How to Knit Socks: On-Your-Toes Socks Pattern
Hello, dear knitters! In today’s fourth and final lesson of the series of lessons, aimed to teach you how to knit socks at home, we are going to sum up everything we’ve already mastered and will try to make handknitted socks from scratch. Working from the bottom up, you can knit these socks to stop just short of the ankle or run them all the way up to the knee and even over it. Make these as gifts—the stretchy rib adjusts to fit just about any leg. I hope you will find this pattern easy and useful! Enjoy!
We will work these socks from the toe up, using 2×2 rib stitch (https://lifehack.craftorator.com/162-how-to-knit-socks-2x2-rib-stitch.html). Stitches are cast on for the toe in a simple method borrowed from Continental knitting (I’ve made a short post regarding this knitting style here: https://lifehack.craftorator.com/53-knitting-basics-how-to-hold-yarn-and-needles-continental-style.html), the heel is worked in short-rows (https://lifehack.craftorator.com/163-how-to-knit-socks-short-row-sock-heels.html), and the leg is shaped by increasing needle size or increasing stitches. The rib pattern helps draw in the knitting to make a snug-fitting sock.
beg - beginning; begin; begins
BO – bind off
cm – centimeter(s)
CO – cast on
cont - continue(s); continuing
dec(s) – decrease
dpn - double-pointed needle(s)
foll - following; follows
g – gram(s)
inc – increase
k – knit
k2tog – knit 2 stitches together
kwise – knit wise
m(s) – markers
mm - millimeter(s)
M1 - make one (increase)
p – purl
p2tog - purl two stitches together
patt(s) – pattern(s)
pm – place marker
rem – remaining
rep – repeat
rib – ribbing
rnd(s) – round(s)
RS – right side
ssp – slip 1 kwise, slip 1 kwise, p2 sl sts tog tbl (decrease)
sssp – slip these three sts knitwise, one at a time, and purl tog through the back loop
st(s) – stitch(es)
st st – stockinette stitch
tbl – through back loop
tog – together
WS – wrong side
yo – yarn over
* - repeat from this point
** - repeat all instructions between astericks
() – alternate measurements and/or instructions
 – instructions that are to be worked as a group a specified number of times
Needles: Size 1 (2.25 mm): set of 4 double-pointed (dpn). Optional: size 2 (2.5 mm): set of 4 dpn for wider upper leg. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Gauge 14 sts and 21 rows = 2” in St st worked in the rnd on smaller needles.
Toe: With smaller needles and using the Continental method, CO 8 (8, 8, 8, 12) sts on two needles. Knit across sts on top needle, then rotate the work and knit across sts on bottom needle. Divide sts between three needles so that there are 2 (2, 2, 2, 3) sts on Needle 1 for half of the sole, 4 (4, 4, 4, 6) sts on Needle 2 for the instep, and 2 (2, 2, 2, 3) sts on Needle 3, for the other half of the sole. Rnd beg at center of sole, between Needle 1 and Needle 3.
Next rnd: On Needle 1, k1 (1, 1, 1, 2), M1, k1; on Needle 2, k1, M1, k2 (2, 2, 2, 4), M1, k1; on Needle 3, k1, M1, k1 (1, 1, 1, 2)—4 sts inc’d. Inc rnd: On Needle 1, knit to the last st, M1, k1; on Needle 2, k1, M1, knit to the last st, M1, k1; with Needle 3, k1, M1, work to end
of needle—4 sts inc’d. Rep Inc rnd every rnd 1 (2, 3, 4, 4) more time(s)—20 (24, 28, 32, 36) sts. Rep Inc rnd every other rnd 6 (7, 7, 8, 8) times—44 (52, 56, 64, 68) sts; 11 (13, 14, 16, 17) sts each on Needle 1 and Needle 3; 22 (26, 28, 32, 34) instep sts on Needle 2.
Foot: On Needle 1, knit; on Needle 2, establish rib patt by working p2 (2, 1, 1, 2), [k2, p2] 4 (5, 6, 7, 7) times, k2, p2 (2, 1, 1, 2); on Needle 3, knit. Cont in patt as established until foot measures 51⁄2 (61⁄2, 71⁄2, 8, 83⁄4)" from CO, or 11⁄2 (13⁄4, 2, 21⁄4, 21⁄4)" less than desired total foot length from back of heel to tip of toe, and end after working the sts on Needle 3.
Heel: Heel is worked back and forth in short-rows on the 22 (26, 28, 32, 34) sts on Needles 1 and 3. Leave the 22 (26, 28, 32, 34) instep sts on Needle 2 to be worked later.
