Flying Buttress Socks by Maureen Foulds

Flying Buttress Socks

January 2013
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
32 stitches = 4 inches
in stocking stitch
US 1½ - 2.5 mm
325 - 400 yards (297 - 366 m)
Womens Medium, Womens Large (Mens Medium)
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A flying buttress is a specific form of architecture most strongly associated with Gothic churches. The purpose of any buttress is to resist the forces pushing a wall outwards by redirecting them to the ground.

This pattern incorporates left and right buttresses, created by a simple 2/1 cable that are repeated on the front and back of each sock, making the leg symmetrical whether viewed from the front, back or sides. The buttresses are edged by a simple baby cable which continues down over the foot.

Two sizes are provided. The Women’s Medium (CO 64 sts) is designed to fit a US size 7-9 foot. The Women’s Large (or Mens Medium) (CO 72 sts) will fit womens sizes 9-11. A test knit Large comfortably fit a mens US size 11 foot.

The pattern as written incorporates a stocking stitch toe. However, the Womens Medium size could incorporate a further repeat of the Flying Buttress pattern through the toe. A chart for this option is also provided.

The yardage requirements given are generously based on the test knitted samples.

The pattern instructions reference the sole and instep stitches rather than specifying needles, allowing you to use your preferred method (4 or 5 needles, magic loop, 2 circular needles). Each pattern repeat is approximately 1.5” long. If you wish to add length to the leg of the sock, add the appropriate number of pattern repeats and adjust your yardage requirements appropriately.

There are some mistakes and lack of clarity about which chart to use in the Medium instructions around the gusset. The following paragraphs contain the corrections:

Medium size only:
With needle holding heel sts, pick up and knit 20 selvedge stitches along the edge of heel
flap. On the instep needle(s), work row 1 of LEG chart, starting on the k2togk1 (4th stitch). After completing the chart row, you still have 5 stitches left. Work the first 5 stitches of row 1 (k1, p2, k2togk1) LEG chart. Pick up 20 selvedge stitches on other side of gusset, then knit 9 stitches off heel flap needle for new center of round. Round begins at center of heel.

Next row to re-establish pattern:
Knit 26 stitches on needle 1. Move the last 3 gusset stitches onto the instep needle.
Complete row 2 of LEG chart, then the first 5 stitches of row 2 again. From the gusset stitches,
purl 3, (40 instep sts total). On the last needle, knit the remaining 26 sole stitches.

All sizes:

Rnd 1: Knit to last 3 sts of the 26 sole sts, K2tog, K1.
On instep sts, continue in Flying Buttress Foot pattern.
On last needle, K1, ssk, knit to end.
Rnd 2: Knit, continuing in Flying Buttress Foot pattern on instep sts.