by the Sea Socks

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I have a stack of failed sock patterns.  Socks wide in the width or pointy at the toe have taught me how to create the best socks for each daughter’s foot.  What follows is a stew of patterns and a bit of my own seasoning.  I believe instep ribbing makes a child’s sock stay put.  Look for the *** in the pattern.  Take it, or leave it and K.
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[left, without instep ribbing and right, with instep ribbing]
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[left, with instep ribbing as directed in pattern and right, with instep ribbing until toe decrease]

Sizes:  Olive (fits toddler size 4 to 8), Lucy (fits toddler size 9 to 11), Betty (fits youth size 1 to 5).  For foot length, have your child stand on a piece of paper, barefoot.  Use a pencil to mark big toe’s front and behind the heel.  Measure between pencil’s marks and add 1/4 inch.  Socks should fit snug and have extra length at toe.

Approximate yards for Olive (Lucy, Betty):  150, 215, 275 fingering weight yarn.

Double point needles, size 2.  I have a really tight hold.  Circular, it’s about 8 stitches to 1 inch.  For a looser hold, you might want to use size 1.

Abbreviations:
k (knit)
p (purl)
st (stitch), sts (stitches)
inhs (inches)
ssk (slip 1 st as if to knit, slip 1 as if to p, slip the tip of the left needle into the fronts of these sts and k them)
sl (slip a st from the left needle to the right needle without knitting it)
tog (together)

Start:
At the top of the sock, cast on 44 (52, 60) sts evenly onto 3 needles.  Join into round; don’t twist.  You don’t need to mark the beginning of the round because you have the cast on tail.
K1, p1 for each round unit sock ribbing measures 1 in (2 1/2, 4 3/4) from cast on edge.
Now k every round until sock measures 4 inches (5,6) from cast on edge.

Divide for heel:
k 22 (26, 30) sts onto 1 needle for the heel.  Divide remaining 22 (26, 30) sts onto 2 needles to hold for instep.  Turn heel to look at wrong side and begin working back and forth on the heel sts as follows:
row 1
row 2
Repeat these 2 rows until there are 2 inhs (2 1/4, 2 1/2) from the cast on edge.
End ready to work a k row.

Turn heel for Olive size:
row 1~ sl 1, k 11, ssk, k 1, turn
row 2~ sl 1, p 3, p 2 tog, p 1, turn
row 3~ sl 1, k 4, ssk, k 1, turn
row 4~ sl 1, p 5, p 2 tog, p 1, turn
row 5~ sl 1, k 6, ssk, k 1, turn
row 6~ sl 1, p 7, p 2 tog, p 1, turn
row 7~ sl 1, k 8, ssk, k 1, turn
row 8~ sl 1, p 9, p 2 tog, p 1, turn
row 9~ sl 1, k 10, ssk, turn
row 10~ sl 1, p 10, p 2 tog
Heel turned & 12 stitches remain.

Turn heel for Lucy size:

row 1~ sl 1, k 13, ssk, k 1, turn
row 2~ sl 1, p 3, p 2 tog, p 1, turn
row 3~ sl 1, k 4, ssk, k 1, turn
row 4~ sl 1, p 5, p 2 tog, p 1, turn
row 5~ sl 1, k 6, ssk, k 1, turn
row 6~ sl 1, p 7, p 2 tog, p 1, turn
row 7~ sl 1, k 8, ssk, k 1, turn
row 8~ sl 1, p 9, p 2 tog, p 1, turn
row 9~ sl 1, k 10, ssk, turn
row 10~ sl 1, p 10, p 2 tog
row 11~sl 1, k 12, ssk, turn
row 12~sl 1, p 12, p 2 tog
Heel turned & 14 stitches remain.

Turn heel for Betty size:

row 1~ sl 1, k 11, ssk, k 1, turn
row 2~ sl 1, p 3, p 2 tog, p 1, turn
row 3~ sl 1, k 4, ssk, k 1, turn
row 4~ sl 1, p 5, p 2 tog, p 1, turn
row 5~ sl 1, k 6, ssk, k 1, turn
row 6~ sl 1, p 7, p 2 tog, p 1, turn
row 7~ sl 1, k 8, ssk, k 1, turn
row 8~ sl 1, p 9, p 2 tog, p 1, turn
row 9~ sl 1, k 10, ssk, turn
row 10~ sl 1, p 10, p 2 tog
row 11~ sl 1, k 12, ssk, k 1, turn
row 12~ sl 1, p 13, p 2 tog, p 1, turn
row 13~ sl 1, k 14, ssk, turn
row 14~ sl 1, p 14, p 2 tog
Heel turned & 16 stitches remain.
For all sizes:
Slip all 22 (26, 30) instep sts onto 1 needle.
Next row, k across 6 (7, 8) heel sts.  Using another needle across the other 6 (7, 8) heel sts and while using the same needle, pick up 11 (13, 15) sts along the side of the heel.  ***Using another needle, k 1, p 1 across instep stitches for a tighter, no slouch fit.  (Especially great on new walkers.  If you prefer, you can just k all instep stitches).  Using another needle, pick up 11 (13, 15) sts along the other side of the heel continuing to knot the 6 (7, 8) heel sts.  
The middle of the heel is the new round start.  You should have 17 (20, 23) sts on the first needle, 22 (26, 30) on the second “instep” needle, and 17 (20, 23) sts on the third neeedle.  K 1 round.
Shape gusset:
Round 1 – Continue all instep ribbing if you chose to achieve a tighter fit by adopting this method at ***.
first needle – k to within 3 sts of end of needle, k 2 tog, k 1.
second needle – decrease for this round and one additional round.
third needle – k 1, ssk, k to end.  
Round 2 – k.  
Work the last 2 rounds until there are 11 (13, 15) sts on first and third needle, 22 (26, 30) on second needle.  44 (52, 60) sts in all.
K every round on these sts until foot of sock measures 1 1/4 (1 1/2. 1 3/4) inches less than length of child’s foot.
Shape toe:
End instep ribbing.
Round 1 “the toe decrease round”- 
first needle – k to within 3 sts of needle’s end, k 2 tog, k 1.
second needle – k 1, ssk, k to within 3 sts of end of needle, k 2 tog, k 1.
third needle – k 1, ssk, k to end of needle.
Round 2 – knit
Continue with decrease round, then a knit round until there are 24 (28, 32) sts left, 6 (7, 8) on the first  and third needle, and 12 (14, 16) on the second needle.  Now work the toe decrease round (Round 1) on EVERY round until there are 8 sts left.  
Break yarn.  Use a darning needle to gather up remaining sts and weave in ends.  

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