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Preemie and Infant Socks

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Preemie Socks

Size small of the Preemie/Infant Socks fits in the palm of my hand.

(c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Socks for Baby Feet:

Lots of people like to knit baby booties, but I much prefer socks because they stay on a baby's feet more easily and aren't really much more effort to knit.

These started with a request from About's Preemies Guide for clothing patterns for preemies, but I wanted to make them sized to fit full-term babies as well. It's hard to believe the tiny socks pictured fit actual human feet, but they do (they're sized for a baby approximately 28 weeks' gestation, according to the sizing chart at Newborns in Need).

Materials:

  • About 18 (30, 40) yards of super-fine to fine weight sock yarn (I used a tiny bit of Three Irish Girls' Adorn sock yarn)
  • set of 4 size 3 US (3.25 mm) double-pointed knitting needles
  • tape measure, scissors and yarn needle
  • stitch marker (optional)

Gauge:

6 stitches and 9 rows per inch in Stockinette Stitch in the round. Gauge is not incredibly critical, as wool stretches and feet grow.

Size:

Size small is about 2 inches around and 2 inches long; medium is 3 inches around and 3 inches long; large is 3.5 inches around and 3.5 inches long. To fit a preemie around 28 weeks (34 weeks, full-term). Smallest size is given first with larger sizes in parentheses.

Instructions:

  1. Cast on 12 (18, 22) stitches. Arrange on 3 needles and join in round. Place stitch marker if desired to mark beginning of round.
  2. Work in knit 1, purl 1 ribbing for 1 inch (2 inches, 2.5 inches).
  3. Working back and forth on 6 (9, 11) stitches, slip 1, knit across.
  4. Next row, slip 1, purl across.
  5. Repeat these 2 rows 2 (3, 4) times.

Turning the Heel: Size Small

  • Slip 1, knit 1, slip, slip, knit, knit 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, purl 2 together, purl 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, SSK, knit 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, P2tog, turn.
  • Knit the remaining 2 stitches and continue with "Knitting the Foot" below.

Turning the Heel: Size Medium

  • Slip 1, knit 3, SSK, knit 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, P2tog, purl 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, SSK, knit 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, P2tog, purl 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, SSK, knit 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, P2tog, purl 1, turn.
  • Knit 1, knit 2 together. 2 stitches remain. Continue with "Knitting the Foot" below.

Turning the Heel: Size Large

  • Slip 1, knit 4, SSK, knit 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, purl 1, P2tog, purl 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, knit 2, SSK, knit 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, purl 3, P2tog, purl 1, turn.
  • Slip 1, knit 4, SSK. 6 stitches remain. Continue with "Knitting the Foot" below.

Knitting the Foot

Pick up stitches along side of heel flap. Knit across the leg stitches, then pick up stitches along the other side of the heel flap with an empty needle. Knit 1 (1, 3) stitches from heel turn onto this needle. The back of the heel is now the end of the round.

  1. Next round, knit to within 3 stitches of the end of needle 1, SSK, knit 1. Knit straight across needle 2, knit 1, knit 2 together, knit to end of round.
  2. Knit next round. Repeat these 2 rounds until 12 (18, 22) stitches remain.
  3. Work even until foot measures about 2 (2.7, 3.25) inches long.
  4. Size small: SSK, knit 2, K2tog, SSK, knit 2, K2tog. 8 stitches remain. Cut yarn, thread onto sewing needle, slide stitches onto needle and pull tight.
  5. Other sizes, work to within 3 stitches of end of needle 1, SSK, knit 1. On needle 2, knit 1, K2tog, knit to within 3 stitches of end of needle, SSK, knit 1. On needle 3, knit 1, K2tog, knit to end. 14 (18) stitches remain.
  6. Knit the next round.
  7. Repeat these 2 rows once more for size medium and twice more for size large. 10 stitches remain. Cut yarn, thread onto sewing needle, slide stitches onto needle and pull tight.

Make a second sock in the same way.

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