Any Size Yarn Gauge Sock Recipe - Free Sock Knitting Pattern

Have you ever wondered how to knit socks without needing a pattern? This recipe will empower you to knit a pair of socks using the yarn you want and the needles you want. 

Measure your knitting tension by knitting a square.
This lets you measure your stitch gauge (S) (stitches per centimetre or stitches per inch). To do this choose the needles which give you the fabric you want. Some patterns require 2.5 mm (US 1 or 2) needles for sock yarn or 4 ply / fingering weight, however it is possible to use needle sizes up to 3.25 mm (US 3) for fingering yarn, depending on how tight you want the fabric to be. DK wool usually needs 4 mm (US 6) needles, aran weight yarn 4.5 mm (US 7) and chunky yarn usually 5 mm (US 8) needles. 

To custom fit socks you need to measure the circumference around the ankle (C). Please use the same unit for measuring as you did for your tension square, so either inches or centimetres. Using this measurement of ankle circumference will give loose fitting socks suitable for wellies. Some knitters subtract 5-10 % from the circumference measurement to get a close fit for wearing inside shoes.

Knitting abbreviations: 
K2tog                            Knit two stitches together as if they were one stitch
SSK                               Slip one stitch to the right needle as if to knit, slip another stitch as if to knit, then take the left needle into the two slipped stitches from left to right, but lying in front of the right needle, and knit them together.
K                                  knit stitch
P                                  purl stitch
P2tog                            purl the next two stitches together as if they were one stitch

Number of stitches to cast on:

No. of stitches required = Ankle Circumference C _________ x Stitch gauge S ____________
= _________ stitches. 
Round this number down to the next multiple of 4 stitches.

Joining to a round on double pointed needles:
Arrange stitches on four needles taking care not to twist them. 
If you start with ribbing (k1,p1) or (k2,p2) at the top of your sock, it is best to start with a knit stitch at the beginning of each needle. 

K1, P1, repeat to end of round. Continue for at least one inch or even along entire leg if desired. (A k2, p2 rib also works well). 

Leg length:Historically the leg was knitted to measure the same as the length from ball to tip of wearer’s thumb. If you don’t have the wearer to hand then 10 cm or 4 inches is also usual.

Reinforced heel flap:

Row 1: Knit all stitches.
Row 2: P1, (slip1, p1); repeat until two stitches remain, p2. 

This ensures that the first and last stitches of the row are always worked. 

Turning the heel:
This requires a bit of maths but once you have learned to do it you are independent and never ever need a pattern for knitting socks again.

Divide the number of heel flap stitches by 3. Take this number for the sides, but add any remainder to the centre stitches. e.g. 16 heel flap stitches. 16/3 = 5 remainder 1. Therefore there are 5 stitches on either side and 6 in the centre in my example. This is described in the schematic below using a V for a stitch. Starting top right for a knit row:
   V                     V Slip 1
   V                     V k
   V                     V k
   V                     V k
k V                  V k
     VV V V V V 
     Ssk k  k  k
Written out this row is as follows: (RS): slip 1, knit to two stitches before end of centre stitches, (in my example this would be knit 7), SSK, knit 1. Turn your work.

         V                      V
         V                      V
         V                      V
         V                      V
Slip1 V                    V p1 turn
            V V V VV
             p p  p p2tog 

The next row is: (WS) slip 1, purl to two stitches before end of centre stitches, (in my example this would be purl 3), p2tog, p1, turn . This number of stitches purled before the p2tog sets the pattern for the rest of the heel turn as follows: (increase by one every row as shown in bold)

Next row(RS): slip 1, knit 4, ssk, k1, turn.
Next row(WS): slip 1, purl 5, p2tog, p1, turn
Next row (RS): slip 1, knit6, ssk, k1, turn
Next row(WS): slip 1, purl 7, p2tog, p1, turn. And so on until there are no more stitches to turn. The next row is a right side row.

Now it is your turn to work this out for your own number of stitches
Your number of stitches in the heel flap ______(half of the total number of stitches cast on to start with),
divided by 3 = ________ stitches for the sides. Add any remainder to the middle. This means there are  __________ stitches for the centre stitches.

2. Next row (RS): slip 1, knit to 2 stitches before end of centre stitches, SSK, knit 1, turn
3. Next row (WS): slip 1, purl to 2 stitches before end of centre stitches
(make a note of this number N), p2tog, p1, turn
4. Once you have the number of purled stitches N that come before the p2tog you can just continue by knitting one more on the next row (N+1). This means the next row is:
(RS): slip 1, knit (N+1) stitches, ssk, k1, turn
5. Continue:
Next row(WS): slip 1, purl (N+2), p2tog, p1, turn
Next row (RS): slip 1, knit (N+3), ssk, k1, turn and so on.
Continue until you run out of stitches to turn. You should end so that you are ready to knit a right side row.

Pick up stitches for the gusset:
Knit across half of the heel stitches on one needle. Using another needle knit across the other half of the heel stitches then pick up and knit half as many stitches along the edge of heel flap as there are rows. You can pick up one or two more when you reach the end of the flap in order to avoid a hole. Knit the instep stitches on one or two needles. With a new needle pick up and knit the same number of stitches along the other side of the heel flap as along the first side. Knit the remaining half of the heel stitches on this needle.

Shape the gusset:
The round starts at the middle of the heel. It can be useful to mark it with a stitch marker.

Round 1: Knit to three stitches before the end of the first needle k2tog, knit 1, knit the instep stitches, Knit 1, SSK, knit to end of round.
Round 2: Knit

Knit these two rounds until you again have the same number of stitches on each needle as you started with.

Foot: Knit the foot until it measures 3 to 4 cm (1 1⁄4 to 1 1⁄2 inches) less than the desired length.

Toe shaping:
At first it is useful to use four needles until you are familiar with the decrease pattern. 

Round 1: Knit to three stitches before the end of first needle, k2tog, knit 1. On the next needle knit1, SSK, knit to end of needle. On the third needle, knit to three stitches before the end of the needle, k2tog, knit 1. On the fourth needle, knit 1, SSK, knit to end of needle.

Round 2: Knit

Repeat these rounds four or five times then switch to decreasing every round (Leave out round 2) until only 6 or 8 stitches remain. Thread the yarn through these stitches and knot. Weave in the ends.


I hope that if you follow my instructions you will have learned to knit a top down sock with a turned heel and be able to do so again and again. The next step is to try and incorporate different designs into this basic sock recipe and you will soon be designing your own sock patterns.

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