Free Textured Beginner Sock Pattern

Textured beginner sock

Socks For Beginners

Socks are a great way to build your skills as a knitter because they have a standard construction which you can build on to make a unique version of the vanilla sock.

This sock is going to use a combination of knits and purls to make a staggered moss stick pattern for the leg and front foot construction. The sock will be constructed in the Cuff-Down method: start with the cuff, move down the leg, turn the heel, make the foot, and decrease down to the toe.

The skills you will need to complete this pattern are:

  • Casting on
  • Magic Loop if you are using large circular needles (see video for instructions)
  • Knit and purl stitches
  • Decreases using SSK and K2tog
  • Kitchener Stitch (see video for instructions)

I will take you through the pattern step-by-step and show you how to integrate the textured pattern in the standard sock construction.

Materials

Tension

This is the tension that I am using for my needle size and yarn combination.

  • 8 stitches per inch
  • 12 rows per inch

Abbreviations

  • St(s): stitches
  • ML: magic loop
  • K: knit
  • P: purl
  • Ssk: (an alternate version)slip as it to knit, slip as if to knit, insert left needle at the front of the two stitches and then knit two together
  • k2tog: knit two stitches together
  • p2tog: purl two stitches together
  • Sl: slip the stitch as if to knit
  • *  *: repeat the stitch pattern for designated number of times

Pattern Instructions

I have based this pattern around my own feet and preferences but I have also included the methods used to customize the pattern to fit anyone and adaptations to use if they fall outside of the usual sizing guides.

Preparation

The first thing you will want to do is to make a swatch of the yarn and needles so that you can figure out your tension. I tend to make a 4 x 4 inch swatch for socks and then count how many stitches I have in a one inch section: horizontal stitches for stitches per inch and vertical stitches for rows per inch. Once you have this figure then jot it down.

The next step is to take some measurements of the feet you are making the socks for, I’ll provide my measurements as a reference for you:

  • Circumference of the ankle/calf: 8 inches
  • Length from where you want the cuff to begin on your leg to the bottom of your outer ankle bone: 4 inches
  • Total length of foot from heel to toe then minus 2 inches for toe decreases: 7.5 inches (I have short feet!)

Casting On

To work out how many stitches you need to cast on simply multiply your ankle/calf measurement x stitches per inch: 8 in x 8 sts per inch = 64 sts. If you have an odd number then round it up or down to the nearest multiple of four as this is how many stitches the main pattern repeat uses.

Cast on 64 sts with your chosen yarn. If you are using circular needles on a 20 cm circumference the cast on as usual; Magic Loop method (see below for instructions): cast on and divide the stitches evenly onto each needle and carry on with the ML method; DPNs cast on an even number of stitches onto each needle.

Leg Construction

In order for sock to stay put on the leg it is advisable to start off with a form of ribbing to create a stretchy fabric that naturally tends to hug the leg and not fall down. For this pattern I have chosen to use a 1×1 rib (k1, p1 then repeat) but if you prefer a 2×2 rib then it will still work. Carry on for 1.5 inches or 20 rows and then move on to the main pattern.

The textured pattern is constructed over for rows in a four stitch repeat. Once you have completed all four rows then carry on until you have reached the designated length of just below the ankle bone (4 inches in my case).

  1. knit all stitches in row
  2. [p1, k1, p1, k1] repeat to end of the row
  3. knit all stitches in row
  4. [k1, p1, k1, p1] repeat to end of the row

Making The Heel Flap

My favorite heel style to use is the Modified Garter-stitch Edged Eye of Partridge Heel because the slipped stitches create a denser fabric around the heel. This means that the socks can sustain a lot of wear from the backs of shoes if taken care of, i.e following the care instructions on your yarn.

To set-up for the heel flap you will need to divide your stitches in half and set the stitches needed for the instep aside.  There are numerous ways of doing this but I put half of my stitches on a spare bit of yarn and I use a tapestry needle to slip the stitches on there ready for use later.

This heel flap is worked over four rows and you will need to repeat it 8 times (32 rows). However if you’re knitting for someone with a long heel you can repeat the heel flap construction rows as many times as needed to create your desired length.

