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June 18, 2005

Spiral Socks - 1st Installment

Today is the day for the 1st installment of my Spiral Sock serial pattern.  Like serial books, which are published one chapter at a time, serial patterns are published over several short installments.  So grab some sock yarn and double pointed needles and join in the fun.

Spiral Socks: Serial Pattern: Installment 1

The Spiral Socks combine the toe of the  Pom Squad sock, with the heel of the Eastern European Footlets, with the spirals of the Spiral Scarf making them as much fun to knit as they are to wear. The Spiral Socks are worked from the toe to the cuff.  The heel is turned using short rows -- yeah!  It's up to you, creative knitter, to add stripes, color, patterns, whatever your heart desires.

Women's Small [Women's Medium, Women's Large]

Finished Sizes
Circumference: 7 [8, 9] inches
Length: 8 [9, 10] inches


  • Sock yarn of your choice.  I used Lorna's Laces Shepard's Sock yarn, which I absolutely love.  The Knitting Zone has a wonderful selection and I've found their service to be fast and friendly.
  • 5 Double pointed needles in the size you need to obtain gauge.  I used US size 1.

34 sts/48 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Abbreviations and Techniques

Increases - increases are used to shape the toe of this sock.  Here are directions for working mirrored slanted increases.  If this is too confusing, just work a basic increase such as working into the front and back of the same stitch.

M1R - Increase 1 stitch, slanting it to the right.  Before knitting the next stitch on the left needle, use the right needle to pick up the loop of the stitch below -- back to front -- and place it on the left needle.  Knit the loop, then knit the stitch.

M1L - Increase 1 stitch, slanting it to the left.  Knit the next stitch on the left needle.  Use the left needle to pick up -- back to front -- the grandparent loop of the stitch just knit.  The grandparent loop is the 2nd loop below the loop on the right needle.  Knit the loop through the back.


The sock is started at the toe by casting on a small number of stitches.  These stitches are increased -- 4 stitches every 2 rounds -- until reaching the final width for the foot's circumference.   Here goes:

  • Using double pointed needles, Cast On 20 [24, 28] sts.  Evenly distribute the stitches over 4 needles, giving you 5 [6, 7] stitches per needle.
  • Join in a round being careful not to twist.
  • Round 1: Knit all stitches
  • Round 2: In this round you'll increase 4 stitches, 1 per needle.  See notes about the increases in the "Abbreviations" section above.  Remember, if the M1R / M1L is too confusing it is perfect OKAY to simply knit into the front and back of the stitch to work the increase.  Don't sweat it!
    • Needle 1: K1, M1R, knit to end
    • Needle 2: Knit to last 2 stitches, M1L, K1
    • Needle 3: K1, M1R, knit to end
    • Needle 4: Knit to the last 2 stitches, M1L, K1
  • Repeat these 2 rounds until you have 60 [68, 76] sts, giving you 15 [17, 19] stitches per needle.

Slanted decreases give a nice look to the toe.

Continue working in rounds, without further increases, until the foot measures 6 [7, 8] inches from the tip of the toe.  Actually, you can make the foot as long as you want, just leave 2 inches to work the heel.

Foots done, ready to turn the heel ...
stay tuned for the next installment

What's Next
In the 2nd installment, we'll shape the heel using short rows.

June 18, 2005 in Serial Patterns | Permalink


Oh, man, I don't have time to properly read your post today. Are you going to stick this series on your sidebar? (please, pretty please?)

Posted by: Colleen | Jun 19, 2005 4:58:48 AM

Those look like great fun. Can't wait for installment 2. Thanks for sharing your pattern.

Posted by: Teri | Jun 19, 2005 6:47:38 AM

Nona, does this require one hank or two of LL Shepard Sock?

Posted by: Jennifer | Jun 19, 2005 7:20:46 AM

Okay, I'm all set for installment 2. Does that mean there will be an installment 3 or can neurotic sock knitters like myself get their satisfaction in only two installments? It is the c-u-t-e-s-t sock ever!!

Posted by: mary erdman | Jun 19, 2005 5:27:15 PM

cute socks! :)
i never knit socks before but i love the spiral looks and bright colors!
thanks for sharing the pattern and the advice.

Posted by: tanti | Jun 20, 2005 1:45:18 AM

I do not see the 3rd installment for the spiral socks could you guide me to it

Posted by: darnise | Jun 29, 2005 6:00:03 AM

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