Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B. Anderson

Smooth Operator Socks

July 2016
Light Fingering ?
8 stitches = 1 inch
in stockinette stitch
US 1 - 2.25 mm
440 yards (402 m)
To fit: extra-small (small, medium, large) OR to fit the circumference measurement at the ball of the foot at: 7 (8, 9, 10) inches. The patttern is written with 1-inch of negative ease for a snug fit.
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This pattern is available for $5.00 USD buy it now

Recipe and chart for the SOS Heart Socks is right here! Click!

New pattern update Aug. 5, 2017: No Waste Yarn Afterthought Heel photo tutorial added to the last pages of the pattern!

Pattern Update on Nov. 17, 2016: The pattern now includes the No Pick Up Gap Closer technique variation! Find it on the last two pages of the addendum. Enjoy!

Note: For the Short SOS Version for printing, only print pages 11-13 of the pattern.

Hi Smooth Operator Sock Knitters,
There has been a pattern update and new info. is now included with the pattern. The pattern is completely the same with the exception of 2 pages of variation notes that have been added to the end of the pattern, pages 14 and 15. Here is the reason for the additional notes.

I’ve been tinkering around with the SOS pattern a bit and have successfully tried some new techniques. I want to share these options with you. The new notes at the end of the pattern include:

  1. A simple technique tip to get rounder corners on your Kitchener Stitch heels and toes.

  2. A new way to finish the heels and toes without any Kitchener Stitch. No Kitchener Stitch anywhere in the sock! I have done the last two socks with this technique and I love the look and feel of this version.

  3. Instructions for another way to do the decreases on the heels and toes that creates an even smoother heel and toe decrease line. It is a single sleek line of decreases that is really quite beautiful and simple to do. This is now my go-to decrease option! Now you, too, can substitute this version right into your own Smooth Operator socks if you like. Thank you for the support! Enjoy. xo ~ susan

Pattern information:
Sizes included in the pattern:
Extra-small (will fit a large child)
Medium (this is the size I make for myself!)
Large (will fit men or a woman’s larger size foot)

I love knitting top-down socks and I love self-striping and patterning sock yarn. I also love it when the patterning in the yarn doesn’t get broken up or rearranged on the front of the sock. This often happens when you are knitting the heel section of the sock. To avoid this problem I started exploring the afterthought heel, where the heel stitches are placed on waste yarn and saved for later. With a little variation of my own, I’ve found that this heel is a clever and perfect solution for your striping sock yarn woes.

What’s different about the Smooth Operator Socks you might ask? The pattern is written for four different sizes and includes instructions for both double-pointed needles and Magic Loop. The tutorial pattern is written in conversational style with tips and tricks along the way. The pattern includes step-by-step tutorials with photos but also has a quick read version at the end for those who don’t need the tutorial or want to have a printed version. The quick version is 3-pages long without photos.

I have a modified twist for placing the heel waste yarn that makes it much easier to remove later. Also, I’ve never loved the look of the bars of stitches in between the decreases that run along both sides of the heel and toe. I’ve found a sleeker decrease sequence to eliminate those bars so the sock looks almost completely seamless and so smooth. I like to complete the afterthought heel before the foot of the sock is finished so taking accurate measurements for the foot length is much easier.

I hope you enjoy knitting the Smooth Operator Socks as much as I do. This is now my go-to sock for self-striping or patterning yarn although it will work for variegated, solid or tonal yarns just as well. Best of all, the fit is perfect!

Yarn: 100 grams of fingering or sock weight yarn

Needles: US size 1 or 2.25mm, set of 5 dpns or a long circular for magic loop or your preferred method for working in the round on a small number of stitches. Be sure to check your gauge and adjust the needle size as needed.

8 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch
13 rows per inch in stockinette stitch

An extra set of needles in the same size (optional) Detachable stitch marker
Yarn needle
Ruler or tape measure
Smooth waste yarn in the same weight, about 3 yards