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How to knit train sock for babies

Updated on August 5, 2013

Knitting pattern for baby socks

Not long ago my cousin had a baby, she was sad because she did not seem to find suitable wool socks for her baby and she told me she is not good at knitting even though I encouraged her to try.

Fortunately I had just knit many pairs of socks for newborns. I had found great knitting pattern that works for small feet and I had some left over yarns. So my cousin's baby had her first really tiny socks, which kept her tiny toes warm during the first winter of hers.

We all know how babies grow, at least I assume we all know that!? So recently my cousin contacted me to ask, if I could knit another pair of socks for her little princess, who is turning 8 months. She will probably start walking soon, and babies at that age seem to hate socks, so the challenge was to knit socks which are harder to draw off.

I did some research because I wanted to knit a bit different socks than the first pair, and I found train socks. I had never heard of them before nor seen them before, but I found out that train socks are really popular in Finland.

According to the story during the war early 1940, elderly crafts teacher felt sorry for young mother and her newborn who she met in a train. It was cold winter and she dismantled her sweater to knit socks for the baby. Today the baby girl is 70 years old and has knit hundreds of train socks. She still has the socks that the elderly crafts teacher knit for her.

I think these train socks are not only cute, but very easy to knit. Although after doing some research I found out how differently socks are knitted all over the world, so I worry a bit if this pattern will work for someone who has learned to knit differently.

Nevertheless I want to share this knitting pattern, maybe it can be modified if the idea is something someone finds useful. I leave that modification for more skilled people. This size is for 6 months to 12 months old, but baby's foot size varies. Total foot length is 12-13 centimeters, which is approximately 4.9 inches. Foot circumference is 15-16 centimeters which is approximately 5.9 inches.

All images taken by Marja79 unless mentioned otherwise

Stuff you need

I am using Novita 7 Brothers yarn which is 75% wool and 25% polyamide. I am using 5 size 3 mm double point needles.

In original guide the yarn was alpaca, and 5 2½ mm size needles.

Personally I prefer the yarn I am using, and 2½ mm size needles are a bit too thin for me. I have tried them couple of times, but then the socks or whatever I am knitting looks just horrible.

Here is color chart. for Novita yarns, they have huge variety of different delicious colors and the quality of their yarns has always been high. I think I have never used any other yarn than Novita. Unfortunately these do not seem to be available on Amazon or eBay (there are some yarns from Novita on eBay, but not these ones)nor there seem not to be international online shop of Novita.

Isn't that annoying by the way, someone is telling you about cool stuff and then says "oh but you cannot have them".

Lion Brand Yarn 240-205L Sock-Ease Yarn, Cotton Candy
Lion Brand Yarn 240-205L Sock-Ease Yarn, Cotton Candy

I love these multi color yarns, no need to worry about switching the color. This is 75% wool 25% acrylic. It is not similar than I am using, but I assume this would be good as well.

Polyamide is used to create more strength and acrylic is spongy and light.


Casting the stitches

Cast 40 stitches, evenly distribute stitches over 4 needles (10 each).

Rib 12 rows :k2, p2 (knit 2 , purl 2)

Purl 4 rows

Knit 4 rows

Purl 4 rows

Rib 12 rows : k2, p2

Purl 4 rows

Knit 4 rows

Purl 4 rows

Rib 12 rows : k2, p2

Heel flap

Well this is quite different for me compared to how it is done elsewhere.

Unfortunately I did not take pictures while I was knitting the baby sock, so I am using examples from socks I made for adults. Of course the number of stitches is different in larger socks, I hope it is not confusing, but I will type the number of stitches used in baby socks later on.

Step 1

Sometimes I knit few rows after ribbing, before the heel. It is only a matter of an opinion.

Once I have completed the last row, I continue by knitting needle 1 and combining it with needle 4.

step 2

Here I have combined the needles 1 and 4. Now I will turn the work and purl one row and turn the work once again to start making the "double heel" , which I prefer.

(It is possible to do the heel flap by knitting one row, turning, purling one row, turning and so on. But I find heel done this way not to be good as than the "double heel")

Step 3

So after purling one row and turning the work (on the right side of your work): *Slip 1, Knit 1* Repeat between * across, turn work.

(wrong side): Slip one, purl across. (Slip ONLY the first stitch, purl the rest including the slipped stitches from row 1.) turn work.

Repeat 12 times until you have 24 rows. (It might require you to purl the last row so you continue to the next step from the right side of the work, so you end up doing 25 rows, but that does not matter.)

