Crosslink Socks by Carolyn Lisle

Crosslink Socks

April 2024
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
35 stitches and 46 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch
US 1 - 2.25 mm
US 0 - 2.0 mm
328 - 383 yards (300 - 350 m)
Adult Small (Medium, Large)
Flag of English English
This pattern is available for $6.00 USD
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The Crosslink Socks are inspired by molecular biology. In university, I specialized in genetics and evolutionary biology, so I spent a lot of time looking at molecular diagrams of DNA, RNA, amino acids, and proteins. In biology, “cross-linking” is a bond between two chains of organic molecules. Some chemotherapy drugs target rapidly-replicating cancer cells by causing DNA cross-linking. Cross-linking also happens in proteins, and it makes all kinds of complex and important structures in living things possible, including something knitters know well: wool!

Pattern Description

These toe-up socks feature a beautiful but surprisingly easy-to-work all-over lace motif that starts on the toe. Only subtly open and with a ribbing base, they have mock cable details and lace patterning worked only in every other round. They feature a classic gusset and heel flap construction, with ribbing in the gussets for both aesthetic continuity and the best possible fit, and a cuff that flows smoothly from the lace patterning. Corresponding written instructions are provided for the charts.

This pattern is available in three adult foot circumferences and the socks are completely adjustable in length and height. It requires the knitter to be able to knit a small circumference in the round (the pattern is method-neutral to suit your preferred technique for socks and either double-pointed needles or circular needles can be used). It clearly explains all techniques required and provides links to many useful video tutorials. The lace patterning is only worked in every other round (the circular equivalent to lace on RS rows only with lace worked flat), and requires only one uncommon stitch (a mock-cable knot stitch); all the other lace patterning is formed using only basic yarn overs and single decreases.

Yarn Requirements and Sizing

Sizes available: Adult Small (Medium, Large) to fit foot circumferences of 18 (20.5, 23) cm / 7 (8, 9) inches with adjustable finished foot lengths and leg heights.

These socks require fingering or light fingering weight yarn appropriate for durable socks (i.e., ideally a yarn with nylon/polyamide in the blend, and not a single-ply yarn); up to 300 (325, 350) m / 325 (350, 375) yards are required for average foot lengths and equal leg heights. (Note that yarn usage may vary widely depending on individual foot length and leg height choices.) I recommend using a thinner, lighter-weight sock yarn that works up at a fairly small gauge for these socks.

This pattern looks best in a solid, semi-solid, or mildly-speckled colourway. A very busy colourway will obscure the lace pattern details, and the gusset-and-heel-flap construction will break up self-striping and gradient colourways.

These socks are rated 3/5 — Intermediate — on my sock pattern difficulty scale. This is because while they are very repetitive and intuitive, they do require working patterning in two colours while also working helical stripes.