Yocto Socks by Carolyn Lisle

Yocto Socks

August 2023
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
36 stitches and 46 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch (one colour)
US 1½ - 2.5 mm
US 1 - 2.25 mm
372 - 481 yards (340 - 440 m)
Adult Small (Medium, Large, XL)
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This pattern is available for $6.00 USD
buy it now or visit pattern website

Got leftover sock yarn to use up? How small are those scraps in your scrappy socks bag? I mean, probably not actually “yoctometre” small — as the third-smallest named SI unit in the metric system, one ym is 10^(-24) m (meaning, you would write zero-decimal-23-zeros, then the one), which is so small that around eight hundred fifty million of them make up the width of a proton! — but these socks can definitely help you use up relatively short lengths of yarn that only have a few rounds left in them. With an emergent spiralling effect from a short stitch-pattern repeat, these socks are great for a quick but impressive-looking project!

Pattern Description

These socks feature fun and intuitive patterning with alternating rounds of colourwork and solid colours, making it possible to use each individual colour for as few as three rounds before moving on to the next scrap. The left and right charts are mirror images, and corresponding written instructions are provided. They feature a contrast toe, cuff, and comfortable rounded Chinstrap heel.

This pattern is method-neutral and suitable for any sock-knitting technique you prefer, and it provides links to lots of video tutorials. Since there are no long floats and only half of the rounds have colourwork, this pattern is easily accessible to an intermediate sock knitter who is brand-new to stranded knitting for socks. It’s an easy, intuitive project that is great practice for your colourwork tension!

Yarn Requirements and Sizing

Sizes available: Adult Small (Medium, Large, XL) for foot circumferences of approximately 18 (20.5, 23, 25.5) cm / 7 (8, 9, 10) inches; foot lengths and leg heights are fully adjustable to fit. Both Wide and Standard leg width instructions are provided for all sizes.

These socks are written for fingering-weight sock yarn. Approximately 130 (140, 150, 160) m / 140 (150, 160, 175) yards are required in total for each Main Colour (eg., 130 m for A and 130 m for B for size Small) and approximately 80 (90, 100, 110) m / 90 (100, 110, 120) yards are required for the Contrast Colour.

Go wild with your colours for these socks! They look good in almost any combination — one solid and lots of scraps, all scraps, or even just two alternating colours — but the effect of the stitch pattern is easiest to see if you alternate between colours that contrast well when you are choosing your colour order. You can see a variety of colour pairings in the sample pair to see what both higher-contrast and lower-contrast combinations look like when the sock is finished. No need to stick with solids, either!

These socks are rated 3/5 — Intermediate — on my sock pattern difficulty scale. This is because they have easy stranded colourwork and they have a three-wedge short-row heel.

This pattern is available on the knitCompanion app! You can get a version prepared specifically for kC compatibility here. #kcdesign