This is a digital download (a PDF), not a physical object.

These were first. These were first, way back in 2009, when I absolutely did not know what I was doing. Back when sock patterns tended to come in one size and dictate what sort of needle you should use and assume you knew how to turn a heel and decrease for a toe. Back when I wrote patterns in word processing software and created charts as spreadsheets and took pictures with flash because I didn’t know any better.

And of course I got better with practice, because that’s what people do! And as I improved, I tucked all of those earliest patterns safely away so they couldn’t cause problems for anyone or make me feel bad about what I didn’t know when I started. But oh…oh I kind of missed them. Because the socks themselves were awfully fetching! And it hardly seemed fair to keep them locked away just because I didn’t know what I was doing when I was new.

When I realized I was coming up on the fifteen year anniversary of my first pattern, it seemed like the perfect time to revisit old friends. So here they are again in a brand new iteration. They’re not exactly the same as that original pattern (so if you see a picture of the originals, don’t be alarmed by the differences). Instead they’re what I’d knit now having spent the last fifteen years knitting and writing patterns and answering sock questions.

Now the socks come in lots of sizes and gauges, and the pattern has all sorts of little reminders to help with any potential sticky spots, and it gives you options for keeping that lovely bit of fancy business at the top of your foot or moving it down closer to your toes or even for working the whole foot in the same pattern as the leg. Because those are the sorts of things patterns should do! And now this one does. Here’s to fifteen more years!

This 24-page pattern walks you through several different options for these socks (so you can move that fancy pointy bit farther down your foot or even skip it entirely if you prefer) and holds your hand through all the sticky spots that can sometimes make socks feel tricky.

Skills & scope

Socks are really just a tube with a bend in the middle, so don’t let them scare you! These are top down socks with a heel flap, which means they’re easy to try on to check the fit as you go and easy to adjust to suit your feet. If you’re comfortable following charts and working in the round, these can totally be your first socks. And if you’re already a fan of socks, you’ll have great fun with them!

The pattern uses charts, so you will need to know how to follow a knitting chart.

Yarn, gauge & sizing

The socks comes in four sizes (from a 64 stitch leg to an 88 stitch leg) and are written for six gauges (from six and a half to nine stitches per inch in half stitch increments).

That means you can use just about any weight of yarn from fingering up through worsted, and there will be a size to fit pretty much anyone’s foot. Basically anything that will give you a nice dense sock fabric at one of those gauges will work.

The socks in the pictures took about 325 yards of fingering-weight yarn and are shown on EU size 43, US women’s size 12, US men’s size 10 feet. The very biggest socks in the very smallest gauge can take up to about 450 yards, but usually 400 yards is plenty to make socks with fingering, sport, or dk-weight yarn, and 375 is plenty for worsted-weight yarn.

The stitch patterns differ slightly from size to size, so your socks may not look exactly like the ones in the pictures. All the sizes create a wiggly column of stitches sandwiched between meandering increases and decreases. But what’s inside that wiggly column changes a bit depending on the size you’re making.

On the 64-stitch size, the inside of that column is just one single purl stitch. On the 72-stitch size (that’s the one you see in the pictures), it’s two purl stitches. Those don’t really look very different at all, and you probably won’t notice unless you’re peering at a super zoomed in image. On the 80-stitch size, I tried having three purl stitches, but it started to change the scale of the pattern. So instead I tucked a knit through the back loop between the two purls. On the 88-stitch size, I added a second knit through the back loop. So those two sizes have a column of knits inside the purls.

That approach did a much better job of keeping the feel of the pattern consistent across the sizes, even though it does mean they all look a little different. I just wanted to mention it so you don’t worry if yours looks a bit different than the pictures! It’s intentional, and it doesn’t mean anything is wrong.

Tools & supplies

You’ll need needles that let you work in the round (circulars or DPNs) in whatever size lets you get a sturdy fabric with your chosen yarn plus the general knitting tools you need for most projects (scissors to cut your yarn, a darning needle to weave in ends, the occasional stitch marker).

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