11 January, 07:05

Ugly Duckling Socks

Size: Women’s Medium. Size can be altered by changing needle size. The pattern repeat is four stitches,
so alterations to size can also be made easily by adding or subtracting pattern repeats. If this is done,
however, the knitter will need to make any necessary adjustments to the heel.
Gauge: 30 sts and 48 rows = 4 inches in stockinette (row
gauge is not as important as stitch gauge).
Materials: Any sock yarn can be used. For the purposes of the
instructions, the solid color will be referred to as “MC” and
the variegated yarn will be referred to as “CC”.
US 2 (2.75 mm) needles of your choice (can be done with
DPNs or Magic Loop/two circulars)
Tapestry Needle
CO: Cast on
k2tog: Knit 2 stitches together (decrease)
ssk: Slip slip knit (decrease)
m1 (increase): With left-hand needle, coming in from
the front, lift strand between sts and knit through
the back
v (in chart): slip stitch purlwise from left needle to right
MC: Main Color (the color of the cuff, heel, and toe)
CC: Contrasting Color (the color inside the boxes)
About Mosaic Knitting:
Mosaic knitting is a form of 2-color knitting, but, unlike stranded (“Fair-Isle”) knitting, only one color is
used at a time (the other color is just left hanging there at the end, waiting).
It is worked in paired rows (two identical rows), alternating between MC and CC (you knit two rows in
MC, then drop the MC and pick up the CC and knit two more rows).
The color pattern is established by slipping stitches (without the slipped stitches, you would have simple,
2-row stripes). The slipped stitches make for a slightly less stretchy fabric than plain knitting.
In this case, the mosaic pattern is worked entirely in stockinette stitch (since this pattern is in-the-round, all
stitches are knit).
About the Chart:
As with all knitting charts, this chart is followed from right to left, bottom to top.
The pattern depicted in this chart has 4 stitches, so it is repeated 17 times on the leg of the sock. It has 8
rounds, and is repeated 13 times on the leg, and 10 times on the foot (although these can vary, depending
on the lengths you prefer).
Each row is labeled (in the purple column on the right) with the row number, along with the color of the
yarn (MC or CC) that you use for that row.
When following the chart, you will use the yarn for that row, and when you get to a stitch in the other
color, you do not knit that stitch, you just slip it (purlwise). This will be indicated in the chart with a “v”,
and the stitch will be in the color indicated on the chart.
CO 68 sts in MC, join, taking care to avoid twisting, to knit in the round. Place marker for the beginning of
the round. Make 14 rows in MC in K2 P2 ribbing.
Knit 2 rows in MC.
Follow the chart or written instructions below (this chart will be repeated 17 times per row; you may
adjust the width of the sock by adding or subtracting multiples of 4; if this is done, you will need to make
the necessary adjustments to the heel):

