Free knitting pattern – men’s rib and cable sock

I wrote this pattern and subsequently knitted these socks for my girlfriend Lucy’s dad, Paul. His 60th birthday was last September and finally I have gotten around to pulling the pattern together and putting it up here! But I’m actually pretty gutted that I didn’t sort this out before I gave them away, because now I’m left with photos I don’t really like but can’t retake. So please forgive the images in this one and try to trust me – these are actually nice.

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At the bottom of this post is the pattern, for a classic ribbed sock with a little mock-cable detail running the full length of the outside. I like to think they’re a little more sophisticated than your average handknit sock, which too often look like you’re either going to wear them to bed or on a hike. These were designed for a man who I’ve never seen wear trainers, or even slippers; so I was aiming for a sock that looked handmade and cozy, but wouldn’t be ridiculous if he put them on with Churches’. Therefore I went and chose yarn first and designed the pattern around that.

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This Uncommon Thread Tough Sock yarn is lovely, it’s hand dyed to a tremendously civilised shade of charcoal. There is just enough deviation in tone to make it look unique and hand crafted, but not so much to tip the scales to rustic. Indie, not hippy.

Unfortunately it’s also expensive – £21 per 100g skein. Which I bought under the illusion that I would only need a single skein and therefore might as well buy the good stuff, but the first sock took up around two thirds of that so I was soon back at the till at Loop. (The leftover should be easy to find a home for though, given that it’s superwash I think it’ll make lovely baby socks for giving away to my many breeding friends.)

In the end I was really pleased with them! They looked professional and tasteful and that ticked all the boxes. And they were very well received, although Lucy made him a proper pair of completely bespoke leather shoes, from scratch, so that pretty much blew me out of the water. Honestly, they were insane, and please don’t underestimate my abounding pride… but I basically could’ve just bought him a box of Quality Street and saved myself the time.

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She really is a testament to what you can learn off of the internet. There are so many talented people out there keen to share what are arguably rare and dying skills, so no matter how ludicrous your dream of throwing pots in your bedsit or soldering metalwork with zero formal training may seem – don’t write it off!

(She’s working on a little tiny kids’ pair now, which are on their way to being crushingly adorable. I’ll think they’ll deserve a whole post of their own.)

 

 

Sock pattern:

Cast on 90sts using the long tail method. 2mm needles.

 

Left sock:

Leg:

Knit in 1×1 rib until work measures 3.5cm from start.

Change to 2.5mm needles.

Round 1:            K5, p1, (k3, p1) to end.

r2:            (K2tog and k into 1st st again before slipping both off needle) x2, k1, p1, (k3, p1) to end.

r3:            as round 1

r4:            K1, (k2tog and k into 1st st again before slipping both off needle) x2, p1, (k3, p1) to end.

Rounds 1-4 form the stitch repeat for the legs, continue until work measures 20cm from start, ending on round 4.

 

Heel flap:

K5, p1, k1, (sl 1 st with yarn in back, k1) x22, turn.

Sl 1st st, p43, turn.

These 44 stitches form heel flap.

Right side row: (sl 1 st with yarn in back, k1) to end.

Wrong side row: sl 1 st, p to end.

Repeat these two rows until heel flap measures 6.5cm.

 

Turning the heel:

Row 1:            Knit 24sts, ssk, k1, turn.

r2:            Slip 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.

r3:            Slip 1, knit to one stitch before gap (the slipped stitch from previous row),, ssk to close gap, k1, turn.

r4:            Slip 1, purl to one stitch before gap (the slipped stitch from previous row),, p2tog to close gap, p1 turn.

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until all sts have been worked. (24sts)

 

Gusset:

Knit 24sts of heel, pick up and knit 24sts along the left side of heel flap, k46sts of instep (keeping rib and travelling stitch pattern repeat), pick up and knit 24sts along left side of heel flap (118sts)

Place the marker here for the start of the round.

Round 1:            K46, k2tog, k1, (p1, k3) x9, p1, (K2tog and k into 1st st again before slipping both off needle) x2, k1, p1, k1, sl1 k1 psso, k23

r2:            k48, (p1, k3) x9, p1, k5, p1, k25

r3:            k45, k2tog, k1, (p1, k3) x9, p1, K1, (k2tog and k into 1st st again before slipping both off needle) x2, p1, k1, sl1 k1 psso, k22

r4:             k47, k5, p1, (p1, k3) x9, p1, k24

r5:            K44, k2tog, k1, (p1, k3) x9, p1, (K2tog and k into 1st st again before slipping both off needle) x2, k1, p1, k1, sl1 k1 psso, k21

r6:            k46, k5, p1, (p1, k3) x9, p1, k23

Continue decreasing in this way, decreasing 1 stitch at each side of the gusset on every other row, until 90 stitches remain.

