Spring Cable Socks

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My boyfriend’s family has more or less adopted me, and they’ve taken me on trips with them a couple of times when I’m not busy vacationing with my real family. Last summer, they took me along on a 2 week trip to Alaska. This summer they’re taking me on a 2 week trip to Spain. I’m the only Spanish-speaker of the group, so my job is primarily to stand as a translator/reader of signs. Many people speak English in Spain, so we won’t be completely swamped, but I’m pretty nervous.

In return for their generosity, they decided that this year, instead of my paying them back for a portion of my cost to come with, they wanted me to knit them all socks. For J’s sister I knit a pair of Monkey socks for her graduation, and for his mum I’m knitting Cider Moon’s Saucy in a green silk.

This sock is mostly stockinette, for the sake of simplicity, but because I love cables and seed stitch, I threw them together. The cable is 4 stitches wide and is framed by 3 stitches of seed stitch, which stand out from the stockinette beautifully.

Spring Cable Socks (the pattern)
Eratta in green.

Size: Large.
Finished Measurements: Leg circumference = 8.5″ unstretched. Foot circumference = 8″ unstretched. This pattern (and this yarn) is rather stretchy, owing to both the stockinette and the cable action. And because of all the stockinette, the size can easily be altered by subtracting up to 24 stitches if necessary.
Materials: Dream in Color Gaia Sock [100% superwash Australian merino wool; 450 yds/4oz skein]; color: handpainted (green); 1 skein.
Set of 5 US size 2 double pointed needles OR 2 US size 2 circulars/magic loop OR 1 US size 2 12″ circular. Directions are for double points, but I imagine if you’re using any of the others you’ll know how to adapt.
Stitch markers (if desired).
Darning needle.
Gauge: 9 sts and 11 rows/1 inch. Alternately, according to Kristin of Needles and Knots, 10 sts/inch with the same number of stitches yields a slightly smaller sock with a 7.5″ circumference, that fits approximately a women’s size 8.
Detail Pattern:
Because the cable is 7 rows long, and seed stitch is a 2 row repeat, the two (surprisingly) do not match up. So, when working the seed stitch, just remember to do the opposite of the last row, thus:

Seed Stitch (3 sts wide on each side):
Row 1: K, P, K.
Row 2: P, K, P.
Repeat the two rows for the length of the sock.

Cable Pattern:
Rows 1-6: P1, K4, P1.
Row 7: P1, C2F (R sock) or C2B (L sock), P1.
Repeat rows 1-7 for the length of the sock.

I marked every seventh row as I knit it with a safety pin and counted up from there.

k = knit (|)
p = purl (-)

c2f = Slip right needle tip through front of 3rd and 4th sts on left needle. Remove all 4 sts from left needle (2 sts will be loose). Pick up 2 loose sts with left tip behind sts on right needle and replace sts on right needle onto left needle (the sts have changed places). Knit 4. (_LL/TT)

c2b = Slip right needle tip through back of 3rd and 4 sts on left needle. Remove all 4 sts from left needle (2 sts will be loose). Pick up 2 loose sts with left tip in front of sts on right needle and replace sts on right needle onto left needle (sts have changed places again). Knit 4. (TT\_LL)

Directions:

Cuff: Cast on 72 sts and divide among 4 dpns (18 each), 2 circulars (36 each), or 1 12″ circular (pm at beg. of round). Join in the round, being careful not to twist. Work in 2×2 ribbing [k2, p2] for 1 inch, or desired cuff length.

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Leg:
The cable should line up against the gusset decreases, so immediately on the edge of the front half of the sock.

Right sock: Knit 18 (n1). [Place marker (pm) if not working on dpns], work 12 sts in row one of detail pattern, pm, knit 6 (end of n2). Knit 36 (n3 and n4). Continue working sts between markers in chart pattern and all other sts in stockinette. Work the c2f for this sock so the cable turns to the right.

Left sock: Knit 36 (n1 and n2). Knit 6, pm, work 12 sts in row 1 of detail pattern, pm (n3). Knit 18 (n4). Continue working sts between markers in chart pattern and all other sts in stockinette. Work the c2b for this sock so the cable turns to the left. Ooh, symmetry!

