Combination standard ribbing and corrugated ribbing sock cuff
I like about combining the standard ribbing with the corrugated ribbing
by alternating them, is that it gives a "caterpillar" kind
of look to the cuff, in that the corrugated rows pull the fabric a little
snugger (or it may be my own weird tension) than does the standard ribbing
so the finished cuff has neat "waves" in it.
This ribbing makes for a nice, snug fitting cuff. For this particular cuff I was using Plymouth's Galway, (worsted weight) and size 4 Brittany birch dpns, and had cast on 48 stitches.
Corrugated ribbing is generally defined as a two color ribbing and can be found in many Fair Isle garments. For this particular pair of socks, instead of using the more common 2 X 2 stitch ribbing pattern, I chose to use a 1 X 1, meaning that I knit one stitch with my main color, then purled one stitch in the contrasting color.
Because corrugated ribbing is less elastic than most ribbings, I thought an entire cuff of corrugated would just not be comfortable enough for socks. But since I just love the look, I decided to try alternating it with rows of a standard 1 X 1 rib and am very pleased with the outcome. The corrugated pulls the cuff a little snugger than just the standard ribbing, and the standard still allows the cuff to be elastic.
This pattern: For this particular pair of socks, I pulled out my stash and lined up several colors from light to dark in what for me was a pleasing scheme. Then I began with color 1, knit 3 rows of 1 X 1 ribbing, then began a 3 row corrugated rib by knitting 1 stitch with my first color, then purling one stitch with my second color. (Be certain on the beginning of each row that your fist stitch is the same color as the one below it.) Then I dropped the first color, and continued with my second color for four rows in standard 1 X 1 ribbing. Next I picked up my next color in my sequence and worked 4 rows of 1 X 1 corrugated using it and the second color, then continued on in this fashion until my cuff was the desired length.
A great tip from Alice Starmore is to work the knit stitches Continental method, and the purl stitches English method. It really does work well, just remember to move your purl yarn to the back of the work after finishing the stitch and before working the knit stitch.
You are certainly not limited to using the 1 X 1 pattern, and for that matter, the knit and purl stitch count does not even have to be the same, i.e., 3K, P2 etc., just keep the K stitches one color and the P stitches one color.
(using only 3 colors)
Please feel free to email me if I you have any questions or if I have not been very clear in my explanation. :-)
A great resource to learn more about corrugated ribbing and Fair Isle knitting is Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting, ©1988, The Taunton Press.