Rounds 1 and 2: knit with CC (leave MC hanging at beg of round). *Slip the first st (will be in MC), k 3*.
Repeat from * to * for the whole round.
Rounds 3 and 4: knit with MC: *k 1, sl 1 (will be in CC), k1, sl1*. Repeat from * to * for the whole round.
Rounds 5 and 6: knit with CC: *sl 1, k 3*. Repeat from * to * for the whole round.
Rounds 7 and 8: knit with MC: k all sts.
Knit 12 pattern repeats (or the number required to achieve desired length), then work the 13th, stopping at
the end Round 6 of the chart. Place the first 34 sts on one needle for the heel. Put the remaining 34
stitches (the front of the sock) on the other needle(s).
Knit Round 7 (which is all in MC) and increase 2 sts evenly along the heel needle only (36 stitches on the
heel, 34 stitches on the front). Continue Round 7 across the top of the foot, ending at the beginning of the
round/heel needle.
This pattern uses a short-row heel because I just like them better. I prefer the way they look, I
prefer the way they fit (flap heels fit great for about 5 minutes, then bag around my midfoot),
and, as a bonus, they’re much faster to make. I realize that I am very much in the minority
about this, and most people prefer a flap heel. If you want to make a flap heel instead, by all
means do so. There are plenty of great free sock patterns out there which use a flap heel, and
any of those instructions can be inserted here.
Leave the CC yarn hanging and work the heel in MC.
Row 1: (RS) K35, turn, leaving 1 st unworked
Row 2: (WS) YO backward (bring the yarn to the back under the needle, then over the top to the front, so
that the leading leg of the loop is at the back of the needle), purl to the last st (do not work last st), turn.
Row 3: YO as usual, knit to paired sts made by YO of previous row (do not work paired sts), turn.
Row 4: YO backward, purl to paired sts made by the YO of the previous row (do not work paired sts), turn.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until there are 12 unpaired sts remaining, ending having worked to the paired sts at
the end of a RS (knit) row. Do not turn.
Work the paired stitches back in as follows:
(RS) K1 (the first st of the paired sts). The YO will be on the needle backwards, so fix it by slipping it
purlwise onto the right needle, then put your left needle in from front to back and return the stitch to the
left needle. K2tog (the YO plus the first st of the next pair), so that the first stitch on the left needle is a YO
(made earlier). Turn.
Next Row (WS): YO backward (yes, this leaves two YOs next to each other; that’s okay), and purl to first set
of paired sts. Purl the first st of the pair. You do not need to fix the stitch mounts on this side, because they
are already on the needle correctly. SSP (the YO with the first st of the next pair), leaving a YO as the first st
on the left needle. Turn.
* Next Row (RS): YO as usual, knit to the first paired st, knit the first st of the pair (the next 2 sts will be
YOs), correct the stitch mount of the 2 YOs, then K3tog (the 2 YOs with the first st of the next pair), turn.
Next Row (WS): YO backward, purl to first paired st, purl the first st of the pair (the next 2 sts will be YOs),
SSSP (that’s 3 stitches – two YOs and a regular stitch - not a typo). Turn.*
Repeat between * and * until all of the YOs have been worked, but omit the last YO (at the beginning of
the last WS row). The last turn will bring the RS facing, with 36 sts (and no YOs) on the needle.
From now on, you will work the top of the foot in pattern, and the sole of the foot with plain stripes. It is
okay to work the sole of the foot in pattern, too, if you want to, but it may be weirdly lumpy, and some
people are very sensitive to lumps. It is best to place markers at the beginning and end of the striped part,
so you remember when to switch out of pattern.
When you have finished the heel, there will still be 2 extra stitches along the sole of the foot. These will be
worked in as follows:
Once the heel is complete, continue with Round 8 of the chart (all in MC). On that row, k 35 sts (sole of
foot), PM (optional), k2tog. then k 32 sts, k2tog, PM (beginning of the round). You will now have 34 sts on
the front needle(s) and 34 on the sole.
When Round 8 is complete, drop MC and pick up CC. Knit a solid stripe across the sole, then SM. The
pattern for the top of the foot begins with Stitch 3 of the chart. Continue in this manner for the foot: stripes
across the sole needle, followed by the established pattern starting with stitch 3.
Keep knitting the sock, following the chart for the top of the sock and knitting plain stripes on the sole of
the foot, until the sock is long enough.
How long is long enough? This sock uses a fairly short, rounded toe, because the squaredoff, hexagonal toe looks strange on my foot. Of course, you are free to work the toe any
way you choose. For me, and for this particular sock, “long enough” is between the two
joints of my big toe (the MTP and the PIP joints, if you’re in medicine), which is snug
enough that the sock doesn’t stretch and flop around. For this pattern, it was 10 pattern
repeats for my size 9 foot.
When the foot is long enough, end with 2 rows in MC, stopping at the end of the round before the sole
needle. Cut CC yarn, leaving enough of a tail to weave in later. The toe is worked in MC.
Divide stitches so that the 34 sts of the sole of the foot (the striped part) are on one needle, and the
remaining sts (the patterned part) are on the other needle(s). For the purpose of these instructions, I will
call them the sole needle and the top needle, although, if you’re like me and prefer DPNs, the top needle
will actually be divided on two DPNs. The decreases occur at either end of the sole needle (at either end
of the striped part), and at either end of the top needle (at either end of the patterned part).
You will find yourself about to start working the sole (bottom) needle.
* (sole needle): ssk, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog
(top needle): ssk, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog
Knit one round without any decreases*
Repeat from * to * until 40 sts remain (20 on sole needle and 20 on top needle).
*(sole needle): ssk, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog
(top needle): ssk, knit to last 2 sts, k2tog*
Repeat from * to * (decreasing every row) until 20 sts remain (10 on sole needle and 10 on top needle).
Graft using Kitchener stitch to close toe (if you have been using DPNs, you will need to place all 10 sts on
one needle in order to graft).
Weave in ends.
In case it’s not completely obvious, repeat the whole pattern to make the second sock.