Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It is a truth universally acknowledged that cancer can suck it

This is Kate:


She's pretty fuckin' awesome. I can't even tell you how much. So when she told me that her grandfather's cancer had returned, I reacted as knitters react: I asked myself what I could knit for him. Being all sneaky-style as I am, I asked Kate if her grandfather had a shoe size, what shoe size he would have. Then a day later I asked her what his opinion was on the F-bomb.

Being also fucking clever, she replied that he would be totally down with a pair of socks that might happen to say "Fuck Cancer." That was good enough for me. A few days later I had these:


Someone asked me for the pattern, and I figured that since I was writing it up I may as well post it here. Make 'em for your loved ones, or your liked ones, or people you haven't even met yet.

Caveat Knitter: I haven't test knit this pattern. But the most important part is the chart, so use it as you will.

Cancer Can Suck It (Socks)

MC: 352 yds sport weight wool (I used 2 balls Lana Grossa Cool Wool 2000 with exactly enough for a 10.3” foot – approx. a man’s size 9)
CC: Not much sport weight wool (I used 1 ball Lana Grossa Cool Wool 2000 and had lots left over)

Size 3 for the ribbing, 4 for stockinette. I knit pretty loosely, so you may have to go up a size for each.

Gauge: 6.5 stitches per inch in stockinette

Top ribbing:
Using size 4 needles cast on 52 stitches
Switch to size 3 needles, join in the round being careful not to twist
K2p2 around for 18 rows

Switch to size 4 needles
Work plain around for 10 rows
Start fair isle lettering.

When you get to the yellow stitch: Pick up left leg of stitch below and to the right -- the one with the thicker border -- and knit that leg together with your next stitch. 

Work plain for 19 rows (or desired length)

Heel (feel free to substitute your own):
Working over half the stitches:
Row 1: *sl1, k1 repeat from * to end of row
Rows 2 and 4: sl1, purl to end
Row 3: sl1, *sl1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1

Repeat until the heel flap is 2.3” ending with a purl row

K15, ssk, k1, turn work
sl 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn work
Row 1: sl1, K to 1 stitch before gap, ssk, k1, turn work
Row 2: sl1, P to one stitch before gap, p2tog, p1, turn work

Repeat those two rows until all stitches on the heel have been worked, ending with a purl row.


Knit across heel flap, pick up 16 stitches on the side of the heel flap. Place marker. Knit across the top of the sock, place marker. Pick up 16 stitches on the heel flap.

Row 1: Knit to 3 stitches before marker, k2tog, knit to next marker, k1, ssk, work to end
Row 2: Work plain.

Repeat two rows until you’re back down to 52 stitches.

Remove markers and work plain until the sock is 1.25” from being the final length.

Switch to CC.

K26, place marker, k26, pm

Row 1: *k1, ssk, k to 3 before marker, k2 tog, k1, repeat from * to end
Row 2: Work plain

Repeat both rows until you have 24 stitches left (total). Graft toe closed.



grace said...

Those are some fuckin' awesome socks. I hope the cancer gets the message and leaves.

Nik said...

My co-worker and I, who both do cancer research, agree that these socks are FUCKING AWE-SOME!

I don't knit socks. Oh, but i MUST knit these.

Harpa J said...


Deborah said...

Having done battle against cancer for the last ten years. I can honestly say I am in total agreement with the statement and am going to knit these bad boys! I had a lawyer friend and when her cancer returned we decided that we would go to our district court and get a restraining order against it! Didn't really get one but it kept our spirits up!

Abbie Smith said...

Last week TWO dear friends told me they had cancer. And as i'm a knitter, and have a potty mouth, I started looking for fucking Fuck Cancer knitting patterns. So you are my favorite fucking person in the world right now. Fuckin-A, dude. :) Have you sent these to They would love them. I'd be happy to do so... :) knit on, my knitta.

Judy Jones said...

Great design that I definitely want to try. Do you have a chart/directions for the F*CK CANCER with the star?

Donald Sutton said...

I made a pair for my sister, who has beaten cancer twice, and it has come back again. I made the uncensored version, because it’s how I feel. And she loves them, too.

So do her nurses :)