Row 1: (RS) With Needle 3, knit to the last st on Needle 1—1 heel st unworked at end of Needle 1; 21 (25, 27, 31, 33) heel sts worked onto Needle 3. Turn so WS is facing.
Row 2: (WS) Yo backward, purl to the last st (do not work the last st), turn.
Row 3: (RS) Yo as usual (from front to back) knit to the paired sts made by the yo of the previous row (the yo will stick out to the side of the unworked st), leaving 3 sts on the left needle (do not knit the paired sts), turn. Row 4: (WS) Yo backward, purl to the paired sts made by yo of previous row, turn. Rep Rows 3 and 4 until there are 6 (8, 10, 12, 12) sts between paired sts, ending with a RS Row 3, but do not turn the work. The first half of the heel (the sole portion) is now completed. With the RS still facing, cont with Row 1 of the second half as foll:
Row 1: (RS) K1 (the first st of the paired sts), correct the mount of the yo so that the leading leg is in front of the needle, k2tog (the yo with the first st of the next pair), leaving a yo as the first st on the left needle, turn.
Row 2: (WS) Yo backward, purl to the paired st made by the yo of the previous row, purl the first st of the pair, ssp (the yo with the first st of next pair), leaving a yo as the first st on the left needle, turn.
Row 3: (RS) Yo as usual, knit to the paired st made by the yo of the previous row, knit the first st of the pair (the next 2 loops will be yos), correct the mount of each of the next 2 yos, k3tog (2 yos with the first st of the next pair), turn.
Row 4: (WS) Yo backward, purl to the next yo (the next 2 loops will be yos), sssp (2 yos with the first st of the next pair), turn.
Rep Rows 3 and 4 until all yos of the first half have been consumed, ending with Row 4. The last turn will bring RS facing. Rejoin for working in the rnd on all sts as foll: Yo as usual, knit to the yo at the end of the heel sts, transfer this yo to the beg of Needle 2 (holding the instep sts), work the yo tog with the first instep st as p2tog, work in rib patt to last st of Needle 2, work last instep st tog with the yo at the beg of the heel sts as ssp. There will now be 22 (26, 28, 32, 34) heel sts on one needle. Arrange the heel sts on two needles as before so that there are 11 (13, 14, 16, 17) sts on each needle: 11 (13, 14, 16, 17) sts on Needle 1; 22 (26, 28, 32, 34) instep sts on Needle 2; 11 (13, 14, 16, 17) sts on Needle 3. Rnd beg at center of heel sts (between Needle 3 and Needle 1). Leg: Working instep sts in rib patt as established, work rem sts in St st for 9 (10, 11, 13, 14) rnds. Choose crew or knee-length.
Next rnd: Work all sts in 2×2 rib to match patt established on instep sts. Cont even
in rib until leg measures 31⁄2 (4, 41⁄2, 5, 51⁄2)" from base of heel. If desired, change to optional larger needles to accommodate shape of calf muscle. Cont even in rib until leg measures 7 (8, 9, 10, 11)" from base of heel, or desired total length. Cut yarn, leaving a 36" tail. Go to Finishing.
Next rnd: Work all sts in 2×2 rib to match patt established on instep. Cont even in rib until leg measures 4 (41⁄2, 5, 51⁄2, 6)" from base of heel.
Rnd 1: Work in patt to end of Needle 3, then use the M1 method to inc 1 st at end of rnd—1 st inc’d at center-back leg at end of rnd.
Rnds 2–8: Working new st into established patt, work 7 rnds even.
Rnd 9: Using the M1 method, inc 1 st at beg of Needle 1, work in patt to end—1 st inc’d at center-back leg at beg of rnd. Rnds 10–16: Working new st into established patt, work 7 rnds even.
Rep the last 16 rnds 3 (3, 3, 5, 5) more times—8 (8, 8, 12, 12) sts increased; 52 (60, 64, 76, 80) sts total. Cont even in rib patt as established until leg measures about 13 (131⁄2, 14, 141⁄2, 15)" from base of heel or 11⁄2 (13⁄4, 2, 2, 21⁄4)" less than desired total leg length.
Next rnd: Work k1, p1 rib across all sts. Cont in rib patt as established for 11⁄2 (13⁄4, 2, 2, 21⁄4)". Cut yarn, leaving a 36" tail.
Thread tail on a tapestry needle and use the sewn method to BO all sts. Weave in loose ends, tightening CO sts at toe, if necessary.