I posted a picture of socks I was knitting for my daughter on my facebook page recently, and someone asked for the pattern.
My standard sock recipe, scaled down to fit my daughter. I use Judy’s magic cast on, add 4 stitches each side at the instep and my own method of a warped short row heel.
That was my answer, but apparently it wasn’t clear enough, so I thought I’d break it down and make it a little easier to follow.
First off, my socks are generally knit two at a time, toe up, using magic loop. This will be written assuming magic loop (one needle for the front of the sock, one for the back). I generally do my socks with 64 stitches (32 on each needle), because I have small feet and tend to knit loose. With my new, smaller needle set, my last pair of socks turned out just a little snug, so I’ll probably bump up to 68 sts (34 on each needle), which should fit an average adult knit on 2.5mm needles (I use 2mm)
Cast on – I use Judy’s Magic Cast On for my socks. I love the look and feel of it, and it’s quite easy once you get the hang of it. Cast on at least 1/3 of the stitches, rounded up (12) onto each needle. Use the tails to keep track of the beginning of the row, knit one row and then start the increases. Increases will be worked every other round. I like to do my increases on the second stitch so that the sides of the toe have a nice solid look to them. I use the paired increases demonstrated in this video.
k2, llinc, knit to last two stitches, rlinc, k2 on each needle
knit one row
Once the increases are finished, I decide if I’m going to do any sort of patterning on the instep of the sock, or just knit them plain. Nothing exciting happens until I get to the middle of the foot and add the gussets.
Gussets with a short row heel were a game changer for me. I have a somewhat high instep, but a short foot, so trying to get the short row heel just right was hard – either it ended up too deep (and sagged) or it was too tight over my foot (and sagged). I generally use a 4 stitch paired gusset (so 4 stitches on each side of the sock, 8 total), but if my sock has cables doing 6 stitches gives a better fit. Gussets can go on the side of the sock or on the bottom, and are worked the same way as the toe increases. If I don’t want them to be seen, I do them along the center bottom
, with 4 stitches in between. Otherwise, it’s the same as the toe, worked on every third row. This should get you somewhere in the neighbourhood of the ankle, ready to do the heel.
My short row heel method is….different. It’s a wrapped short row heel, but unlike most wrapped short rows, I knit my wrap with the next row, and I slip two stitches. The rule is simple – when you turn, always slip the last stitch you knit. I tend to work down to the same number of stitches I cast on +2, but you can do it deeper or more shallow depending on what fits you best. Here’s how I work it
Knit to last unwrapped stitch, slip stitch to right needle, turn work
*hold yarn in back, slip stitch to right needle, move yarn in front, slip one as if to purl, purl to last unwrapped stitch, slip stitch to right needle, turn work
bring yarn in front, slip stitch to left needle, move yarn to back, slip one, knit to last unwrapped stitch, slip stitch to right needle, turn work*
Your last row will be a purl row – you want the same amount of wraps on each side. The first two rows on the top side of the heel, ignore the wraps, but remember to slip the last stitch you knit
bring yarn in front, slip stitch to left needle, move yarn to back, slip one, knit to the wrapped stitch, knit it, turn work
Slip one as if to purl, purl to wrapped stitch, purl it, turn work
Now we start knitting the wraps from the row below with the current wrapped stitch
Slip one, knit to wrapped stitch, bring wrap loop between stitches onto left needle, knit wrap loop and stitch together, turn work
Slip one, purl to wrapped stitch, bring wrap loop between stitches onto left needle, purl wrap loop and stitch together, turn work
Continue that until you’ve got one wrap loop on each side – the one on the left (with the heel facing you) will be knit together with the first stitch on the front of the sock. The one on the right will be knit together with the last stitch on the front of the sock. No holes, no gaps, no tight spot over the front of your foot.
Generally this is where I knit a row or two and then do decreases to get rid of the gusset stitches. Depending on the pattern I might do these all lumped together (just over the center of the heel) or spaced out along the back needle.
Since I’m an impatient knitter, I usually just do about an inch from this point and then two inches of ribbing to finish it off. I have a lot of ankle socks. You can make the cuffs as high as you like, and since the instep/front of the sock is on one needle, it’s easy to continue the pattern up to the cuff. You can see in my socks that I carried the cable up into the rib of the cuff.