ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Arts and Design»
  • Crafts & Handiwork

Free sock knitting patterns

Updated on September 10, 2014
CC.BY.2.0 | Source

Hand knitted socks are wonderful!

I never knew how it felt to wear hand knitted socks until last year when I finally got round to knitting myself a pair. I only wish I'd made the discovery years ago!

Long ago I used to knit and then I stopped and didn't pick up a pair of knitting needles for over 20 years. Then I picked up two pairs and began to learn how to knit socks. That's right, although there are other ways, four double-pointed needles is the norm for sock knitting. Sometimes you need five. Before you run away screaming, let me say... just give it a go - you might surprise yourself.

On this page I have included some great resources: Silver's Sock Tutorial, which I followed when making my very first pair, some links to free sock knitting patterns and some recommendations for needles, yarns and a really great book. You'll also find some very useful videos - when you just need to SEE how it's done.

© This page was created by TheRaggedEdge. All rights reserved.

Photo Credit: splityarn via Compfight cc

CC.BY.2.0 | Source

The hardest part of knitting socks is the beginning

The rest is a piece of cake...

I always have trouble with the first row or two of knitting socks. There simply aren't enough hands available! Generally a pattern will start with some rib rows, either single K1 P1 or double K2 P2. Then someone gave me a tip. Always start with two rows of knit stitch. It's a lot easier while you wrestle with joining stitches between your third and first needle.

Tip: always cast on with a larger size needle than the pattern calls for, then change to the normal size for the first knit row.

Watch the video to see how it's done.

Socks - casting on & cuff

DPNs - Double Pointed Needles

There are other types of needles used for sock knitting but I prefer the traditional way of knitting in the round. Bamboo needles are great for beginners, especially as they come in large multiple sets, which makes it less expensive than buying individual sets.

Socks knitted with Mirasol Hacho
Socks knitted with Mirasol Hacho | Source

Silver's sock tutorial with free pattern

If you've never knitted socks before - start here!

Silver's Sock Class is the best place to begin. With step-by-step pictures, she shows you how to make a gorgeous pair of hand knitted socks.

She has color-coded the pattern so you don't get muddled. She explains everything so that you know why you are doing in the way that she tells you.

After you've done the first pair, you can print out the instructions without the photos for future reference.

The socks in the photo were knitted for my step-daughter in gorgeous Mirasol Hacho 100% hand dyed Merino Wool.


Turning a Heel

I remember my grandmother and aunt talking about 'turning a heel'. Later my auntie told me that it was the 'worst part' of sock knitting. Well... it's my favourite bit. I love the process of crafting the heel. There is something almost magical about the way it forms in your hands. Once you've done it once or twice, it's easy.

That's the great thing about knitting socks - you never get bored because you aren't knitting acres of backs or sides. There's always something happening with socks

These socks were knitted in Regia yarn by Kaffe Fassett.

Photo: Hand knitted by TheRaggedEdge

More free sock patterns

Blueberry Waffle Socks. for zillions of great sock patterns.

Knitting Help Adult socks and slipper-socks.

Socks by theraggededge

My feet feeling the benefit of a pair of socks knitted in Noro Kureyon 102
My feet feeling the benefit of a pair of socks knitted in Noro Kureyon 102 | Source

For the socks in the photo above, I used the famous Noro Kureyon yarn in shade S102. I love the varying texture and shades of Noro, it is fascinating watching the yarn slip through your fingers and seeing how it knits up.

They have lasted me a year now and I wear them to bed and with my walking boots... not at the same time!

Gorgeous sock yarn

"Not all socks are created equal"

Sarah Ban Breachnach, Romancing the Ordinary

"But it helps if they are both the same size"


Bon Bon Socklettes

Free sock pattern

Hannah of Knit*Six has very kindly allowed me to reproduce one of her lovely patterns here. These cute little 'socklettes' are knitted on a circular needle but the pattern can be adapted to DPNS.


Yarn: 2 skeins Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in color 300602

Needles: US #4 (I used a 32" circular needle for magic loop, but you can easily substitute your needles of choice)

Notions: Stitch marker (optional), yarn needle

Gauge: 20 sts x 28 rows = 4 inches

Petite Mock Cable Pattern

Row 1: *K2tog and then work first stitch again before removing stitches from left needle, P2; repeat from * to end.

Rows 2, 3, and 4: [correction] Work in K2 P2 rib

Repeat these four rows for pattern.


Cast on 48 stitches.

Work 10 rows K2,P2 rib.


Work petite mock cable pattern three times, ending with Row 1.

Heel flap

Heel flap: Knit 12 stitches, turn and purl 24 stitches. These stitches will form the heel flap.

Row 1: Slip 1 as if to purl, K to end.

Row 2: Slip 1 as if to purl, P to end.

