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Men’s Socks for Giving Away

These simple socks will warm the feet and heart of any recipient, but most especially of one whose gifts are few. Please consider making a pair for someone in your community who doesn't have much. You'll both be glad you did!

Materials

 

 

The Pattern

Gauge

6 1/2 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch

Finished Size

To fit average man's feet

8 1/2 inches in circumference and a variable length

 

The Cuff and Leg

With the Main Color (MC), cast on 56 stitches to three double pointed needles. (For help using double pointed needles please check out our Double Pointed Needles Tutorial).

Join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Round 1: *K1, p1, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Round 1 until ribbing measures 1 1/2 inches.

Knit every round until piece measures 2 1/2 inches from the cast on edge.

With the Contrast Color (CC), knit 3 rounds.

Carrying the yarn up the back of the work, change to the MC and knit 2 rounds.

Change to the CC and knit 5 rounds.

Change to the MC and knit 2 rounds.

Change to the CC and knit 3 rounds. Cut the CC yarn.

With the MC, knit until the piece measures 8 1/2 inches from the cast on edge.

The Heel Flap

Knit 14 stitches and turn the work so the purl side of the fabric is facing you.

Purl 28 stitches. (These 28 stitches are the beginning of the heel flap. For this section, you will be working back and forth on just these 28 stitches.)

Arrange the stitches so that the 28 heel flap stitches are on one needle. Put the remaining 28 stitches on hold on another needle.

Row 1 (right side): *Slip 1 purlwise, k1, repeat from * to end of 28 stitches.

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 purlwise, purl to end of 28 stitches.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 eight more times.

Repeat Row 1 one more time.

With the CC and while carrying the MC yarn up the side of the heel flap, repeat Rows 2 and 1 three times.

Repeat Row 2 one more time.

 

Turning the Heel

Still using the CC yarn and working just the heel flap stitches:

Row 1 (right side): K16, ssk, k1, turn the work so the wrong side is facing you and there are 18 stitches on the left needle and 9 stitches on the right needle.

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 purlwise, p5, p2tog, p1, turn the work. (17 stitches on the left needle and 9 stitches on the right needle)

Row 3: Slip 1 purlwise, knit to 1 stitch before the gap, ssk (with the stitch before the gap and the stitch after the gap), k1, turn.

Row 4: Slip 1 purlwise, purl to 1 stitch before the gap, p2tog, p1, turn.

Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until all the heel stitches have been worked and 16 stitches remain on the needle. (For the last repeat, Row 3 will end with an ssk and Row 4 will end with p2tog.)

The Gusset

Knit across the 16 heel stitches. Cut the CC yarn.

With the MC (which you carried up the side of the heel) and the same needle (now called "needle #1"), pick up 15 stitches along the heel flap. (31 stitches)

With a new needle (needle #2), knit across the 28 stitches that have been on hold.

With another new needle (needle #3), pick up 15 stitches along the other side of the heel flap.

And, still with needle #3, knit 8 stitches from needle #1.

Now there are 23 stitches on needle #1, 28 stitches on needle #2 and 23 stitches on needle #3. Needle #1 is the beginning of the round (at the middle of the heel).

Round 1: Needle #1 - knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1. Needle #2 - knit all the stitches. Needle #3 - k1, ssk, knit to end.

Round 2: Knit.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until 56 total stitches remain.

NOTE: You now have 14 stitches on needle #1, 28 stitches on needle #2 and 14 stitches on needle #3. Keep the stitches arranged like this throughout the Foot section so that they will be properly situated for the Toe section!

The Foot

Knit evenly until the piece measures 2 inches less than the desired final length, measuring from the back edge of the heel.

Here's a guideline for men's shoe lengths (remember to knit the sock 2 inches shorter than the shoe length!):

   US size 9 shoe (European 42) = 10 1/2 inches

   US size 10 shoe (43) = 10 3/4 inches

   US size 11 shoe (44) = 11inches

   US size 12 shoe (45) = 11 1/2 inches

   US size 13 shoe (46) = 11 3/4 inches

I'm making socks to fit a size 10 shoe, so I knit the foot until it measures 8 3/4 inches.

The Toe

Cut the MC yarn and join the CC yarn.

Round 1: Needle #1 - knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1. Needle #2 - K1, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1. Needle #3 - k1, ssk, knit to end.

Round 2: Knit.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until 28 total stitches remain.

Then, repeat just Round 1 until 8 total stitches remain.

