Whether you have legs like Rob Roy or Jerry Hall, whether you fancy yourself riding a horse in ancient Mongolia or hopping a subway in 21st century Manhattan, knees high socks are for everyone, everywhere, anytime!

These Little Cable Knee Highs are designed to look like they could as easily have been plucked from a case at the Victoria and Albert Museum as from a shelf at Barney's. They're simple and practical, but with an attention to detail that's both timeless and beautiful.

Serious sock knitters are also seriously particular about their sock yarn. That's why I used Anzula's Squishy, one of our favorites for everything from socks to baby blankets.

Squishy is the perfect blend of fibers for knitting up a superior pair of socks: merino for warmth and ruggedness, nylon for durability and cashmere for totally happy feet. Plus, I love how its hand dyed color is so gentle and spontaneous, like a wash of watercolor paint.

These Little Cable Knee Highs are just in time for holiday giving. Wouldn't they be a spectacular gift to find under the tree? -Whitney

The Materials

The Pattern

Gauge

8 1/4 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch

Finished Sizes

Women's Small (Medium, Large)

Foot Circumference: 7 1/4 (8 1/4, 9 1/4) inches (unstretched)

Calf Circumference (at widest): 9 1/4 (10 1/4, 11 1/4) inches (unstretched)

Foot Length: Adjustable

Height from Heel to Top of Cuff (unfolded): 21 inches (unblocked)

(The photos in this pattern show a size Small.)

How to Make the Cable

Make Cable: Slip 2 stitches purlwise to cable stitch holder and hold in the front of the work; knit next 2 stitches from double pointed needle; knit the 2 stitches from the holder.

The Toe

Using a Provisional Cast On, cast 8 (8, 8) stitches onto one double pointed needle. Make sure to leave a 10-inch tail for finishing at the end.

Set-Up Row: K4 onto Needle 1, k2 onto Needle 2, k2 onto Needle 3.

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

Increase Round: Needle 1: K1, yo, knit to last stitch, yo, k1; Needle 2: K1, yo, knit to end of needle; Needle 3: Knit to last stitch, yo, k1. (4 stitches increased)

Repeat Increase Round 4 (8, 12) more times, knitting all yo's through the back loop as you come to them. 28 (44, 60) stitches

Next Round: Knit every stitch, knitting yo's through the back loop.

Increase Round: Needle 1: K1, yo, knit to last stitch, yo, k1; Needle 2: K1, yo, knit to end of needle; Needle 3: Knit to last stitch, yo, k1. (4 stitches increased)

Repeat last two rounds 7 (5, 3) more times, knitting yo's through the back loop. 60 (68, 76) total stitches and 30-15-15 (34-17-17, 38-19-19) stitches on each needle

The Foot

Knit every round until piece measures 6 (6 3/4, 7 1/2) inches from cast on, or 2 1/2 (2 3/4, 3) inches less than desired legnth from toe to back of heel.

Here's a guideline for final sock lengths:

US size 6 shoe (European 37) = 9 inches

US size 7 shoe (38) = 9 1/4 inches

US size 8 shoe (39) = 9 5/8 inches

US size 9 shoe (40) = 10 inches

The Gusset

Round 1: Needle 1: Knit; Needle 2: K1, yo, knit to end; Needle 3: Knit to last stitch, yo, k1.  (2 stitches increased)

Round 2: Needle 1: Knit; Needles 2 and 3: Knit, working all yo's through the back loop.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 eight more times. 78 (86, 94) total stitches and 30-24-24 (34-26-26, 38-28-28) stitches on each needle

Knit across Needle 1.

Turn the Heel

Notes:

  • The heel is worked back and forth in rows over just Needles 2 and 3.
  • You will shape the heel using short rows. If you need some extra help, we have a great Short Rows Tutorial right here!
  • Work all yo's through the back loop as you come to them.

Row 1 (right side): Needle 2: Knit; Needle 3: K7 (9, 11), yo, k1, wrap and turn.

