This is a short sock that is comfortable and light. The techniques used to construct this sock include knitting in the round on double point needles, short rows, and the Kitchener stitch.
I cannot include any information about the gauge of my knitting because I am one of those knitters that just jumps into a project head first and worry about the size about half way through. I know this can be infuriating for more methodical knitters, but I knit for the enjoyment of the process. The end result is less important to me than learning and practicing new techniques I also find the process of knitting relaxing. That being said, I follow an old pattern which after reviewing some others on the web, looks fairly standard with a few of my own modifications. The finished sock is very stretchy and forgiving so unless you have a particularly wide or narrow foot you shouldn't have any problem with size. My finished sock fits my size 9 foot a little loosely around and is snug length wise.
Step 1: Materials
4- Size 2 double point knitting needles
1- Tapestry Needle
Yarn of choice, I used Patons Stretch socks yarn which is a light weight, super fine yarn. (It came in a 50 gram ball which is enough for the pair).
My choice of yarn was one of those decisions that was made as I was purchasing yarn for another project and saw this yarn on clearance. I think everyone who knits knows what I am talking about when I say that I couldn't pass it up. It then sat in my stash for about a year before I decided to make these socks.
Step 2: Casting On
Cast on using a cable cast on. This is my favorite way of casting on because it doesn't require estimating how much yarn you need to leave as a tail in order to cast on your stitches. It is also stretchy enough to make a good start for a sock. To do a cable cast on first make a slip knot.
Then you need to knit into the stitch that is now on your needle but don't drop the stitch. Slide the loop that you just made by knitting onto the needle next to the first stitch.
Next insert your needle between the two stitches on your needle, loop the yarn over your needle, draw it through the space and place it on your needle next to the other two. Continue in this manner until you have 64 stitches on your needle.
Be careful as you make your stitches not to tighten them too much or you will find it very difficult to pass the yarn through the space without it slipping off the needle.
If any of those instructions were unclear see the images below for a step by step photo of what to do.
Step 3: The Cuff
To make the cuff of the sock start by distributing the stitches over three needles (at this point it doesn't matter if they are perfectly evenly distributed, but it makes it easier).
If you have never knit in the round before it can take some getting used to, but I find that using double point needles for any small circular knitting is much easier than using a circular needle.
Once you have distributed the stitches you begin knitting in the first stitch you created, it will have a tail of yarn. Make sure before you begin knitting that there are no twists. The row that you created when casting on should all be pointing down.
Place a marker at the start of your knitting and knit one entire row.
On the next row begin alternating knit 2, purl 2 to form a rib which will give the cuff its stretch.
Continue the knit 2, purl 2 pattern for 20 rows.
I designed the cuff of this sock to be short like an athletic sock, if you want a longer cuff than increase the number of rows before you start the heel shaping.
Step 4: The Heel: Part 1
The heel of a sock can be worked in many ways, the biggest difference is usually in the appearance of the gusset (see image below). I like the appearance of this particular gusset the best, and I find this pattern relatively simple to follow. This method of shaping the heel is loosely based on short row shaping but it is simplified. I don't like wrapping the stitches at the end of each short row which is what is typically called for in short row shaping. I saw a technique similar to this on the internet once and remembered it as a easier alternative. If you wish to know about short rows I recommend this article on Knitty.com http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEsummer03/FEATbonnetric.html
it has clearer pictures of what you are doing than I was able to get with my camera but it is not specifically for socks.
This manner of shaping the heel with a yarn over at the beginning of each row is what gives you the row of eyelet holes up the side. If this is not the appearance you want than I would suggest using a more traditional short row heel pattern.
This technique is simple once you get going but it does look intimidating. You will be working back and forth with only two needles.
Begin by placing 32 stitches on a stitch holder. You can use one of the double point needles as your stitch holder but if you are not used to working on double points than I would suggest an actual stitch holder because the double point needle likes to slip out of the stitches if you aren't paying attention.
