Mama Westray by Jo Torr
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Mama Westray

by Jo Torr
June 2016
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
9 stitches and 11 rows = 1 inch
in stocking stitch in the round
US 1 - 2.25 mm
437 yards (400 m)
Small, Medium, Large
This pattern is available for £3.75 GBP buy it now

You might be wondering how this design got its name. In May 2016, the Scottish tourist board office began stocking a new promotional booklet for the tiny Orkney island of Mama Westray. It talked of the tropical gardens, the “world famous Tomb of the Haddock”, and the swimming pigs who eat the surplus fish thrown back into the water by the island’s fishermen. You should be able to find photos on the internet if you are interested.

But Mama Westray doesn’t exist, despite its professionally produced brochure. I loved that someone had gone to so much trouble for a joke and thought such a fantastic place really deserved its own pattern.

These toe-up socks borrow from the traditional Gansey, or Guernsey, sweater patterns of the British Isles. As well as the patterning being made from only knit and purl stitches, these socks also feature the garter welt, the fake side seam and the distinctively outlined gusset that are characteristic of the sweaters.

Sizes - measured around mid-foot

  • Small - 7 - 8” (17.75 - 20.25cm)
  • Medium - 8 - 9” (20.25 - 22.75cm)
  • Large - 9 - 10” (22.75 - 25.5cm)


  • stitch markers
  • tapestry needle for weaving in the ends

Instructions for the pattern are both charted and fully written out so you can choose which you prefer.

I’d love it if you’d come to my group to show off your lovely socks, or chat about them while you’re making them. You’d be very welcome!