Just Plain Socks by Talena Winters

Just Plain Socks

January 2012
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
34 stitches and 44 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch
US 2½ - 3.0 mm
166 - 332 yards (152 - 304 m)
Any size
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This pattern is available for free.

Socks for every body…

I designed this to teach a class to beginners (Yes! BEGINNERS! You CAN knit socks!) There is nothing fancy about these socks--they can be knit BY anyone, FOR anyone.

Worked from the cuff down in two basic ribbing styles with an eye-of-partridge Dutch Heel flap and a classically-decreased toe, this version has formulaic sizing: you can make them for anyone, but you need to do the calculations yourself. Sample stitch counts for an adult sock for a 10-inch (15-cm) instep circumference is given throughout. If you want a version where the math has been done for you, click here: I don’t want to do math.

Choose an engaging colourway of sock yarn and dive in. See how fun socks can be!

As of 2022-09-24, as well as the free Calculate-it-Yourself version that has been available since 2012, for the first time, there is now a (paid) Calculated-For-You version available.

About Pattern:
SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate

PATTERN FORMAT: Adobe PDF File; ten pages. Screen reader accessible.

As of 2022-09-24, the pattern is a screen-reader-accessible PDF which can be read aloud using text-to-speech options and navigated via document headers. It was tested using Adobe Reader on a PC and an Android phone. All images have ALT-text descriptions. Any colour text is merely aesthetic and still very high-contrast, and the text is also differentiated by a different font for colour-blind knitters.

Calculate-It-Yourself Version:
Formulaic—can be made in any size. Example numbers given for a 10-inch (15-cm) adult foot throughout.

Calculated-For-You Version:
Measurements given are the foot circumference at the instep. When choosing a size, round to the nearest whole inch to the actual foot circumference.

The size numbers are for the sake of this pattern only, not shoe sizes. Round to the nearest size measurement.

  1. 2.0 inches / 5.0 cm
  2. 2.5 inches / 6.3 cm
  3. 3.5 inches / 8.8 cm
  4. 4.5 inches / 11.3 cm
  5. 5.0 inches / 12.5 cm
  6. 5.5 inches / 13.8 cm
  7. 6 inches / 15.0 cm
  8. 6.5 inches / 16.3 cm
  9. 7.5 inches / 18.8 cm
  10. 8.0 inches / 20 cm
  11. 8.5 inches / 21.3 cm
  12. 9.5 inches / 23.8 cm
  13. 10.0 inches / 25.0 cm
  14. 11.0 inches / 27.5 cm
  15. 11.5 inches / 28.8 cm
  16. 12.0 inches / 30.0 cm


  • knit
  • purl
  • make a gauge swatch in stockinette stitch

All other required stitches are explained.


  • knitting in the round using circular or double-pointed needles
  • Super-Stretchy Cast On
  • grafting with Kitchener Stitch
  • Increasing & Decreasing
  • Picking up stitches
  • Creating a heel flap and gusset


  • A comprehensive list of links to online tutorials on my website for necessary skills. Tutorials are screen-reader accessible, with instructions relayed fully in text, and also include videos and downloadable photo tutorials.
  • Full glossary
  • Tips for good fit
  • Written instructions

2 to 3 x 50 grams / 1.76 ounces skeins fingering-weight sock yarn.

For shorter or smaller sock sizes, one 50-gram / 1.76-ounce skein per foot is enough. For adult socks with a shaft longer than 15 cm / 6 inches, you’ll likely need more yarn.


  • Set of four 3.0 mm (US 2) double-pointed needles OR size needed to obtain gauge
  • (Optional: Two circular needles of this size instead of double-pointed needles)
  • yarn needle
  • stitch marker

About samples:
Red multi-coloured tall socks, gradient orange socks and striped Anatamy of a Sock images knit in Patons Kroy Socks (151.8 metres / 166.0 yards in 50 grams / 1.76 ounces), a four-ply super-fine 75% Superwash wool / 25% nylon yarn that works up to 28 to 34 stitches per 4 inches / 10 cm on 3 mm / US 2.5 needles. Colourways: Kroy Socks FX in Colourbox (red multi) and Copper (orange), and Blue Striped Ragg.

Light blue socks knit in Knit Picks Stroll Tweed (211 meters / 231 yards in 50 grams / 1.76 ounces), a four-ply super-fine 65% Merino Superwash wool / 25% nylon / 25% acrylic yarn that works up to 28 to 34 stitches per 4 inches / 10 cm on 2.25 to 3.25 mm / US 1 to 3 needles. Colourway: North Pole Heather.

32 to 34 stitches in 10 cm / 4-inch square over stockinette stitch knit in the round. (Tutorial: https://bit.ly/swatchround.) Because of the stretchy rib in these socks, gauge is more forgiving, but adjust your needle if it doesn’t fall within these limits.

Your file will be available for download as soon as you complete purchase. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns, or for pattern support.

COPYRIGHT AND LICENSING NOTICE: Your purchase of this pattern gives you the right to use it for personal, non-profit use only. To licence the pattern to use for profit, please e-mail me for permission. You do NOT have the right to print the pattern for other people (unless they reside in your household) or to transfer the digital file to any other person. This pattern may not be sold, copied, or distributed in any way.