However, the downside of being a sock knitter is that unless you wear your socks with sandals or see-through boots like these ones, it's much harder to recognise you than, say, someone who knits hats.
So, to solve the problem, it's been suggested that Sockalongers meeting up should wear something recognisable. I think it's best to avoid any cliches of red carnations and The Guardian newspaper so my contribution to the discussion is ... of course ... a tiny sock. A teeny tiny sock that could be worn either as a brooch, attached to a bag as a charm or perhaps even become a keyring. Or for whatever other use you can think of. (I think it's quite Christmassy so could imagine it as a decoration, although it's a bit too tiny to put gifts in.) And ta-dah ... here it is!
It really is rather teeny tiny, just 6 1/2 cm from cuff to toe ...
which makes it a great size to wear without looking like you're ... well ... wearing a sock!
Oh, I do like this little sock! It's a bit big for a Barbie and a bit small for the cat (who wouldn't thank me for trying it on him anyway) but just right what I had in mind. It also wasn't nearly as fiddly as I expected it be, which I'm sure you will be very relieved about!
I've enjoyed watching how it's evolved from really too tiny to nearly right to being just how I wanted it to be. It's taken a few incarnations, as you can see, but I'm really very pleased with it!
and as you know, socks always come in pairs! The one on the left was knitted with a long circular needle and the one on the right with DPNs; obviously I knit more tightly with a long circular as the pattern is exactly the same!
Now, I'm sure you can think of plenty of better ways to display your teeny tiny socks than hastily pinning them on whilst persuading your daughter to take photos, but just so that you can get an idea of the size of them, you can wear them as single socks ...
or as a pair ...
or attach one or more of them to your bag.
At this point, it's important for me to say that whether you are meeting up with Sockalongers or not, it is in no way obligatory for you to have a teeny tiny sock to belong to the Sockalong, and neither it is obligatory for said sock, should you wish to make one, to be knitted. I have simply suggested that a teeny tiny sock would be a good symbol for Sockalongers to recognise each other, and if you wanted to crochet one, felt one, model one from clay or make one in another way - that's absolutely fine by me, as is whether you want to wear one or not!
I created this sock as a top-down sock, just like the Sockalong sock, but instead of a heel flap I have used a short row heel so there's no picking up of stitches or gussets to deal with. I decided that with a sock this small, it would be Beyond Fiddly and life's just too short for that kind of thing. I used the no wrap, no gap method rather than attempting to wrap and turn - I've recently discovered this method of creating short row heels and like it very much. You can read more about it here. The other good thing, as you will have already realised, is that there is no need for a tension swatch and no worrying about whether it's going to fit perfectly. It will be perfect just as you knit it!
So, would you like the pattern, then? OK, here goes!
You will need:
1 set of size 2.5mm DPNs or 1 circular needle (I used my 80cm one)
spare 4ply yarn
I made my first sock with DPNs so we'll start with those first. You only need 4 DPNs to make this sock.
Cast on 16 stitches and knit in K1, P1 rib for two rows. I always cast on and knit my first two rows on straight needles before joining into the round because I think it's much easier to do it that way. You can get a reminder of how to do this here.
Split your stitches across three of the needles - 5 on needle 1, 5 on needle 2 and 6 on needle 3.
Knit each round for the next 10 rounds, then you're ready to start the heel. You're going to work on the next 8 stitches, and you'll find it's easiest to slip the other 8 stitches onto a safety pin rather than try to keep the DPN in place.
Row 1: Sl1 purlwise, K6, leave 1 stitch on needle, turn
Row 2: Sl1 purlwise, P5, leave 1 stitch on needle, turn
Row 3: Sl1 purlwise, K4, leave 2 stitches on needle, turn
Row 4: Sl1 purlwise, P3, leave 2 stitches on needle, turn
Row 5: Sl1 purlwise, K2, leave 3 stitches on needle, turn
Row 6: Sl1 purlwise, P1, leave 3 stitches on needle, turn
You should have 3 "side" stitches on each needle (circled in this picture) and 2 stitches at the "top" of the heel.
Now we are going to create the rest of the heel. This might look complicated but if you follow the instructions you'll find that it all works!
Row 7: Sl1 purlwise, K1, sl1 purlwise, pick up bar between slipped stitch and next stitch on left hand needle (shown by the wool needle) ...
place on right hand needle and k2tog through back of stitches, turn
Row 8: Sl 1 purlwise, P2, sl1 purlwise, pick up bar between slipped stitch and next stitch on left hand needle (shown by the wool needle) ...
place on right hand needle and p2tog, turn
Row 9: Sl 1 purlwise, K3, sl1 purlwise, pick up bar between slipped stitch and next stitch on left hand needle, place on right hand needle and k2tog through back of stitches, turn
Row 10: Sl 1 purlwise, P4, sl1 purlwise, pick up bar between slipped stitch and next stitch on left hand needle, place on right hand needle and p2tog, turn
Row 11: Sl1 purlwise, K6, turn ** this is deliberate, I haven’t missed anything out! **
Row 12: Sl1 purwise, P7, turn
Row 13: K8
This is what your heel will look like.
Now we're going to join the rest of the stitches back in to complete the foot.
You have 8 stitches on your needle. Counting from the right, you want to leave 5 of those stitches on that needle, slip the next three off onto a new needle and then add another two from the safety pin and finally slip the rest of the stitches on the safety pin back onto another DPN. This will give you 5, 5 and 6 stitches split across your needle again. The start of the round will be at the end of the 5 heel stitches.
Knit 8 rounds.
Your sock will now look like this:
You're going to start the toe decreases from the next stitch as follows:
Round 1: SSK, K4, K2tog, SSK, K4, K2tog
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: SSK, K2, K2tog, SSK, K2, K2tog
Leave a tail of about 5-10 cm to finish off your toes. Thread the yarn onto the wool needle, then slip the stitches off the needles onto the wool needle ...
and draw the yarn through stitches, pulling them tight.
Fasten off your yarn by putting the needle back into one or two stitches first to hold it secure, then weave the end into your sock.
And that's all there is to it! Easy, eh?
Want to knit with a long circular? No problem!
The loop will be very big but it's not unmanageable. You can cast on and join into the round as you would do with a normal-sized sock - if you need a reminder you can get one here.
When it comes to the heel, you can just leave your spare stitches safely on the cable.
And when you need to create your toes then your needles are already in the right position.
Want to knit with a short circular? Now, that's not so easy. I did try just so that I could say that I'd done it, and it is possible - just about - but not with anything shorter than a 30cm needle. I didn't find it very comfortable, I have to say, and soon swapped back to DPNs. You can see here just how small the loops are.
So there you have it - one teeny tiny sock for the wearing of! If you want to add your sock to the Ravelry gallery, the link is here. I love it that people are meeting up and hope to meet some of you up at Yarndale in September. You should recognise me - I'll be wearing my teeny tiny socks, although not on my feet!
This sock pattern is free and will always remain so, but if you have enjoyed using it and would like to make a donation towards future projects, it will be gratefully received! You can find the donation button on the sidebar on the left hand side. Thank you! xx