The quest of the sock

Suzie Blackman
Thursday, 31 March 2011

My quest for the perfect-fitting sock pattern may have come to an end, quite by accident. After previously following two generic sock patterns, I had a go at Knitmore Girls Vanilla Sock by Jasmin Canty.

What’s good about this pattern: It’s well written; it’s written for circular needles; it has variations included in the pattern.

What’s not so good about this pattern: It makes TINY socks.

I don’t know if my gauge was tighter than suggested, I didn’t measure so I can’t blame the pattern, but for my tastes, my gauge was right for socks with this yarn (the recommended Regia sock).

I unravelled and decided to make it up as I went along. I ended up with my best-fitting pair of socks so far. I ended up casting on 12 stitches more than the original pattern.

My new socks (sorry about the photo, it was dark and I didn't have a tripod)

Here is the recipe (assumes familiarity with sock techniques):

  1. With 2.25mm needles, loosely CO 68 sts (next time I might CO 72 as the socks are a little tight)
  2. Work a ribbed cuff to desired length (about 1 1/2 inches).
  3. Work stocking stitch until total cuff measures 7 inches.
  4. Work heel extension on half the stitches, slipping alternate stitches on the knit side, until heel measures 2 1/4 inches (could go to 2 1/2 inches).
  5. Heel shaping: Start with ws row, work until 14 sts on needle, p2tog,p1, turn. Do the reverse on the knit sides and continue until edge stitches are reached
  6. Pick up and knit 19 sts along heel extension edge and M1 at corners.
  7. Decrease on alternate rows back to 68 sts.
  8. Start decreasing for toe 1 1/2 inches before the end, decrease 1 st fromthe end on each side on alternate rows until 14 sts.
  9. Kitchener ends together.

Now that I’ve cracked it, I see many more comfy socks on the horizon.

The author

Suzie Blackman

The dyer, designer, photographer, creative technologist and maker-of-things behind It's a Stitch Up. She lives in East London in a home filled with colour, fluff and house plants.


  1. mooncalf says:

    it is so cool to see these socks together!

    I’ve got my own secret sock recipe now that I can follow without much thought. I think it is a milestone on the road of the sock knitter.

  2. Jessica says:

    Lovely socks, and pretty colours too. Socks are somewhere on my list of things to knit ‘someday’, probably for my dad. But maybe it would be a good idea to practice on myself too, my foot is always with me for trying on!

    • Suzie says:

      Having my own foot handy has been really useful in not finishing an entire pair of socks and realising they wont fit over the heel. Definitely make some for yourself first!

  3. Kristen says:

    If you ever want to have a go at toe-up socks (my favourite method!) I’ve followed the Toe-up Sock Pattern Generator a few times and highly recommend it! It takes your gauge and your size and generates the pattern for you, plus its actually pretty simple. Loving those socks of yours, the striping/colouring is great!

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