  1. k3, p to end
  2. p3, *k1, sl1* to last 3 sts, k3
  3. k3, p to end
  4. p3, *sl1, k1* to last 3 sts, k3

You will now have 16sts that you can pick up along the edge when we get to the gusset stage.

The Heel Turn

The section will make the connecting piece of fabric from the heel flap to the gusset. Again there are many different variations available to you but I’ve gone with a standard heel turn.

Start with the wrong side facing you (you’ll be looking at a ton of purl stitches)and then repeat the following:

  1. sl1, p16, p2tog, p1, turn your work
  2. sl1, k3, ssk, k1, turn
  3. sl1, p4, p2tog, p1, turn
  4. sl1, k5, ssk, k1, turn
  5. Carry on in this manner until all stitches have been knit. If you have followed the basic instructions without modifications then you will have 18 sts that you have knit when you have finished. Otherwise, carry on until you have knit every stitch.

Preparing For The Gusset: Picking Up

This is the section where you prepare the stitches for where the actual foot will be. We will now need to join those stitches that we set aside earlier and also pick up an extra stitch either side so to minimize the small hole that can appear if your stitches are a little loose.

Start by picking up the stitches on the side of the heel flap (it’s easier to pick up in between the bumps). Assuming you have followed the pattern without modifications you will pick up 16 sts from the heel flap plus 1 more stitch between the heel flap and the instep stitches for a total of 17 sts  (for modifications pick up any extra stitches you have made in the heel flap and then continue as wrote). Place a stitch marker in preparation for the next section.

Transfer your instep stitches back onto a needle and the knit all of them in pattern, place a stitch marker, and pick up 1 stitch between the instep and the heel flap. Now pick up the 16 sts (plus extra stitches if you modified) for a total of 17 sts picked up.

You should now have 42 sts on your needles if you have followed the basic pattern.

The Gusset

Now we will be generating the tube which will house the foot. We will be needing to use two types of decreases (SSK & K2TOG) to narrow the tube to fit the natural shape of a foot.

To set up the gusset we will need to prepare the stitches we have just set up in the Pick Up section:

  1. k across the heel and heel flap sts until you reach 2 sts before the marker, ssk, slip the marker, continue to knit across the instep stitches in pattern, slip the marker, k2tog, k to end

Now that the Gusset has been prepared we will follow a 2 row pattern until there are 64 sts left.

  1. k to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k1, slip marker, knit insteps sts in pattern, slip marker, k1, ssk, k to end of row
  2. k to marker, slip marker, continue instep sts in pattern, slip marker, k to end of row

The Instep

Now that the tube has narrowed you will need to carry on until you have got the desired length needed for your foot (in my case 7.5 inches). Make sure that you end on row 4 for the pattern to have a complete repeat.

The Toe

Just like the heel flap there are many variations to the toe but I have again gone with a nice easy standard one. If you have not done so already then make sure that your stitches are redistributed evenly so that  you have the instep stitches together and the top of the foot stitches together otherwise you will have a wonky toe and will need to rip it out and try again.

To make the toe you will be decreasing just like you did with the Gusset: k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.

  1. Decrease to 30 sts per needle (60 total)
  2. Knit all stitches
  3. Knit all stitches
  4. Decrease to 28 sts per needle (56 total)
  5. Knit all stitches
  6. Knit all stitches
  7. Decrease to 26 sts per needle (52 total)
  8. Knit all stitches
  9. Knit all stitches
  10. Decrease to 24 sts per needle (48 total)
  11. Knit all stitches
  12. Decrease to 22 sts per needle (44 total)
  13. Knit all stitches
  14. Decrease to 20 sts per needle (40 total)
  15. Knit all stitches
  16. Decrease to 18 sts per needle (36 total
  17. Decrease to 16 sts per needle (32 total)
  18. Decrease to 14 sts per needle (28 total)
  19. Decrease to 12 sts per needle (24 total)

Finishing

Cut the yarn leaving approximately a 10 inch tail and graft the two edges together using the Kitchener Stitch. Weave in all ends and then make the second sock if you haven’t already done so.

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