Striped short socks - Free recipe

I wanted to see how big a pair of socks I could get from a single set of 10g minis (so 50g of yarn) - I have UK size 8 feet, so not exactly small, but I managed a pair of ankle socks. So here is the basic recipe I used... all you need is your gauge, then adjust the number of stitches you need to cast on. Although I have big feet and i'm large in size, I actually have rather slim ankles, so I've included as much info on my sizing as possible, so that the recipe will be easily adapted for your sizing. 

This is intended as a recipe and not a pattern - it has not been test knitted although it has been edited and checked for errors. It is a basic top down pattern, and for tutorials and information of heel flaps, picking up stitches, and decreasing toes can be found across the internet. 

NOTES ON SIZE: Using my gauge and my ankle circumference I need 65sts, in order to turn my heel and work the toes I need an even number. I work loose so I size down and cast on 64sts.

26/2 = 13 x 5 = 65

When working the heel you use half of the cast on stitches, and when turning the heel you should use an increment of 1 stitch more or less for the highlighted number in Row 1 for each 4 stitches below or above 64sts (so if you cast on 68sts, k18, 56 sts k15 )

Short striped socks

Gauge: 2cm / 2cm = 5sts to 9 rows

My ankle circumference: 26cm

Cast on 64sts using 2.25mm needle 

Using 5 colours (A, B, C, D,E)

Using colour A cast on 64sts, join and place stitch marker to mark the start of the round. 

Row 1: k all sts

Repeat Row 1 8 more times 

At the start of the next row (9) switch to colour B 

Knit 9 rows

At the start of the next row switch to colour C

Knit 7 rows

Row 9 of colour C: Knit half of the number of stitches you cast on (mine is 32) place a second marker, knit all remaining stitches until 1st marker. Break off colour C. 

Using colour D

Heel Flap:

Knit to the second marker and turn. You will now be working the heel flap across these 32 stitches. I use a small circular, and i leave the 32 stitches not being worked on the circular and use DPNs for the heel flap. 

Row 1: Slp, purl to the end of the row. 

Row 2: Slp, k2, *k1, slp* - repeat ** until the last 3 stitches, k3. 

Row 3: Sllp, k2 stitches, purl until the last 3 stitches, k3. 

Repeat Row 2 and 3 of the heel flap, 14 more times. 

Work Row 2 a final time. 

Turning the heel:

Row 1: Slp1, p17, p2tog, p1

Row 2: Slp1, k5, ssk, k1

Row 3: Slp1, p6, p2tog, p1

Row 4: Slp1, k7, ssk, k1

Row 5: Slp1, p8, p2tog, p1

Continue working Row 2 and 3, increasing the numbers in red by one, until you get to the end of the row and have 17 stitches on your needle.

Creating the gusset:

Using colour D pick up and knit 16 stitches along the side of the heel flap,  Place a marker X, knit across the 32 stitches left on the circular needle, place a marker Y, pick up and knit 16 stitches across the next side of the heel flap, knit 17 stitches across the heel flap, place marker Z. 

I now have 3 markers, one for the beginning of a round (Z), and the two (X,Y) to mark the decreases and sides of the foot. 

Gusset decreases:

Row 1: Knit until the 3 sts before marker X, k2tog, k1, slm, k until marker Y, sm, k1, ssk, k to marker Z. 

Row 2: Knit all sts, slipping markers as you work. 

Repeat Row 1 and 2 - 3 more times. 

Work Row 1 until Marker X, slip marker, stop working with Colour D and join colour E, continue Row 1 using colour E.

Attach colour A and work as above until you have 32 stitches between stitch markers X and Y. You have now decreased and it is time to work the length of the foot. Stitch marker X will now marker the start of a round. You can remove stitch marker Z, but keep Y as you will use it to decrease on the toe. 

Knit one more row using colour A. 


Attach colour B after stitch marker X - knit 9 rows

*** Length of the foot - I have a size UK 8 so need the total length of my sock to be around 27cm - each 9 row stripe is approx 2cm ***

Attach colour C - knit 9 rows

Continue to knit in colour blocks of 9 rows, until you reach 4cm before the total length needed. (23cm for me)

Working the toe:

Using the final colour in your sequence:

Row 1: k1, ssk, k to 3 sts before marker y, k2tog, k1, sm, k1, ssk, k to 3 sts before marker X, k2tog, k1

Row 2: k all sts

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until 10 sts remain between each marker. 

Kitchener stitch the remaining stitches together. 


k - knit

p - purl

sts - stitches

slp - slip one purlwise

k2tog - knit two stitches together

p2tog - purl two stitches together

ssk - slip slip knit

sm - slip marker



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