With Needle #3, knit the 2 stitches from Needle #1 so that there are 4 stitches on each of two needles.

Cut the yarn and graft the toe together using the Kitchener Stitch.

Weave in all the loose ends and block (they get really soft!).

Click here to add a comment

46 Responses to Men’s Socks for Giving Away


  1. mags says:

    Nice pattern, but why would you ever make socks out of yarn that is not washable? How about posting an alternative yarn to use?

  2. dgs says:

    these are adorable and i love the sentiment! i will definitely be making these for those who need them this fall and winter…

    thanks for all your great patterns!

  3. purl bee says:

    Hi Mags,
    This yarn, Kersti from Koigu is washable and dryable in the machine as is the regular (fingering weight) Koigu.

  4. cmjsousa@westnet.com.au says:

    Hi, I would love to be part of your give away, unfortunally I can not knit socks, my mum used to knit us everything but she passed away when I was 16, I have tried so many times to knit with 4 needles but it just doesn’t happen, I can do things with circular needles, maybe I can knit these socks with them ?? I have also had my sister say to me why knit socks when they are cheaper to buy them….Sorry but nothing beats the warmth. I have made dolls recently for the children that don’t have any toys to play with in Africa

  5. Rachel says:

    This is such a great idea, thank-you for sharing the pattern and the gift of giving. I’ll be linking to this and passing along the suggestion of giving to those who are in need.

  6. Andrea says:

    Is there any way to re-size this pattern for a woman’s foot size?

  7. Alison says:

    I love the way these socks turned out and will add them to my “to knit” list for my husband. Thank you. I have made lots of socks out of Koigu and always wash and dry them in conventional machines. They last and come out perfect.

  8. tamara says:

    These are just gorgeous, I love the colours too, might have to give these a go, I have to admit i am frightened of the four needle thing!

  9. P says:

    Just to clarify, do you use four (4) skeins of yarn? The yarn listed is $14.50 a skein, right? $60 socks? I’m a beginning knitter, but am in awe of the cost if this is correct.

  10. purl bee says:

    Hi P,
    Yes you are correct. The socks can be made with 3 skeins, but then you wouldn’t have the stripe. You can also use any yarn that is a dk weight as long as you get enough yardage (appx 350 yards). There are many less expensive yarns out there.

  11. prettypennydesigns says:

    I was just thinking it was getting to be sock knitting season, thanks for the pattern!

  12. Marcia says:

    To avoid the jump you get when you make a stripe: At the end of the first row of a new color, (when you are beginning the second row), lift the stitch below the first stitch of the second row onto your left needle, knit it and the first stitch together. It makes for a seamless join. Love the sock pattern design. They are wonderful. Thanks for sharing so many great ideas on this site.

  13. Mimi says:

    Knitting socks is my favorite thing to do. Thanks for the step by step. I am eager to get started for our shelter in town.

  14. Penelope says:

    I took a sock knitting class several years ago, and not that I’ve made dozens of pairs, but just a couple, maybe the best tip that the instructor shared with us was to buy a second set of needles and start both socks at the same time—knit a little on this sock, then knit a little on sock 2—it seems to help that “just can’t get started on sock 2 after the first one is completed. I think its better known as S.S.S. (second sock syndrome) *smile* Thanks for all your patterns and great ideas—I love to open an email message from purl—-you make it fun!!!!!

  15. Mimi says:

    How clever of your instructor Penelope. Will definitely try on my next pair. I do think with the yarn I used they look a little big. Might try a #4 needle next time and experiment with a different yarn. If I could knit a pair a week that would make me happy however there are all those other projects to do.

    Thanks Purl.

  16. Lula Dahl says:

    Oh my. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with these directions. I can barely crochet a square or a rectangle much less knit.

  17. Jennifer says:

    When you get to the decrease for the toe, the patter states that you have 23 stitches on needle 1, 28 on needle 2, and 23 on needle 3. I’ve got 14 on 1, 28 on 2 and 14 on 3. I guess I am going to start decreasing with what I have and see what happens. Anyone else have this happen?

  18. Norma in NZ says:

    I’m so glad that I found this pattern. I’ve been thinking of knitting some socks to gift to the local resthome. Thanks for making this pattern available. Cheers!

  19. marianna says:

    im getting so frustrated/ why i cant solve this part?

    Turning the Heel
    (…)

    Row 3: Slip 1 purlwise, knit to 1 stitch before the gap, ssk (with the stitch before the gap and the stitch after the gap), k1, turn.
    and so on…

    is the gap the one in the middle, lets say between left part and right part of the same needle? im lost

  20. purl bee says:

    Hi Marianna,
    The gap is where you turned in the middle of the previous row, so one stitch will be before the turn and one stitch after. Please let us know if you need more help!

