Friday, November 07, 2008

Sheila's Basic Sock Pattern ... revamped!

Wool2Dye4 Basic Sock with Variations
By Sheila Trunzo Mahone

Overview: Basic cuff-to-toe sock pattern on 12” circular needle, size 2. One-piece heel. Double decrease toe finished on two 24” circular needles. Use any stitch pattern for leg and front of foot to personalize pattern. Heel is knit in two parts: increases at markers as we knit around the foot, then decreases on the heel only, using short rows to decrease back and forth on the heel while the front of foot stays on the needles, untouched. When you’ve decreased back to the original number of stitches (30 for this example) for heel, continue knitting in-the-round until you reach the toe. Divide stitches evenly onto the two 24” circular needles with markers now positioned in the middle of these two needles, and decrease on either side of the markers, every other row, to form the toe. Weave final stitches together to close.

This pattern example is built on 60 stitches with a 2x2 rib. Size up or down to fit your foot and leg, and feel free to experiment on cuff, leg and foot. Once you find the right number of stitches to cast onto the size needle that you prefer, you have the basis for designing your own socks.

Yarn: Wool2Dye4 Sock yarns … Platinum Sock, BFL Ultra!, Socks2DYE4, Bamboo Two-Step, and Tencel Merino Sock…. 400-425 yards (about 100 grams)
Needles: 12” circular Addi Turbo, Size 1 or 2 for sock, and two 24” circular needles, same size for toe
Stitch Markers: 2

Cuff & Leg:
Cast on 60, loosely. * Place colored (not green) marker at half-way point to divide work in half. At beginning of next row, place a green marker (for ‘Go!’). As you knit the leg and before you reach the heel, mark the first half of the row with knotted scrap of yarn or safety pin. This identifies the first half of the row between the green and colored markers, and will later become the back of the heel.
· Knit 2x2 rib (knit 2, purl 2) for 1.5 to 2 inches
· Knit leg for desired length **

One-Piece Heel:
Increases ……. (You will increase 1 stitch at side markers and knit entire row in-the-round)
Row 1:
-Slip Marker, k1, M1^ and knit to within 2 stitches of next marker. M1, K1, slip marker. Knit to beginning of row.
Row 2: - Knit all stitches, completely around the sock until you come back to the green marker.
Repeat Rows 1& 2 until you have added 30 stitches to heel’s back.^^ (15 increases at both markers, making 60 stitches between markers)
End with knit row.
Decreases ... (short-row decreases from center towards markers, working on heel stitches only)
(There are 60 stitches on heel back. Front sts will sit untouched until we decrease down to 30 heel sts.)
Row A: Knit to center stitch, knit 2 more stitches, K2Tog, K1 turn.
Row B: Slip first stitch, purl 1, purl 2, purl 2 more stitches, P2tog, Purl 1, and turn

… now the Short Row Pattern repeats itself until you reach the original number of stitches …
Row 1: Slip 1, knit across to last stitch before gap, Knit 2 Tog, K1, turn
Row 2: Slip 1, purl across to last stitch before gap, Purl 21 Tog, P1, turn
Continue short rows, picking up one more stitch on each end (where you K2Tog, closing the gap created where you turned on the previous row) until you reach the side markers and there are 30 stitches on heel half. If you have a stitch or two too many, knit one row in the round and decrease that stitch at the proper side.

Continue knitting in-the-round until foot is about 1.5 inches shorter than desired total length of sock. (You may choose to continue the leg pattern on the top half of the foot, if you like.)

· Knit 15 stitches and transfer the next 30 stitches (and marker) to one of the 24” circular needles.
· Transfer the last 30 stitches (and marker) to the second 24” circular needle. The markers are now positioned in the center: 30 stitches on each needle, markers in the middle.
- Row 1: Knit to within 3 stitches of marker, K2Tog, K1, slip marker, K1, K2Tog … knit to within 3 stitches of second marker, K2Tog, K1, slip marker, K1, K2Tog (use any decrease you prefer)
- Row 2: Knit completely around both needles back to beginning position.
Repeat these two rows until there are 8 to 12 stitches left on each needle.
Using Kitchener stitch, or any weaving stitch, weave these remaining stitches closed. Weave in ends.

*Long-tail or knitted cast-on will give you a strong, yet stretchy, edge on cuff.
**Leg variations are endless. Pattern should be divisible by 4 to fit nicely with 2x2 rib at cuff.
^M1=Make one. Use increase method of your choice. I like ‘Knit in Front and Back’ of same stitch, then slip stitch to right needle. This increase gives a uniform and pretty line of stitches with no holes.
^^You may choose to make your heel deeper or more shallow by increasing either more or fewer times at the heel markers.
-On Heel back, you might add slip stitches on centered 12 stitches between the side increases.
-Knit the Short-Rows and Toe in different colors of yarn for a different effect.

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