Knitty: little purls of wisdom
Yarn Hollow
beauty shot Tangy

Sun-Speckled Socklets for the first blush of spring.

I've been designing Turkish-inspired socks for years. It's true that they are traditionally knit from the toe up. However, I keep hearing myself explain that afterthought heels, common to Turkish sock knitting, can be inserted into both top-down and toe-up sock structures. It was time to design a top-down sock with a Turkish accent!

This top-down socklet features almost-matching toes and heels. The toe is shaped as a standard-decrease swirl. This variation on the Crystal Heel echoes its color and swirl patterning, but is shaped with facets to better fit your foot. Stranded colorwork adds reinforcement and style in the places socks can use it most.

Reverse colors on the second sock as I did, if you feel adventurous.

spacer photos: Rachel Meyers
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XS [S, M, L, XL]

Circumference: 7 [7.5, 8, 8.5, 9] inches
Foot Length: 8.5 [9.25, 10, 10.75, 11.25] inches, or adjustable to fit



Yarn Hollow Squish [60% Merino Superwash, 30% Bamboo, 10% Nylon; 434 yd per 4oz/113g skein]
spacer [MC] Stormy Fuschia; 1 [1, 1, 1] skeins
spacer [CC] Single Malt; 1 [1, 1, 1] skeins

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer US #1/2.25mm needles for working in the round
spacer US #3/3.25mm needles for working in the round

spacer Yarn needles - 1 blunt, 1 sharp
spacer stitch markers
spacer short length of smooth waste yarn in contrasting color



28 sts/40 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch using smaller needles
28 sts/40 rounds = 4 inches in stranded knitting using larger needles

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

Because stranded colorwork is less stretchy than one-color knitting, this pattern uses a larger needle size for the colorwork sections. It is important that the leg portion stretches sufficiently to pull on over the heel of your foot.

The stranded-knitting stitches should be able to stretch on the needle, resting at least as far apart as your needle is wide. It is good practice at first, to knit perhaps 8-16 stitches and then stop and stretch them on the needle before proceeding. Make sure the unused strands of yarn on the inside of the sock are relaxed enough to allow this desired stretch.

If you are new to knitting with two colors in the same round, hold the yarns any way which is comfortable to you. There are strong opinions on the "best" way to do it, but the same fabric will result whether you hold one color in either hand or control both colors with the same hand.

If you typically knit by dropping the yarn in between making stitches, I suggest just dropping the unused yarn and picking up the new color as needed. If you do this, don't twist the yarns around each other --
that will just tighten up your fabric and cause frustration. If you typically knit with yarn tensioned around your fingers (without dropping it), see if wrapping the second color in a different path from the first one works for you. (I put my first yarn over just my index finger, and the second yarn over both my index and midde finger, for example). If you know how to control yarn in either hand, you may want one color in each.

When picking up the heel stitches, using needles one or two sizes smaller than your working needle to pick up stitches can help ease the process. Remember to start knitting the first round of the heel with your regular-sized needle.

Grafting: Instructions for grafting can be found here.

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

XSmall | Small | Medium | Large | XLarge

Using MC and smaller ndls, cast on 48[52, 56, 60, 64] sts with long tail cast on. Distribute across needles as you prefer and join for working in the round.

Note: This cast on can and should be begun without a knot. Just hold the yarn against the needle where you would normally place the knot's loop. This avoids a bump in your sock, which might make it uncomfortable when wearing.

Round 1-3: [K3, p1] around.
Rounds 4-5: Knit.

Change to larger ndls. Join CC.
Leg round: Work Spiral colorwork chart around.

Work as set until 8 pattern rounds (2 repeats) are complete.
Cut CC.

Change to smaller needles.
Using MC only, K three rounds.

Heel setup:
Using MC, k36[39, 42, 45, 48].
Leave your working yarn where it is, dangling at the side of the sock.
Switch to waste yarn and k24[26, 28, 30, 32]. Cut ends of waste yarn about 4 inches from sock, hanging to outside until later. Do not tie knots.
Go back to where you left your working yarn. Using that yarn, k12[13, 14, 15, 16] sts in MC to return to start of rnd.

Knit every round until you have worked 4.75[5, 5.5, 5.75, 5.75] inches past the waste yarn, or you are 3.75[4.25, 4.5, 5, 5.5] inches short of full foot length.

Join CC.
Start working Toe chart on round 9[7, 5, 3, 1].
Work Toe chart, repeating 4 times for each round, decreasing as indicated, until Toe chart is complete. Cut CC.

Using MC, graft toe closed.
Patterned Crystal Heel
Secure Stitches:
Hold sock with sole facing, and toe up. Using the smaller needles, pick up the 24[26, 28, 30, 32] sts on top of the waste yarn, picking up the right-side leg of the V-shaped stitches. Then pick up the corresponding 28[30, 32, 34] sts below the waste yarn, picking up the right-side leg of the V-shaped stitches.

Note: If you turn the sock upside down to pick up some sts, you may end up with one extra st, which you can decrease away during the first knit rnd.

Once your sts are secured, pick the waste yarn out of the gap between ndls, using a strong knitting needle, a darning needle, or a crochet hook. You may cut the waste yarn ends shorter at times, to ease this process.
When the waste yarn is completely removed, you will begin working in the rnd from bottom of sole/beg of rnd. If the sts on the ndls for this first rnd are seated incorrectly, adjust them as you work the first rnd. Place a marker or note the start of the round.

Round 1: [K12[13, 14, 15, 16], pm] 3 times, k to end of round.

Round 2: Knit.

Change to larger ndls and join CC.
Note: Work appropriate size Heel chart.

Work Heel chart, repeating 4 times for each round, decreasing as indicated, until chart is complete.
Cut CC. 16[16, 20, 20, 20] sts rem.
Final round: Knit.

Using MC, graft heel closed.


Notice that there are small gaps which form on either side at top of heel (where ends of waste yarn were located). Use a sharp darning needle and a length of MC yarn to make a loop/drawstring on the inside around the hole. Once you stitch the loop around, pull loop tight and use your sharp needle end to pierce the drawstring on either side of the loop (cutting circle in half). This will hold the hole closed.

Weave in all ends, and block.


ColorJoy LynnH has been obsessed with color since childhood, and socks since the wildly-colorful '70s. In 2001 she discovered one could knit her own socks. Life changed. Lynn focuses on stranded colorwork (Turkish Socks, Andean Hats and more). The more colors, the better!

In 2012, Lynn was commissioned to conceive and coordinate a Yarn Bombing at Michigan State University Horticultural Gardens... her most knitting fun thus far! Lynn was honored to teach at Sock Summit 2011 (including Turkish Socks and Crystal Heels). She has a design in the book Joy of Socks, and has been published in KnitCircus, CraftSanity Magazine, MagKnits and Heels & Toes Gazette.

Sometimes she also sings with her husband Brian Hefferan at Ukulele Festivals & more, as The Fabulous Heftones. Visit LynnH's website.