I bought some KnitPicks Essential in the Tuscany colorway a little while ago. Well, 10 months ago, actually. Anyway. I fought with myself, who wanted to buy something in blue or purple, and my other self who said I should expand my palette and get something in red, which I hardly ever do. I’ve had this conversation with myself before. And I imagine you have too. It almost always ends up with something red, orange, olive, etc in my closet or stash that I never wear or use. I like those colors, I do, they just don’t call to me like blue, purple, and green. So, I bought Tuscany instead of Blue Violet and it’s been sitting in my stash ever since. Later, I bought some Black, thinking I would use it in a project for DH, but that never happened. Recently, I had to clean up my stash room- I mean our guest room- and saw those two balls sitting next to each other. Beautiful!
I was flipping through Favorite Socks, as I often am, and I was in love with the look of the Hidden Passion Socks. The stripes, the solid color sole, the band around the ankle… But I’m not that fond of illusion knitting- wait! Inspiration!
After quickly glancing over the instructions for the Hidden Passion Socks, I decided that they were too complicated and that I could obviously make the same thing simpler. (Ever said that to yourself?) Well, I knit up the first sock with surprisingly few hiccups, using the aforementioned Tuscany and Black. Very pleased with myself, I looked back at the Hidden Passion Socks instructions. They were almost identical to my "simpler" instructions! So much for that.
The Tuscany colorway reminds me of the leaves in autumn in my native Virginia. I really miss those beautiful colors here in Seattle. Hence, naming these socks Shenandoah, despite the difficult spelling, lol. I love the construction of these socks, so unusual and interesting. I’m planning on knitting up a few other designs based on the same principles, so I think these socks are going to be the first in a series.
Shenandoah uses a slip stitch pattern on the foot and leg. Slip stitch is an easy colorwork technique, because you’re only using one color per row. Shenandoah is essentially a toe up sock, but isn’t knit in the round between the toe and heel. After completing the increases for the toe normally, the instep stitches are worked separately. Then the sole is knit while joining it to the instep. A "heel flap" is knit, turned, and stitches are picked up along the flap, just like a top-down sock. The gusset is decreased, then the stitch pattern resumes for the leg. I swear I wrote down every detail while I was knitting these… but when I went to type it up, some of those details weren’t there. I’ve tried to be as accurate as I can, but if you find any mistakes or are confused by anything, please let me know!
Download the PDF: Shenandoah Socks
- Finished Size: Women’s 9 (foot length 9.5")
- Needles: 2 Size 1 (2.25) circular needles; 2 Size 0 circular needles-optional
- Yarn: KnitPicks Essential: MC – Black (2 balls), CC – Tuscany (1 ball)
- Yardage: Black, 340 yards; Tuscany, 120 yards
- Extras: Stitch markers, stitch holder or scrap yarn, tapestry needle
- Gauge: 8 sts x 11 rows= 1" in stockinette
wyif: with yarn held in front, as in "slip 1 st with yarn held in front"
wyib: with yarn held in front, as in "slip 1 st with yarn held in front"
SSLK: Slip the last stitch knitwise, pick up the two loops of the next slipped stitch on the instep, slip the two loops purlwise, insert right needle into the front loops of the two loops and the slipped stitch and knit all 3 together. (A modified Slip, Slip, Knit.)
SSLP: Slip the last stitch knitwise, pick up the two loops of the next slipped stitch on the instep, slip the two loops knitwise, return the two loops and the slipped stitch to left needle, and purl all 3 together. (A modified Slip, Slip, Purl.)
Using Judy’s Magic Cast On, CO 12 sts to each needle in MC. 24 sts
The starting needle (Needle 1) is the top/instep. The second needle (Needle 2) is the bottom/sole.
Round 1: Knit.
Round 2: K1, M1, knit to last st on Needle 1, m1, k2, m1, knit to last st on Needle 2, m1, k1. 4 sts increased.
Repeat Round 1 and 2 until there are 64 sts total, 32 sts on each needle.
Place the sole sts (Needle 2) on a stitch holder or scrap yarn. You can also pull the sts to the cable section of your circular needle, but I find that the dangling needle ends get in the way. You will now be working back and forth on Needle 1.
Tip: Pull slipped stitches tight on the needle to reduce holes.
Row 1: Sl 1 wyib, k15, m1, k16. 1 st increased. 33 sts
Row 2: Sl 1 wyif, purl all sts.
Row 1 and 2 count as the first 2 rows of the slip stitch pattern for the first repeat.
