I would like to share this great knitting pattern for socks: They are knitted from the toe up! Sometimes it's difficult to estimate how much yarn you need for a pair of socks, especially if you're using left over yarn but with this method you simply knit until the yarn is spent or the sock looks long enough, and then the sock is done!
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Step 1: The Yarn!
I've used the yarn Viking Raggen for these socks. It's a rather thick, wool and nylon mix which makes soft comfortable socks that can be washed in the washing machine. The yarn comes in different colours, and it's fun to see the pattern develop while you knit. Suggested gauge is 19 stitches to make 10 cm, when using 4.5 mm needles (which I did). I prefer to use double pointed needles, but you can also use the magic loop method (check youtube if you need details).
One bundle of yarn is 150 grams, which provides one pair of socks suitable for women or men when using this knitting pattern. I unrolled the yarn to split the yarn exactly in two halves, one for each sock. I think it looks fun when the socks are not identical, but if you pay attention to the pattern of the yarn, you can easily make two bundles that are identical, with minimal waste of yarn.
Step 2: How to Increase..
For this knitting pattern I've used two different methods to increase the number of stitches. They're called Right lifted increase (RLI) and Left lifted increase (LLI). The RLI is made before the main stitch, while LLI is made after the main stitch. You basically knit twice in one stitch to make an extra stitch.
Right lifted increase (RLI):
Insert the right needle into the right shoulder of the stitch from the previous round. Knit in this stitch before you knit the main stitch on the needle as normal. Here is how to do it.
Left lifted increase (LLI):
Knit the stitch on the needle as normal, then use your left needle and insert it from behind into the left shoulder of the stitch from the previous round and knit. It's important to note that the stitch from this round is the one below the new stitch on the needle, the increase has to be done in the stitch below that again. Here is how to do it.
Step 3: The Toe!
- Cast on 6 stitches.
- Transfer 2 stitches to each needle (3 needles in total) and join to a circle. Be careful not to twist the circle.
- Knit all stitches.
- Knit using Left lifted increase (LLI), repeat for all 6 stitches = 12 st
- Knit all stitches.
- Knit one, Knit using LLI, repeat for all stitches = 18st
- Knit all stitches.
You now have 18 stitches on your needles. The first stitch is the first marker stitch (1MS), the following 8 stitches will be the top of the foot, then the 10th stitch is the second marker stitch (2MS), and the remaining 8 stitches will make the sole. Put stitch markers on 1MS and 2MS, I usually put them in front of the marker stitches, but this is up to you. For the next rounds there will be one round of increasing the number of stitches, followed by one round of knitting all stitches. These are repeated until the total number of stitches are 42 (size woman) or 46 (size man).
For rounds with increasing stitches: You increase by making two new stitches, one on each side of the marker stitch, meaning that you will gain 4 extra stitches per round. Round: Knit 1MS, knit RLI, knit the stitches on top of the fot where you make LLI in the last stitch, knit the 2MS, knit RLI, knit the stitches under the foot where you make a LLI in the last stitch.
Step 4: The Foot!
Once you have the correct number of stitches, continue knitting in stockinette pattern until the foot is complete. For a woman's size 8-9 (Eur 39-40), the sock should now be 18 cm. For a man's size 11-12 (Eur 42-43), the sock should be 20 cm long.
Step 5: The Heel! Part 1.
Before you make the Heel flap you need to increase the number of stitches. For every round with increased number of stitches, do one round where all stitches are knitted normally. Keep the marker stitches (one on each side) from the toe. Remember: 1MS - foot stitches - 2MS - sole stitches.
- Increase 2 stitches per round: Knit MS1, knit all stitches, knit MS2, knit RLI in the fist stitch and LLI in the last stitch of the sole. Then knit 1 round normal. Repeat this 1 more time (woman's size) or 2 more times (man's size). Total increase is 4 or 6 stitches on the sole.
- Increase 4 stitches per round: Knit MS1, knit RLI in the fist stitch and LLI in the last stitch for the fot, knit MS2, knit RLI in the fist stitch and LLI in the last stitch for the sole. Then knit 1 round normal. Repeat this 3 more times, regardless of size. Total increase is 16 stitches.
- After the last increase round, knit normal until you reach the 2MS.
You should now have a total of 62 stitches (20 stitches increased) for a womans size sock, and 68 stitches (22 stitches increased) for a mans size sock.
Step 6: The Heel! Part 2.
Womans size sock:
For a sock in womans size you should now have 62 stitches in total. 1MS, the 28 stitches on the fot, and the 2MS (30 stitches in total) is left on two knitting needles for later, as the stitches on the sole is knitted forth and back to make the heel. The remaining 32 stitches used for the heel can be divided into three parts: 9 stitches on the right side of the sock, 14 stitches for the sole, and 9 stitches on the left side of the sock.
Mans size sock:
For a sock in mans size you should now have 68 stitches in total. 1MS, the 30 stitches on the fot, and the 2MS (32 stitches in total) is left on two knitting needles for later, as the stitches on the sole is knitted forth and back to make the heel. The remaining 36 stitches used for the heel can be divided into three parts: 10 stitches on the right side of the sock, 16 stitches for the sole, and 10 stitches on the left side of the sock.
The heel: numbers refer to (woman/man) size sock
Knit the (9/10) stitches on the right side of the sock, then knit (13/15) stitches of the sole. The last stitch of the sole and the first stitch of the left side stitches is knitted together. I insert the needle through the back loop of both stitches and knit them together as one. Turn. Move the first stitch over to the right needle without knitting it, then perl back (13/15) stitches from where you turned until you have one stitch left of the sole. Perl the last stitch on the sole and the next stitch of the right side stitches together. Turn. Move first stitch over to the right needle without knitting it, and kit the others. As you can see, there will be a gap that indicates where the kit-together-stitch was done previously. Knit the stitch before and after the gap together, turn, move first stitch to right needle, and perl back. Continue until all (9/10 stitches) on each side of the sock are gone. You should now end up on the right side of the sock ready to knit the sole, with (14/16) stitches for the sole. Now you knit around again, including the stitches for the fot and the sole. Knit the last stitch of the sole and the 1MS together, knit the fot, knit the 2MS and the first stitch of the sole together. You should now be back to (42/46) stitches on the needles, and the heel should be complete.
Step 7: The Leg!
I prefer a rib pattern, 1 knit - 1 perl, all the way up the leg, but this is up to you. When the length of the leg is adequate to the owners taste, the sock is done. Just bind off the stitches and fasten all loose ends.
Bind off: I follow the rib pattern, so I knit the first stitch and perl the next. Then I pull the first stitch over the other. Continue with 1knit-1 perl, pull one stitch over the other until all stitches are bound off. Remember to knit loosely on this round, if the bind off is too tight the opening of the sock feels too small.
Now repeat the knitting pattern for the second sock!