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Foot:

Continue working these 90 stitches, keeping rib and travelling stitch pattern correct, until the measurement from the back of the heel is 23cm (or 3.75cm less than the length of the foot of the intended wearer).

 

Toe shaping:

Add 2 stitch markers splitting the sock into halves, 45sts between markers.

r1:            knit along sole to 3sts from marker, k2tog, k1, (pass marker) k1, sl1 k1 psso, knit along instep to 3sts from marker, k2tog, k1, (pass marker) k1, sl1 k1 psso, k to end.

r2:            knit all sts

These 2 rounds form decreasing pattern, repeat until 23sts remain between markers, 46sts total. Ending on round 1/

Next round, as round 1.

Repeat round 1, decreasing every round, until there are only 15sts between markers, 30sts total.

 

Graft toes closed using Kitchener stitch.

 

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Right sock:

Leg:

Knit in 1×1 rib until work measures 3.5cm from start.

Change to 2.5mm needles.

Round 1:            (k3, p1) to last 6 sts, k5, p1.

r2:            (k3, p1) to last 6 sts, (k2tog and k into 1st st again before slipping both off needle) x2, k1, p1.

r3:            as round 1

r4:            (k3, p1) to last 6 sts, k1, (k2tog and k into 1st st again before slipping both off needle) x2, p1.

Rounds 1-4 form the stitch repeat for the legs, continue until work measures 20cm from start, ending on round 4.

 

Heel flap:

(K3, p1) x9, k2, (sl 1 st with yarn in back, k1) x22, turn.

Sl 1st st, p43, turn.

These 44 stitches form heel flap.

Right side row: (sl 1 st with yarn in back, k1) to end.

Wrong side row: sl 1 st, p to end.

Repeat these two rows until heel flap measures 6.5cm.

 

Turning the heel:

Row 1:            Knit 24sts, ssk, k1, turn.

r2:            Slip 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.

r3:            Slip 1, knit to one stitch before gap (the slipped stitch from previous row), ssk to close gap, k1, turn.

r4:            Slip 1, purl to one stitch before gap (the slipped stitch from previous row), p2tog to close gap, p1 turn.

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until all sts have been worked. (24sts)

 

Gusset:

Knit 24sts of heel, pick up and knit 24sts along the left side of heel flap, k46sts of instep (keeping rib and travelling stitch pattern repeat), pick up and knit 24sts along left side of heel flap (118sts)

Place the marker here for the start of the round.

Round 1:            K46, k2tog, k1, p1, (K2tog and k into 1st st again before slipping both off needle) x2, k1, (p1, k3) x9, p1, k1, sl1 k1 psso, k23

r2:            k48, p1, k5, (p1, k3) x9, p1, k25

r3:            k45, k2tog, k1, p1, K1, (k2tog and k into 1st st again before slipping both off needle) x2, (p1, k3) x9, p1, k1, sl1 k1 psso, k22

r4:             k47, p1, k5, (p1, k3) x9, p1, k24

r5:            K44, k2tog, k1, p1, (K2tog and k into 1st st again before slipping both off needle) x2, k1, (p1, k3) x9, , k1, sl1 k1 psso, k21

r6:            k46, k5, p1, (p1, k3) x9, p1, k23

Continue decreasing in this way, decreasing 1 stitch at each side of the gusset on every other row, until 90 stitches remain.

 

Foot:

Continue working these 90 stitches, keeping rib and travelling stitch pattern correct, until the measurement from the back of the heel is 23cm (or 3.75cm less than the length of the foot of the intended wearer).

 

Toe shaping:

Add 2 stitch markers splitting the sock into halves, 45sts between markers.

r1:            knit along sole to 3sts from marker, k2tog, k1, (pass marker) k1, sl1 k1 psso, knit along instep to 3sts from marker, k2tog, k1, (pass marker) k1, sl1 k1 psso, k to end.

r2:            knit all sts

These 2 rounds form decreasing pattern, repeat until 23sts remain between markers, 46sts total. Ending on round 1/

Next round, as round 1.

Repeat round 1, decreasing every round, until there are only 15sts between markers, 30sts total.

 

Graft toes closed using Kitchener stitch.

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