Step 4

In this adult sock I have 48 stitches total, and using 24 (needles 1 and 4 combined). So the basic idea is to decrease the stitches until I have 8 left.

Some people use more needles to do this, but I use only two.

On the right side of the work : continue like before, slip 1, knit one until there is 10 stitches on the left side.

Slip the last two stitches which I have marked with asterisk

Here I have slipped those 2 stitches and now I have 8 stitches on left side. I knit one and pass the last slipped stitch over the one i just knit.

Step 5

I pass the last slipped stitch over the one I just knit and turn the work.

Step 6

After turning the work (on the wrong side) I slip one and purl 7 stitches, then purl 2 together, which leaves me 8 in the middle and 7 on right and left side.

The basic rule is that everything is fine as long as you have 8 stitches in the middle. So no worries, I am doing this wrong.

( I have done this wrong million times, I have dismantled so many heel flaps that I am ashamed of admitting it, but once you got it right it is great and looks great.)

After turning the work, it should look like this.

So again, slip one, knit one until you have 2 left in the middle, slip those. Knit the first from the left side. Pass the last slipped stitch over the one you just knit. Turn the work, slip one, purl 7, purl next 2 together (one from the middle and one from the left side).

This is how it should look, 8 stitches left.

Step 7

I collect 12 stitches from the side + 1 (next picture)

Collecting +1 stitch

+1 stitch is collected from here.

Collect 12 + 1 from the other side as well.

So you have 13 stitches on both sides, 8 in the middle and 12 on each, needles 2 and 3.

From here knitting socks for adults would continue like this :

Combine the 8 stitches from the middle with needles 1 and 4 so you have 17 stitches on each and 12 on each needle 2 and 3.

Knit one row.

* Needle 1 : In the end knit last 2 stitches together

Needle 2 : knit

Needle 3 : knit

Needle 4: in the beginning slip one, knit one and pass the slipped stitch over the one just knit.

Knit one row.

Repeat part *

Knit 2 rows

Repeat part *

Knit 3 rows

Repeat part *

Knit 4 rows

Repeat part *

Now you have 12 stitches on each needle. Continue knitting until it is time to do toe part.

Back to knitting baby socks

Because of the size this is a bit different than explained above.

I start heel flap after ribbing, combining needles 1 and 4.

So I have 20 in one, and 10 on each needles 2 and 3.

Row 1 (on the right side of your work): *Slip 1, Knit 1* Repeat between * across, turn work.

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip one, purl across. (Slip ONLY the first stitch, purl the rest including the slipped stitches from row 1.)

Repeat 6 times until you have total 12 rows.


In smaller sock stitches divide 7, 6, 7. So 6 stitches in the middle, as long as that remains, you are doing it right.

Slip one, knit one until you have 9 stitches on left side, slip 2, knit one, pass the last slipped stitch over the one you just knit. You should now have 6 on left side, turn the work.

Slip one, purl 5 and purl next 2 together, you should have 6 on the left side, turn the work and so on until you have only 6 stitches left.

Collect 7 stitches from the left side, knit. (this point I move those 6 stitches onto the needle I just knitted, it is same row so it will not mess up anything. But I need the 5th needle. )

Purl needles 2 and 3.

Collect 7 stitches from the other side, knit. Knit next 3 stitches from needle one to needle 4 you just knit. Now you have 10 stitches on each needles.

*Knit needle 1 , purl needles 2 and 3, knit needle 4. Repeat until there is 4 rows.

Knit 4 rows.

Repeat part *

Knit 4 rows

Repeat part *

Knit 4 rows

Repeat part *


At this point it is possible to knit few more rows if the baby happens to have really big feet.

End of needles 1 and 3 : knit second and third last together.

The beginning of needles 2 and 4: knit one, slip one, knit one and pass the slipped stitch over the one just knit.

Repeat until you have 4 stitches left.

Thread the yarn need with this tail of yarn and pass the needle through the loops of the remaining 4 stitches. Remove them from the needles, and pull the yarn tail tight to close the toe of the sock. Weave in the tail end.

For adults toe part starts when the little toe is covered. Similar decreasing except decreasing is done every other row until there is 6 stitches left, then on every row.

( I know there is typos in the picture, I apologize that :P)

Train socks for babies

This is what you end up. If you did, then I did not do proper job explaining them :D

All comments welcome

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      Typy 3 years ago


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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very well written instructions. It would be cool to say I knitted something!