Zöllner Socks by Carolyn Lisle

Zöllner Socks

March 2022
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
36 stitches and 40 rows = 4 inches
in stranded stockinette stitch with largest needles
US 1 - 2.25 mm
US 1½ - 2.5 mm
US 0 - 2.0 mm
361 - 591 yards (330 - 540 m)
Adult Small (Medium, Large, XL)
Flag of English English
This pattern is available for $6.00 USD
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This was the Round 2 Bonus Sock for Sock Madness 16. Check out this thread for chat, questions, and FOs!

Who doesn’t love a weird optical illusion? A vase or two faces? What colour is that dress? These socks are inspired by the Zöllner Illusion, specifically; if you stare at it, its parallel diagonal lines look like they are converging because of strategically-placed cross-lines that fool your brain. Unusual and impactful to look at, this effect is lots of fun for your feet!

Pattern Description

These socks feature the Zöllner Illusion on each side of the foot and the leg with reversed dominant colours. The left and right socks are mirror images. Both toe-up and cuff-down instructions are provided. They feature a rounded Chinstrap short-row heel that provides plenty of room to fit the colourwork fabric, and a contrast toe, heel, and cuff.

This pattern requires the knitter to be able to knit with two colours at once on a small circumference in the round (the pattern is method-neutral to suit your preferred technique for socks). It clearly explains all techniques for increases, decreases, and short rows. With assistance from the resources linked in the pattern, it is accessible to an intermediate sock knitter who is still relatively new to stranded knitting; depending on your strand-length preferences, catching strands may not be necessary to make this pattern.

Corresponding written instructions are provided for the colourwork charts; however, due to the complexity of the pattern, they are quite extensive. Pattern support is available via email if you require simplified written instructions tailored for your specific size and colour choices.

Yarn Requirements and Sizing

Sizes available: Adult Small (Medium, Large, XL) for foot circumferences of approximately 16 (19, 22, 25) cm / 6.25 (7.5, 8.625, 9.875) inches — 52 (64, 76, 88) st. The pattern has completely-adjustable foot lengths and leg heights.

For the effect to work, these socks require two Main Colours that contrast very clearly throughout their respective colour ranges.

Main Colours 1 and 2 each require 120 (150, 180, 210) m / 130 (165, 200, 230) yards of fingering or light fingering weight yarn

Contrast Colour (heel/toe/cuff) requires 90 (100, 110, 120) m / 100 (110, 120, 130) yards of fingering or light fingering weight yarn

These socks are rated 4/5 — Adventurous — on my sock pattern difficulty scale. This is because they require keeping track of two charts in every round and the charts have a long pattern repeat.