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Worsted Cabled Socks

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Worsted Cable Socks on Feet

The Worsted Cable Socks on feet. (enlarge image)

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

Quick Socks:

Socks are a lot of fun to knit, but they can be time consuming when you use a fine-gauge yarn. These Worsted Cable Socks eliminate that problem because they are worked with a thicker (medium weight) yarn on larger (size 6 US) knitting needles than are commonly used for socks.

You might not feel comfortable wearing these socks with regular shoes (though I didn't have a problem), but they're great for wearing with boots or just slipping on in place of slippers on a lazy day around the house.

The sock features a simple cable across the center front of the sock and another cable on the center back of the leg.

Materials:

  • about 175 yards of medium weight wool yarn (I used Naturally Alpine Aran 10 ply in shade 2005)
  • set of four or five size 6 US (4 mm) knitting needles
  • a smaller double-pointed needle or a cable needle
  • scissors and yarn needle

Gauge:

19 stitches and 27 rows per 4 inches (4.75 stitches and 6.75 rows per inch) in Stockinette Stitch in the round.

Size:

Finished sock is about 8 inches around the leg, 6 inches from cuff to heel, 8.5 inches from back of heel to end of toes, and about 7.5 inches around foot, unstretched. To fit an average sized woman.

Beginning the Sock:

  1. Cast on 40 stitches. Divide onto 3 or 4 double-pointed needles, depending on how many you are using. Join in round, being careful not to twist. Place a stitch marker to mark the end of the round, if desired.
  2. Work in knit 1, purl 1 ribbing for 2 inches.
  3. Next round, purl 6, knit 8, purl 12, knit 8, purl 6.
  4. Repeat three more times.
  5. Next round, Purl 6, slip 4 stitches onto cable needle and hold in front, knit 4, knit 4 from cable needle, purl 12, repeat cable, purl 6.
  6. Repeat these 5 rounds 4 more times, or as many times as desired for the leg length of your choice.

Heel Flap and Turning:

  1. Work across the first 20 stitches as established, then begin working the second 20 stitches back and forth as follows:
    • Row 1: *slip 1, purl 1. Repeat form * across.
    • Row 2: slip 1, knit across.
  2. Repeat those 2 rows until 20 rows have been worked.
  3. Next row, purl 12, purl 2 together, purl 1, turn.
  4. Slip 1, knit 5, slip, slip, knit, knit 1, turn.
  5. Slip 1, purl 6, p2tog, purl 1, turn.
  6. Slip 1, knit 7, ssk, knit 1, turn.
  7. Slip 1, purl 8, p2tog, purl 1, turn.
  8. Slip 1, knit 9, ssk, knit 1, turn.
  9. Slip 1, purl 9, p2tog, turn.
  10. Slip 1, knit 9, ssk, turn.
  11. Slip 1, purl 8, p2tog. 10 stitches remain.

Shaping the Foot:

  1. Pick up and knit 10 slipped stitches along heel flap onto a new needle. Work across the front of the foot as established (P6, K8, P6, remember, this is round 2). On a new needle, pick up and knit 10 stitches along second side of heel flap, then work first 5 remaining heel stitches onto this needle. Slip the other 5 stitches onto the first needle with the heel flap stitches. The middle of the foot is now the end of the round.
  2. Knit to the last 3 stitches on the first needle, k2tog, knit 1. Work across top of foot as established, then knit 1, ssk, knit across the other side of the bottom of the foot.
  • Work the next round as established, with Stockinette Stitch on the bottom of the foot and continuing the cable pattern on the top of the foot.
  • Repeat these two rounds until 20 stitches remain, then work straight without decreasing until piece measures about 6.5 inches from the back of the heel, or length of your choice (toe shaping takes 2 inches).
  • Shaping the Toe:

    1. Next round, knit to within 3 stitches of the end of the first needle, k2tog, knit 1. Knit 1, ssk, knit to within 3 stitches of end of the front of leg stitches, k2tog, knit 1. Knit 1, ssk, knit to end of round.
    2. Next round, knit.
    3. Repeat these 2 rounds until 20 stitches remain, then work just the decrease round every round until 12 stitches remain.
    4. Work across the second half of the bottom of the foot again and put the remaining stitches onto 2 needles.
    5. Graft the toe using Kitchener stitch.

    The Second Sock:

    You can make the second sock in exactly the same way, or, if you like, you can change the direction the cable crosses by holding the cable needle to the back instead of to the front when you make the cables. This will produce a fraternal pair of socks, but it's a fun look.

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