Sock on Two Needles Pattern

This pattern owes much of its construction, instruction and inspiration to Sox on Two Stix and the Universal Toe-Up Formula at Knitty.com.

Before beginning, a word about gauge/tension and measurements. I don’t know of anyone who likes to knit a gauge/tension square and if the truth were known, I’ve never made one in my life, preferring to undo and start again than take the time to check my tension (all that wasted time!). However I do have a good idea of my own personal tension for most of the common yarns and needles, and it didn’t take me long to realise that for every size in needles I went down I gained a stitch for 8 ply (double knit/light-worsted), 10 ply (Worsted/Afghan) and 12 ply (Aran/chunky) or two stitches for 2 ply, 3 and 4 ply (also known as sock, sport, fingering, or baby yarn). Since I like to knit my socks on smaller needles (at least 3 sizes smaller usually) this saved me from having to knit a gauge/tension square. So really it’s up to you whether you knit one or not but it could save time (don't say I didn't warn you).

However, gathering some measurements before you start are not an option. Most of these have been taken from the Universal Toe-Up Formula.

My measurements and essential abbreviations are as follows:
Yarn = Y
Needles to give desired tension = M
Needles to give desired tension for ribbing at cuff (often a size smaller but optional) = O
Foot Circumference = FC
Multiply foot circumference (FC) by 0.9 to determine Sock Circumference (for a snug fit) = SC
Length of Foot = A
Desired length of sock leg from bottom of heel = B
Tension/Gauge stitches per inch or cm = G
Multiple Sock Circumference (SC) by Gauge/Tension (G) = C (answer in whole numbers)
Determine number of stitches to cast on for heel by dividing C by 2 = D
Length of Heel (measure after working heel or toe if doing toe-up socks) = H
Length of Sole to be knit and determined by subtracting H from A = F
Determine number of stitches at end of toe and heel by multiplying D by 0.4 (omit decimal places) = E

Other: Provisional Cast On: Using a smooth contrasting yarn cast on D stitches on M needles and knit 3-4 rows (i.e. in garter stitch). To remove (when indicated in pattern), carefully cut away the cast on edge and remove the remaining threads. Sometimes pulling just one thread will make it miraculously 'unzip' but how and why this works some times and not others remains as much a mystery as the sock that gets lost in the washing machine only to turn up five years later.

Wrap and Turn (W&T): On a right side row: knit to point specified in instructions, bring yarn to front of work, slip next stitch to right hand needle, take yarn to back, turn work, keeping yarn wrapped around first stitch on left hand needle, slip stitch just slipped to right hand needle,purl stitches from left hand needle. On a wrong side row: purl to point specified in instructions, slip next stitch to right hand needle, take yarn to front of work, turn work, keep yarn wrapped around first stitch on left hand needle, slip stitch just slipped to right hand needle, take yarn to back of work to knit stitches from left hand needle.

Yarn Requirements: I use two 50g (approx 1-3/4 ounces) balls for women's socks and three 50g balls for men's. But the advantage of both of these patterns is that since you knit the leg last, you can determine the length of the leg by the amount of yarn that is left (i.e. once you've run out of yarn it's finished). Be aware that some patterns may require more especially if cables or twisted stitches are involved.

Without further ado:

SOCKS ON TWO STRAIGHT NEEDLES


BEGIN SOCK: Using Provisional Cast On described above, begin sock. After working 3-4 rows garter stitch, switch to yarn for sock (Y) and purl one row.

HEEL:*** Row 1: Knit until one stitch remains, W&T
Row 2: Purl until one stitch remains, W&T
Row 3: Knit until two stitches remain, W&T
Row 4: Purl until two stitches remain, W&T
Continue in same manner until E stitches remain unwrapped between the wrapped stitches (this will be a wrong side row).
Next row: Knit to first wrapped stitch, knit wrapped stitch, W&T
Next row: Purl to first wrapped stitch, purl wrapped stitch, W&T
Continue in this manner until all wrapped stitches have been worked (i.e. purl D stitches). ***

Measure length of heel (H). This number will be subtracted from desired length of foot to calculate length of sole to be knitted (F).

SOLE: Work in stocking stitch (stockinette) until sole measures F.

TOE: Work from *** to ***

INSTEP: Begin stocking stitch (stockinette) or stitch pattern. Work same number of rows as for sole.

LEG: Left Foot - Using DPN (double pointed needle and it's easier if it's a size smaller than the needles used to knit the sock) pick up D stitches from heel. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to turn the work so that the wrong side is facing, and beginning on the right hand edge, pick up the loops in the main yarn which can easily be seen above the last garter stitch row of the contrast yarn that was used for the provisional cast on. A stitch from each end will need to be picked up to give the correct number of stitches. Purl these stitches from DPN. When the right side of the work is facing these stitches should be to the right of the instep stitches and the sock should not be twisted (it might look a little strange but with a little manipulation it should be recognisable as a sock and the instep or sole should lie flat and not twist). Remove provisional cast on and check that no stitches have been dropped. Knit one row, knitting into back of both stitches at ‘seam’ where instep and heel meet. Purl one row.
Right Foot - Knit one row. Using a DPN pick up D stitches from heel as for above. Knit these stitches from DPN. When the right side of the work is facing these stitches should be to the left of the instep stitches and the sock should not be twisted. Remove provisional cast on and check that no stitches have been dropped. Purl next row, purling into back of both stitches at ‘seam’ where instep and heel meet.

Work on these stitches in rib or pattern until desired length less cuff. Rib cuff (on smaller needles if desired - I've found this necessary for men's socks but not for women's). Cast off by purling 2 together then slipping the stitch on right hand needle back onto the left hand needle, purl 2 together, slip stitch to left hand needles, etc until end. Join leg seams and sew in yarn ends. Make a second sock following instructions for right sock for leg.

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