knitting socks pattern


Fun and functional socks

Marilyn Hastings


Skill level



Custom fit (see below) materials

Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease, worsted weight, 80% acrylic/20% wool, 3oz/85g = approx 197yd/180m, 1 to 2 balls*

Knitting needles: one set of dpn in size 7US/4.5mm or size appropriate for your yarn.

lyd/.9m contrasting yarn to hold place of heel until you are ready to knit.

Tapestry needle

*NOTE: One ball will usually make a pair of socks, depend­ing on foot size and leg Length you use. To be safe, start with 2 balls (the second ball can be in a second color); you can use the 2nd ball for another pair if 1 ball is enough, or to make contrast­ing parts if you need more than 1 ball.


5 sts = 4″/10cm

NOTE: Tighter, more dense, gauge may help your socks wear longer.


To start

Measure around the ball of your foot and/or your ankle; they will be about the same. (For a spe­cific example, we will use 8″/20cm.) Multiply by your gauge. (8″ x 5 sts/1 “=40 sts)

Adjust this number slightly to fit the pattern stitch you will use. Remember that knitting is resilient and usually doesn’t

have to be exact. For basic socks, this pattern uses a k l,

p1 ribbing, so you will need an even number for circular knit­ting. For a well-fitting sock, the

ribbing can be continued down the top of the foot. To center that ribbing on the top of the foot, half of the number of stitches should be an odd num­ber. (Use 42 sts. an even num­ber since half of 42 is 21, an odd number.)

CO loosely, using a method that stretches and recovers well. (Cast 42 sts onto dpn.)

Join into a circle, being careful that the stitches are not twisted.

K1, p1 rib for the length of the sock top.

Continue ribbing on the top of the foot on about one-fourth of the stitches, with a purl stitch at each side, while the other three-fourths of the stitches change to st st. (Rib 11 sts. st st on 31 sts.)

After about .5″/l cm, knit the strand of contrasting yarn across the st sts; this is where the heel will be knit later. Knit over that contrasting/place-hold­ing yarn with your sock yarn, and continue knitting the tube for the foot in ribbing and st as established.


About 2″ /5cm before the end of the foot, begin decreasing for the toe. Arrange stitches on the needles so the ribbing is centered on one needle; split the st sts between the other 2 needles.

Now continue in st st only and decrease 4 sts every other round. Do the 4 decreases in 1 st in from the division between the top and bottom of the toe. Use ssk at the beginning and k2og at the end of each side of  the top and bottom of the toe.

When you have decreased for about 2″ /5cm, weave the remaining sts together. (Weave the last 6 sts of the top to last 6 sts of the bottom)

Carefully remove the contrast­ing yarn while putting the sts from both sides back on the dpn. Make the heel the same way you made the toe, with the stitches from each side of the removed contrasting yarn, i.e., decrease 4 sts every other round, one stitch in from the sides of the heel. Weave the last 1-1 .5” /3-5cm of stitches together.


With tapestry needle weave in ends and, if necessary, draw together holes that may remain at the beginning of heel.

NOTE: You might want to make the heel before the toe on your first sock, so you can try it on

to decide where to start decreasing the toe. You can use the first sock to measure where to start the toe.


* Make your heels and toes in contrasting colors or choose a variegated yarn for stripes.

* Make a short cuff, and stripe it all.

* Create a contrasting lace top, made after a little ribbing at the top of the sock (see far right sock in project photo). This Shetland lace stitch is done on a multiple of 10 sts. so 40 sts were used. The lace pattern is: * k1, yo, k3, (sl 1 , k2tog, psso). k3, yo, repeat from * around. Knit 1 rnd. Repeat these 2 rnds and center lace panels on front, back, and sides. Change color for the foot, and use contrast­ing yarn to hold the heel stitch­es about. 5″ /1 cm after the end of lace. The stitch count wasn’t right here to center ribbing on the top of the foot, so the whole foot is worked in st st.