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Short Socks


Short Socks

Short Socks knit from one skein of yarn.

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

Shorty and Sweet:

These easy and quick to knit short socks are a great summer knitting project that you can use right away. Knit in a DK or light worsted yarn rather than the traditional super fine sock yarn, these socks can be finished in no time.

Given the right kind of yarn (and depending on the length of your feet), you can easily finish these socks with just one skein, potentially making them useful as a way to use up singles in your stash.

This pattern is written to illustrate knitting a sock at a time with two circular needles; if using double points, the stitch markers represent the end of each needle.


  • at least 150 yards of light weight yarn suitable for socks (mine were made with Plymouth Wildflower DK, which has been discontinued but is a cotton/acrylic blend)
  • two pairs of size 5 US circular knitting needles, any length (or a set of four or five double pointed needles, if you prefer)
  • two stitch markers, if using circular needles
  • scissors and yarn needle


24 stitches and 34 rows per 4 inches (6 stitches and 8.5 rows per inch) in Stockinette Stitch in the round.


To fit an average woman's foot; mine are almost 9 inches long and 8 inches around at widest part.

Knitting the Cuff and Heel Flap:

  1. Using one needle, cast on 48 stitches. Divide evenly onto two circular needles (or three or four double-pointed needles). Place a stitch marker if desired to mark end of round.
  2. Work two rows in knit 2, purl 2. ribbing.
  3. Using just one needle and 24 stitches, begin to work the heel flap as follows:
    • Row 1: *Slip 1, knit 1. Repeat from * across.
    • Row 2: Slip 1, purl remaining stitches.
  4. Repeat those 2 rows until 24 rows have been worked.

Turning the Heel:

Begin the heel turn on a right-side (knit) row.

  1. Slip 1, knit 13, slip, slip, knit, knit 1, turn the work.
  2. Slip 1, purl 5, purl 2 together, purl 1, turn.
  3. Slip 1, knit 6, ssk, knit 1, turn.
  4. Slip 1, purl 7, p2tog, purl 1, turn.
  5. Slip 1, knit 8, ssk, knit 1, turn.
  6. Slip 1, purl 9, p2tog, purl 1, turn.
  7. Slip 1, knit 10, ssk, knit 1, turn.
  8. Slip 1, purl 11, p2tog, turn.
  9. Slip 1, knit 12, ssk, turn.
  10. Slip 1, purl 12, p2tog.

Knitting the Gusset:

  1. Next row, knit the 14 remaining stitches. Using the same needle, pick up 12 stitches along the heel flap. Place a stitch marker and work 12 stitches of the leg (from the needle that's been hanging while you worked the heel) onto this needle.
  2. Work the remaining stitches of the leg, place marker, pick up 12 stitches along the heel flap and work 7 stitches from the heel onto this needle. Middle of heel is end of round.
  3. Work the gusset as follows:
    • Round 1: Knit to 3 stitches before 1st marker, k2tog, knit 1. Knit to 2nd marker, slip it, ssk, knit to end.
    • Round 2: Knit.
  4. Repeat these rounds until 48 stitches remain.

Knitting the Foot and Toe:

  1. Knit even until foot measures about 7 inches from back of heel, or to desired length (if you try the sock on it should hit the base of the big toe before you start toe shaping).
  2. Shape toe as follows:
    • Round 1: Knit to within 3 stitches of 1st marker, k2tog, knit 1, slip marker, knit 1, ssk, knit to within 3 stitches of 2nd marker, k2tog, knit 1, slip marker, knit 1, ssk, knit to end.
    • Round 2: Knit.
  3. Repeat these rounds until 24 stitches remain, then just round 1 until 12 stitches remain.
  4. Cut yarn, leaving a long tail and graft the toe closed.
  5. Make the second sock the same way.

Thoughts on Yarn:

Any kind of yarn can be used to make a sock, but the most successful sock yarns in terms of wear and durability often have a bit of nylon in them.

If you happen to have a ball of the yarn I used around, which is just 137 yards, you'll probably be sweating through the whole second sock, worrying that you'll run out of yarn. I had just a few yards left when my socks were finished. To make the knitting more pleasurable, choose a yarn with a slightly more generous yardage, or have two skeins on hand just in case, especially if you want to make your foot longer than the pattern suggests.

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