7 Sock Patterns for Bringing Socks-y Back

A few weeks ago, right before Halloween, we had our first major snow here in Colorado. It’s time to bust out the snow boots, and you know what that means? After months and months of annoyingly pleasant warm weather, it is finally—FINALLY—handknit sock season again. Huzzah! Time to bust out all the cozy foot-sweaters that have been waiting in the back of your drawer.

Here are 7 kinds of sock patterns to whet your appetite and give your tootsies some warm, wooly lovin’.

1. Classic Cables

Just swap a couple of stitches around, and voilá! You’ve added a gorgeous cable to your socks. Cables are classic and are suitable for nearly everyone; they defy masculine/feminine classification. I have yet to meet someone who dislikes cables!

sock patterns

Cables are perfect for men’s sock patterns; they add interest without making the socks too fussy or feminine. These are the Two Cables Socks.

2. Lovely Lace

Lace is my favorite stitch design for sock patterns. It’s usually easy to memorize and adds just a little bit of challenge to the project. I also feel like lace goes faster than other stitch patterns; throwing in a few yarnovers and decreases is quicker than futzing around with a cable needle.

sock patterns

The Mansalu Socks are an example of how pretty lace socks can be.

3. Creative Colorwork

Stranded colorwork can be tricky with socks; the floats on the inside can make the sock less stretchy, which can result in socks that don’t go on your feet. To avoid this, be sure to give your stitches lots of breathing room so the foot of the sock doesn’t end up too small; use larger needles if necessary. Also, look for sock patterns that limit the colorwork to the cuff, which doesn’t need to be as stretchy as the foot section.

sock patterns

With colorwork only on the leg, the Oak + Acorn Socks are an easy introduction to stranded colorwork socks.

4. Tantalizing Texture

If you’re looking for a sock pattern that’s more than just stockinette stitch, but doesn’t require a chart, check out textured patterns. No charts to keep track of, no special equipment or techniques, just simple knits and purls.

sock patterns

A simple texture pattern, like that used on the Crestwood Socks, adds just a nice detail to otherwise simple socks.

5. Back to Basics

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make plain vanilla socks! If you’re over your usual easy sock pattern, try working them from the other direction: If you usually work your socks cuff-down, experiment with toe-up socks, or vice versa. It’s always good to have multiple methods in your sock-knitting arsenal.

sock patterns

The Up + Down Socks include directions for working from the toe-up or from the cuff-down.

6. Handsome Handpaints

So much handpainted yarn, so few sock patterns that really celebrate its glorious multicoloredness. Look for patterns that combine handpainted yarns with solid colors to show off the stunning colorways. Or try slip-stitch patterns to really make the bold colors sing.

sock patterns

Using both slipped stitches and a solid contrasting color, the Slippery Slope Socks work brilliantly with handpainted yarns.

7. Clever Construction

Want to try a new technique without committing to a huge project? A sock is just the thing! Whether it’s working intarsia in the round or learning entrelac, a sock is a great small-scale way to try out a new way to knit.

sock patterns

The Cube Socks look super challenging, but use an ingenious method to make working intarsia in the round simple.


What’s your favorite type of sock pattern?

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