Watercress Leaves Socks – free pattern and tutorial
As you’ll know from earlier posts, I love knitting socks, but sometimes it’s not as straightforward as you’d expect. Have you ever had a ball of yarn that just can’t decide what it wants to be? That’s exactly what happened with this particular sock yarn. It turned it’s nose up at every pattern I offered it until I found the Watercress Leaves Pooling Stole pattern by Gladys We on Ravelry. “That’s it!” I exclaimed, and the ball of yarn agreed.
I decided that it shouldn’t be too difficult to turn a shawl pattern into a pair of socks (as you do) so I cast on, and some time later, this was the result.
Ooh, I love these socks! I wanted to break up the stripiness of the yarn and although I still have the stripes, they’re now in softer waves rather than solid blocks.
The colours make me think of autumn leaves, and the cross-stitch rib on the heels is a great alternative to the functional but rather boring heel stitch.
Gladys We has very kindly given me permission to share her lace pattern on which my socks are based, and as no doubt you are waiting, yarn and needles in hand, I won’t waste any more time in presenting …
Watercress Leaves Socks
(you can download a PDF copy of the sock pattern here)
2.5mm needles – I use a 30cm circular needle but DPNs or magic loop can also be used
100g ball of Zitron Trekking XXL (shade shown is 410)
1 pair double pointed needles (DPNs) size 3.0mm
1 pair double pointed needles (DPNs) size 2.5mm
Watercress Leaves Pooling Stole pattern from Gladys We’s Ravelry page
Note: I cast on using DPNs then change to my circular needle – it’s not easy to cast on using the circular as it’s too small. If you want to use magic loop you will be able to cast on with the larger circular needle. If you use DPNs, you might find it easiest to
cast on and work 2 rows before dividing the stitches across the needles.
Heel cross-stitch: This is a simple but effective stitch for sock heels. The stitches twist as if they are cabled but you don’t need a cable needle. This gives a nice “cushiony” feel to the heel. The following pictures are knitted on a sample with a size bigger needles than used for the socks just to show you how the stitch works. In the pattern, this sequence of creating the stitches is called cross2RK as you are crossing two stitches to the right needle.
There are five parts to the stitch, which hopefully you can see quite clearly with the orange yarn.
1 Put your right hand needle knit-wise into the second stitch on the left hand needle.
2 Pull the yarn through but don’t try to take the stitch off the needle.
3 Put your right hand needle knit-wise into the first stitch on the left hand needle. You can see how the other stitch pulls across. Don’t let it get too loose, but equally you don’t want it too tight or you won’t be able to move your needle.
4 Pull the yarn through once again.
5 Finally, slip both stitches off the needle. You can see in this picture how the stitches have twisted to create the cable.
And that’s it! You’re all set!
Cast on 64 stitches using 3.0mm needle.
1st row: *K2, P2*, repeat to end
2nd row: *P2, K2*, repeat to end
Change to 2.5mm needles. At this point, change to a short circular, magic loop or divide the stitches across DPNs and join into
a circle, place marker.
Continue in K2, P2 rib for 14 more rows or until desired length of rib.
Knit one round.
Next round: ignoring the orange-coloured boxes marked on the pattern, work 16 stitches of pattern four times. Continue working as pattern is set, remembering to knit every even round as you are working in the round, not back and forth as you would do for a stole. Work in pattern until desired length is reached (for me, it was five blocks of pattern).
Change to 2.5mm DPNs.
1st row: K1, *cross2RK, P1* (31 sts)
2nd row: Sl1, *P2, K1* to end.
Repeat these two rows until heel measures 2½ inches. (If you want to make the heel longer, then you just need to remember that you will need to pick up more stitches for your gusset and decrease back down to 64 sts.)
Row 1: Sl1, P16, p2tog, P1, turn.
Row 2: Sl1, K5, SSK, K1, turn.
Row 3: Sl1, P6, P2tog, P1, turn.
Row 4: Sl1, K7, SSK, K1, turn.
Continue in this way, increasing one stitch between slip stitch and SSK or P2tog on each row until all of the heel stitches are used.
Knit across heel stitches if required to bring you to the left hand side of the heel ready to pick up 14 stitches. (I usually knit back onto my circular needle at this point.) Once you have picked up the stitches, place marker. Keeping pattern correct and
starting at row 1, knit across top of foot, place marker, then pick up 14 stitches up the other side of the heel. Knit across top of heel and then shape gusset as below.
Round 1: K to 3 sts before the marker, K2tog, K2, slip marker, knit across pattern stitches (row 2 of pattern) to next marker, slip marker, SSK, K to marker.
Round 2: Slip marker, work pattern stitches (row 3), slip marker, knit to marker.
Round 3: K to 3 sts before the marker, K2tog, K2, slip marker, knit across pattern stitches (row 4 of pattern) to next marker, slip marker, SSK, K to marker.
Continue in this way, decreasing by two stitches at the gusset on every other row until there are 64 stitches on the needle.
Once you have 64 stitches again, you can continue in pattern on the top of the foot only and knit across the bottom of the foot until you reach approximately 5cm before the desired length ready to start the toes. For my size 5 feet, this was about 3½ blocks of the pattern, ending with row 12.
Divide stitches up as follows:
Needle 1: 32 stitches of pattern plus 1 stitch so that you have a knit stitch on either side (33 sts)
Needles 2&3: Divide remaining 31 stitches between two needles.
Round 1: K1, SSK, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, knit to end of round.
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: K1, SSK, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K2, SSK, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1
Round 4: Knit
Repeat rounds 3 and 4 until you have 30 stitches left and divide these between two needles so that front and back of socks match.
Graft toes using Kitchener stitch.
Do let me know how you get on if you make a pair of Watercress Leave Socks – I’d love to see them! You can find the Ravelry page here.
This sock pattern is free and will always remain so, but if you have enjoyed using it and would like to make a donation towards future projects, it will be gratefully received! You can find the donation button on the sidebar on the left hand side. Thank you! xx