  21. marianna says:

    Following the instructions in english (my second language) i think sometimes makes me lost in translation. im gonna try and thank so much for yr help. you guys created such a beautiful site and community!!

  22. TAMMY says:

    Oh my they are lovely socks, but at $15 a skein, that makes them $60 to make and my pocket book is not that big! Could one try the pattern with some Red Heart heart and Sole sock yarn? Thanks for the beautiful web site. Its a pleasure to learn new things.

  23. purl bee says:

    Hi Tammy,
    Yes, you can use any yarn that you want, as long as it’s the correct gauge. This yarn is 22 stitches=4 inches on the label so look for something comparable, and then just make sure you have enough yardage.
    Good luck!

  24. A says:

    I am having a really hard time understanding this part of the heel flap:

    Row 1 (right side): *Slip 1 purlwise, k1, repeat from * to end of 28 stitches.

    Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 purlwise, purl to end of 28 stitches.

    is it right that the 28th stitch on the right side/first on the wrong side is always slipped, causing that one side to be shorter than the other and curved? i have a feeling it is wrong but I can’t figure out what I would be doing wrong as per the directions. for row two, after slipping, you purl all the way through, right? i have never knitted socks before so maybe i just don’t know the tricks but i just want to be sure i’m getting it right. thanks!

  25. Fknitter says:

    Hi, thank you so much for such great and easy instructions to make beautiful socks! Mine came out perfect even though it was the first pair I ever made! now after making a few pairs I was wondering if anyone could help me turn this pattern so that the sock would be in womens sizes? I would need help especially with how to work the heel once you have less stitches, in other words how many stitches to work with on the heel etc.

    Thank you again!

  26. ljane says:

    Hi! would love to make these for a woman- is that possible? what would be the conversion?

  27. purl bee says:

    Hi ljane,

    To make a woman's sock with this exact pattern you'd have to make quite a few changes. If you're an experienced sock knitter, it's a fun challenge. If not, you might be better off just changing the gauge. Here's how…

    Usually a woman's sock is about 7 1/2 inches in circumference, so you'd need to knit at a gauge that would end up that size, i.e. 7 1/2 stitches to the inch (56 stitches divided by 7 1/2 inches = 7 1/2 stitches to the inch). Once you've found the yarn and needles that together knit up to this gauge, you just follow the pattern as it's written!

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions and good luck!
    Whitney

  28. Claire says:

    These look so cozy! Awesome photos and great tutorial…Thanks!

    http://www.thesitsgirls.com/get-paid-blogging

  29. Christina says:

    Row 3: Slip 1 purlwise, knit to 1 stitch before the gap, ssk (with the stitch before the gap and the stitch after the gap), k1, turn.

    and then row 4 while turning the heel..

    I'm so confused. if you are on the right side of the work while knitting row three aren't you knitting away from, not towards, the gap in the row? do you knit towards the edge, turn and go back to the gap and then ssk? am I knitting in the wrong direction? this makes no sense to me.

  30. purl bee says:

    Hi Christina,

    There is a gap on each end of the Heel Flap, so on both the knit and the purl side you will eventually reach a gap. Also, just to make sure it's clear, the Heel Flap is knit back and forth, turning the work at the end of each row.

    I hope this helps. If not, please let me know and we'll work it out! Thanks for your question!

    Whitney

  31. Leslie says:

    Hi there,

    When you are making the heel flap and you S1 purlwise K1 on the first row, is your yarn in front or in back when you slip the stitch purlwise

    Thanks, Leslie

  32. purl bee says:

    Hi Leslie,

    The yarn is in back. Thanks for the great question and good luck!

    Whitney

  33. Kathy says:

    I'm having trouble with turning the heel:

    Row 1: K16, ssk, k1, turn the work so the wrong side is facing you and there are 18 stitches on the left needle and 9 stitches on the right needle.

    Row 2: Slip 1 purlwise, p5, p2tog, p1 turn the work. (17 stitches on the left needle and 9 stitches on the right needle)

    When I start Row 2, am I slipping the last k1 stitch from Row 1 and working my way back to the beginning?

  34. purl bee says:

    HI Kathy,

    Yes, you have it right, you do continue to work back and forth on just the heel flap stitches, turning the work between each row.

