Several people have asked about the pattern I use for my socks. I don't use a published pattern. Instead, I use a pattern I developed by trial and error to fit my foot and to have the look that I wanted to my socks to have. As written, and at the gauge I usually knit them (8-9 stitches to the inch), these socks fit my size 7 1/2 foot. This is the recipe I use to knit all my socks.
I have also made these socks for people with smaller and larger feet by adjusting the number of rows in the foot section. So far, everyone has been pretty happy with the fit or at least hasn't complained to me.
Five US1 needles and sock or fingering weight yarn.
Using the Twisted German cast-on, cast on 81 stitches. This cast-on is also known as the German Twisted cast-on, the Old Norwegian cast-on, and the Twisted Half-Hitch cast-on]. To join, transfer last cast-on stitch to the first needle. Without twisting the cast-on stitches, slip the first cast-on stitch off the needle and over the transferred stitch. 80 stitches remain.
Work k1p1 ribbing for about seven rows. Work the purl stitches through the back loop to twist the stitches.
Ankle: Change to k4p1 ribbing and continue for about 4" (about 50 rows). Continue to twist the purl stitches.
Heel setup: On the next round, continue the k4p1 rib for 55 stitches (11 k4p1 repeats). Knit the next 45 stitches to the end of the round. (Note: The end of the round has shifted 20 stitches to the left and the cast-on tail will now be at the back of the sock instead of at the side.) Complete 9 more rows, maintaining this new pattern.
On the next round, work half the stitches (40) in the established pattern. Place these stitches on a string and work a short row heel using the remaining 40 stitches.
Heel: There is more than one way to work a short row heel. The way I will describe is the way I do both my heels and toes. It's based on the sock heel used in Priscilla's Dream Socks which appeared in the Fall 2000 issue of Interweave Knits.
If you don't think you will like this method, please feel free to substitute whatever technique you may be more comfortable with. Perhaps the short row method described by Wendy Johnson in the Winter 2002 issue of Knitty.
Knit to the last stitch (39 stitches). Wrap yarn around needle with one stitch left, front to back. Turn and purl one stitch making sure to pull the stitch tight. You have just made the first of many pairs of stitches and wraps.
On the right needle now, you should have one stitch and one stitch/wrap pair. Purl to the last stitch (37 stitches), wrap needle with one stitch left, back to front. Turn and knit one stitch.
Now, on the outer edges of both needles, you should have one stitch and one stitch/wrap pair. Turn and knit to the stitch/wrap pair (36 stitches). DO NOT knit the stitch of the stitch/wrap pair. Instead, wrap and turn as you did for the previous row. Purl one stitch.
You now have one stitch and two stitch/wrap pairs on the righthand needle. Purl to the stitch/wrap pair (35 stitches). Wrap and turn.
Continue in this manner until there are 16 stitches to knit between the stitch/wrap pairs. From this point, you will begin to incorporate the stitches from the stitch/wrap pairs again.
Knit 16 stitches and the stitch of the first stitch/wrap pair. Slip the wrapped loop, turning it, and transfer it back to the lefthand needle. Knit the wrap together with the stitch on the next stitch/wrap pair. Wrap yarn around needle, front to back, and turn. Knit one stitch making a new stitch/wrap pair.
Purl across the row to the stitch/wrap pair and purl the stitch of the pair. Slip the wrap and the stitch from the next stitch/wrap pair to the righthand needle, turning both. Transfer them back to the lefthand needle and purl both together through the back loops. Wrap yarn back to front and turn. Another new stitch/wrap is made.
Knit across the row to the next stitch/wrap pair and knit its stitch. This time there will be two wraps to turn and transfer back to the lefthand needle. Knit the two wraps together with the stitch of the knit stitch/wrap pair. Wrap and turn.
Purl across the row to the next stitch/wrap pair and purl its stitch. Turn the two wraps and the stitch of the next pair. Transfer them back to the lefthand needle and purl all three together through the back loops. [This is most likely going to be the deal breaker for most people as this is not a graceful maneuver. With patience, it can be done]. Wrap and turn.
Continue incorporating stitches from the stitch/wrap pairs in this manner until all are gone and you are back to 40 stitches with one wrap on each end. Knit across the 40 stitches. When only the wrap remains on the left needle, begin transferring stitches to this needle. Transfer twenty stitches from the sting to the needle. Knit together the wrap and the first stitch. Knit across the needle. Transfer the next twenty stitches from the string to a needle, putting the last stitch on the needle facing to the left. Also, transfer the wrap from the first heel needle to this needle. Knit across the needle, knitting together the last stitch and the wrap.
Knit across the next two needles to get back to the beginning of the round.
Foot: After completing the heel, continue in pattern established before the heel for another 5" (about 60 rows).
Toe: As for the heel, work half the stitches and place on a string. Work a short row toe, reducing to 20 stitches rather than 16. Place waiting stitches back on the needles and knit across. DO NOT twist the purls. Instead of knitting back to the beginning of the round, put half the stitches on one needle and half on another needle and graft toe closed using the Kitchener stitch. [There are directions for the Kitchener stitch in the technique section of most knitting magazines and many online resources can also be located by entering "Kitchener stitch" into a search engine like Google]. Weave in ends. Make two. Put on feet.
No doubt, there is some problem with this pattern. I've tried to be clear and complete. If there is any question I can answer, let me know and I'll do my best to clarify further. If you don't find this pattern useful, I encourage you to experiment as I did until to come up with your own perfect personal sock recipe. Whatever you do, knit in happiness and health.
Image, pattern, and text are the sole property of Michelle R Molis ©2003