Basic 8 ply sock pattern
This is a basic sock pattern for 8ply/DK weight yarn written with the first-time sock knitter in mind. These socks are knitted:
- on double pointed needles,
- in the round,
- cuff down,
- with a heel flap and gusset.
The instructions include how many stitches to keep on each needle and the stitches will be held on three needles and knitted around with a fourth needle.
Size: These socks can be lengthened or shortened but will generally fit people with a foot length of 23cm, or who wear shoe size 7–9 in Australian sizing, or 37 – 40 European sizing. (Also known as Women - Medium.)
Needles: 3.75mm double pointed knitting needles or size required to achieve the desired tension.
Wool needle for grafting and weaving in ends.
Yarn: Opal 8ply sock wool ‘X Large 8 fach’ 150grams x 1 ball.
Tension: 20 stitches and 28 rows over 10cm.
DPNs - Double pointed needles
K - Knit
K2tog – Knit 2 together. Knit the next two stitches together as one (decrease).
P2tog – Purl 2 together. Purl the next two stitches together as one (decrease).
P - Purl
Sl - Slip
SSK – Slip, Slip, Knit. This decrease technique creates a left leaning decrease which is the mirror opposite of Knit Two Together (K2tog). Slip the next two stitches on the left needle (as if to knit) to the right needle without knitting them. Insert the left needle into the front loops of these stitches (left to right). Wrap the yarn in the usual way around the right needle and knit the 2 slipped stitches together. This is an easier decrease than K2tog tbl which is sometimes used.
Using a stretchy cast on technique such as the long tail cast on, cast on 44 stitches.
Note: I find it easier to cast onto single needle and then transfer the cast-on stitches onto 3 DPNs as I work Round 1. I also cast on with a slightly larger needle so that the first round is not tight.
Divide the stitches on the 3 DPNs so that there are 15 stitches on the first needle, 15 stitches on the second needle and 14 stitches on the third needle ie., (15-15-14).
Make sure that the stitches are not twisted. You will be knitting in the round and on the right side of the work only, up until the heel flap. Rather than joining your stitches to knit in the round as some instructions say, I prefer to just start knitting. You may have a small gap at the top of your cuff when you are finished but you can join this gap when you weave in your yarn tail.
Round 1: *K2, P2, repeat from * to the end of the round. The yarn tail will indicate the start of the round so it’s not necessary to use a stitch marker. If you want to use a stitch marker, place it on the needle, not the knitting, and place it a stitch before or after the end of the round so that it doesn’t fall off the needle.
Repeat the first round 9 more times to create 10 rounds of rib in total, or until your rib measures 4cm.
Next round: Knit
Continue to knit until the sock measures 12cm from the beginning, or the length you prefer.
Begin the Heel by knitting the heel flap:
Knit the first 12 stitches of the next round, then slip the last 12 stitches of the round onto the other end of the same needle. These 24 stitches will be used for the heel flap. Divide the remaining 20 stitches onto two needles and leave for the instep. The picture below is included for clarity.
You will now be working on the 24 heel flap stitches.
The slipped stitches in the next section create a thicker fabric across the heel flap, making it stronger. When you slip your stitches on the following rows you will slip the first stitch on the Purl row purl-wise (as if you were about to Purl) and the first stitch on a Knit row knit-wise (as if to knit). The heel flap is knitted back and forth, not in the round.
Turn the work so that the next row is on the wrong side.
Row 1 (WS): Sl1 purlwise, P23, turn.
Row 2: (Sl1, K1) 12 times, turn.
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 six more times. The heel flap is now 14 rows in total.
Row 15: (WS): Sl1 purlwise, P23, turn.
Turn the Heel:
Row 1: Sl1, K13, SSK, K1, turn.
Row 2: Sl1, P5, P2tog, P1, turn.
Row 3: Sl1, K6, SSK, K1, turn.
Row 4: Sl1, P7, P2tog, P1, turn.
Row 5: Sl1, K8, SSK, K1, turn.