Work these 2 rows 12 times, then work Row 1 once more.

Turn Heel

Slip 1 as if to purl, P14, P2tog, P1, turn.

Slip 1 as if to purl, K7, K2tog TBL (through the back loop), K1, turn.

Row 1: Slip 1 as if to purl, P to one stitch before gap, P2tog, P1, turn.

Row 2: Slip 1 as if to purl, K to one stitch before gap, K2tog TBL, turn

Continue working these two rows until all stitches have been worked.

Pick up gusset stitches

Using needle holding heel flap stitches, pick up and knit each slipped stitch along edge of heel flap (a total of 12 - 13 gusset stitches); place marker if desired; pick up and PURL the stitch below the first instep stitch; transfer this stitch to the instep-stitch needle.

Using needle holding instep stitches, work across instep stitches (you should be on Row 2 of Petite mock cable pattern); pick up and PURL the stitch below the first stitch on the other side of the gusset gap; place marker if desired; pick up and knit each slipped stitch along edge of heel flap (a total of 12 - 13 gusset stitches)

You should now have 26 instep stitches; from here on, always purl the first and last stitch on the instep-stitch needle, forming a column of purl stitches to set off the edge of the instep pattern.

Heel-stitch needle: Knit across half of heel stitches, place marker to mark beginning of rounds from here on, then knit the other half of heel stitches; next, knit each gusset stitch you picked up through the back loop.

Instep-stitch needle: Purl 1; work instep stitches in pattern; Purl 1; next, knit each gusset stitch you picked up through the back loop.

Decrease gusset stitches

Round 1: Heel-stitch needle-Knit to 3 stitches before instep; K2tog, K1; Instep-stitch needle-P1, work instep stitches in pattern, P1; K1, K2Tog TBL; knit to end.

Round 2: Knit to instep stitches; work instep stitches in pattern (including the P1 you've established at either side); knit to end.

Repeat these two rounds until 50 stitches remain (24 on the sole, 26 on the instep). Arrange so instep stitches and sole stitches are on separate needles.


Instep: Purl 1, Work mock cable pattern, Purl 1; knit across sole stitches.

Continue working mock cable pattern on instep 12 times, or to desired length, ending with row 3. Sole will continue to be worked in stockinette stitch.

Next round: Knit sole stitches and on insetp, P2tog, P across to last two stitches, P2tog, to create a purl ridge before beginning toe decreases.


Round 1: Work to 3 stitches before end of needle, K2tog, K1; K1, K2tog TBL, knit across to last three stitches on needle, K2tog, K1; K1, K2tog TBL, knit to end of round.

Round 2: K to end

Work rows 1 and 2 until there are 12 stitches on each needle, then work decrease row only, until 6 stitches remain on each needle. Arrange stitches and graft together. If you prefer, you may also thread yarn through remaining stitches and draw tight to close.

Weave in ends and block as desired.

(c) 2007, Hannah Six.

Hannah can also be found on Ravelry

You don't need this best selling sock knitting book - Get Started Knitting Socks

But it will help a lot. It is one of the best laid out knitting instruction books you will find. The photos are superb and the patterns are easy to understand.

Publisher's Description: "From cast-on stitches to binding off, this handbook details the simple steps needed to turn seemingly complicated sock knitting projects into easy and enjoyable activities. Helpful photographs and instructional drawings ensure that even inexperienced knitters will be able to produce high-quality socks and handle more complicated techniques, such as the Kitchener stitch at the toe. Using instructions for five different sizes-from child through adult large-at five different gauges, knitters can produce styles ranging from delicate dress socks to thick and furry slipper socks. More adventurous knitters can add variety and flair by following one of 16 unique designs or trying one of the dozens of rib, cable, and lace patterns provided. With plenty of tips and a handy stitch dictionary, this guide unleashes the creativity and fun of sock knitting."

Getting Started Knitting Socks (Getting Started series)
Getting Started Knitting Socks (Getting Started series)

S. Schraeder says, "I never thought that I would be able to knit socks. Patterns just seemed too complicated. I was thrilled to find this book and it started me on an obsession with sock knitting. This is wonderful for beginners and I think that I will be using this as reference for a long time to come. The explanation and illustration of the kitchener graft was especially helpful.


Knitted socks? Want to try?

I hope you've been inspired to try knitting a pair of socks. Be very careful.... sock knitting is wickedly addictive!

Share your sockies in the comments below.

Have you experienced the love of a pair of handknitted socks? - Share your comfort here...

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      I like these Knitting Socks - Free Patterns

    • Di Annesley profile image

      Di Annesley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      I need more warm socks for the winter here in New Zealand......never thought of making them! Thanks for this great information...I will be back:-)

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 5 years ago

      My mother used to make same socks :) Or, almost same.

