Thursday, June 5, 2008

Beginner Socks, Magic Loop Variation

Size- Women=s shoe size 5 to 11, (Men=s shoe size 8 to 12)

Materials- Approx. 275 yards sock yarn

One 40” circular needle size 3 (or size required to obtain gauge).

Gauge- in circular stockinette stitch (St st): 7sts to 1 inch.


skp - slip 1 as if to knit, k1, pass the slipped st over

sl - slip a st purlwise from the left needle to the right needle

M1tbl – do a M1 but knit it through the back loop (makes an invisible increase with no hole).

Directions are for women=s size, with men=s size in parentheses.


Beginning at the top of the sock, cast on 56 (64) sts very loosely. I recommend casting onto both ends of the needle held together, then removing one end. This gives a very even, yet loose, cast-on.

Slide sts onto cable. Divide sts in half, bending the ends of the needle towards each other and pulling a loop of cable out at the half-way point. Slide sts back onto needles, with the needles held parallel to one another, and with 28 (32) on each needle. Position sts so that the working yarn is coming off the needle farthest from you. This is “ready position” for magic loop.

Arrange sts so there are no twists in the round.

Pull rear needle-tip out to the right, letting sts slide onto cable. mark the first st of the round (the first st on the front needle) with a marker (or leave the tail hanging to mark the rnd beg. I prefer to hold my tail and the working yarn together for the first 10 sts, thus weaving in the end as I go. But if you do this use a st marker).

Begin round, using the rear needle as the right-hand needle, and knitting sts from left-hand needle onto right-hand needle. Knitting the very first st joins the round.

Rows 1-10: Work in k1, p1 rib.

Next: Work in St st until the sock measures 7 (8) in. from CO edge.

Begin Heel:

K 28 (32) sts (across one half of the round). Pm around a st in this row, marking it as the first row of the heel flap.

Begin working back and forth in St st across these sts, slipping the last st of each row to the right-hand needle without knitting it.

Work as established for 24 (30) rows. You should be ready to work a k row.

Turn heel:

Row 1- k 1, k14 (16) skp, k 1, turn.

Row 2- sl 1, p 3, p 2 tog, p1, turn.

Row 3- sl 1, k 4, skp, k 1, turn.

Row 4- sl 1, p 5, p 2 tog, p1, turn.

Row 5- sl 1, k 6, skp, k 1, turn.

Row 6- sl 1, p 7, p 2 tog, p 1, turn.

Row 7- sl 1, k 8, skp, k 1, turn.

Row 8- sl 1, p 9, p 2 tog, p 1, turn.

Row 9- sl 1, k 10, skp, k 1, turn.

Row 10- sl 1, p 11, p 2 tog, p 1, turn.

Row 11- sl 1, k 12, skp, k 1, turn.

Row 12- sl 1, p 13, p 2 tog, p1, turn.

For the women=s size, the heel is turned, there are 16 sts on the heel needle. Go to ** below.

For the men=s size, continue:

Row 13- sl 1, k 14, skp, k 1, turn.

Row 14- sl 1, p 15, p 2 tog, p1, turn.

The heel is turned; there are 18 sts on the heel needle. Go to ** below.

**Next row- k across the 16 (18) heel sts, and using the same needle, pick up and knit 14 (17) sts along the side of the heel. *Optional:* M1tbl on the instep end of the picked-up sts. This st must be knit together with the adjacent picked-up sts on the very next rnd. This will close the little hole that tends to form when heels are made.

Resume knitting in the round.

k across the instep sts.

Using next needle tip, pick up 14 (17) sts along the other side of the heel. *Optional:* M1tbl on the instep end of the picked-up sts. This st must be knit together with the adjacent picked-up sts on the very next rnd. This will close the little hole that tends to form when heels are made.

Using the same needle, k across all heel sts until there are 3 sts left on left-hand needle: k2tog, k1. (If you have done a M1, this would look like k2tog, k2tog. *Tip:* knit all picked-up sts through the back loop when you first knit them. This will make the heel ever so nice and neat, with no gaps.

You should have 43 (51) sts on the first needle and 28 (32) sts on the second needle (instep).

k across instep.

Shape gusset:

Round 1 (heel needle): k1, skp, k to end.

(instep needle): k all sts.

Round 2 (heel needle): k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.

(instep needle): k all sts.

Continue to work these 2 rounds until there are 28 (32) sts on each needle (56 (64) sts in all).


Work in St st until foot of sock (including heel) measures 2 in less than desired length. To find the finished length your sock should be, stand barefoot on a sheet of paper. Using a pencil, make a mark in front of your big toe, and another behind your heel. Measure the length between the marks and add 1/4 inch. That is your finished length.

Shape toe-

Round 1 (decrease round): *(k 1, ssk, k to last 3 sts on needle, k 2 tog, k 1), rep from * on other needle (4 sts dec).

Round 2- k.

Continue to work these 2 rounds until there are 20 (24) sts left, 10 (12) on each needle.

Now work the decrease round (round 1) on every round until there are 8 (10) sts left on each needle. Break yarn, leaving a 12” tail, and using a darning needle, graft toe using Kitchener st.

Variation – Two socks at a time on one needle:

The trick to doing two socks at a time is in the cast-on. Knitting the socks remains the same. A 47” circular needle works better for two socks at one time. A needle of at lest 40” is required.

Use two balls of yarn (we’ll call them ball A and ball B).

Using ball A: Loosely cast on half the sts needled for sock (28 (32)), leaving enough of a tail to cast on the rest of the sts later.

Using ball B: Loosely cast on all the sts needed for sock (56 (64)).

Push all CO sts to cable section of circular needle. Count half of the B sts and bend the cable at this point, pulling it out at the halfway point between the B sts. Push the A sts onto one needle point, and, using the A yarn attached at the cable end of the needle, CO the other half of the sts onto the other needle point.

You will now have two separate sets of CO sts on the needle. Place the needle in “ready” position (the working yarns are coming off the back needle), mark the first st of the round with a marker (or leave the tail hanging to mark the rnd beg. I prefer to hold my tail and the working yarn together for the first 10 sts, thus weaving in the end as I go. But if you do this use a st marker).

Begin knitting the sock as given above, working from right to left around the needle, working ½ rnd of A, ½ rnd of B, turning the needle, working ½ rnd of B, and ½ rnd of A. You have now completed one full rnd for each sock.

Tip: to keep your yarn from tangling, do not rotate the balls of yarn as you rotate the needle (you could do this, but it is a pain). Instead, keep the yarn separate by moving it around the socks between the needle tips.


Anonymous said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I have been searching for a basic sock pattern for knitting one at a time on a circular needle and haven't found one till now, you have just made one very happy knitter.

Liat said...

You are so welcome! I am overjoyed to have made a happy knitter! And socks on a circular needle can't be beat! Thanks for using my pattern =)

Carrie said...

Hi Liat,

Love the pattern, but one quick question - for the heel it says Pm - what does that stand for?

Thanks! I can't wait to try your pattern!

Liat said...

Hi Carrie! "PM" means "place marker." Hope that helps!

bells said...

Thanks so much. Been looking for this pattern along time. That Magic Loop two socks at a time doesn't call my name. This one does!

Liat said...

Thank you! I hope you enjoy magic loop socks as much as I do!

Sara said...

Hey, can you explain the M1tbl a bit more... I was just a wee bit confused. Thanks!

Gwennieknits said...

Thank you for this pattern. I am new to magic loop and this seems like a great pattern. I have one question about the heel flap. I knit one row, then you say to start stockinette stitch across these stitches. Does that put the knit stitches on the wrong side of the sock and the purl stitches on the right side of the sock? I just wanted to make sure I am doing this right before I get too far along.

Liat said...

Almost- stockinette st always means k on the RS and p on the wrong side. So i think from where you are you should be ready to start on row of purling. Hope this helps!

Stephanie said...

Hi Liat
I just want to confirm your instructions. For row 1 when you turn heel, you state k1...should that be sl 1 as in the other rows?

Also, when I started 'begin heel' I found it easier to sl 1 at the beginning of the rows than at the end as instructed. I first attempted doing it at the end but then when I turned I wasn't sure if I knitted the slipped stitch since it was at the beginning of the row.

Any help would be appreciated and thanks for putting this online. It is great.

Liat said...

Hi Stephanie!

I find it easier to sl 1 at the beginning of the row, too. It is an old pattern. =)

There is not a mistake, I just wrote it so that a st would get slipped at one end of every row.

You should do it your way, though. And I'll post an updated pattern, if I can figure out how to get a PDF up here. Actually, anyone know how to do that? =)

Anonymous said...

What kind of yarn is that beautiful sock yarn that makes a pattern in you Beginner Socks, Magic Loop Variation?