    But keep in mind that you don't actually knit all the back to the “beginning” of the row. Instead, you'll work part way across the row, following the instructions, and turn the piece to work back the other way (again not reaching the end of the row). You're actually knitting what are called “short rows” because they don't go from end to end.

    Thanks for your question and good luck!
    Whitney

  35. Kathy says:

    My next point of confusion has to do with the following step:

    Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until all the heel stitches have been worked and 16 stitches remain on the needle. (For the last repeat, Row 3 will end with an ssk and Row 4 will end with p2tog.)

    In my novice-ness; I worked all the heel stitches, but ended up with something around 8 stitches remaining on the needle. Should I have stopped when I had 16 stitches, regardless?

    Thanks for all your help & patience!

  36. purl bee says:

    Hi Kathy,

    No, you really do work all the heel stitches and you do end up with 16 stitches. The final ssk and p2tog should happen at the end of the rows. Since it sounds like it may be the first time you've turned a heel, you might want to take yours out and try again.

    Please let us know if you don't get it and we'll try to work it out!

    Thanks for your question and good luck!
    Whitney

  37. ryan says:

    Hi. So I swear I'm not incompetent, but when you change to CC knitting the heel flap, how exactly do you carry the MC yarn up the side of the heel flap?

  38. purl bee says:

    Hi Ryan,

    To carry the Main Color up the side of the heel flap you need to “trap” the MC when you purl the first CC stitch of each wrong side row. (The first purl stitch comes after the initial slip stitch.)

    Trapping the yarn means to bring the MC between the working yarn and the knitting so that it gets tacked onto the side of your work as you move your way along the heel flap. Our Knitting Stripes in the Round Tutorial demonstrates the concept: http://www.purlbee.com/stripes-in-the-round/

    I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any more questions and thanks for this one!

    Whitney

  39. Pam D'Esopo says:

    Perfect pattern, gorgeous socks. I made a pair for a homeless person last year; I am now making 6 more pairs, for 3 brothers, BIL, nephew, and another for homeless shelter. Thank you for sharing this pattern.

  40. Pam D'Esopo says:

    Perfect pattern, gorgeous socks. I made a pair for a homeless person last year; I am now making 6 more pairs, for 3 brothers, BIL, nephew, and another for homeless shelter. Thank you for sharing this pattern.

  41. JoAnn says:

    I have made socks where the cuff is ribbed like this one, but the socks tend to fall down, am I doing something wrong, I was thinking of making these for my father, but worried about the socks falling. Any suggestions?

    Thanks

  42. purl bee says:

    Hi Joann,

    You may want to try using a smaller needle size for the cuff (some people knit rib stitches quite loosely; something about switching from knits to purls I guess!). And you may want to knit the cuff longer. Just be careful that your cast on remains loose!

    Thanks for asking and please let us know if you have any other questions!

    Whitney

  43. Confused says:

    I hear the joy in knitting socks and have tried many times but they never fit properly. Every person I ask has a different needle size and a different brand of yarn.I want to use and have Briggs and little .Can I use this pattern with this yarn? I so want to be able knit sockets for my Husband and be almost as good as his Grandmother used to make for him…what size needle do I use with this yarn? Thanks…

  44. purl bee says:

    Hi Confused-

    I'm not familiar with the yarn you mention so I'm afraid I'm not sure how it would work in this pattern. The most important thing to consider when substituting a yarn in a pattern is that you are getting the same gauge listed in the pattern. This is especially important when it comes to things like socks which have to fit. So I would recommend doing a gauge swatch with your yarn to see if you can get the gauge listed in this pattern.

    Thank you for writing in-

    Molly

  45. keegan says:

    Hi!

    I love purl bee, and this pattern is fantastic! My first pair of socks, but this pattern is so easy to follow once you get going.

    I am having a little trouble with the toe – how many stitches are supposed to be on each needle when you start with the CC? I had arranged them evenly on each needle, but its looking like the seams are going to be too far forward . .

    Thank you!

  46. purl bee says:

    Hi Keegan,

    I'm glad you've enjoyed your first foray into sock knitting! A key for working the toe is that you maintain the stitches on the needles as you left them at the end of the Gusset section, which should have been 14 stitches on needle #1, 28 stitches on needle #2, and 14 stitches on needle #3 (56 stitches total). If your stitches are arranged like this, your toe decreases will be properly placed!

    I hope this sorts things out for you. I've added a note to the pattern so that no one else will face the same confusion! Thanks so much for asking and please let us know if you have any more questions!

    Whitney

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