    • WhiteOak50 profile image

      WhiteOak50 5 years ago

      Just letting you that I featured this page on my: Halloween Socks

    • earthybirthymum profile image

      earthybirthymum 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Sock knitting is addictive! Great Lense.

    • curious0927 profile image

      curious0927 5 years ago

      Your work just bubbles and squeaks with life! Thanks for the great lens and ideas. Blessed!

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 5 years ago from London

      I love your socks...I knitted a couple of pairs on 4 needles many moons pair for my dad and one for my partner Gerry. 20 years on they are still going, if a bit darned. Don't know if I would have the patience now.

    • ottoblotto profile image

      ottoblotto 5 years ago


    • knitter82 profile image

      knitter82 5 years ago

      I've been a sock knitter since I was 12 and love nothing better than a pair knit of Koigu yarn. Love your intro photo!

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

      VERY Useful Lens.

    • freyalou profile image

      freyalou 5 years ago

      Great lens! Socks are my absolute favourite thing to knit. Like you, I also love turning the heel - it's the best part! There's just something magical about transforming a knitted tube into a sock. Thanks for sharing the free patterns, too. :)

    • franstan lm profile image

      franstan lm 6 years ago

      Absolutely great lens. I have bookmarked this lens. Although I have been knitting for years, I have never been able to master socks. Blessed

    • Susan300 profile image

      Susan300 6 years ago

      I love socks!! :)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Thank you for this fabulous lens. I will be into knitting socks this coming winter as my feet freeze, featured this on Motivation.

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 6 years ago

      What a beautiful and useful and fun lens. I loved it. Your lens has been blessed by this squid angel.

    • profile image

      traceysfolly lm 6 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens and I wish I would be so lucky as to form a sock addiction.

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      I have yet to try to knit a pair of socks...hope it will be this coming year.

    • myneverboredhands profile image

      myneverboredhands 6 years ago

      Great lens, very informative and well presented. I'm knitting lover, and knitting almost all my life... and my first "work" was a pair of socks! Added to my Favorites and Thumbs up!

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 6 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens, I love all the videos. I love knitting and you are right, it is very addictive.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      Just came back to add an angel blessing to your socks!

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      I've just bought some wool and am ready to go!

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 7 years ago

      I love hand knit socks. My first pair, knit about 3 yrs ago, recently wore out at the heel-sole, and I think I'm going to try darning them because they are my favorites. I laughed out loud at the quote about them being the same size, because I tried to make a pair for my husband and when I completed the second sock, I discovered that sock 1 fit him and sock 2 fit me. Now I'm working on making a second pair of mis-matched socks so we can each have 2 of the same size! My favorite needles are Addi Turbos, btw, and I like the 2 sets of circular needles to knit socks. I've done just enough knitting with sets of double pointed needles to know I prefer the circular method. Great resource lens here!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      This might become my hobby next winter as I always have cold feet and never find socks I like. I should knit my own socks!

      This being said, you knit, you sew, you write, you draw, you zentangle, you have kids and... er... when do you sleep?

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      I really do want to learn to knit socks and had no idea I would find such a helpful resource from one of Squidoo's finest! Delighted to leave an ~*~* Angel Blessing *~*~ here. I will be returning with my yarn and needles later... :)

    • VladimirCat profile image

      Vladimir 7 years ago from Australia

      Ive often wished for a pair of hand-knitted socks myself. Two pairs (I have four feet). On a chilly morning some elegantly styled bootees with a neatly turned heel would be just the thing for an older gentleman.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      I love this lens! I've just taken up knitting again after years off, but have never tireed socks.I'm going to have a go! I'm knitting a jumper in Noro and agree- their yarns are amazing

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      This is Totally Awesome! It has been many years since I have knitted, but this lens makes me want to go in search of my needles. I love it! Angel Blessed and added to my Squid Angel Mouse Tracks lens

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 7 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      This is fabulous! I really should get back to knitting but I don't have the patience for a jumper anymore and scarves are so boring. You might be onto something here...

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      Great resource lens. I used to knit...

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      I'm impressed and LOVE the sock pictures you spread all over the page! What a lovely way to bring color in our lives!


    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Beautiful lens. I have knitted, but I'm not a knitter. And I've never done socks. I've received two pairs of hand-knitted socks as gifts. They feel wonderful...must be the love in them.

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 7 years ago from Quezon City

      Wow, that looks so pretty and comfy! I have been wanting to learn how to knit (I can only crochet and I only learned how a few months ago d: ) and this gorgeous lens has encouraged me to finally have a go at it. Wonderful lens, I can feel your bliss wearing those scrumptious socks. *blessed*

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      good one - I always had trouble turning the heel, usually got my mum to do it, now she is no longer here, I should learn to do it myself.