Row 6: Sl1, P9, P2tog, P1, turn.
Row 7: Sl1, K10, SSK, K1, turn.
Row 8: Sl1, P11. P2tog, P1, turn.
Row 9: Sl1, K14, turn.
Row 10: Sl1, P15
Next row: Knit 8 stitches
Slip all your instep stitches (20 stitches) onto one needle.
You should now have 8 stitches on one needle, 20 stitches on the next needle, and 8 stitches on the final needle.
Begin the Gusset:
Knit 8 stitches that remain of the heel flap.
Pick up and knit 10 stitches along the side of the heel flap. When picking up the stitches, make sure you insert your needle through both legs/loops of the stitch.
When you get to the join between the heel flap and the instep, pick up an extra stitch in that gap. This will stop a hole from forming.
Note: The most effective way to eliminate the hole between the instep and the heel is to slide your needle between the loops of two stitches in the row below, as per the following picture, and then knit those loops together as one stitch. This will create the extra stitch in place of a hole Get rid of this extra stitch in your next knitted row by knitting it with another stitch as a K2tog.
Knit across the 20 instep stitches.
Pick up and knit 10 stitches along the other side of the heel, remembering to pick up an extra stitch at the join as before.
Knit the remaining 8 stitches. (58 stitches, divide them 19-20-19 across the three needles)
Knit one round following these instructions: when you get to the picked-up stitches, knit them through the back of the stitch to tighten them up. Knit the extra stitches that you picked up at the joins between flap and instep through the back loop and knitted together with the next stitch. This gets rid of the extra stitches and avoids holes. (56 stitches, divided 18-20-18)
Work the Gusset decreases:
In this section you are going to decrease on either side of the instep.
Round 1: Knit to the last 3 stitches on the first needle, K2tog, K1. Knit across the 20 stitches on the second needle. On the third needle K1, SSK, knit to end. (17-20-17)
Round 2: Knit.
Repeat Round 1 and Round 2 five times more until 44 stitches remain. (12-20-12)
Knit in the round, without any further decreasing, until the knitted foot measures 15cm from where the stitches were knitted up at the side of the heel.
Shaping the toe:
Re-arrange the stitches as follows: slip the last stitch from the first needle onto the second needle and slip the first stitch from the third needle onto the end of the second needle. (11-22-11)
Round 1: *K8, K2tog, K2, SSK, K8. Repeat from * once. (40 stitches)
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: *K7, K2tog, K2, SSK, K7. Repeat from * once. (36 stitches)
Round 4: Knit
Round 5: *K6, k2tog, K2, SSK, K6. Repeat from * once. (32 stitches)
Round 6: Knit
Round 7: *K5, k2tog, K2, SSK, K5. Repeat from * once. (28 stitches)
Round 8: Knit
Round 9: *K4, k2tog, K2, SSK, K4. Repeat from * once. (24 stitches)
Grafting the toe:
Knit 6, and then slip the last 6 stitches of the round onto the end of the same needle so that you have 12 stitches on 2 needles.
Cut your yarn, leaving about 40cm to work with, and thread the end onto a wool needle.
Grafting live stitches like this referred to as Kitchener Stitch. In this pattern I skip the traditional ‘set up rows’ that you may find in other descriptions of Kitchener Stitch.
Step 1: Thread your needle through the first stitch on the front knitting needle as if to knit, pull through, and slip that stitch off the end of the knitting needle.
Step 2: Thread your needle through the next stitch on the front knitting needle as if to purl, pull through, and leave the stitch on the knitting needle.
Step 3: Thread your needle through the first stitch on the back knitting needle as if to purl, pull through, and slip that stitch off the knitting needle.
Step 4: Thread your wool needle through the next stitch on the back knitting needle as if to knit, pull through, and leave the stitch on the needle.
Repeat steps 1-4 until 1 stitch remains on each knitting needle, then work steps 1 and 3 one more time. Weave in your ends.
Now knit the second sock!