The 'recipe' for this sock was handed down to me by Keith Somers, a tree nurseryman in Tillsonburg, Ontario. His mother had given it to him when she showed him how to knit when he was a boy. He has made hundreds of socks over many years. I have made dozens of socks from that same pattern: it is very versatile. It is worked on only 28 stitches and you can vary the density of the sock with the wool (or combination of) you choose.
Sadly I do not have a picture of a pair that Keith has made - either ones made from fluffy yarn like Diana which was his fibre of choice "cosy and colourful" he told me, when I first met him and which I immediately noticed peeking over the tops of his work boots or the more rugged ones he made later and would line up along the back of his sofa; when he made more than he could use - he sold the extra.
The socks above are mostly a Norwegian wool - I loved the softness and the brightness; the red eyelash and blue chenille picked up the specks. They have served me for a number of years now. It suits me to wear socks over knee socks in Victoria's cool weather either with sandals or casual shoes.
These socks, intentionally mismatched (I did not run out of wool!) are for cold dry weather when I need the extra warmth but still want the comfort of sandals or loose shoes. The cuffs were added at the end - I think I crocheted them with a very large hook and large stitches.
These are the alpaca and wool/acrylic yarn (one strand of each) I started ages ago and only recently finished; actually, they still need to have a cuff added to them - or maybe not - and the toes sewn, ends woven in. The marriage of those two yarns resulted in a compatible couple, quite lovely to work with and promising to continue nicely twined with the alpaca giving warmth and the sock yarn giving strength.
It's not often that I actually go to a yarn store and buy wool for a project - usually I just go to my stash and something 'suggests' - but when I made this pair last year I wanted something to match the Noro and there was nothing purple 'at home'. It is great fun to browse a store lined with shelves and shelves and shelves of wool. This purple is - oh heck, can't remember and too lazy at the moment to go and hunt up the yarn band*. It was a worthwhile acquisition whatever it is!
(*A merino and silk, Australian)
Here is the pattern:
Each sock takes one 50 gr ball of wool, single strand in double knitting, double strand in 4 ply. or a mixture of yarn to come up with what suits you. #4 Can (9 US) set of four dbl pointed needles.
Gauge 8 sts to 2 inches (approx)
Finger cast on 28 sts on a #4 (Can) dbl pointed needle.
1st row K2 P2 across.
Distribute on three needles, 12, 8, 8
Taking care to not twist the first row, using fourth needle, join stitches and begin to work in the round: K2 P2 ribbing for cuff (2" for crew style, 4" for short cuff, 6" for tall cuff etc.) Or make the cuff in garter stitch if you are using really textured wool . Or leave the cuff for now and start right into the body of the sock - you might decide to knit - or crochet - the cuff at the end. The sock is meant to be fun and inspire whimsy. That is what comes to my mind at the memory of seeing Keith on his tree farm with his serious work boots and the pastel socks pouring out the top of his boots; made me grin then; makes me smile now.
Knit plain to required length (distance from bottom of cuff to top of ankle)
Change to 14, 7, 7 on the three needles
On the 14 sts K1 Slip 1 across and then purl back. Do this for 2 1/2 inches ending with a knit row.
Turn heel like this:
Purl 7 P2tog P1 Turn
K3 K2tog K1 Turn
P4 P2tog P1 Turn
K5 K2tog K1 Turn
P6 P2tog P1 Turn
K7 K2tog Do not turn
With spare (fourth) needle pick up 9 sts knitwise along edge following from the last row.
There are 7 sts on each of the next two needles: put these all on one needle (14 sts)
With spare needle knit across these 14 sts.
With spare needle pick up 9 sts along next edge. Onto this same (9sts) needle knit the next 4 sts from the 8 sts needle (13 sts). Slip the remaining 4 sts. onto the needle holding the 9 sts. (13 sts.) Think of this now as a triangle with 13 sts. on each side and 14 sts. along the bottom.
You are presently at the top of the triangle. Knit once around (40 sts.)
Decrease for heel gusset as follows:
Knit 10 (along the 13 sts. side) K2tog K1 (12 sts.)
Knit across the 14 sts.
Now (along the other 13 sts. side) K1 K2tog K10 (12 sts.)
You are now at the top again.
Knit one round plain.
On next round decrease as before (11sts. 14 sts. 11 sts.)
Knit one round plain.
Decrease in this manner until there are 7sts. 14 sts. 7 sts.
Knit plain to desired length (foot size less toe length; I try on the sock at this point and when only half my toes show then I start to decrease: I like roomy toes!)
To decrease for toe:
Decrease 4 sts in next round (K2tog - twice on the 14 st row, once on the 7 st rows) Knit one row plain. Decrease 4 sts. as before. Knit one row plain. Continue until 12 stitches remain. Cast off. Sew up toe seam