For the first time in decades, my family rang in the new year together. Dad, Mom, Sis, her kid, my man, my kid, and her best bud, all came over to my house. We began the evening dining on black-eyed peas and grilled burgers. Afterwards, we played Chinese checkers and drank champange, except for the kids, who conjured up a talent show. They sang, performed magic tricks, and I entered with a guitar rendition of Auld Lang Syne. Then the party turned into a big slumber party, so nobody would have to share the road with the year's first drunk drivers.
The next day, everyone went their merry ways - to Razorback parties, and back home to take naps. I stayed home and cleaned up, then sat down and knit myself a pair of 100% wool socks. I finished them in only a few hours, and they kept me warm through the night.
This following pattern includes lessons on my favorite techniques for socks knitted from cuff to toe. It begins with the tubular cast-on, on to a slipped rib square heel with twisted picked-up stitches in mirror image, and finally ends in a wedge toe that's grafted closed. The worsted weight yarn makes thick and warm unisex socks. The stitch patterns are a mirror image of each other, but the socks will still look fine in the same pattern if your prefer.
Leg approx 6" long by 8" around, to fit a 9" long foot, but leg and foot length are easily adjusted
Approx. 200 yds (182m) of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool for woman's US-7
Sizes 4 (3.5mm) and 6 (4.0mm) set of 5 double point needles
5 sts per inch in St st on larger needles
Stitch Pattern for Sock 1
Rnd 1: *K4 P1*
Rnd 2: *K3 P2*
Rnd 3: *K2 P3*
Rnd 4: *K1 P4*
Stitch Pattern for Sock 2
Rnd 1: K1 *P1 K4* P1 K3
Rnd 2: K1 *P2 K3* P2 K2
Rnd 3: K1 *P3 K2* P3 K1
Rnd 4: *K1 P4*
Though initially it's a challenge to learn, nothing beats the stretchiness and aesthetic of this cast-on for 1x1 ribbing. It looks much neater when worked on a needle 2 or more sizes smaller than with the one you'll work your ribbing.
Allow about 1/2 inch of tail for each CO st. Hold your thumb and forefinger of your left hand in a horizontal V-shape pointing right. Lay the yarn across the V so the tail end is draped over your thumb and the ball end over your forefinger. Hold both strands with remaining fingers in your palm underneath, making a simple triangle, just as you would for starting the continental long-tail cast on without a slip knot. Make a simple twist start: with the needle in your right hand, bring the tip over the top of the strand running between thumb and finger, point it downward, then rotate it upwards towards the thumb until the tip faces left again.
Now you're in the starting position (with the needle tip facing left above both strands forming a diamond shape). Keep your finger securely on the starting loop to prevent it from untwisting. For the next steps, you will only work with the inner strands - the ones running from the needle tip to your finger and thumb.
Step 1: Rotate the needle over then behind the finger strand, then going downward beneath both strands, bring the tip up towards you from underneath the thumb strand, then go over the thumb strand, down in between the two strands and underneath and behind the finger strand, and bring the tip up and over the finger strand, returning to starting position. This is a purl stitch.
Step 2: Rotate the needle over and in front of the thumb strand, go underneath the thumb strand, then come up from between both strands, and go over and behind the finger strand, rotating the tip underneath both strands, and finally bringing it up in front of the thumb strand and back into starting position. This is a knit stitch.
Keep alternating between steps 1 and 2, and keep a firm grip on your yarn the entire time, or everything will quickly unravel. When casting on an odd number of sts this way, end with a normal long-tail CO st. Or when CO and even number this way, make the last stitch a half-hitch purl:
Rotate the tip behind the outer strand of the finger and pull up this strand, creating a loop on your finger, then move the tip down between both inner strands, then rotate the tip underneath then in front of the inner thumb strand, pulling this strand up and then push it away from you through the initial finger loop, then release the loop from your finger and tighten as you would for the standard long tail cast on.