Liat said...

Thank you! It's a yarn called Opal. Here's a link:
You can ask your LYS to order it. I love it! One store that carries it that you could call and order it from is Stix, in Bozeman, MT. Their number is 406-556-5786.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for this pattern! I have been looking for top down knitting one sock at a time! I have a question- could you use a 47 inch length on just knitting one sock at a time?

Liat said...

Absolutely! The sock will never know. Just don't try less than 32" -- I never use less than 40". But go as long as you want! Enjoy!

Jennifer said...

One more question, is there any way you could figure out the number of stitches for a child's sock?

Liat said...

Sure! Just measure around your child's foot at the widest part. Using the gauge of 7 sts/in, calculate how many stitches you would need. For example, if it's 5 inches around, that would be 5x7=35 sts total (round up or down to an even number).
Hope this helps!

Jennifer said...

I am on my first sock (doing one at a time) for my hubby. I have turned the heel and now I need to pick up stitches.

This is where it is getting hairy for me!

Is m1tbl make one through back loop? if you are doing this does it mean you actually have two stitches for each stitch you pick up?

Liat said...

Hi Jennifer!
I think you are combining two different things:
There is an OPTIONAL M1 (make one) at the end of picking up stitches. This is to avoid a hole in your sock if there is a big gap.
Then, you are instructed to K tbl (Knit through the back loop) just on the stitches that you had picked up the round before. This tightens them up a bit.
I'm not sure where M1tbl came from, but you definitely don't want two stitches for every picked-up stitch. Just one.
Hope this helps! If you are still confused, please post again and I will try to help.
Thanks for using my pattern!

Meggs said...

Hi Liat,

This is my first time ever knitting anything round, especially socks. Looking fwd to it. I've just started, finished the first 10 rows of ribbing and next few rows of stocking stich. The way mine is coming out the bumpy side of the stocking stich is on the outside, and the nice smooth side is on the this right or have I already veered from the right path????

Thanks for your help. I'm looking forward to trying some of your other patterns....i really dig your style.

Liat said...

Hi Meggs! Thanks so much for writing! I'm so glad you are trying socks on Magic Loop!

As far as your question about the bumpy side being on the outside and the smooth side being on the inside, my guess is that the sock just got turned inside-out as you were knitting. Just push the sock through the needles, flipping it right-side out, and the smooth side should now be on the outside. Did this work?
If not, let me know and we can skype or you can send me a picture to see exactly what's going on.


Meggs said...

Hugs back.

Thanks for your quick response Liat. I decided to unpick and start again as I'd made a few mistakes in the ribbing that were bugging me. When I get to the stockingnet stitch I'll let you know how I go. I started pearling and that got the stitch on the right side, but would prefer not to have to pearl if I can avoid it.

SO the knit side of the stockingnet (eg. the smooth side) should be on the outside shouldn't it??? Yes, I'm pretty much a beginner, but loving finding my way.

super blessings on your day


meggs said...

Hi again.

So I've done it again, and my bumpy side is on the outside again (...maybe it's b/c I'm in Oz and everythings down under down Can't twist it like you've suggested it because then the knitting is coming towards me, rather than away. Think I'll just pearl to keep the stitch on the right side unless you've got another idea.'s all good

Liat said...

Hi Megs!
Please don't "just purl" because your knitting is messed up. You don't have to! Go to your LYS and show them, or skype with me! I'll look at what you are doing and set you right.
This technique is so easy - it's worth figuring out how to do it right. I'm only saying this because I care.

Anonymous said...

Thanks much for the quick tutorial. It's been a long while since I've had a go at socks. Though I do prefer using DPNs, ML has a definite benefit of being much more portable... and if there's time to sit, there's time to knit!

I've modified the pattern a bit, since I never seem to be able to simply follow directions. It's working up quite nicely, now that I've got the hand of ML. Hubby will have some very long and sturdy boot socks.

Your writing style is very clear and not overly verbose, which I appreciate.
Too frequently, people over write patterns and instructions, when the reality is that it *is* simple and should be explained simply.

Thank you again

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Nina Meister said...

I love using the MagicLoop but I am getting confused with this sock pattern which says to have 28 stitches ( Instep) on one needle and 43 on the other. This seems very awkward to me as I thought there was supposed to be an equal amount on each needle when doing Magic Loop. Can you straighten me out? Am I doing something wrong?

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