Join CC. Don’t cut MC, just twist the two yarns together on the WS before each knit row to carry the MC yarn upwards. To twist the yarns, place the carried yarn over or under the working yarn and knit first stitch as normal. The MC yarn should be caught between the CC yarn and the work. When you’re done, you get a nice dotted line of MC yarn up the right-hand side of the work. Make sure that the last MC and CC slipped sts are snug; they can become loose waiting until the next MC or CC row, but don’t pull them too tight.
Start Slip Stitch Pattern (Foot) on Row 3. Odd rows are RS, even rows are WS.
Slip Stitch Pattern (Foot):
Row 1 (MC): Sl 1 wyib, k1, *sl 1 wyif, k1* until 3 sts before the end, sl 1 wyif, k2.
Row 2 (MC): Sl 1 wyif, purl all sts.
Row 3 (CC): Sl 1, k1, *k1, sl1 wyif* until 3 sts before the end, k3.
Row 4 (CC): Sl 1 wyif, purl all sts.
Row 5 (CC): Sl 1 wyib, knit all sts.
Row 6 (CC): Sl 1 wyif, purl all sts.
Repeat these 6 rows until instep measures 7.25”, or 2.25” shorter than desired foot length, from the tip of the toe, ending after a WS row. Cut MC and CC yarns.
Place instep sts on a stitch holder or scrap yarn. Return sole sts to a needle. You’ll now be working back and forth on the new needle. Join MC yarn with the RS of the sole facing you. (Ignore the markers in the following picture.)
Row 1 (RS): With the left needle, pick up the two loops of the first slipped stitch on the instep and move them (correctly mounted) to the right hand needle. Knit the two picked up loops together with the first stitch on the needle. Knit to 1 st before the end of the needle, SSLK.
Row 2 (WS): Sl 1, purl to last st, SSLP.
Row 3: Sl 1, knit to last st, SSLK.
Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until all slipped sts have been used, ending after a RS row (do not use sts on the stitch holder or scrap yarn.) (Ignore the markers in the following picture.)
Row 4 (WS): Sl 1, p27. Place last 4 sts onto the stitch holder or scrap yarn. 1 st decreased. 28 sts on needle.
Row 5 (RS): Sl 1, k23. Place last 4 sts onto the stitch holder or scrap yarn. 24 sts on needle.
These 24 stitches will be the bottom of the heel; this would be the heel flap if we were making a top-down sock.
Row 6 (WS): Sl 1, purl all sts.
Row 7 (RS): Sl 1, knit all sts.
Repeat Rows 6 and 7 until the sole measures 9”, or .5” shorter than desired foot length, from the toe of the sock, ending after Row 6.
Row 1: Sl 1, k16, ssk, turn.
Row 2: Sl 1, p8, p2tog, turn.
Row 3: Sl 1, k8, ssk, turn.
Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until all sts have been worked, ending after Row 2. 10 sts remain.
Knit across all sts on needle. Pick up and knit 1 st in each slipped stitch along the “heel flap.” Return all held sts to needles. Place a marker between the last picked up stitch and the first held stitch. Knit across 4 held sole sts, all instep sts, and the other 4 held sole sts. Place a marker between the last held stitch and the first picked up stitch. Pick up and knit 1 st in each slipped stitch along the “heel flap.” Knit 5 stitches from the heel and mark as the beginning of the round.
Row 1: Knit to 3 stitches before the first marker, k2tog, k1. Knit to the second marker, k1, ssk, knit to the end of the round. 2 sts deceased.
Row 2: Knit.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until 64 sts remain.
Join CC. Row 1 and 2 count as the first 2 rows of the slip stitch pattern for the first repeat. Start Slip Stitch Pattern (Leg) on Row 3.
Slip Stitch Pattern (Leg):
Row 1(MC): *sl 1 wyif, k1*
Row 2(MC): Knit
Row 3(CC): *k1, sl1 wyif*
Row 4, 5, 6(CC): Knit
Repeat Rows 1-6 until leg is desired length (7 repeats shown in photos.)
Switch to smaller needles if desired.
Work 15 rounds k1 p1.
BO very loosely.
Please Note: I post my patterns as soon as I’ve completed them because I’m excited to share them with you. They have not been fully tested. But they are free. I’ve made every effort to make sure that the instructions are clear and error-free. There may be typos or pattern mistakes and if you find them or have any questions, please let me know by posting a comment or emailing me, dailyskein at gmail.com.
This work by Cailyn Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.