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One of my favorite themes lately is the convergence of old upon new, specifically traditional knits with modern detailing. In Q, the stranded pattern (derived from Vibeke Lind's Knitting in the Nordic Tradition) is brought up to date with the use of Blue Moon Fiber Arts sock yarn, as the gentle shading of the yarn gives the 3-dimensional pattern even more depth and character than the solid originals. Updated color choices also make the traditional new again; dark and light contrasts achieved with brown and yellow as opposed to black and white make this a modern pair of kneehighs.

The foot and ankle of the sock are done in simple stockinette to keep this an ultimately wearable sock, but color details of the toe and heel bring the entire piece together as a cohesive whole. The heel is a standard eye of partridge, but by alternating colors every two rows, a new variation on a traditional theme appears. The toe echoes a standard lice stitch, but color changes on every stitch help to reinforce the toe while echoing the platforms of the Nordic stranded pattern of the leg.

Overall, this a decidedly modern sock with exciting traditional details that I hope you will enjoy as much as I do!

photos: aija goto

S[M, L] (Shown in Size M)

To fit:
Upper calf: 14[15.5, 16.25] inches
Lower leg: 9[10, 11] inches
Ankle: 8.5[9.5, 10.5] inches
Foot circumference: 7.4[8.5, 9.6] inches
Upper calf: 12.25[13.25, 14.25] inches
Lower leg: 8.5[9.5, 10.5] inches
Ankle: 7.75[8.75, 9.75] inches
Foot: 7[8, 9] inches
Leg length (from upper edge to top of heel): 14.75[15, 15.25] inches
Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight [100% superwash merino; 360yd/329m per 4.5 oz skein]
[MC] Obsidian; 2 skeins
[CC] Hoofle Foofle; 1 skein

1 set of five US #1.5/2.5mm double-point needles (for heel and foot)
2 US #1.5/2.5mm circular needles, 24 inches or longer (for working leg on 2 circulars)
1 US #1.5/2.5mm circular needle, 32 inches or longer (for working leg using magic loop technique)
Stitch marker
Tapestry needle
33 sts/40 rows = 4 inches in chart pattern
32 sts/41 rows = 4 inches in stockinette st

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

All slipped stitches should be slipped purlwise, unless otherwise directed.

The leg of the sock is designed with more negative ease than the foot, to help the sock stay up when worn. The foot is knit with a more conventional amount of negative ease (approx. 10%).
As written, the sock is worked using two circular needles (or one circular needle if using the magic loop technique). This allows the knitter to try on the sock leg to determine if the fit is both comfortable enough to wear, and snug enough to stay up.

The ankle, heel and foot are worked on double-point needles, for ease in positioning the heel.

M1p: Make 1 purl st.
Insert the left needle, from back to front, under the horizontal strand which lies between the last st worked and the next st. Purl into the front of this loop.

1x1 Rib (Worked in the round over an even number of sts):
Round 1: [K1, p1] to end.
Repeat this round for 1x1 Rib.


Using MC and circular needle, CO 100[108, 116] sts. Divide evenly between 2 circular needles: 50[54, 58] sts on each needle. Join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist. Place split ring marker or safety pin in first half of work to indicate Needle 1.

Work in 1x1 Rib until work measures 2 inches.

Increase 1 st at end of last round by working a m1p using CC.

There are 50[54, 58] sts on Needle 1 and 51[55, 59] sts on Needle 2.

Work Rounds 1-14 of Chart A three times. Pattern repeat will be worked 12[13, 14] times in each round.

Work Rounds 1-42 of Calf Decrease Chart. 69[77, 85] sts. There are 34[38, 42] sts on Needle 1 and 35[39, 43] sts on Needle 2.

Work Rounds 1-14 of Leg Chart three times more.

Work Round 1 once more.

Work measures approx. 14 inches. Break CC.

Ankle is worked using MC only.

Set-up Round: Using double-point needles, k17 onto first needle (Needle 1), k17[21, 25] onto each of next 2 needles (Needles 2 and 3), k18 onto next needle (Needle 4).

Decrease Round: K to end of Needle 1; k1, ssk, k to end of Needle 2; k to last 3 sts on Needle 3, k2tog, k1; k to end of Needle 4.
K 1 round.
Repeat these 2 rounds once more. 65[73, 81] sts.

K2[5, 7] rounds.
Work measures approx. 14.75[15, 15.25] inches.

