Circinus by Rich Ensor


September 2013
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
28 stitches and 36 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette
US 1½ - 2.5 mm
S(M, L) - 56(64, 72) stitches
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This pattern is available for free.

I’ve always had a weakness for cables. I’m fascinated how this technique can transform a ribbed object from something basic to something extraordinary. There is one cable motif in particular that I favor. I don’t know if it has a name. It’s the one that involves 4 stitches that have been knit through the back loop separated by purls, where these stitches cross over each other twice to form little spirals. To me, they look like little galaxies spinning around. I’ve seen this motif used in several patterns, but never named. I’ve taken to calling it Circinus after a nearby spiraling galaxy.

I thought it would be fun to use these Circinus cables to transform a ribbed sock into something out of the ordinary. I created a larger cable motif that allows the Circinus spirals to emerge out of the wider ribbing. In keeping with the spiraling theme, I thought it would be interesting to stagger the repeats around the leg. Each repeat or instance of the cable, starts 18 rounds after the beginning of the previous cable. On the foot, the Circinus cables are used to transition from the k2, p2 ribbing to a k1 tbl, p1 ribbing. All this spiraling makes a single sock a bit asymmetrical, so I mirrored the pattern on the other foot. When done, what starts as a basic ribbed sock turns out to be something not so ordinary.

Revised charts for the instep can also be found here: