Monday, April 4, 2011

The sock knitting tutorial: Beginners Socks for Children

It is a serious addiction. So be careful, once you know how to knit socks, you might easily find yourself among piles of hand knitted socks for children and being pushy about the little ones wearing woolly socks at summer time...

If you're nevertheless desperate to learn how to knit socks in a simple way and/or want to possess the lovely and practical pair pictured above, just follow this detailed tutorial. At your own risk. Have fun!

Beginners simple socks for children

Sizes: Children (aproximetly 1-5years)

                     US               UK           EU      
1.                  5.5-6            4.5-5.5     21-23
2.                  6.5-10          5.5-9        24-27
3.                  10.5-13        9.5-12      28-31                        
Skill level: beginner

Yarn:            Lana Grossa Meilenweit (
                     80% Virgin Wool, 20% Polyamide, ca. 210m/50gr
                     All sizes: 1×50gr

Needles: 3 mm [US 2] double pointed needles, or sizes needed to obtain correct gauge.

Notions: stitch marker, knitting in elastic tread (optional)

Setting the stage

Gauge: 28 sts and 40 rows = 4×4 in/10×10 cm, measured over St st using 3mm [US 2] needles.

st(s)              stitch(es)
St st              stockinette stitch (knit Rs rows, purl Ws rows)
K                   knit
P                   purl
Rs                 right side
Ws                wrong side
K2tog             knit two stitches together
P2tog             purl two stitches together
KS2tog           knit one stitch, slip one stitch, pull the knitted stitch through      
                     the slipped stitch (decrease one stitch)
Sl                  slip stitch

Doing it

Cast on 48 [52,56] sts on double pointed needles. We recommend to use two needles for this, so you have loose enough sts when working the first row.

Work the first row. While doing so, distribute all sts on 4 needles; 12 [13,14] sts per needle. On the leg you work the very simple rib pattern; *K2,P2, repeat from *.

Join needles and place a marker at the join, this will be the center back. Working in a circle is the first difficulty you face while knitting socks. If you learn how to do that, nothing can stop you from making the leg.

Continue working in a circle, using the simple rib pattern on the leg.

Shape heel
Starting the heel flap, instead of the rib, K the last 12 [13,14] sts of the row. Then K the first 12 [13,14] sts of the next row with the same needle and turn. So you have 24 [26,28] sts on this needle. You work only these sts, the other two neddles are put to rest in this section. Slip 1, P 23 [25,27]  sts and turn.

Continue in St st for 9 [10,14] rows altogether. Then turn the heel.

Divide all sts on the neddle into three parts, 8-8-8 [9-8-9,9-10-9] sts. Basically you turn the heel by decreasing 2 sts on both sides of the middle part in each row, “consuming” the sts in the first and the third part, so only sts of the middle part remain.

By size 1 you start to decrease facing Ws, that is in a P row, while by sizes 2 and 3 you start facing Rs, in a K row, according to the following.

Size 1:
1st row (Ws): Sl1, P6, P2tog, P6, P2tog, P7, turn.
2nd row (Rs): Sl1, K5, K2tog, K6, K2tog, K6, turn.
3rd row (Ws): Sl1, P4, P2tog, P6, P2tog, P5, turn.
4th row (Rs): Sl1, K3, K2tog, K6, K2tog, K4, turn.
5th row (Ws): Sl1, P2, P2tog, P6, P2tog, P3, turn.
6th row (Rs): Sl1, K1, K2tog, K6, K2tog, K2, turn.
7th row (Ws): Sl1, P2tog, P6, P2tog, P1, turn.
8th row (Rs): K2tog, K6, K2tog.

Sizes 2 and 3:
1st row (Rs): Sl1, K7, K2tog, K6 [8], K2tog, K8, turn.
2nd row (Ws): Sl1, P6, P2tog, P6 [8], P2tog, P7, turn.
3rd row (Rs): Sl1, K5, K2tog, K6 [8], K2tog, K6, turn.
4th row (Ws): Sl1, P4, P2tog, P6 [8], P2tog, P5, turn.
5th row (Rs): Sl1, K3, K2tog, K6 [8], K2tog, K4, turn.
6th row (Ws): Sl1, P2, P2tog, P6 [8], P2tog, P3, turn.
7th row (Rs): Sl1, K1, K2tog, K6 [8], K2tog, K2, turn.
8th row (Ws): Sl1, P2tog, P6 [8], P2tog, P1, turn.
9th row (Rs): K2tog, K6 [8], K2tog.

Divide the 8 [10] sts left on the needle. Pick up 10 [11,13] sts on either side of the heel, so you have 14 [15,18] sts on each of these two needles. They form the sole now.

Join in the other two needles, they form the top of the foot now, and continue work in a circle again, using St st.

Decreasing (gussett)
It sounds so mysterious, but it simply means that you decrease the extra sts on both neddles forming the sole, where you have more sts than originally because of picking up sts on either sides of the heel flap. So it means decreasing 2 sts in every second row, because you decrease on both sides of the foot, till you have 12 [13,14] sts per needle again.

Continue work in St st until work measures 3/4 inch/2 cm less then the actual size of foot. Recommended measurements to start shaping the toe (not the finished measurements!) are
size 1: apr. 4 1/3 inch/12 cm
size 2: apr. 5 1/3 inch/14.5 cm
size 3: apr. 6 1/8 inch/16 cm.

Shape toe
Decrease 4 sts in every row, 1 st per needle and 2 sts on both sides of foot. Starting the row at the middle of the sole (where the original marker is long back somewhere), K2tog at the end of the first needle, KS2tog at the beginning of the second needle, K2tog at the end of the third needle and again KS2tog at the beginning of the fourth needle.
(The picture below shows the sock from the instep's side, hence the heel flap is on the other side, so you can't see it.)

Repeat this row until only 2 sts remain on each needle (8 sts altogether).

Break off yarn, pull trough all loops and fasten from the inside (turn out).

Weave in any loose ends. (Pictured from Ws.)

Make two for a pair. 
Find some little cold feet and put them on!


  1. I have searched and searched for an easy yet great beginner toddler sock pattern (online and at the library) and yours has been the one that has finally guided me into making my first sock! (I still need to make the pair lol). Thank you SO much!!! I officially *love* your tutorials!!

  2. ok four needles is a bit intimidating for my first attempt at knitting, though I am definitely saving this to make once I learn to knit. they look amazing and so warm and snuggly to wear in the dead of winter.

  3. I love the pattern but not sure of the length of the fold down cuff for each size.

  4. I really like the pattern so far, but I'm also confused about how long the cuff should be. Any suggestions?

  5. This the first pair of socks I knit. I liked everything but the sock is way to wide. I am going to redo and decrease a bit more when I get to the gusset.

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