Heel Set-up Round: K to last st on Needle 4, [ssk] with first st on Needle 1; continuing with same needle, k to end of Needle 1 (this needle will now be designated Needle 1). 64 [72, 80] sts. There are 34 sts on Needle 1, and 15[19, 23] sts each on Needles 2 and 3.
Turn work. Heel flap is worked back and forth over the 34 sts on Needle 1.

Heel Flap:
Note: The heel flap is worked in a 2-color slip-stitch pattern. Only 1 color is used in each row. When beginning a row with a new color, bring the strand of the new color counter-clockwise around and over the strand of the old color. Consistently changing colors in this way will give a smooth, even edge with no gaps.

Row 1 [WS]: Using CC, [sl 1, p1] to end.

Row 2 [RS]: Using CC, sl 1, k to end.

Row 3 [WS]: Using MC, sl 2, [p1, sl 1] to last 2 sts, p2.

Row 4 [RS]: Using MC, sl 1, k to end.

Repeat these 4 rows 7 times more, then work Rows 1-3 once more. 35 rows have been worked.

Break CC.

Turn Heel:
Using MC, continue as follows:
Row 1 [RS]: Sl 1, k18, ssk, k1. Turn work.

Row 2 [WS]: Sl 1, p5, p2tog, p1. Turn work.

Row 3 [RS]: Sl 1, k6, ssk, k1. Turn work.
Row 4 [WS]: Sl 1, p7, p2tog, p1. Turn work.
Row 5 [RS]: Sl 1, k8, ssk, k1. Turn work.
Row 6 [WS]: Sl 1, p9, p2tog, p1. Turn work.
Row 7 [RS]: Sl 1, k10, ssk, k1. Turn work.
Row 8 [WS]: Sl 1, p11, p2tog, p1. Turn work.
Row 9 [RS]: Sl 1, k12, ssk, k1. Turn work.
Row 10 [WS]: Sl 1, p13, p2tog, p1. Turn work.
Row 11 [RS]: Sl 1, k14, ssk, k1. Turn work.
Row 12 [WS]: Sl 1, p15, p2tog, p1. Turn work.
Row 13 [RS]: Sl 1, k16, ssk, k1. Turn work.
Row 14 [WS]: Sl 1, p17, p2tog, p1. Turn work. 20 sts remain.

Next Row [RS]: Sl 1, k9; using a new needle (Needle 1), k remaining 10 sts of heel, pick up and k 17 sts (1 st in each slipped st) along adjacent edge of heel flap, pick up and k 1 st in space between top of flap and sts on next needle; using next 2 needles, k sts on Needles 2 and 3; using last needle (Needle 4), pick up and k 1 st in space between last st worked and top of heel flap, pick up and k 17 sts along remaining edge of heel flap, k first 10 heel sts again. This point (bottom center of heel) is beginning of round. 86[94, 102] sts. There are 28 sts each on Needles 1 and 4, and 15[19, 23] sts each on Needles 2 and 3.

Decrease Round: K to last 3 sts on Needle 1, k2tog, k1; k all sts on Needles 2 and 3; k1, ssk, k to end of Needle 4.
Repeat this round 8 times more. 68[76, 84] sts

Work Decrease Round.
K 1 round.
Repeat therse 2 rounds 5 times more. 56[64, 72] sts.

Sl 1[3, 5] sts from Needle 2 to Needle 1, and from Needle 3 to Needle 4. Each needle now holds 14[16, 18] sts.

Continue in stockinette st until work measures 1.75[2, 2.25] inches less than desired length, ending last round at end of Needle 3. This point is now beginning of round. The needle which had been Needle 4 now becomes Needle 1, Needle 1 becomes Needle 2, etc.

Work 6[8, 10] rounds following Toe Chart. Chart is worked twice in each round, with charted decreases worked at beginning of Needles 1 and 3, and end of Needles 2 and 4.

When all sts have been decreased, 32 sts remain. There are 8 sts on each needle.

Break CC.

K 1 round using MC.

Slip sts from Needle 2 to Needle 1, and from Needle 3 to Needle 4.

Graft sts on Needle 1 to sts on Needle 4.


Weave in ends and block as desired.

Don’t fall off the grid!

Aija’s glut of education is no match for her current occupation as full time playmate to the cutest toddler in the world. She is attempting fluency in the universal language (sock knitting, natch!) and blogs about it here.

She maintains a small knitting accessory shop here as well.