Pattern of the Week: The Herringbone Rib Socks

Do you need a knitting palate cleanser after the holidays? Are you ready for some simple knit socks with just enough detail to keep you interested? Did you receive some gorgeous hand-painted sock yarn as a gift but aren’t sure what to do with it? This pattern using a knit herringbone stitch might be just the thing for you!

The Herringbone Rib Socks use a combination of slipped stitches and decreases to create the unique textured pattern. It’s an easy stitch pattern to work but lends a very distinctive style to these socks. Also very important for a pair of socks: the pattern repeat only has two rows, so it’s easy to memorize—ideal for when you’re trying to knit socks on the go and don’t want to carry a pattern around! The knit herringbone stitch alternates with sections of purled stitches to create a sort of rib; this makes the socks extra stretchy to create a comfortable, snug fit around your feet.

The herringbone stitch pattern is great for handpainted yarns because the slipped stitches break up the strips of color and add a layer of depth and interest to the design. It can tame even the wildest rainbow yarn into subdued yet colorful socks. It’s also great for the masculine folk in your life. Herringbone is a traditional textile pattern commonly associated with tweed suits, and it lends a classic feel to these socks, making them interesting without being too fussy or feminine. Make them in a tasteful tweed or neutral tonal yarn to share with the sporting chap in your life.


Whether you make them in a bright multicolored yarn or a simple gray yarn, these socks are sure to add a bounce to your step. Or knit them in a variety of colors and wear them according to your mood: rainbow socks for days you need a boost, calmer tweed socks for the days when you’re feeling more grown-up. Knit herringbone stitch works for all occasions!

Pattern Details

FINISHED SIZE About 7½ (9)” (19 [23] cm) foot circumference and 8½ (10)” (21.5 [25.5] cm) long from back of heel to tip of toe.

YARN Fingering weight (Super Fine #1).

NEEDLES  U.S. size 1.5 (2.5mm): set of 4 double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needles size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

NOTIONS  Marker (m); tapestry needle.

GAUGE  14 stitches and 22 rounds = 2″ (5 cm) in stockinette stitch worked in the round.

This pattern of the week has been brought to you by Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol J. Sulcoski. Photography by Joe Coca.

The Herringbone Stitch Will Make Your Project Shine – Get After It!

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