Post may contain affiliate links. Please see Affiliate Policy here.
For most knitters, it’s currently sweater-knitting weather. But for me, it’s sock-knitting weather. But that’s pretty much anytime. Or all the time. Socks are a blank canvas waiting to be filled with whatever stitch pattern your imagination can produce. And the constructions methods are endless. Socks never bore me.
Pebble socks were created using a modified costruction method from Cat Bordhi’s book New Pathways for Sock Knitters. Sadly, Cat passed away from cancer in September 2020. I never got to meet her in person, but she helped fuel my love of sock knitting. I hope these socks can be my small tribute to her creative and ingenious spirit that will continue to inspire all knitters for all time.
If you found your way here from Pinterest or Instagram, welcome to my tiny cupboard under the stairs of the Big Wide Web. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter and follow me here and here.
Construction of Pebble socks begins at the toe, and includes plenty of fun details like wrapped stitches, a reinforced heel AND heel turn, and a twisted rib guesset that sits off center from the top of the foot. The “pebbles” form a gently curving path from the toe to the top of the leg. Despite the off-center gusset, each sock hugs the foot beatifully and comfortably.
The 10-page pattern contains written instructions, and charts for the “pebbles.” It is written for 4 different sizes (foot circumferences of 7, 8, 9 and 10 inches). Video links to techniqes are included. The pattern has been tested, but please contact me (Ravelry link) with any questions or problems. I’m happy to help.
Knitting and books. Books and knitting. Love them both, but you know what really winds my skeins? Knitting books.
If you found your way here from Pinterest or Instagram, welcome to my tiny cupboard under the stairs of the Big Wide Web. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us here and here.
I tried narrowing it down, but there are Just. So. Many. Great ones. So I’ll begin with 5 (plus a bonus one). For now. I will add more in future posts.
The following is a pretty eclectic list, with some books containing patterns, and others containing tutorials or stitch patterns, or a combination of everything. Some are old. Some are newer(ish). All are for the adventurous knitter.
Post may contain affiliate links. Please see Affiliate Policy here.
Short rows are some serious voodoo. They can take an angular, flat piece of knitting and transform it into something curvy and 3-dimensional. They can raise sweater necklines, provide smooth shaping, construct sock toes or heels, or form your very own stuffed Octo-buddy.
Carol Feller’s book describes in great detail several methods of knitting short rows, including wrap & turn, German short rows, and Japanese short rows. Additionally, patterns are provided to try out all these cool techniques. My favorites are my Frio hat and Claro socks.
I’ve also used short row techniques to shape the shoulders of myLion Brand Tabard Vest. (Instructions in a future post.) The pattern calls for binding off shoulder stitches; rather, I used short rows to give them a smooth curvy shape in order to make it easier to seam the front and back together.
Nancy Marchant’s book is a must-have for anyone who loves the Brioche Stitch. She presents a brief history of the technique (if you’re into that), and clear, straightforward explanations of the terminology and methods. Helpful pictures of each step make it simple to follow along, and in no time, you be a pro at the basic stitch.
Afterwards, you’ll be able to take it up a notch with knitting brioche with two colors and increases and decreases.
However, my favorite part of the book is the Stitchionary. So. Many. Variations. I’ve included one (the Stanton Brioche Stitch) in my Eira Shawl.
Once you’ve exhausted the Stitchionary of the first book, check out Marchant’s fresh variations made with increases, decreases, yarn-overs, and more. Seriously, the possibilities are endless with this entertaining stitch.
This oldie-but-goodie from Barbara Walker is less a pattern book, and more a coffee date with a friend. Don’t be turned off by the cover. (Umm, the 70’s called…) You won’t find any line by line instructions here. What you will find, however, is Barbara’s quirky and entertaining style of writing explaining how to knit almost any garment from the top down. All you need to do is bring your yarn, needles, gauge (and maybe a calculator).
You think there are only a handful of ways to construct socks? Well, think again. Cat Bordhi takes the typical toe-up sock with short row heel, or cuff-down sock with heel flap and takes them to the next level. Like, to several new levels. A heel flap on the bottom of the foot or gusset shaping in atypical areas are just the beginning.
Patterns for baby socks representing each technique are included (for a quick knit to try them out), so if you’ve got tiny feet to knit for, even better.
I knit the Rushing Rivulet Socks in the book, constructed with the Riverbed Architecture, and they are some of the best fitting socks I own.
As an avid sock knitter, I know we all are passionate about our favorite method of constructing socks. Mine happens to be cuff-down. But check out this book for some crazy varieties on your favorite method.
With this obscure and currently out-of-print book, you can create and design your own two-color reversible knitting patterns. Written by Jane Neighbors, it was published in 1974 and consists mostly of stitch patterns that are written out (no charts) for two-color knitting that looks similar on both sides, or both sides are attractive/interesting. There are a few patterns for items like blankets or sweaters for getting you started though.
Techniques included in the book consist of simple reversibles, chain patterns, and what is known today as double knitting.
While the book itself is not particularly attractive (most photos are in black/white), the stitch patterns are quite fun and can be used in a variety of ways. I’ve used a couple of them in my Joy Comes in the Morning and Where Feet May Fail Shawls.
Hey, how goes it, Crafters? As you may know, socks are my all-time favorite item to knit. Well, let me introduce you to my newest snugly feet wraps: Serein Socks.
