
Widest part of calf: 17" or 17.5" depending on whether my foot is flexed or unflexed
Ankle: 10"

Disclaimer: I haven't had this test knit or edited or anything, this is purely what I've kept from my notes or from forensic knitting looking at my finished socks.  There may be errors.  If you find any let me know, I'll fix them.

Note for all color changes along the socks I used a ruler rather than row count to measure the stripes.  Some parts of the sock are under more negative ease than others, and if I'd gone by row count alone some of the stripes would be fatter than others.  I tried these on as I went and when the stripe was 1 inch I changed colors.

Using color 1, cast on 84 stitches using Jeny's Stretchy Slipknot Cast-On.  I cannot stress enough how much better this cast on is for these socks than all others, just trust me, it's worth it.

Work for k1, p1 rib for 19 rounds.  
Knit 1 round (this will make the color change not show the purl bumps).
Switch to color 2, and return to k1, p1 rib for 19 rounds.
K 1 round.
Switch to color 3 and work k2, p2 for 14 rounds.

Mark center back as 1 stitch in from the beginning of round (so centered on the first k2 rib).  
Work an increase round, working 2 increases, centered around the center back.  You can work your increases any way you want, I did a lifted increase 1 stitch on either side of the center back (KLL and KRL here.) but any increase you're comfortable with would be fine.

Work 3 more rounds in 2x2 rib, and 1 more increase round working the increases stitches in as you can.
Knit 1 round.  Switch to larger needles and color 3.
From here on the rest of the leg is worked in all stockinette stitch.

Continue, working 2 increases at center back, every 4th round until there are 7 increase rows, and a total of 98 stitches.  Continue in stockinette stitch for 2.25", changing colors as needed.  (Note, in my socks there are 17 rows per stripe on colors 4 and 5.)

Work a decrease round, by knitting to 3 stitches before the center back, then working SSK, k1 (center back marker), k1, k2tog.

Continue on, working a decrease round every 4th round, and changing colors as needed, until 68 stitches remain.  Then work 2 more decrease rounds every 5th and 6th round respectively (64 stitches remain).  In this section each of my stripes contained 15 rounds.

From here on you could use any sock pattern that you feel comfortable with.  I worked a pretty basic flap sock pattern given below.
Continue knitting even every round for 3" past the last decrease round.
Switch to smaller needles. 
Arrange stitches 32 (16 stitches on either side of the center back), 16, 16 on needles if using DPNs.  
Work heel flap over 32 back stitches as follows:
Row 1: Sl 1 wyib, k to end, turn.
Row 2: *Sl 1 wyif, p1, repeat from *
Repeat these 2 rows as long as needed.  My socks have 22 repeats of these 2 rows, but I have particularly tall insteps.  18-19 would be a more average sock heel height.
Turn heel:
K 19, SSK, k1, turn
Sl 1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn
Sl 1, k8, k2tog, k1, turn
Sl 1, p9, p2tog, p1, turn
Continue, working 1 more stitch each time, until all stitches on heel flap have been worked.

K 1cross 1 more round.
Pick up and knit 1 stitch for each slipped stitch along side of heel flap.  Continue working across stitches from the front of foot, pick up and knit 1 stitch for each stitch along the other side of the heel flap.  Continue to center of heel flap and mark this as beginning of round again.
Gusset decreases:
Knit to 3 stitches before the end of heel stitches (this is the end of the first DPN if you are using them), k2tog, k1, k across 32 front stitches, k1, SSK, k to end of round
K1 round 

Alternate these 2 rounds until 64 stitches remain.  Change colors as needed.  You will have to measure your color change on the front of the foot for the heel color.
Knit even until sock is as long as desired.  I measure this as the point at which the needles touch the tip of my pinky toe, or 1.5" shorter than final length.
K13, k2tog, k2, SSK, k26, k2tog, k2, SSK, k13
K 1 round
K12, k2tog, k2, SSK, k24, k2tog, k2, SSK, k12
k 1 round.

Continue, alternating decrease rounds and plain rounds until 20 stitches remain.  Kitchener stitch remaining stitches together.  

Tada!  Rainbow knee socks.