For the sake of keeping the instructions a little more compact I am going to use standard knitting abreviations as follows:
k - knit
p - purl
yo - yarn over
(if you do not yet know how to do a knit stitch and purl stitch this instructable is probably not the best place to learn, but if you are determined anyway you can get a good tutorial of those stitches on the lion brand web site
Row 1 k31, turn
Row 2 yo ,p30, turn
Row 3 yo, k29, turn
Row 4 yo, p28, turn
Row 5 yo, k27, turn
Row 6 yo, p26, turn
Row 7 yo, k25, turn
Row 8 yo, p24, turn
Row 9 yo, k23, turn
Row 10 yo, p22, turn
Row 11 yo, k21, turn
Row 12 yo, p20, turn
Row 13 yo, k19, turn
Row 14 yo, p18, turn
Row 15 yo, k17, turn
Row 16 yo, p16, turn
Row 17 yo, k15, turn
Row 18 yo, p14, turn
Now you should have 49 stitches on your needle and a half circle of what will become the heel. The picture below shows the heel before turning spread across 2 needles so that you can see the shape it is taking.
Step 5: The Heel: Part 2
Turning the heel,
This part of turning the heel is a variation of what I have seen on the internet. I am sure someone else has done this before and I am sure that there are reasons that I can't find patterns calling for you to use this method. All that being said, I like this method because it is easier to stitch than what I have seen online, and it makes a nice looking heel.
k2tog- knit 2 stitches together
p2tog- purl 2 stitches together
k3tog - knit 3 stitches together
p3tog - purl 3 stitches together
check out this link to vogue knitting for basic instructions regarding these decrease stitches
Row 1 yo, k14, k2tog
Row 2 yo, p15, p2tog
Row 3 yo, k16, k3tog
Row 4 yo, p17, p3tog
Row 5 yo, k18, k3tog
Row 6 yo, p19, p3tog
Row 7 yo, k20, k3tog
Row 8 yo, p21, p3tog
Row 9 yo, k22, k3tog
Row 10 yo, p23, p3tog
Row 11 yo, k24, k3tog
Row 12 yo, p25, p3tog
Row 13 yo, k26, k3tog
Row 14 yo, p27, p3tog
Row 15 yo, k28, k3tog
Row 16 yo, p29, p3tog
Row 17 yo, k30, k3tog
Row 18 yo, p31, p3tog
You should end up with 33 stitches on your needle. Place a marker and get ready to resume knitting circularly.
Step 6: Body and Toe Shaping
The body of the sock is the easiest and most tedious part of the project. Simply knit in the round until the sock is approximately 1 inch shorter than you would like the finished sock to be.
To make the decrease for the toe I fin it is easiest to distribute my stitches evenly onto 2 needles, the top half of the sock on one and the bottom on the other. Once this is done it is fairly simple to work the decreases.
Row 1 k1, k2tog, k to last 3 stitches on the needle, k2tog, k1
Repeat on both needles until 16 stitches remain on both. This is very important! there must be the same number of stitches on both needles before the next step.
Step 7: Finishing the Toe
To finish the toe I like to use what is called the Kitchener stitch. This is the most difficult thing in this instructable.
To do the Kitchener stitch there must be the same number of stitches on each needle.
To begin cut your yarn leaving a tail at least twice the length of the opening left in the toe of your sock (I usually leave 3 times the length just to be safe).
Thread your tapestry needle with the yarn you just cut.
Start with your needles together and the needle with the tail of yarn furthest away from you.
1) insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the knitting needle closest to yourself like you were going to purl, pull the yarn through but leave the stitch on the knitting needle.
2) insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the knitting needle furthest from yourself like you were going to knit, pull the yarn through but leave the stitch on the knitting needle.
3) Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the knitting needle closest to you like you were going to knit, slip the stitch off the knitting needle. Insert the tapestry needle into the next stitch on the same knitting needle like you were going to purl, leave the stitch on the knitting needle.
4) Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the knitting needle furthest from you like you were going to purl, slip the stitch off the knitting needle. Insert the tapestry needle into the next stitch on the same needle like you were going to knit, leave the stitch on the knitting needle.
Repeat step 3 and 4 until all the stitches are off the knitting needles. Adjust the tension to make the graft look like the stitches on the rest of the sock then weave in the ends of your yarn.
Step 8: Finished
Ta Da! You have finished the first sock. Repeat all steps to finish its mate!