My usual method of madness for socks follows a cuff-to-toe pathway, with a heel flap and turn. But this time, I decided on the reverse. You know, to change it up a little. But mostly because I thought the stitch pattern would look better turned right-side-up.
Speaking of the stitch pattern, check it out.
I modified a stitch pattern that I found on the interwebs. The original was a video where the pattern was worked flat, and I had a to figure out how to convert it to the round. I had a few challenges. First, the video was in Russian. And the knitting itself was different than I’m used to because the style, stitch mount, and other things were different.
And, I really want to learn Russian. Seriously. I love how it sounds.
The pattern is a relatively simple 4-round repeat. The first two rounds consist of only knits and purls. The third round contains a stitch that takes 3 stitches and knits them through the back loop, while adding a Yarn Over and another stitch. Here are the pics:
Finally, the 4th round includes a simple right cross cable.
Heel Turn and Flap
This is my first toe-up design with a heel flap. If you don’t enjoy picking up stitches, this is the way to go.
I decided to incorporate a couple of other of my favorite techniques in this pattern.
Each Serein Sock begins with Judy’s Magic Cast-On. You certainly don’t have to begin with this; use whatever method you usually use for your socks. Maybe you prefer a Turkish Cast-On or a Short Row toe.
For the final cuff Bind-Off, I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off. This method is great for keeping the top of your sock from cutting off circulation to your foot. Again, feel free to use your favorite method.
I truly had a ton of fun designing these. While I think that the cuff-down construction will always be my favorite, this was an unique challenge and of course, increasing my knitting skills is always a bonus. I hope to do more toe-up socks soon.
Please, if you enjoy this pattern, share it or let me know! I haven’t had it tested, so let me know if you find any errors or contact me with any questions or comments.
I’ve got a new sock pattern for you just in time for the weekend. I gave them the same name as my Crunchy Leaves Hat Pattern because I used the same stitch pattern. I never said I was creative with naming.
The socks contain a two-color slipped stitch pattern with only one color worked per round. Each color is worked for two rounds, then the alternate color is used.
I’ve created the pattern for 4 different sizes, but make these suckers any size you want. Just cast on a multiple of 4, and you’re on your way. Feel free to contact me for different sizing help.
If you’ve made socks before, you’ll have no problem with these. Just use the size of needle you use for all your other sock patterns. I have the most ridiculously tiny feet in the world, so I always use size 0 for my socks.
Just like with needle size, cast on the same number of stitches (multiple of 4) that you cast on for other socks.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help; have a great weekend.
Sizes and Gauge
Extra small (52 stitches), Small (60 stitches), Medium (68 stitches), Large
Gauge: 4 inches = 30 stitches in pattern.
Size US1.5 (2.5 mm) long circular needle for
Magic Loop OR two circular needles OR set of
double pointed needles, OR size needed to
Row 3 (RS): Sl1 wyib, K to 1 st before gap, SSK (to close gap), K1, turn work.
Row 4 (WS): Sl1 wyif, P to 1 st before gap, P2tog (to close gap), P1, turn work.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until all sts have been worked. 17 (19, 21, 23) sts remain.
Resume working in the round.
Shape Gussets and Foot
Rnd 1 (MC): Continuing with MC, Sl1 wyib, K to end of heel turn sts. Pick up one st in each slipped st along right edge of heel flap, plus one st between heel flap and top of foot. Place a marker for right side. *Sl1 wyif, K3. Repeat from * to last st of top of foot. Sl1 wyif. Place marker for left side of foot. Pick up one st between top of foot and heel flap, and in each slipped st along left edge of heel flap. K to end of heel flap, then K the picked up sts through the back loops to the right marker for beginning of round.
Rnd 2 (MC): Continuing with MC, *Sl1 wyib, K3. Repeat from * until one st before left marker, Sl1 wyib. K picked up stitches (on left side of heel flap) through the back loops, then K to beginning of round at right marker. Switch to CC.
Rnd 3 (CC): K2. *Sl1 wyif, K3. Repeat from *to 3 sts before left marker. Sl1 wyif, K2. Slip marker, K1, SSk, K to last 3 sts before right marker, K2tog, K1.
Rnd 4 (CC): K2. *Sl1 wyib, K3. Repeat from * to 3 sts before left marker. Sl1 wyib, K2. Slip marker, K to end of round. Switch to MC.
Rnd 5 (MC): *Sl1 wyif, K3. Repeat from * to last st before left marker, Sl1 wyif. Slip marker, K1, SSK, K to 3 sts before marker, K2tog, K1.
Rnd 6 (MC): *Sl1 wyib, K3. Repeat from * to last st before left marker, Sl1 wyib. Slip marker, K to end of round. Switch to CC.
Repeat rounds 3-6 until you are back to your original number of stitches. Continue working in pattern (slip stitch on top of foot and even knitting on bottom) without the gusset decreases until the sock is about 2 inches shorter than desired, ending with a Rnd 4.
Continue with MC.
Setup round: *Sl1 wyif, K3. Repeat to last st before left marker, Sl1 wyif. Remove marker, K1, replace marker. K to end of round.
Rnd 1: K to end of round.
Rnd 2: K1, SSK, K to 3 sts before left marker, K2tog, K1, Slip marker, K1, SSK, K to 3 sts before right marker, K2tog, K1.
Repeat Rnds 1 and 2 until toe is desired length, ending with a Rnd 2. Graft sts together.
Repeat pattern for second sock. Block if you want; I never block socks. 🙂
Pattern has only been tested by me. Please let me know of any errors or questions.