Sock Knitting Patterns

There are sock knitting patterns designed to be worn, but you could easily turn a single sock with a long leg into a Christmas stocking.

sock knitting patterns

If you know how to do basic knitting and first look at a sock, it's really intimidating! How do you turn that heel?

I am not much of a sock wearer myself, but there are some other people in my family that like them a lot. They especially like to wear wool socks in the winter, and appreciate a pair of thick handmade ones to wear around the house as slipper socks.

Need some tips on knitting socks? They can be challenging, but the pretty sock yarn that creates a multicolored pattern will keep you motivated.

Knitting Socks

I strongly suggest that you make a single Christmas stocking or sock puppet first before attempting to make a matching pair.

It takes a little skill to have two socks turn out looking exactly the same!

Sock knitting patterns can start at the calf and work down towards the toe, or they can start at the toe and work up.

Vocabulary Used in Sock Knitting Patterns

Patterns are easier to follow when you understand the terms they use.

sock partsDiagram of sock parts


It's easier to make a single sock than a matching pair.

Usually in ribbing stitch. Elastic thread is sometimes added with the yarn for extra stretch.
Place to show off colors and pattern stitches.
Heel Flap
Usually has some nylon thread added with the yarn for durability.
Turned Heel
Made of short rows that are turned frequently.
Joins the foot, leg, and heel.
The instep is the upper portion. It's the other half of the stitches opposite where the leg and heel flap join.
The sole is the bottom portion where the foot touches the ground.
Sometimes reinforced with nylon thread.

Traditionally, socks are knitted on a set of 3 or more double pointed needles, but there are also techniques to make two at a time on circular needles. See the 2-at-a-Time Socks book.

Sock Yarn

You can use any type of yarn to knit socks, but there are now special multicolored sock yarns that automatically create ring patterns as you stitch. They are really fun to use!

If you are making a pair of socks to wear, wool is nice and warm, but it will wear better with a little nylon blended into the yarn.

The heel and toe areas are especially vulnerable, so you might want to use a special durable nylon in those places.

Variegated yarn is best to use with plain knitting stitches because you want to show off the yarn colors. Use a plain solid color yarn with decorative lace and cable stitches.

Decorative stitches on socks are usually on the leg and ankle portion because the socks still need to fit inside shoes.

More to Explore

knit scarf patterns
knit hat patterns
knit sweater patterns
sock yarn

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