This half-hitch purl is almost a mirror image of the continental long-tail cast-on - you're purling it instead of knitting it. You can use it in place of the long-tail cast on to begin your first row as a front side row, or alternate it with the standard long-tail cast on for ribbing or other stitch patterns.
Once you get the knack, it's truly a fast an easy cast on. As with most things it knitting, it's much easier to execute than to describe with words alone.
On 1 smaller dpn, cast on 40 sts with the tubular cast on. Distribute 10 stitches each on 4 smaller needles. Join to work circularly, being careful not to twist the cast on.
With larger needles, beginning with a knit st, work k1 p1 ribbing for 15 rows, or desired length.
Work sock stitch pattern for 8 repeats, or until desired length.
Row 1: S1wyif, P20, turn
Row 2: (S1wyib, K1)x10, K1, turn
Repeat these 2 rows 9 times, then work row 1
(S1, K1)x7, S1, SKP, turn
Row 1: S1, P9, P2tog, turn
Row 2: S1, (S1, K1)x4, S1, K2tog, turn
Rep these last 2 rows till all heel sts have been worked, ending with row 1 (11 heel sts rem)
(S1, K1)x5, K1
*With smaller needle in left hand (after last heel st worked) pick up both strands of chain edge heel flap st , inserting tip from front to back, so the right leg of chain st is in front. Using a second smaller needle in right hand, insert tip from right to left (through the back loop) and knit, hence twisting the st.* Rep along heel flap. You should have about 10 chain edge sts to pick up this way.
Work across instep sts with larger needle, beg with row 1 of st pattern, making last gusset st the 1st st of instep.
*With smaller needle in left hand, (after last instep st worked) pick up both strands of chain edge heel flap st, inserting tip from back to front, so the right leg of chain st is in back. Using a second smaller needle in right hand, insert tip from left to right and knit, hence twisting the st.* Rep along heel flap. You should have about 10 chain edge sts to pick up this way.
(Since you're working down the flap on one side, then up the flap on the other, picking up the sts differently on each side and twisting them in opposite directions makes them look equal. Functionally they both prevent the tiny holes that often occur when picking up gusset sts. You can work either method on both sides.)
Place marker to note beg of rnd.
Rnd 1: K1 rnd even, working with larger needles, dropping the smaller ones as you go, and work next row of st pattern on instep, .
Rnd 2: (K1, S1)x5, K1 across heel sts, K to 3 sts before instep, K2tog, K1, work instep st pattern, K1, SKP, K to end of rnd.
Rep these last two rnds until 40 sts rem, but stop slipping the heel sts, and just k across them even. Depending on number of sts picked up at heel flaps, you may have to skip a dec on either side of instep to keep the number of sts equal.
Mark beg of rnd just after instep sts.
K20, work instep pattern.
Rep until foot is approx 2 inches less than desired length from heel turn.
Rnd 1: K1, SKP, work to last 3 heel sts, K2tog, K2, SKP, work to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1.
Rnd 2: K 1 rnd even
Rep these last 2 rnds until 20 sts rem, ending with rnd 1, then work rnd 1 once more.
Divide sts on 2 needles, 8 heel sts on one, 8 instep sts on the other.
Cut yarn with 18" tail and thread on yarn needle.
Hold sock so that both needles are parallel, one in front, the other in back, with sock hanging below, and yarn tail at right.
Insert needle into first st on front as if to purl, then into first st on back as if to knit, pull tight.
Front needle: Insert into first st as if to knit, drop that st off needle, insert into next st as if to purl.
Back needle: Insert into first st as if to purl, drop that st off needle, insert into next st as if to knit.
Rep these last 2 steps, pulling yarn snuggly but not too tightly, until 2 sts rem. Insert into front needle as if to knit, then into back needle as if to purl, drop both sts off needles, then weave tail into wrong side of sock.
Darn loose ends.
This pattern is for personal use only. Kindly let me know if this pattern contains errors. Last update: Nov. 12, 2007