Knitty: little purls of wisdom
Indigo Dragonfly
beauty shot


When the Knitty gals asked me to design a sock pattern in honor of the magazine's tenth anniversary, I was only too happy to oblige.

I chose a cuff edging that would evoke the image of Amy's grandmother's knitting needles, which hold the place of honor in the top-left corner on every Knitty page.

The gorgeous multicolor handpaint yarn -- custom-dyed by Indigodragonfly -- is so rich and vibrant that I opted for a more subdued stitch pattern with textured flecks that I call "little purls of wisdom."

This is a classic top-down sock. Due to the relatively long repeat of the leg's stitch pattern, the pattern was a little tricky to size. Since the leg has a fair bit of stretch, we focused on the foot, the most important section of the sock in terms of comfortable fit. If you need a little more or less room in the leg, try going up or down a needle size or two.

spacer model: Charcoal
spacer photos: Carol Sulcoski


Adult Women S[M, L]


Foot circumference: 7.5[8, 8.5] inches
Foot length: Adjustable to fit
Leg length (top of heel to top of cuff): 7.5 inches


spacer Indigodragonfly Merino Nylon Sock [80% superwash merino/20% nylon; 390yd/356m per 100g skein]; color: 50 Shades of Bazinga; or, When Your Stitch Count is Off, Your Skein is 2 Yards Shorter Than the Pattern, and the Yarn Gods Have Decided Now is the Time for a Needle Malfunction; 1[1,2] skein(s)
Note: See Pattern Notes section regarding yarn usage if you want to work the largest size with only 1 skein.

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer US 2/2.75mm needles for working in the round

spacer yarn needle


30 sts/40 rounds = 4 inches in Purls of Wisdom Pattern
30 sts/40 rounds = 4 inches in Stockinette st


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

Note on yarn usage: To work the largest size with only 1 skein, stop the leg after Round 10 of the third repeat of the Purls of Wisdom Pattern.

Note on sizing: Sock is sized based on foot circumference. Due to the large repeat, the Leg is worked in one size for all sizes, but the leg pattern has sufficient stretch to accommodate variations in leg size. If you prefer a looser fit in the leg for the largest size, you may wish to knit leg using needles one size larger; then switch to specified needle size when beginning heel flap.

MPW (Make Purl of Wisdom):
wyif, p next 3 sts tog, leaving them on LH needle; wyib, k the same 3 sts tog, leaving them on left needle; wyif, p the same 3 sts tog, slipping resulting st onto RH needle.

Purls of Wisdom Pattern
Worked in the round over a multiple of 10 sts.
Rounds 1-4: K.
Round 5: [K7, MPW] around.
Rounds 6-14: K.
Rounds 15: [K2, MPW, k5] around.
Rounds 16-20: K.

Instructions for Kitchener stitch (also known as grafting) can be found here.

CO 90 sts.
Distribute sts across needles as you prefer and join for working in the round.

Note: You may find it easier to divide stitches with a multiple of 18 sts on each needle.

Cuff round: Work Cuff Chart around.
Work as set until all 11 rounds of Cuff Chart are complete. 70 sts.

Next round: [K5, k2tog] around. 60 sts.
K 1 rnd.
P 2 rnds.

Leg round: Work Purls of Wisdom Pattern around.

Work as set until 4 repeats of the 20-row pattern are complete.

Heel flap
Heel flap is worked back and forth in rows on first 30 sts of round. Slip rem 30 sts to one needle or a holder as you prefer.

Row 1 [RS]: K1, [sl 1 wyif, k1] 14 times, k1, turn.

Row 2 [WS]: P30, turn.

Row 3 [RS]: K1, [k1, sl 1 wyif] 14 times, k1, turn.

Row 4 [WS]: P30, turn.

Rep these 4 rows until heel flap measures 2[2.25, 2.5] inches.

Turn heel:
Row 1 [RS]: K30, turn.
Row 2 [WS]: Sl 1 wyif, p16, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 3 [RS]: Sl 1, k5, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 4 [WS]: Sl 1 wyif, p6, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 5 [RS]: Sl 1, k7, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 6 [WS]: Sl 1 wyif, p8, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 7 [RS]: Sl 1, k9, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 8 [WS]: Sl 1 wyif, p10, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 9 [RS]: Sl 1, k11, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 10 [WS]: Sl 1 wyif, p12, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 11 [RS]: Sl 1, k13, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 12 [WS]: Sl 1 wyif, p14, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 13 [RS]: Sl 1, k15, ssk, k1, turn.

18 sts rem after heel turn.

Gusset round 1, setup round: Knit across 18 rem heel flap sts; pick up and knit 16[18, 20] sts along first edge of heel flap. Work Round 1 of Purls of Wisdom pattern across 30 instep sts; pick up and knit 16[18, 20] sts along opposite edge of heel flap. Knit across 18 heel sts, knit 16 [18, 20] gusset sts; work Round 2 of Purls of Wisdom pattern across instep. This will be the new start of round. Rearrange your sts or place marker as you wish. 80[84, 88] sts total; 50[54, 58] sts for heel and gusset, 30[30, 30] sts for instep.

Gusset round 2, decrease: K2, k2tog, k to 4 sts before start of instep, ssk, k2; work of Purls of Wisdom patt as set across instep.
Gusset round 3: K to instep; work of Purls of Wisdom patt as set across instep.

Rep Gusset rounds 2 & 3 11 more times, until 56[60, 64] sts rem.

Work even in pattern as set until foot measures 1.5 inches less than desired foot length.

Round 1: K2, ssk, k to 4 sts before instep, k2tog, k2; k2, ssk, k to last 4 sts of round, k2tog, k2. 4 sts decreased.
Round 2: K.
Rep these 2 rounds 5[6, 6] more times, until there are 32[32, 36] sts total.
Work Round 1 only until there are 16[16, 16] sts total.
Setup for Graft: K to start of instep sts.


Graft toe closed using Kitchener St. Weave in all ends and block as desired.


Carol Sulcoski knits, writes and dyes yarn in a suburb of Philadelphia.

Her third book, Sock Yarn Studio, was just published by Lark Crafts and is full of patterns for items to knit with sock yarn other than socks. Her website is here.