Pictum Socks by Carolyn Lisle

Pictum Socks

October 2022
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
35 stitches and 46 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch
US 1 - 2.25 mm
US 0 - 2.0 mm
301 - 383 yards (275 - 350 m)
Adult Small (Medium, Large, XL)
Flag of English English
This pattern is available for $5.50 USD
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The Pictum Socks are inspired by Dactylotum bicolor pictum, the Painted Grasshopper. Native to the dry North American grasslands, it has wild, distinctive colour patterns all over its exoskeleton. This is aposematism, where animals use colour to warn potential predators that they are unpleasant to eat. After all, it’s easy to remember a bad meal if it’s covered in neon colours!

Pattern Description

These toe-up socks use elongated slipped stitches and bias shaping to manipulate stripes made by a beautiful self-striping yarn. They have an afterthought heel and a twisted-rib cuff. The right and left socks are identical, with a wide bias panel on the front of the sock and stockinette sole and back of the leg. There are no charts for this pattern.

This pattern requires the knitter to knit a small circumference in the round (the pattern is method-neutral and suitable for double-pointed or circular needles using your preferred technique for socks) and clearly explains all techniques for increases, decreases, and picking up an afterthought heel. Within the pattern you will find many links to useful video tutorials as well, so the pattern is easily accessible to an intermediate knitter who is just getting started knitting socks.

Yarn Requirements and Sizing

Sizes available: Adult Small (Medium, Large, XL) for foot circumferences of 18 (20.5, 23, 25.5) cm / 7 (8, 9, 10) inches — 56 (64, 72, 80) st — with completely adjustable foot lengths and leg heights. (If you are between sizes, I recommend sizing up.)

Yarn required: approximately 275 (300, 325, 350) m / 300 (325, 350, 375) yards total (based on average foot lengths and approximately equal leg heights)

This pattern is designed for self-striping yarns with any combination of stripe widths from 2 to 8 rounds each; however, it is also well-suited to scrappy socks using leftovers!

These socks are rated 3/5 — Intermediate — on my sock pattern difficulty scale. This is because while they require very few uncommon stitches and have a short pattern repeat, they do require the knitter to be able to anticipate their yarn’s stripe width well in order to get the desired effect.