Row 2 (wrong side): P16 (20, 24), yo, p1, wrap and turn.

Row 3: K14 (18, 22), yo, k1, wrap and turn.

Row 4: P12 (16, 20), yo, p1, wrap and turn.

LARGE SIZE ONLY

Next Row: K18, yo, k1, wrap and turn.

Next Row: P16, yo, p1, wrap and turn.

MEDIUM AND LARGE SIZES ONLY

Next Row: K14, yo, k1, wrap and turn.

Next Row: P12, yo, k1, wrap and turn.

ALL SIZES

Next Row: K10, yo, k1, wrap and turn.

Next Row: P8, yo, p1, wrap and turn.

Next Row: K6, yo, k1, wrap and turn.

Next Row: P4, yo, p1, wrap and turn.

Knit to the end of Needle 3, working the wraps together with the wrapped stitches and knitting the yo's through the back loop; knit across Needle 1; knit across Needle 2, working the wraps together with the wrapped stitches and knitting the yo's through the back loop. 86 (96, 106) total stitches and 30-28-28 (34-31-31, 38-34-34) stitches on each needle

The Heel Flap

NOTE: The Heel Flap is worked over just the stitches on Needles 2 and 3. You'll be working back and forth in rows.

Set-Up Row (right side): Needle 3: K14 (16, 18), ssk, turn. 85 (95, 105) stitches

Row 1 (wrong side): Working just the stitches on Needles 2 and 3, slip 1, p28 (32, 36), p2tog, turn. 84 (94, 104) stitches

Row 2: *Slip 1, k1, repeat from * to 2 stitches before the gap, slip 1, ssk (the 2 stitches on either side of the gap), turn. (1 stitch decreased)

Row 3: Slip 1, purl to 1 stitch before the gap, p2tog (the 2 stitches on either side of the gap), turn. (1 stitch decreased)

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 eleven (12, 13) more times. 60 (68, 76) total stitches and 30-15-15 (34-17-17, 38-19-19) stitches on each needle.

Next Row: Needle 2: *Slip 1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch on needle, slip 1. Needle 3: *K1, slip 1, repeat from * to last stitch on needle, k1.

Join for again working in the round.

The Leg

Set-Up Round 1: Needle 1: Knit; Needle 2: Knit to last 3 stitches, p1, k2; Needle 3: K2, p1, slip these 3 stitches to Needle 2, knit to end. 30-18-12 (34-20-14, 38-22-16) stitches on each needle.

Set-Up Round 2: Needle 1: Knit; Needle 2: Knit to last 6 stitches, p1, k4, p1; Needle 3: Knit.

Cable Round 1: Needle 1: Knit; Needle 2: Knit to last 6 stitches, p1, make cable (see How to Make the Cable at beginning of pattern), p1; Needle 3: Knit.

Rounds 2-4: Needle 1: Knit; Needle 2: Knit to last 6 stitches, p1, k4, p1; Needle 3: Knit.

Repeat Rounds 1-4 eight more times.

+Increase Cable Round: Needle 1: Knit; Needle 2: Knit to last 7 stitches, m1r, k1, p1, make cable, p1; Needle 3: K1, m1l, knit to end. (2 stitches increased)

Repeat Rounds 2-4.

*Work a Cable Round.

Repeat Rounds 2-4.

Repeat from * 1 more time.

Repeat from + 7 more times. 76 (84, 92) total stitches and 30-26-20 (34-28-22, 38-30-24) stitches on each needle

**Work a Cable Round.

Repeat Rounds 2-4.

Repeat from ** 4 more times, ending last repeat with Round 3.

The Cuff

Round 1: *K2, p2, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Round 1 until cuff measures 5 inches.

Bind off loosely in rib pattern.

Finishing

Pick up the 8 cast on stitches, putting 4 stitches onto each of two needles.

Use the cast on tail and the Kitchener Stitch to graft together the toe.

Weave in the ends and make a second sock. Block them both and you're done!