Striping Socks

unnamedMy last 2014 project was socks and my first 2015 project is socks. I’m glad to be back into making socks! What I love about socks? They are a perfectly portable project, they take just one skein of yarn, and they can be made easy or difficult. I have one project bag that I designated for my current sock-in-progress all throughout last year, and that helped as well.

Here is my last pair of socks for 2014 (technically finished up on New Year’s Day, but I’m counting them in 2014 because I didn’t have that much left to do.) This is Tumbleweed Yarn in the Sugar Skulls colorway, in a pattern that I put together from other inspiration. Details?

1. I knit this toe up using Judy’s Magic Cast On (with a total of 70 stitches on a size 0 needle). Using Judy’s Magic Cast On means the colors spread out in a bulls-eye pattern like this:


2. For the foot part
, I knit regular stockinette, but when I came to the part of the yarn that changed colors, I switched to a [K1, Slip 1] pattern for one row. That creates the zig-zaggedy color mix.


3. For the heel
, I did Wendy’s Toe Up Heel Gusset. I did pay attention to the colors and had to cut and advance the yarn to the next color at one point to keep the stripes in order after the heel. It’s easy to figure out, though.


4. For the cuff
, I switched to size 1 needles, as the swirl pattern can make the pattern a little tighter. Going up a needle size helps. I used the stitch pattern from Mandie Harrington’s Swirl Hat, which I have made in the past. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry and looks particularly cute when done up in striping yarn.

5. For the top of the cuff, I ended with [K2, P2] rib for 1 inch.

These were fun to knit and I’ll probably use this pattern again sometime. We have several self-striping options that would work with this pattern – all of the Tumbleweed Self-Striping and Self-Striping Kits (here are the socks I did with one of the Tumbleweed kits), Biscotte and Cie Felix, String Theory Colorwork (down to our last 5 skeins), and Fibernymph Inversibles.

Sheri hopingyoufindtimetoknitthisweekend!


  1. I love the idea of k1,s1 with self-striping yarns…. I’ve filed that away in my little book. I’m using a Wendy Johnson toe up sock pattern now, but with the slip stitch heel, which I love. I do the same cast on you used and love the way the sock just grows organically from there. You made a beautiful pair of socks!

  2. Oh, those are great socks! Can’t wait to CO my new Fibernymph Dyeworks Inversibles & use your pattern ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  3. First- I love your socks! The colors are fab and so are all of the different techniques that you used!
    Second- do you use the magic loop cast on thing for just the beginning and then switch to double points or do you use it for the whole sock? I’m still fairly new to sock knitting (only 3 so far!) and don’t quite understand this magic loop thing.
    I really like the k1, sl 1!

  4. This is the second pair of socks I’ve seen done up in this colorway and I just love it. You know how sometimes you buy a skein of yarn that just looks sooooo beautiful but when you work it up it just looks dreadful? I remember looking at this colorway in the shop and thinking, “Eh. I don’t like those colors together.” But man, it is just gorgeous knit up!

  5. Thank you so much for the tip about changing to a larger sized needle on the cuff! I have never thought of that, and always wish my cuffs were just a wee bit roomier – that might do the trick, rather than trying to increase stitches.

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