I have cold feet today.
It’s my fault, since I’m running around barefoot—but I can’t bear to put socks on. A few days of sunshine, a little birdsong, and talk of planting a garden have swept me into springtime.
Just in time for a March blizzard, of course.
But that’s okay—spring fever is keeping me warm.
My German host family was always horrified to see my “nackte Füße” (naked feet) when I skipped socks. My own mother, however, is no longer surprised.
Still, Mom is smarter—and since she appreciates warm feet, it’s always worthwhile to knit socks for her. I made this heavy pair to warm her feet this winter.
I searched for a pattern to make thick, worsted-weight socks, but I couldn’t find a design that suited this yarn. So, I pulled out the pattern for Mom’s old favorite socks (from this book) and adapted its sizing for a stockinette design.
This simple, smooth texture shows off the rugged colors in the yarn, which looks as warm as it feels. The stockinette pattern also isn’t disrupted by the rough striping.
Simple Stockinette Socks
- Worsted-weight yarn, about 250 yd (230 m)
- Four size 5 (3.75 mm) double-pointed needles, or size to obtain gauge
Gauge: 22 sts and 30 rows = 4″ (10 cm)
CO 48 sts and distribute over 3 double-pointed needles.
Work k1, p1 ribbing in the round until cuff measures 1 ½” (4 cm).
Then work stockinette st (knit every round) until piece measures 7 ½” (19 cm).
To begin the heel flap, k 12, then turn.
Row 1: Sl 1, p 23.
Row 2: Sl 1, k 23.
Repeat these 2 rows 7 times, or to desired height of heel flap.
To turn the heel, sl 1, p 14, p2tog.
Row 1: Sl 1, k 6, ssk.
Row 2: Sl 1, p 6, p2tog.
Repeat these 2 rows until all heel sts have been worked, ending with row 1 (8 sts).
For the gusset, pick up and knit sts along edge of heel flap (pick up in sts from both the heel and instep in the row below to avoid a gap). Knit across instep, pick up and knit sts along other edge of heel flap, then 4 sts from the first needle.
Now all rounds begin at the center of the sole. Position all instep sts on one needle.
Row 1: K to last 3 sts on the first needle, ssk, k1. K to last needle, k1, k2tog, k to end of round.
Row 2: K around.
Repeat these 2 rows until 48 sts remain.
Continue knitting every round until within 2” of desired foot length. I knitted 4.75” (12 cm) from the pick up round.
To shape the toe, k to last 3 sts on the first needle, ssk, k1, k2tog, work to last 3 sts on second needle, ssk, k1, k2tog, k to end.
Then knit one round.
Repeat, decreasing every other round until 20 sts remain.
This pattern is also a great template for improvisation. It’s equally simple to knit another stitch pattern over the leg and instep stitches.
And whether you’re ready for spring or not, these thick socks are a great way to stay warm until the cold earth thaws again.