Plain Jane Knee Socks for Ladies
I love knee socks, especially in the winter. I wear dresses all year round and nothing is warmer or cozier than a woolly pair of hand knit knee socks/stockings. Looking around Ravelry you can find all kinds of beautiful, fancy, lacy, sexy socks. But sometimes you just need plain old socks. These socks were created for me. I’m not overly tall and have rather muscular calves from all that figure skating and dancing. I’ll give suggestions along the way so you can alter the socks to fit your legs. I’m not happy with how the cuff worked in this yarn. The yarn is acrylic and nylon and doesn’t have the elasticity of wool. It’s something to keep in mind if using acrylic -you may want to cast on fewer stitches to start or put through elastic thread when you are done (which is what I’ll do).
The important thing to remember is you want the socks snug in circumference and make sure there is enough length. So grab your yarn and make a good sized swatch. You need an accurate stitch and row gauge to make your calculations (a calculator helps too)
Yarn: 2 balls Bernat Sox (425yds) -I used just over 1 ball
Gauge: 6.5 sts to 1 inch-stitch gauge (SG) – in stocking stitch
9 rows to 1 inch -row gauge
Needles: 3.25mm -I use 2 circular needles, but feel free to use magic-loop or 5 double pointed needles
- under knee circumference -A
- calf circumference -B
- ankle circumference -C
- length from under knee to widest part of calf -D
- length from under knee to ankle bone -E
- length of foot -F
Cast on: 80 sts -take A and multiply by SG (94) then decrease by 15% (79.9). You want to make a nice and snug cuff to keep your socks up.
Rib K2, P2 for 2 1/2 inches.
Mark the centre back 2 sts. Increase 1 stitch on either side of these 2 centre stitches. Work 2 rows plain. Repeat these rows until there are 92 stitches. -take B and multiply by SG (104) then decrease by 10% (93.6). If your legs are long and skinny you might want to put in a few more plain rows.
Continue plain knitting until sock measures 5 inches from top (measurement D) Should be about mid-calf.
Start to decrease for ankle. Decrease one stitch on either side of 2 centre stitches. Work 3 rows plain. Repeat these rows until there are 52 sts. -take C and multiply by SG
Continue straight until sock measures 13 inches (or E)
Now’s the time to start the heel of your sock. Centre 24 stitches on the back and work on just these stitches, leave the instep stitches on a spare needle. -1-2 sts less than half the total stitches
Row 1: sl 1, (k1, sl1) to last stitch, k1, turn
Row 2: sl1, purl to end of row, turn
Repeat these two rows until there are 22 rows (11 selvage sts) -2 rows less than there are stitches in width.
Row 1: Knit 2 stitches past centre (14 sts) SKP (sl1, k1,psso), k1, turn
Row 2: Sl1 purl wise, p5, p2tog, p1, turn
Row 3: Sl1 knit wise, k6, SKP, k1, turn
Row 4: Sl1 pw, p7, p2tog, p1, turn
Row 5: Sl1 kw, k8, SKP, k1, turn
continue in this manner until all the heel stitches have been worked, omitting the k1 and p1 on last 2 rows (12 sts remain)
Knit across heel stitches. Pick up and knit the 11 selvage stitches along left side of heel flap. It’s ok to pick up 1 or 2 extra stitches if that works better (i.e., no holes), just make sure to pick up the same number on the right side.
Knit across the instep stitches. Pick up and knit the 11 selvage stitches along right side of heel flap. Depending on how you knit your socks, you may want to place a marker on either side of the instep stitches so you know where to work the gusset decreases.
Gusset decrease: knit to last 3 stitches before the first marker before instep stitches, K2tog, K1. Knit across instep stitches, K1, SSK, knit to end. Work next round plain. Repeat these 2 rows until you decrease the stitches down to the original ankle number -52sts.
Continue working plain until the sock is 7 1/2 inches from back of heel flap - 1 1/2 inches shorter than finished foot length (F)
If you have 61 or more stitches start here: Dec 6: K6, K2tog, repeat around (may not work out evenly, that’s ok). Knit 6 rounds.
If you have 51-60 sts start here: Dec 5: K5, K2tog, repeat around. Knit 5 rounds.
If you have less than 50 sts start here: Dec 4: K4, K2tog, repeat around. Knit 4 rounds.
Dec 3: K3, K2tog, repeat around. Knit 3 rounds.
Dec 2: K2, K2tog, repeat around. Knit 2 rounds.
Dec 1: K1, K2tog, repeat around. Knit 1 round.
Graft toe stitches together to make a nice smooth toe.