Knitty�: little purls of wisdomKnitty�: little purls of wisdom
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Pink Needles
Hi How Are You
spacer model: Milo spacer photos: Laura Edwards


Out of my idea to knit a toy came Socktopus. I had picked up a slightly used ball of yarn with “toy” in my mind. By the time I was decreasing the head, I realized there wasn’t going to be enough yarn for a whole toy in one color. Like most knitters, though, I have plenty of other bits lying around!

Socktopus uses simple increases and decreases for shaping and a little short-row heel on each sock. The heel is so small, even if you have to redo it, it only takes a minute! Great if you’ve never done a short-row heel.

This pattern is a great way to use up yarn leftovers to make something fun! Using yarn from previous projects is a great way to remember them.

Socktopus makes a quick and cute last minute gift for anyone, especially kids, as it’s easy to grab and tote around.




Height: approx. 10.5 inches, including legs
Head/Body circumference: approx. 11 inches


This toy can be made using yarns with recommended ball band gauge ranging from 14-19 sts to 4 inches. Yarns will be knit at a tighter tension than usual, to achieve a tight, firm fabric.

spacer [MC] Green version: Rowan Cork [90% merino wool, 10% nylon; 120yd/110m per 50g ball]; color: #050 Sour; 1 ball
spacer [MC] Cream Version: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran [55% merino wool, 33% microfibre, 12% cashmere; 98yd/90m per 50g ball]; color: #101; 1 ball

spacer [CC] To work each sock in a different color, you'll need approx. 5yd/4.5m each of 8 different colors of yarn. CC yarns shown include Debbie Bliss Soho, Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, Mission Falls 1824 Wool, Plymouth Yarns Oh My, Zitron Loft and Sirdar Snowflake.

Recommended needle size:
spacer 1 set US #7/4.5mm double-point needles (or size needed to obtain fairly tight fabric)
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]

spacer Safety pin or split ring marker
spacer Waste yarn
spacer Yarn needle
spacer Small amount of black yarn or embroidery floss, for embroidering face
spacer Fiberfil or alternate stuffing


22 sts/30 rows = 4 inches in stockinette st
Note: Exact gauge isn't important for this project. Just be sure that your fabric is firm and tight, so that the stuffing will not leak.

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

Directions for the Backward Loop Cast On can be found here.

Directions are not given for the color patterns used for each leg. Instead, change yarns and colors when you wish, to achieve the look you want. Here are some ideas:
- Socks: Change to contrast color when leg is desired length, and continue with contrast color until leg is complete.
- Stripes:  Use two colors, alternating every 1-4 rows, carrying yarn not in use loosely along WS of work (inside leg).
- Scrunchy Sock:  Alternate knit and purl rounds to give some texture.
- Athletic Sock:  Use a second color for a stripe at the top of the sock, and for the heel and toe.
- Stocking:  Use a novelty yarn for a cuff and something with a little shimmer for the stocking.
- Leg Warmer: Break contrast yarn a round or two before heel shaping, use MC to finish the foot.

Using MC, CO 3 sts onto one double-point needle.

[Kfb] in each st. 6 sts. Divide sts between needle and join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist. After the first few rounds have been worked, place safety pin or split ring marker in work to indicate beginning of round.

Round 1: [Kfb] in each st. 12 sts.

Even-Numbered Rounds 2-28: K all sts.

Round 3: [K1, kfb] 6 times. 18 sts.

Round 5: [K2, kfb] 6 times. 24 sts.

Round 7: [K3, kfb] 6 times. 30 sts.

Round 9: [K4, kfb] 6 times. 36 sts.

Round 11: [K5, kfb] 6 times. 42 sts.

Round 13: [K6, kfb] 6 times. 48 sts.

Round 15: [K7, kfb] 6 times. 54 sts.

Round 17: [K8, kfb] 6 times. 60 sts.

Rounds 19 & 21: K all sts.

Round 23: [K8, k2tog] 6 times. 54 sts.

Round 25: [K7, k2tog] 6 times. 48 sts.

Round 27: [K6, k2tog] 6 times. 42 sts.

Round 29: [K19, k2tog] twice. 40 sts.

K 5 rounds.

K5; place remaining 35 sts on hold on waste yarn. Divide the 5 sts on the needle between 2 needles. Continuing from these sts, CO 3 sts using backward loop method, and place these 3 sts on a third needle. 8 sts. Join to begin working in the round. Beginning of round is located at end of newly cast-on sts; if desired, place pin or marker in work to indicate beginning of round.

Changing colors as desired (see Pattern Notes), work in stockinette st until leg measures 6 inches.

Heel and Foot:
Wrap first st of next row and turn work (W&T).
Row 1 [WS]: P4, W&T.
Row 2 [RS]: K3, W&T.
Row 3 [WS]: P2, W&T.

In following rows, when working a st which had been wrapped on a previous short row, pick up the wrap and work it together with the wrapped st.
Row 4 [RS]: K3, turn work.
Row 5 [WS]: Sl 1, p3, turn work.
Row 6 [RS]: Sl 1; resume working in the round.
Work in stockinette st until foot measures 1.25 inches from last row of heel.

Next Round: [K2tog] 4 times. Break yarn and draw through remaining 4 sts, pull tight. Thread yarn tail once more through these 4 sts and draw yarn tail to inside of leg.

Make 7 more legs in the same way. For each, transfer next 5 held sts of body to needles, rejoin yarn and and work as for first leg.

Using MC, pick up and k 3 sts (1 st in each CO st) at base of each leg, and 1 st in each space between legs. 32 sts. Join to work in the round, placing pin or marker in work to indicate beginning of round. Stuff toy as you knit the lower body. Do not stuff legs.

Rounds 1-2: K all sts.
Round 3: K2, [k2tog k6] 3 times, k2tog, k4. 28 sts.
Round 4: [K5, k2tog] 4 times. 24 sts.
Round 5: K1, [k2tog, k4] 3 times, k2tog, k3. 20 sts.
Round 6: [K3, k2tog] 4 times. 16 sts.

Finish stuffing toy to desired firmness.

Round 7: [K2tog] 8 times.

Break yarn, draw through remaining 8 sts and pull tight. Thread yarn tail once more through these 8 sts and sew in end securely.


Weave in ends. Using desired color, embroider face on head/body.

Laura lives, works and knits in Alaska.

She is lucky enough to have a husband, son, friends and many other relatives who appreciate knitted gifts. She blogs here.



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