Knitty: little purls of wisdom
Simply Sock Yarns
beauty shot


“Our code word, my dear lady, is Nemesis.”  ~Agatha Christie, Nemesis

These socks came into being while watching the Agatha Christie mystery Nemesis during a knitting weekend with friends

Now don’t let the name fool you; there’s nothing really sinister about these socks.  Increases and decreases cause the garter ribbing to take twists and turns, just like the plot of a good mystery.  The ribbing on the leg sneakily snakes its way onto the heel flap and down the top of the foot.  And just like the last chapter of a mystery novel, the toe is neatly resolved in the end. 

Knit these socks for the Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot in your life!

spacer photos: David Cubberly

Women’s M [Women’s L/Men’s S]
Shown in both sizes


Leg circumference: 8 [9] inches, slightly stretched
Foot length: adjustable to fit



As shown on smaller feet:
spacer Pagewood Farm “Denali” Hand-dyed sock yarn [80% Merino/ 20% Nylon; 450 yd/411 m per 113g skein]; color: Really Red; 1 skein

As shown on larger feet
spacer Pagewood Farm “Denali” Hand-dyed sock yarn [80% Merino/ 20% Nylon; 450 yd/411 m per 113g skein]; color: Mocha; 1 skein

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 set US #1.5/2.5mm double-point needles
spacer 1 32 inch or longer US #1.5/2.5 mm circular needle for working magic loop method
spacer 2 short US #1.5/2.5 mm circular needles for working two-circulars method

spacer Yarn needle
spacer Stitch markers

32 sts/46 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch in the round


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

Garter Rib (worked in the round)
Round 1: [K2, p2] to end of round.
Round 2: Knit.

M1: With left-hand needle, coming in from the front, lift strand between sts and knit through the back.

M1-p:  With left-hand needle, coming in from the front, lift strand between sts and purl through the back of it.

The charts for this pattern are very large. Each fits on a letter-sized page.
Click the chart name below and print the resulting page.

small large


CO 64[72] sts, and distribute on your needles as you prefer. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist. Note or mark beginning of round.

Work 12 rounds of Garter Rib pattern.

Leg round: Work Chart for appropriate size twice across round, starting with Row 1.
Work rounds 1-44 of chart, then rounds 1-21 once more. 
Turn so that WS is facing.

Heel flap
Heel flap is worked flat on the last 34[38] sts of the round. Rem 30[34] will be held for instep, to be worked later.

Row 1 [WS]: Work row 22 of chart (working sts as written for WS) over 32[36] sts, p2.

Row 2 [RS]: P2, work row 23 of chart.

Row 3 [WS]: Work next row of chart over 32[36] sts, p2.

Row 4 [RS]: P2, work next row of chart over 32[36] sts.

Continue as established, until chart row 44 is completed, and work chart rows 43 & 44 4 more times, then row 43 once more.  WS will be facing for next row. 
Note: To make a longer heel flap, work more repeats of chart rows 43 and 44.

Turn heel
Row 1 [WS]: Sl1, p18[20], p2tog, p1.  Turn.
Row 2 [RS]:  Sl1, k5, ssk, k1.  Turn.
Row 3 [WS]:  Sl1, p6, p2tog, p1.  Turn.
Row 4 [RS]:  Sl1, k7, ssk, k1.  Turn.
Row 5 [WS]:  Sl1, p8, p2tog, p1.  Turn.
Row 6 [RS]:  Sl1, k9, ssk, k1.  Turn.
Row 7 [WS]:  Sl1, p10, p2tog, p1.  Turn.
Row 8 [RS]:  Sl1, k11, ssk, k1.  Turn.
Row 9 [WS]:  Sl1, p12, p2tog, p1.  Turn.
Row 10 [RS]:  Sl1, k13, ssk, k1.  Turn.
Row 11 [WS]:  Sl1, p14, p2tog, p1.  Turn.
Row 12 [RS]:  Sl1, k15, ssk, k1.  Turn.
Row 13 [WS]:  Sl1, p16, p2tog, p1.  Turn.
Row 14 [RS]:  Sl1, k17, ssk, k1. 

Small only: 20 heel sts rem. Proceed to Gusset.

Large only:
Row 15 [WS]:  Sl1, p18, p2tog, p1.  Turn.
Row 16 [RS]:  Sl1, k19, ssk, k1. 
22 heel sts rem. Proceed to Gusset.

With RS facing and using a new needle, pick up and knit 18 sts along heel flap (placing a marker for start of instep before last 2 picked-up sts).  If you worked additional rows in the heel flap, you will need to adjust the number of picked up stitches accordingly.

Work across 30[34] held sts as per round 22 of chart as established, pick up 18 sts along heel flap (placing a marker after first 2 picked-up sts for end of instep), k 10[11] to center heel. This is now the start of the round. Rearrange sts if you need to. 86[92] sts, 34[38] sts between markers for the instep.

Round 1: Knit to 2 sts before marker at start of instep, k2tog; sl marker, p2, work instep in chart pattern as established; sl marker, ssk, k to end of round. 2 sts decreased.
Round 2: Knit.
Repeat Rounds 1 & 2 10[9] more times until 64[72] sts rem. 

Continue in pattern as established, working through chart round 44, then work rounds 1-38 once more. Check foot length at this point.  Sock needs to measure 1.75[2] inches less than full length for foot from back of heel to toe. If needed, work rounds 39 and 40 until foot is long enough, ending after a round 40. 

Round 1:  Knit to 3 sts before instep, k2tog, k1; p2, k1, ssk, work in pattern as established to last 5 sts of instep, k2tog, k1, p2; k1, ssk, knit to end of round.  4 sts decreased.

Round 2: Knit.

Rep Rounds 1 & 2 6 [8] more times – 36 sts rem.

Next round: Rep Round 1.

Next round: K to 3 sts before instep, k2tog, k1; k3, ssk, k to last 5 sts of instep, k2tog, k3; k1, ssk, k to end of round.

Rep last 2 rounds until 16 total sts rem. K4 so you’re in position to graft.

Cut yarn and use tail to graft toe.  Sew in all ends and block if desired.


designernamespacer Susan lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with her husband (who now has his very own pair of Nemesis socks).  She does most of her knitting in coffee shops.  She is the founder of the Shadyside Stitch ‘n Bitch. 

Her Ravelry username is handknitsbysusan and she blogs now and then.