Repeat 7 rows of cable pattern 10 times (or number of times desired) for the length of the leg, ending with any row but row 7.

Heel Flap:
Set up: Knit 18, turn. Sl1, p35, turn.
Row 1: Sl1, (k1, sl1) across, ending with a k1.
Row 2: Sl1, p35.
Row 2: Sl1, (sl1, k1) across, ending (sl1, k2).
Row 4: Sl1, p35.

Repeat Rows 1-4 until heel flap measures 2″ (30-32 rows), ending with row 2 or 4.

Turn Heel:
Row 1: Sl1, k20, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 2: Sl1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 3: Sl1, knit to 1 st before gap, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 4: Sl1, purl to 1 st before gap, p2tog, p1, turn.

Repeat rows 3-4 until all sts have been worked (20 sts remain).

Gusset:
Knit 10.
Pick up new needle and knit the other 10. With the same needle, pick up, twist, and knit 15 sts along the edge of the heel flap (25 sts).
Knit across instep sts, working the next round of cable pattern as necessary. (36 sts).
Pick up, twist, and knit 15 sts along the other edge of the heel flap. Knit 10 (25 sts).
Total stitch count: 86. Rounds now begun from the middle of the sole.

Round 1: Knit to last 3 sts on needle 1, ssk, k1. Work instep sts on needles 2 and 3. K1 on needle 4, k2tog, knit to end.
Round 2: Knit all stitches (cable pattern in pattern).

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until 36 sts remain on sole (18 on each needle, 72 total).

It might seem like the decreases here are switched. If it makes you more comfortable to work them conventionally (k2tog on the left, ssk on the right), do so, but it is intentional. They make a smoother line into the mostly stockinette sock. I promise!

gusset detail

Foot:
Knit all stockinette sts as they lie and cable pattern sts as necessary, until sock measures 1.5″-2″ short of total desired length (mine is 6.5″ before the toe).

Toe:
Beginning at the middle of the bottom of the sole; the cable pattern ends here.
Round 1: (n1) Knit to last 3 sts, ssk, k1. (n2) K1, k2tog, knit across. (n3) Knit to last 3 sts, ssk, k1. (n4) K1, k2tog, knit to end.
Round 2: Knit all sts.

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until 28 sts are left (14 on each side), ending with round 2. Rearrange sts so 14 are on 1 needle for the top of the toe, and 14 are on one needle for the bottom.

Graft these stitches together.

Finishing:
Weave in ends! Hooray!

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End Note: I have not had anyone test knit these, so if you a) knit them or b) read the pattern over and find a problem, please don’t hesitate to email me or leave a comment. Thanks!

Also, I strongly encourage modifications, and if you post the project on Ravelry, I’ll be sure to find it. ^_^

Hi guys, I’m turning off the comments for a while on this post because I’ve gotten three weird spam online sock buying comments in a row.  Never fear!  I still have email  <3

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29 comments

  1. That is one pretty sock. I’m going to link to the pattern in my next blog post. What a great way to travel! Will knit for trips! Too cool.

  2. just found your blog–someone linked to these socks. very nice! :) thanks for the pattern! have a wonderful time in Spain, lucky girl!

  3. I love those socks. I don’t know if it’s the cable or the color, but I love them. I’ve yoinked the pattern for future use. ;) When do you leave for Spain?

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  8. I’m knitting up this pattern right now, and it’s such a wonderful design. I love the off center cables and the way they sit on the outside. Thank you so much for sharing the pattern!

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  10. I am considering this pattern, and if you have 72 stitches for the leg, and 72 stitches for the foot, how do they have different unstretched measurements? Thanks for such a pretty, well-written pattern.

    P.S. I found it on ravelry!

  11. iam doing the sock pattern on four double pointed needles and am having trouble figuring out the stitches before and after the cable. mine doesn’t look like the pattern. thanks for the help

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  15. These are beautiful socks and exactly the pattern I was looking for. Mostly plain with a bit of cable. Thanks so very much.

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