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Contrast Blast (Lucky) Socks- by Stephen West


When I set out to knit these socks, I had a purpose in mind. Lucky socks. Something fun I could wear when feeling grateful or needing a little pick me up.


Having completed them, there’s more in these stitches. A memory is captured on repeat.


Six months ago, I was sitting at my cardio’s office with my stepdad. We were joking and laughing in the large waiting room. Filling out his new patient details, he wrote ‘THE BOSS’ under next of kin, taking a dig at mum. I was impressed. I’d never have the guts. Cryptic clues about something funny. The moment he saw the penny drop he chuckled.

After his appointment had finished, we chanced across a woman wearing a jumper with ‘San Diego’ emblazed across it.

Don’t. Get. Him. Started.

Add that it was her job for the morning to manually press a button to open the automatic doors. A small win for humanity among the machines. Comedy gold.

As a proud San Diegan, he did get started. And laughter bubbled up as it invariably did when he got started. To Bill, everyone was a friend. And there was always something good to share.

I was working on the second sock the last Sunday in January when I got a call out of the blue that changed the landscape.

This memory is now locked away in these socks. Laughter and having him sitting there by my side.


Stick with me, kid.


How lucky am I?


Knitting a Stephen West pattern is an adventure in knitting. You get to experience new sights and languages, and don’t have time to get bored by hanging around in one place too long.


Walking the same trails can be comforting, and I do that sometimes. For the most part though, I like to keep exploring to see what else I can discover.

Each sock comes with its own set of instructions so they will mirror each other when complete.

A beginner might be hesitant to give these a go, but as long as you’ve got your tension right, I say jump in. The amount of support Westknits makes available is as good as someone holding your hand through the process.

The cuff ribbing graduates into these neat cables that veer off left and right, leading down into the stair stripes. I think this is where the fun really begins. The urge to complete “just a few more rows” amps up as the next section gets closer.

The stair stripes appear in three sections, and these go by pretty quick in stockinette with some slipped stitches thrown in.


The woven slips create textured bricks, and in my version there’s a slight bit of puff to them. I like that there’s some ease in these sections. Super comfy.

Pops of colour appear in the slip stitch heel flaps. Using a variegated yarn makes me think of strings of coloured party lights. It’s a nice effect that makes your contrast colour sing.


The cables make another appearance alongside the gusset, but this time they helix their way down towards the midfoot. These are pure indulgence. If you’re taking the time to make something, go on and enjoy the frills. Flip the bird to utility.

The diagonal slip stitch section was my favourite part of both socks. As the main colour points ever closer toward the toe I knew they were almost complete. This section is the quickest way I can tell the left and right sock apart. I hear someone yelling, “Pizza” on a ski slope.


The broken rib toes are a tidy way to finish the sock, with the added comfort of the squishiness it provides.


I’m glad I chose this pattern. I will keep mending these socks again and again.


You can find the ‘Contrast Blast Socks’ pattern at:-



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